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The 'Glue That Holds My Life Together'

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By Br. Angelo Casimiro, MIC

As a Marian, Our Lady plays a central role in my life. I pray every morning to Our Lady, and in the manner recommended by St. Louis de Montfort I consecrate myself to her each day. Basically, I give her my entire life, one day at a time.

I say a daily Rosary, but even before [I joined the Marians of the Immaculate Conception], I got into the habit of praying a Rosary each day. At the seminary, we have an optional, community Rosary. I try to participate in that, but if my schedule doesn't allow, I'll find time in the morning or evening. When I pray the Rosary, I meditate on each Mystery, and that leads me into a spiritually productive place. It leads me to Jesus as seen through the eyes of Mary.

Each time I pray the Rosary I find something new, something unique. It's a great prayer for deepening one's love of God. The Rosary helps me each day of my life, giving me practical, day-to-day strength to face the situations of each day. I'd say the Rosary is the glue that holds my life together. It's the prayer that's been with me the whole time [of my spiritual journey], especially during the difficult moments.

When I pray the Rosary, I find peace. I recommend this prayer to everyone. If you don't have time for a full Rosary, try to say one decade each day. The quality of prayer is much important than the quantity, and I'd rather say one "Hail Mary" well than three Rosaries poorly. You can say one, two, three Rosaries without any thought, but what's the point? Better to say one "Our Father" one "Hail Mary" and one "Glory Be" with awareness and what comes from the heart.

Consecrating myself to Mother Mary is such an important part of my life. I daily turn my life over to Mary, but I also formally consecrate myself to Our Lady twice a year doing the 33-day preparation outlined by St. Louis de Montfort. It only takes about five minutes a day, but it has tremendous value for me.

I will be renewing my vows as Marian [on Aug. 15], the feast of the Assumption. I'm looking forward to it. I look at myself today, and how I have grown spiritually and as a person in this past year. I have a much deeper love and appreciation of my Marian community, for example. Each day, this appreciation grows. This past year has affirmed my decision to become a Marian.

It's not that I don't struggle. We all do, but Our Lord teaches me with every step and misstep. He's been patient with me. He's not overbearing, though at times I must give Him headaches!

My most powerful encounter with Mary occurs at Mass, especially during the Consecration. She is a tangible presence to me then, and I know that I want to give everything to Jesus through His mother. This is how I relate to Jesus. She is leading me there.

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Christine S. - Sep 3, 2008

I have recently "rediscovered" the rosary again and this time it has so much more meaning to me than in my younger days. I do try to say a rosary a day and find a quiet place where I can spend 20-30 minutes. I don't try and rush through but rather meditate on each decade. By doing this, I am "rediscovering" myself and the peace that I have been longing for my whole life. Brother Angelo has described it perfectly. Congratulations Brother Angelo on your decision to become a Marian!

GodwinGbor - Sep 2, 2008

u're the true Son of ur mother.remain bless.

Michael P - Sep 2, 2008

Hey Br. Angelo,

Thank you for writing this piece! I echo your thoughts and sentiments exactly on Our Lady. Congratulations on your vows!

Angelo - Aug 31, 2008

Thank you brother for a very inspiring story. In the kind of job that I have I really find it hard to say the rosary daily... but now I will, I will find time even for each decade. Oh, how good it is to have a loving mother in the name of the Holy Virgin Mary. She is truly the Mystical Rose, her fragrance leads us to a deeper union with God.

Pam - Aug 29, 2008

Thank you for sharing your faith and prayer practices. I am encouraged by your words from your heart. May God bless you and Mary our mother continue to guide you, one of her sons.

miles percy - Aug 29, 2008

To Tom:

That kind of devotion is given to Jesus. Did you not read that Mary "leads" to Jesus? Duh! Get a solid prayer life, Tom. Once you do, you will find that it is Jesus himself who wants to introduce us to his mother so that we can truly know Him better. I'm mean, how do you think we have Jesus? Through Mary! The more you love Mary, the more you will love Jesus. You show your lack of selfless prayer and full committment to the real Jesus by excluding yourself from how Jesus wants to be loved, that is, through Mary. You love Jesus on your terms. But he wants you to love him on his terms, namely, through Mary.
Try it!

Tom - Aug 29, 2008

That kind of devotion should be given to Jesus.

nancy m - Aug 28, 2008

good to hear that seminarians are in love with Our Lady again. that is what makes a priest really good. was this article supposed to be posted prior to august 15th?