This blog has a new patron. As today is February 11th, traditionally the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes (and the World Day of the Sick), I have decided to consecrate Sober Catholic to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
I have mentioned previously (most recently today, in Our Lady of Lourdes/World Day of the Sick) that it is my belief that Mary ‘inspired’ me to start this. Perhaps that was a fruit of my own consecration to her on October 7, 2002 through St. Maximilian Kolbe’s Militia of the Immaculate (see that earlier link). One of the things about consecrating yourself to Mary is that she uses you to bring others to Jesus through her. By whatever means that you have, she uses. Your intellect, memory, will, skills and talents; all of these then belong to her for her to use in saving souls. St. Maximilian Kolbe often said it was like being a paintbrush in an artist’s hands. It paints when the artist selects it, remains at rest when not needed. It may have painted a masterpiece, but it was the artist who directed it.
It may seem like an arrogant assumption that the Mother of God inspired me to start blogging about the Catholic Faith and the rich resources it offers people in recovery. If so, then this blog will eventually cease and be forgotten. If not, then it continue on until Heaven decides it’s time… But since it’s been 11 years, and I’m still doing it, though many times I wanted to quit, but haven’t…
So I keep trudging on.
I have been reading quite a lot of Marian spirituality and theology over the past few years. I have a greater appreciation for my membership in the M.I. and have read copious amounts of St. Maximilian’s writings as well as numerous texts related to his Marian spirituality. I have learned many things, some of which I shall try and share with you over time. I am no longer astonished at the importance that the Catholic Church has made of the Blessed Mother. This may seem contradictory: on the one hand I have always taken for granted her role in the Church, namely the importance ascribed to her by virtue of her selection by God the Father as the means by which the Incarnation would take place and her role as Mother of the Church and our Mother; and on the other hand my digging into the theology and spirituality (all of the Marian Dogmas) of all this begats the astonishment. So, “astonishment” as in not from shock at all the glories attributed to her, but rather the significance of them all. It’s like the difference between knowing the ‘whats’ of a thing and then learning the ‘whys.’ (As a digression: Growing up ‘raised in the Faith’ I knew many of the ‘whats’ of the Faith, but few of the ‘whys.’ Hence my leaving of the Church for 15 years. Parents and directors of religious education, as well as RCIA instructors take heed; it isn’t enough to educate others on ‘what’ the Church teaches, but also ‘why’ She teaches what She does.)
And so we come to the consecration. In one of my recent readings I was reminded that as we are created by God, He is our first beginning and our last end; everything we have were given by Him, and thus everything we do and the results are His. We do the best we can and leave the results to Him. And so, we all do have a mission. Mulling this over, and being mindful of the possible Marian inspiration of this blog, I came to the conclusion that rather than merely assuming that my personal consecration to the Virgin Mary covers this blog also (since it is something I run, and therefore a tool of hers to use by means of me,) I should in some way “give it back” to her; in doing so I feel a greater responsibility in making it work.
You see, although Our Lady may have inspired it, it has been my will most of the time to blog. I will blog about this or that, I won’t blog for now, I will… I will… I will… I will… She gave me the idea and I took it over. Although oftentimes I felt inspired to “get out of myself” and blog when I didn’t feel like it, and many times while composing a post I felt the words coming from …somewhere…; still, my will decided things most times.
So, no longer will it be ‘my will be done,’ but rather ‘her will be done;’ and as her will is always perfectly conformed to His will…
In consecrating this blog to Mary I will daily pray about it; every morning I will add this apostolate to my prayer intentions. Although I have prayed for the success of this blog in the past, I never made it a daily habit. In praying about it I will hopefully be receptive to any ‘inspirations’ of what to blog about. Daily Mass readings, something I’ve read here or there, something a personal nature, whatever.
So, Mama Mary, this thing is yours. Any ‘productivity’ and success, such as souls saved, sobriety achieved or maintained, lost sheep brought back to Holy Mother Church, are yours. Perhaps I will even get to writing some more Sober Catholic Books! Failures are all mine.
Act of Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary, as per St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe and tweaked a bit by me:
O Immaculata, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. I, ‘Paulcoholic’, a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, but in particular this blog, SoberCatholic.com, wholly to yourself as your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you.
If it pleases you, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: “She will crush your head,” and, “You alone have destroyed all heresies in the world.” Let me be a fit instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever you enter, you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
V. Allow me to praise you, O sacred Virgin.
R. Give me strength against your enemies.Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"