33 Days to Morning Glory Weekly Reflection Questions

Intro & Orientation
Week 1
Week 2

Intro & Orientation

Personal Response

My two most important reasons for making this retreat at this time are the following:

1. Personal

2. Spiritual

Introduction and Orientation

[Read “Introduction” in 33 Days to Morning Glory, pp. 15-27, and then prayerfully answer the following questions.]

1. Recall a special need in your life that you entrusted to the intercession of Mary or a favorite saint. (This is often known as a “special intention.”) Maybe you prayed a novena1 for it. Maybe the intention moved you to ask for help, for a blessing, or for an answer. What prayer or novena did you pray? What did you hope for? Was it for an answer? Were you answered in a way that surprised you? Consoled you? Was there a new insight from that prayer? ______________________________________________________________________________

2. Life is lived so fast in this third millennium. Do you have concerns about putting 33 days into your already-full calendar for consecration preparation? What kind of practical help do you need to see that this really is possible and realistic? Where might you turn to get this help? Will someone else be able to help you find time — for example, through carpooling or help with shopping? Or is it simply a matter of you scheduling your time and priorities more efficiently? ___________________________________________________________

3. Read Luke 2:19, 51. Like Mary, have you ever pondered something that happened to you or to someone else? What was it? Did you ask yourself why it happened to you? What came of that heart pondering? Was it a positive experience __________________________

4. This preparation for consecration is similar to Mary’s heart pondering. There are no additional hours you need to set aside for pondering, because pondering can be done throughout the day. The readings simply fill and prepare your heart because of your prayerful reading of them. What time of day will you set aside for this reading? You can break it up into several sessions of reading each day if you need to. Select several “moments” when you will have the book beside you, and write them down here: _____________________________________________


How the Retreat Works:

1. Read = Read the brief section for each day.

2. Ponder = Ponder and reflect on the day’s reading with the aid of the Retreat Companion.

3. Meet = Meet to discuss what you’ve pondered all week.

Introduction to Marian Consecration

A. The Goal ______________________________________________________________________________

B. Three Big Ideas Summarized ________________________________________________________________

C. Three Stages ___________________________________________________________________________

D. Summary of Marian Consecration _____________________________________________________________

Week 1

Day 1:

The Passionate Saint of Britany: We need a truly human personality to give to Mary in consecration so that she can transform it in Her Immaculate Heart. We read on the first day that St. Louis was a passionate man with a fiery temper but through Our Lady that same passion was re-directed to serve God.

Question: Looking at my family history and growing up years what are the obstacles or wounds I have sustained that I want to place in Mary’s hands as I begin this 33 day retreat.

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit living in Mary. Help me make this retreat with a generous giving over of myself and all my wounds, into the hands of your perfect spouse!

Day 2:

St. Louis’s Influence in the Church: We need to be detached from our will and attached to the will of God. What is your reaction to the story of the project of St. Louis that was destroyed and his response: `Let us build it in our hearts. Blessed be God.`

Question: Are you able to bless God in moments of disappointment, when things fail or even God seems `indifferent` to our suffering? What is the first thing I need to become detached from so that Mary can unite me to Her Son Jesus? 

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit living in Mary. Prepare me to give myself fully to living out this consecration to Mary.

Day 3:

Placing Renewal of Baptism Vows in Mary’s hands: We all renew our baptism vows every Easter. Yet we find ourselves very poor in rejecting Satan and his pomps. Placing this renewal in the hands of Mary means that now Satan has to contend with the Blessed Virgin. Satan’s pride suffers infinitely more from the holy humility of Mary than the magnificient power of God. Hence this act of placing them in the hands of Mary goes a long way in helping us overcome our sins!

Question: What is my relationship to Mary? Do you believe that Mary has been bestowed this kind of power over Satan, from God? Are you prepared to hand place your baptismal vows in her hands and see what happens? 

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit living in Mary. Give me the grace to reject Satan definitively with the powerful help of Mary in this consecration.

