Dear Brothers and Sisters,
A few weeks ago, I invited you to consider consecrating yourself and your family to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary by participating in the prayers of consecration that begins today (November 9th) and ends on December 12th. This opportunity is presented with the hope that our parish and our hearts will grow closer to Our Lord through His Blessed Mother. This year is a significant moment in our lifetime because it is the 25th anniversary of our parish, the 50th anniversary of the Diocese of Phoenix, and the Jubilee Year of the Family.
Consecrating your family to Jesus through Mary on the feast of our patroness, Our Lady of Guadalupe, is a powerful way to strengthen your family and invite many graces into your home and your hearts. A total consecration to Our Lord leads us to love… to love one another, to love ourselves, to love God.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…" who loved us by giving His life for us on the Cross. The Cross shows us the depth of God's love. The open heart of Jesus on the Cross, as a consequence of the wound on His side with a spear, is the greatest expression of God's love for us. "It is from Jesus' heart, pierced on the Cross, that this divine life streamed forth" (Pope Benedict XVI). It is through the Cross, Jesus changes our "heart of stone" wounded by sin, into a "heart of flesh", like His. Our Lord gives us His Love, and, at the same time, He enables us to love with His same love.
This total consecration to Our Lord Jesus through His Blessed Mother is a beautiful and holy exercise that gives you the opportunity to increase your spiritual life and ability to truly serve our Lord Jesus Christ by opening your heart to Himwho loves you.
Consecration means to set aside for a sacred purpose. Mary's life was set aside for the sole purpose of serving Our Lord. By following Her example, we, too, can completely give ourselves to Christ in an important way that consecrates us to Him. We give our lives to Him in service and love. When we consecrate ourselves to Jesus, we become even more devoted to Our Lord and His Blessed Mother. It helps us grow in holiness and increases our faith, hope, and love. A total consecration to Our Lord is a prayerful and focused way of drawing closer to Jesus than ever before.
In 2011, Fr. Michael Gaitley, a Marian of the Immaculate Conception (MIC) priest, published an updated consecration that includes the Marian insights of three contemporary saints. It is called, "33 Days to Morning Glory". This booklet offers a wonderful opportunity for you and your family to experience simple daily readings with a brief reflection.
It is optional, but recommended, to say a daily rosary as well. Each family from our parish will receive this book this weekend so we can all begin together today (November 9th) and end together on December 12th, which is the Feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of our Diocese. It is very manageable and such a simple way to grow closer to Our Lord and Our Lady who love us so much. I am looking forward to joining together on this beautiful journey.
Fr. Don Kline, V.F.