As some of you may know, I’m currently on a do-it-yourself Marian Retreat. And through instagram, I found out that some other Catholic Bloggers are doing the same preparation with the same book! How funny is that? Anyway, I’m linking up with Cristina at Filling my Prayer Closet to reflect on my experiences with this retreat.
For the second year in a row, I’m using “33 Days to Morning Glory” by Michael E. Gaitley, MIC and it is awesome. I used this book last year in preparation for my Marian Consecration, and I loved it so much that I decided to use it again. I love the way Gaitley breaks up de Montfort’s teachings and sprinkles in the teachings of other Marian Saints. Maximilian Kolbe, Mother Teresa, and JPII have insightful remarks for the different weeks of this retreat.
Right now, we’re in JPII’s week, which is awesome because I love JPII. However, I’m going to reflect on Mother Teresa’s week because it is my favorite. I also feel that it has the most impact on my life right now.
Mother Teresa’s week revolves around Jesus’s words, “I thirst.”
Suffering has to come because if you look at the cross, he has got his head bending down–he wants to kiss you–and he has both hands open wide–he wants to embrace you…At times you come so close to Jesus on the cross that he can kiss you. Suffering is a gift from God. It is between you and Jesus alone inside.
Praying with the phrase “I Thirst” has been an incredible experience. I think that once you take the time to pray with this phrase, it takes on a whole new meaning. I know that last year, this experience allowed me to better pray during Holy Week, especially on Good Friday when we hear this phrase “I Thirst.”
Mother Teresa’s letter to JPII about her “call within a call” on September 10th is also one of my favorite parts:
Jesus wants me to tell you again…how much love He has for each one of you–beyond all you can imagine…How can we last even one day without hearing Jesus say “I love you”–impossible. Our soul needs that as much as the body needs to breathe the air. If not, prayer is dead–meditation only thinking. Jesus wants you each to hear Him–speaking in the silence of your heart.
Doing this retreat this year (as well as last year) has allowed me to meditate with this piece of Marian Consecration. Better understanding how suffering plays into our daily lives as Catholics, helps me to better sit with Jesus in the Garden. This is something that I’ve struggled with throughout my young life. Knowing that someone like Mother Teresa, who also suffered greatly, was able to become a great Saint, fills me with Hope.
Learning about these great Saints, their struggles, their hopes, and their love for the Lord is encouraging to those who read about them. I know it is for me. Their Love for Jesus and his Mother is amazing.
Another part of the preparation that I’ve really loved, is reading about the Miraculous Medal and its origin. I loved learning about the meaning behind the image, and what this medal means for those who wear it. It’s pretty cool, you should check it out.