Day 4:

Why should we give ourselves to Mary?: Because Mary is human like us and has a deep compassion for our suffering. We have someone who feels with us. We also imitate Jesus who gave Himself to her through His Incarnation! We give Mary our – body, soul, exterior goods and our interior and spiritual graces to do with as Mary wants.

Question: In order to make us safe, secure, forgiven, blessed, and graced by her Son Jesus, what might she decide for us? Are you anxious about letting her make decisions in certain areas of your life? Talk to Mary now about those decisions, your fears and the grace you need, to let it happen according to God’s will. 

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit living in Mary. Help me desire an intimate communion with Mary, my compassionate and all powerful Mother.

Day 5:

Growing to trust Mary: One of the benefits of giving everything to Mary is that she perfects our gifts and makes them even more acceptable to God. Recall the story of the peasant before the King. She sends the most generous graces of perseverance and humility that help us more perfectly follow Jesus.

Question: Which of your gifts of self-offering to God, your sacrifices that you would like Mary to perfect even more? What would you ask of Mary to perfect it? 

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit living in Mary. Help me to be open to having my gift perfected in this consecration – however Mary may choose to do it for me!

Day 6:

We rely on Mary, not ourselves: Mary is not outdone in her generosity towards those who place their trust in her. Those who are afraid to have Mary dispose of all their self-offering are actually full of self-love. We should aim high, we want to please God, like Mary did and not seek to protect our own self-interests.

Question: As we come to the end of this week, what material or spiritual goods are you still holding on to that you need to offer Mary, so that the consecration can be truly effective in your life? 

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit living in Mary. Help me be free from self-centeredness in the extreme and the reign of fear. O Jesus! & Mary! I give myself entirely to you!

Day 7:

A quick, easy, secure way to holiness: St.Louis describes making two methods of making a statue. Through sculpting stone or pouring it in a mold, the former is an arduous process that can lead to fatal mistakes and the latter is quick, easy and secure. The spiritual life is usually described as as a great and life-long battle. And yet through consecration you pour yourself into the womb of Mary, the mold. She will form you but it will require your complete surrender and `Yes`.

Question: Which way are you used to understanding your spiritual life? Do you put in alot of efforts and yield little results? Why do sins persist after repeated efforts on your part? Has this become the accepted norm of the spiritual life for you? Do you want a change of method? 

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit living in Mary. Grant me the grace to rely more on the merits of Mary and less on my own through this consecration.

Week One Prayer of Thanksgiving: Compose your own prayer of thanksgiving, by listing all the graces you have asked for and all the insights and truth you have gained. And then conclude with a Hail Mary, asking Mary’s help to move forward to week Two.

Week 2

Day 8:

Who are you, St Maximilian Kolbe?: Raymond Kobe was asked by his mother, “Raymond, what will become of you?” Turning to the Blessed Mother, a shaken Raymond Kolbe asked the Mother of God, “What will become of me?” He then had his vision of her offering him 2 crowns.

Question: Who am I really when I say I am a Christian? Mary today offers me the same two crowns she offered Maximillian Kolbe. We reject our crosses out of fear. Without our lady we cannot see them as crowns of glory. Through the cross we learn to conquer ourselves through Mary to Jesus What is the suffering I have in my life right now that I need to return to place under the care of Mary? 

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit living in Mary. Make me sure in body and spirit and help me to die to myself.

Day 9 & 10: Who are you, O Immaculate Conception?(1): At Lourdes, Mary said to St Bernadette, I am the Immaculate Conception. St Kolbe understood this to be that the Holy Spirit was speaking through Mary claiming His title as the Uncreated Immaculate Conception, while Mary His spouse is the created Immaculate Conception. Such is the intimate relationship between Mary and the Holy Spirit! Where Mary is there the Holy Spirit rushes.

Question: Seeing how intimate the Holy Spirit is in the life of Mary does it move me to become more intimate with Mary? What is my relationship to Mary: formal or informal, devotee seeking favours or disciple seeking to do Holy Spirit’s prompting through Mary?

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit living in Mary. Unveil for me the meaning of the Immaculate Conception.