Before we get started, I'll let you know that Anne slept better last night, just in case you were worrying about it for me. Chances are, you have your own lives, but I know you love me anyway. The only problem was that she was up for the day and screaming by 5:30 am, but I suppose you can't win them all. Someday, we'll sleep like normal people again. Someday...
At any rate, I wanted to talk about this new book I got for Christmas, and the at-home retreat/Marian consecration that I'm going to be doing, starting TODAY!
The book that I'm using is called 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration by Fr. Michael Gaitley. I heard about it on Greg and Jennifer Willits' podcast, The Catholics Next Door. What the author does is take St. Louis de Montfort's True Devotion to Mary method of a 33 day preparation period followed by a consecration to Jesus through Mary. I own a copy of True Devotion to Mary, but I never made it all the way through the book. Fr. Gaitley modernizes the approach by including meditations (rather than long litanies and prayers) on the work and life of St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximillian Kolbe and Bl. Teresa of Calcutta. The meditations are only a few pages long each and include a brief prayer. At the end of the 33 days, the consecration prayer is included. He has a chart for dates on which you could do the retreat, since it is optimal to finish on a Marian feast. I'm starting today and finishing on February 11th, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.
So far, I LOVE it! The meditations are so interesting and engaging. If anyone else decides to get a copy of this book, let me know, because I'd love to follow-up with you on your experience. It is not available for Kindle, but is a mere $10 on Amazon for a print copy. My sister got it for me for Christmas. The next starting date is February 20th, and finishes on March 25th, the feast of the Annunciation. It would make a nice retreat for Lent, which starts on February 13th this year, with Easter falling on March 31st. So the retreat would finish up right at the start of Holy Week. Think about it!