33 Days to Morning Glory
Publisher: Marian Press
Publication Date: December 20, 2011
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A Do-It- Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian ConsecrationFrom Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC, author of the popular book Consoling the Heart of Jesus, comes an extraordinary 33-day journey to Marian consecration with four giants of Marian spirituality: St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Bl. Pope John Paul II. Fr. Michael masterfully summarizes their teaching, making it easy to grasp and simple enough to put into practice. More specifically, he weaves their thought into a user friendly, do-it-yourself retreat that will bless even the busiest of people. So, if you've been thinking about entrusting yourself to Mary for the first time or if you're simply looking to deepen and renew your devotion to her, 33 Days to Morning Glory is the right book to read and the perfect retreat to make.
Father Gaitley does an incredible job of drawing from numerous sources to highlight the meaning behind consecration. He draws extensively from popes and also the three saints that we specifically use as a framework for out teaching. In the introduction Father Gaitley states: "Marian consecration basically means giving Mary our full permission (or as much permission as we can) to complete her motherly task in us, which is to form us into other Christs.". One of the the things I appreciated most about this self-retreat is the prayer. I found that through the daily reading and short prayers each day my own prayer life intensified. I arose early each day to work through that day's chapter, to reflect upon it. I found it often coming back throughout the day. Another quote from Fr. Gaitley that really hit me was "A person practices purity of intention when he directs his thoughts, words, and actions not to himself or another creature but to a divine purpose or mission, and ultimately to God." And really as Christians that should be a goal for all of us.
I have always had closeness to Mary our mother, even when away from the Catholic church for a while. This book helped me understand theologically and experientially Mary and her role in my life in a fuller way. Father Gaitley states: "Mary's new motherhood is not some vague or abstract sort of thing. It's concrete and personal. And even though it's universal, it's also intensely particular. Mary is your mother. She is my mother." And she is. And this book will help youi grow in understanding that.
This was an incredible read and I highly recommend it and look forward to reading more by Father Gaitley.
I've done the 33-day consecration to Jesus through Mary before, and it wasn't too bad. Using Fr. Gaitley's book, though, was amazing. If I had let myself, I would have whipped right through it--the writing is accessible and down-to-earth and relevant to modern readers. Gaitley tapped into four great Marian saints and transformed the consecration preparation into a whole new experience for me. His explanations and insights were smack-my-forehead good and somehow, they stuck with me. I couldn't recommend this more. If you read one book this year, let it be THIS one.