Today I want to speak about one particular method to, in those words of the Lord, make your virtue ‘go deeper’.
That method is the national ‘consecration’ that our English Bishops are urging us all to prepare for, about a month from now (see here and here and here).
Many of us can realise that we need to “go deeper” with the Lord, but not be sure where to begin.
Part of the answer is to realise that we have to “go deeper” with a power that is beyond ourselves, and the consecration our bishops are calling us to roots us in our BAPTISMAL power, our beginnings.
To consecrate something means to SET IT ASIDE for something.
In baptism, every Christian is set aside for God.
In baptism, every soul says “yes” to God.
But this “yes” is something we need to keep renewing.
Especially for those of us who were baptised as infants, this is something we need to renew personally, and repeatedly.
Who can best help us say “yes” to the Lord?
Surely, the one who most perfectly said yes to Him herself:
The Blessed Virgin Mary, who said “yes” in response to the request made of her via the angel,
who agreed to be the Mother of God.
A “Marian Consecration” is a special way of uniting ourselves to her perfect “yes”,
a special way of “going deeper” in our following of the Lord.
On the 25th of March this year all our bishops are uniting together, and asking us to unite with them,
in consecrating our nation, England, back to Our Lady.
England was once so devoted to our heavenly mother that it was known as “Our Lady’s Dowry”,
meaning, that is was that part of Christendom especially put aside for HER.
And it meant that she led England especially close to her Son.
The focus of this, physically, is at the shrine in Walsingham.
As many of you know, Walsingham has a life-size replica of the Holy House of Nazareth
-the house where Jesus, Mary and Joseph lived,
-the house where Our Lady made her perfect “yes” to the Angel.
And our English bishops are uniting themselves through this shrine that once was the focal point of England being close to her, and her being close to England.
-OUR homes can be like THAT home: places to say “YES” to God.
If you want to”go deeper” in your “yes”,
then you can unite yourself to this on two ways:
First, most minimally, our parish will be praying together on the Sunday our bishops will be re-consecrating our nation -so choose now to unite yourself to that.
Second, there are over a hundred copies of a booklet in the porch for you to make a special short daily prayer, every day between February 21st and March 25th, to make the special month consecration. I strongly URGE you to join in this.
It’s rare for our bishops to all come together like this.
It will be a moment of great grace. And you can be a part of it.
To sum that up:
We can “go deeper” in renewing our baptismal consecration
by re-consecrating ourselves through Our Lady, a “Marian Consecration”.
Let’s turn to her, who once said “yes” to the Angel, that we might say a more perfect “yes” ourselves.