By Mary Walker
In order to evangelize others, you must focus on becoming a great saint. When we strive for personal holiness, our life becomes the tool for evangelization. People around us notice, ask questions, become interested in why we are so happy — because we should be ecstatic, since we, as practicing members of the Catholic Church, possess the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus in the Eucharist.
Every great saint was joyful. Whether they had trials, sickness or an uneventful life, they were joyful. Their primary objective was to be obedient to God and to love Him — not an easy everyday practice, as any one of us practicing the Faith knows.
Life and the rhythms of everyday living get in the way of our taking the time to meditate — to just relax and offer our days to Him. Starting with the Morning Offering, or before getting out of bed saying the "Angelus," you can stave off the evil one and his minions from getting in the way of your day — your intention to live it for Him, in every little thing you do, as St. Therese of Lisieux explains it.
Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary is the best way to get your spiritual life kicked up a notch. The 33-day consecration will begin easily enough, then as it gets harder and the evil one begins to put obstacles in your way, it takes sincere commitment and devotion, and most of all trust in God, to make your consecration a faithful one.
The theme of days one through 12 is "The Spirit of the World." In this section, the prayers recited are the "Veni Creator," "Ave Maris Stella" and the "Magnificat." There is a short reading and sermon from St. Louis Marie de Montfort. These first 12 days take up fewer than 10 minutes of prayers. It is still important to begin praying the consecration prayers before your day starts, or arrange your day with the time set aside, because the evil one and his minions will do many things to distract or sidetrack you so that you do not begin, or do not finish the consecration.
Parts two and three are "Knowledge of Self" and "Knowledge of Mary," with part three adding a Rosary at the end of the prayers and St. Louis' prayer to Mary. These sections add two litanies, one to the Holy Ghost and one to our Blessed Mother, as well as the former prayers. The fourth section is the last and focuses on "Knowledge of Jesus Christ."
Section three with the Rosary will take about 20–30 minutes, but sections two and four will be about 15 minutes. At the end you make your consecration, which includes going to confession and Mass, receiving our Lord in the Eucharist, and making an offering of a mortification, a fast, alms or some other special offering or gift to Jesus.
This allotment of time to make your consecration will change your life, and more importantly, draw you closer to Jesus through a deeper relationship with His Holy Mother, our Mother also.
Pope St. John Paul II spoke highly of this consecration, saying that it was a turning point in his life: "This Marian devotion ... has since remained a part of me. It is an integral part of my interior life and of my spiritual theology."