On Nov. 3-4, Brs. Nathan, Leland and I flew to California to give our vocation testimony at St. Peter Chanel, our Oblate parish in Hawaiian Gardens near L.A. My testimony was how a 2014 meditation on the Passion propelled me toward the Oblates. It was well received at the 6 p.m. Saturday Vigil and 5 p.m. Sunday Mass.
But there were additional unscheduled Masses that we needed to speak at. One of them was the 10 a.m. Mass for the Confirmation classes. In my prayer, I felt drawn to speak to the Confirmation students. A meeting with the pastor first made tweaks to my original testimony. But Father Larry asked, “Could you add something about Mary?”
“Mary? Let’s be honest. For me to talk about Mary, I would need to take the entire 5 minutes,” I replied.
“What would you talk about?” he asked.
I gave a rough outline of the three pillars to live unlimited Marian consecration according St. Maximilian Kolbe.
“Go with that,” Father Larry said. His homily would tease toward my talk about Mass.
The Mass for the Confirmation classes was at the Our Lady of Mercy chapel. More than 300 students filled most of the chapel. When I began to speak, I felt that the Virgin Mary was with me. My heart wanted to express how much the Immaculata wanted to be closer to the students.
Here are the three pillars to live an unlimited Marian consecration:
- Surrender all shortcomings, failings and temptations to Mary. People want to give the best things to Mary. But she wants the parts we’re embarrassed about because she wants to heal them or helps us conquer them.
- Invite Mary to everything: prayer, ordinary things, celebrations, disappointments and frustrations. If she is our friend, we will invite her like any good friend to all the moments of our lives. (Twice, I told the students: “You are not alone.”)
- Be not afraid to do the right thing although it’s scary. Mary reminded me that she would help me to do the right thing. If God wants it, then she wants it. If she wants it, she will shower graces on us to achieve it.
When the talk was over, a round of applause filled the chapel. I wasn’t too sure if my message reached the students. But the adults told me that they were moved from the talk.
I had planned this talk for December’s First Saturday at St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine. But Mary wanted me to give it sooner because someone in that Mass needed to hear it. Oh, it felt so good to share the fruit of my Marian devotion. Thank you, Immaculata.