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Half-hearted Consecration, Full-hearted Conversion

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Photo: Thomas leads a group at school on a study of Mary and Divine Mercy.

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By Marc Massery (Dec 18, 2018)
Even those who consecrate themselves half-heartedly to the Blessed Virgin Mary stand to benefit from her graces.

Thomas Hogan of New Port, New Hampshire, grew up Catholic, but for about four years as a teenager, he fell away from his faith.

"I would tell my parents I was going to church, and I'd get my car and go play golf," he said.

Though he was doing what he wanted, deep down he felt miserable. "A lot of emptiness, loneliness, darkness. I didn't know what I was doing, but I felt like didn't have any meaning," he said.

In his junior year of high school, despite his lack of faith, he consecrated himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary. "Much to my chagrin," he said. "I knew it would make my mom and godmother happy if I did it, so I did it." Knowing that he didn't take his consecration seriously, his mother told him, "You may not have taken it seriously, but Our Lady did."

"I was like, 'Whatever, Mom. Thanks. Sure,'" he said.

One day, Thomas was playing ball in the living room with his little brother. He slapped the ball out of his brother's hands, and it knocked into a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes that his mom had received from her grandmother.

The statue broke into three pieces.

"When I went over to pick the statue up, I heard a voice very clearly in my heart, 'This is what you're doing to me by running away.' It was probably the clearest thing I've ever heard in my heart," he said. Suddenly, he understood that he had been running away from our Lord and Our Lady, and he was moved to tears. He realized he was causing them a lot of pain. "Causing my mom a lot of pain, causing myself a lot of pain," he said.

He started going back to Mass and praying the Rosary. Then he joined the Marian Missionaries of Divine Mercy based in Lee, Massachusetts. "That's when I really came to know and understand God's love in my life and His mercy, and I realized just what His mercy had done for me and especially what Our Lady had done," he said.

"I did some really stupid stuff," he continued. "The fact that nothing bad ever really happened to me was God's grace." Now Thomas feels like his life has purpose. "I had no idea what I was living for when I wasn't practicing my faith. I was just supposed to be just living to make money and have a good time, and I just wasn't happy."

Thomas is a freshman at Northeast Catholic College in Warner, New Hampshire, planning on majoring in theology. He tells anyone willing to listen about God's mercy and the power of the Blessed Mother's intercession.

"Stay close to Our Lady," he said. "The Blessed Mother, her intercession and protection and guidance cannot be overstated."

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