How the Virgin Mary Taught Me: Seek Water, Receive Wine

Wow, it’s been quiet around here….

Since the last blog post, I did – indeed, miracle of miracles – consecrate myself to Jesus through Mary on November 21.

“SO HOW WAS IT???” you ask.

You know what? It was very ordinary.

I’d had all these dreams (literally) about my Consecration Day: I’d be wearing something beautiful, and I’d stand a few feet from where I’d been baptized, in front of some beautiful depiction of Mary, and my husband would be there to witness it, and I’d maybe cry a little, and get “ALL THE FEELS” when it was done.

Photo I took of the church facade while running to the car after Mass.
Photo I took of the church facade while running to the car after Mass.

Here’s how it actually happened: That morning, I did indeed make a pilgrimage to the church where I was baptized. The church, however, was locked. It was super-humid and raining. My husband and I scurried around the church perimeter looking for Mass, and we found it in a tiny, virtually unadorned Adoration Chapel that I’d never visited.  Then, we ran some errands, and I went to work.

After clocking out for the day, I walked down the hall from my office, entered the familiar chapel, and read the consecration that I had written on a plain piece of copy paper. Not a tear was shed.  I experienced neither apparitions nor music of angelic choirs.

My thirty-three days of preparation were ordinary.

To top it off: After nearly a week of ‘consecrated life’ (ha), I can confidently say that I feel no additional ‘fuzzy feelings’ toward the Blessed Mother.

I’m extremely grateful for it.

My Marian Consecration was completely driven by my will.  In fact, people would ask me, “How’s your consecration [preparation] going?” and I’d answer, “Ehhh… pretty rough.”

Then they’d give me a puzzled look, like, “Aren’t you supposed to be gushing about how great Mary is, and how she’s leading you SO much closer to Jesus, and your whole life is changing for the better, and you WISH you would’ve done this years ago???”

Obedience: Plopping myself down with this book every day.
Obedience: Plopping myself down with this book every day.

My rough preparation and ‘ordinary’ consecration taught me an important lesson: Emotions are meant to be like the wine of our spiritual lives.  I have a hunch that, if my consecration prep / day / aftermath had been a GRAND + exciting!!! + eMoTioNaaal experience — I might’ve lived differently for a good period, and then maybe had a spiritual hangover… and moved on to the next thing.

On the flip side: Uniting our will with God’s will is the water of our spiritual lives; it is essential for growth, nourishment, and development.  Obedience is simple and unadorned.  It is not fancy or glam.  It is very necessary.

True enough: just as at Cana, our Lord can choose to turn our water into wine when we’re in need of it.

But we can’t live on all wine. If we do, we’ll get sick.

When I was just a few days away from Consecration Day, I wrote to my spiritual director.  I was genuinely concerned that I had not felt a gazillion warm fuzzies — well, not even ONE.  What about — I wondered — all the people I know who’ve done this Marian Consecration already?  They seem to speak about it with so much enthusiasm, and they glow when they speak about Mary.  I didn’t see any of that happening in myself, in the least.

Father wrote back late at night with these words: “Don’t seek consolation.”

Those words were exactly what I needed to hear.  They reminded me of our Lord’s words:

But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. – Matthew 6:33

Maximilian Kolbe’s words also reassured me:

Never worry that you do not feel this love. If you have the will to love, you already give a proof that you love. What counts is the will to love.

So, if your spiritual life is feeling a little bland, don’t fret. Mary taught me that we should first seek water; seek to unite our will to God’s will.  At the right time, he will transform the water we provide for Him into the gift of wine; graces of consolation.

Seek first to provide a willing heart; He cannot work miracles without it.

Forgive me for not having written in two weeks.  I didn’t forget you.  I just needed time to ponder, like Mary, the gift of my consecration.

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2 comments

  1. This is beautiful, Angela, and very helpful for me. I too struggle with a devotion to the Blessed Mother. As a deacon candidate I think I should have a deeper devotion, but I still struggle.

    Your reflection today has helped me to understand that a relationship with her is a matter of the will, of a faithful effort to spend time with her regularly, not some feeling I have. I am going to approach things differently know and simply be willful in moving forward by making time for a daily rosary.

    On this Thanksgiving I am thankful to your witness to this truth. God bless.

    • Scott,

      Praise God! I am so grateful for your sharing this reflection. Thank you for your answering the call to the diaconate… and thanks for encouraging me to continue offering these fruits of my prayer. Your formation is in my prayers.

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