You consecrate yourself to Mary, and then you’re done, right? You can coast through life and then be welcomed with open arms to those pearly white gates.
Not exactly. And that’s not what I expected when I consecrated myself to Mary earlier this year. But I think I did expect my journey to be a little easier, my faith to be a little stronger, without any real effort. That’s definitely not the case. And in addition to formally reconsecrating myself annually, I am re-committing to renewing my consecration every morning.
In the heat of the moment, on fire with love for God and excitement about what consecration means, it’s easy to think it will be … well … easy. I was going to pray the Rosary or the Little Office every day. The brown scapular was going to be a daily reminder of my commitment.
But all too often, I prioritize other activities over prayer. The brown scapular has become a habit rather than a reminder. And I can feel my commitment waning.
So, what do I do?
I recently moved from my own apartment into an apartment I share with a friend. While I am excited to have a friend in the bedroom next door (not to mention all the money I’m saving by sharing the rent), my social anxiety flared up in a big way when I moved. My family and my boyfriend were there for me, but you know what would have been even better? If I’d prayed more, too. If my parents and Zach were supportive beyond expectations, imagine how much more supportive Jesus would have been if I’d leaned on Him for strength.
Every relationship goes two ways. Do I receive gifts from God without asking for them? Absolutely, every day. But how can I expect Him to give me the strength I need if I don’t talk to Him? How can I expect Mary to fulfill her consecration promises if I don’t fulfill mine?
The truth is, I can’t. And so, as I live daily with the struggles that come from having social anxiety – and also from just being human – I must pray daily – all day – to manage them.