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By Mary Walker
One solitary life changes every other one it touches. I remember reading a poem by that title long ago. It was about the impact of Christ's life on mankind. Our lives must also be lived for Christ. We must be His hands, His feet and speak His words, live our lives, touching those around us, as a message of His love for each person we come into contact with every day.
When we choose not to lose our temper with our children, with a co-worker, with the idiot that cuts us off on our drive to work in the rush-hour traffic — by practicing patience, we live that example of Christ in the world. If we choose to mortify ourselves by giving that last, delicious piece of birthday cake to our sister instead of devouring it as an after-school snack, we practice temperance and generosity. Each time we do something with love — change a diaper, fix the leaky faucet, attend to the needs of those around us before seeking our own needs — we are the servant Christ calls us to be.
Slow down. Take a breath. Then act, like Christ. It can make a difference in the lives of everyone you encounter. Each of us individually should strive for holiness, and can do this through a personal consecration to our Blessed Mother, using St. Louis de Montfort's 33-day consecration.
The next one starts on November 29, and the final consecration is made on January 1, the Solemnity of the Mother of God. It can be started at several different times during the year and always ends on a feast day of Our Lady. It is also a good idea to practice renewing the consecration yearly, and if possible, on the same feast day as your first consecration.
Please consider beginning the 33-day consecration on November 29, and refresh your commitment to the Faith by becoming a servant to our Blessed Mother. She will become your greatest advocate, help you get to Heaven, help you leave your old self behind and commit your life to Her Son. Saint Louis de Montfort's "Secret of Mary" and "True Devotion to Mary" are both something to consider reading during Advent.
Saint Louis de Montfort's consecration to our Blessed Mother is the path to uniting ourselves more closely to Jesus. Saint Louis de Montfort says:
[O]f all creatures the one most conformed to Jesus Christ, it follows that among all devotions that which most consecrates and conforms a soul to our Lord is devotion to Mary, his Holy Mother, and that the more a soul is consecrated to Her the more will it be consecrated to Jesus Christ.
I have made this consecration for the past 12 years, and can attest to the rejuvenation it gives to the spiritual life. I will also warn anyone who makes this commitment to be aware that the evil one and his minions will attempt to trip you up throughout the consecration, trying to stop you from completing it. Do not be afraid. Do not give up. If you miss a day accidentally, do not stop. Pick up where you left off, read two days' worth of prayers, but do not stop. God is not confined by our time. He will make up for our deficiencies. Grasp our Blessed Mother's hand, ask for Her help, and begin.