While some might think that all is intriguingly dark and mysterious in my life at the moment (see: State Department and… me…), it’s just not true. I’m still me as much as I ever was, though perhaps ever so slightly less naive. When I was up for a visit to Main State in Foggy Bottom, also going to many of the memorials near and on the National Mall, I also spent quite a lot of time at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. There’s a book store. I bought a few books, two of which, because of the good example of Father Gordon MacRae (about) and the great Pornchai Maximilian Moontri, were the retreats by Father Michael Gaitley. I started the 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do It Yourself Retreat on November 29 so as to finish on the Feast of the Theotokos, the ever Virgin and Immaculate Mother of God.
When I was a seminarian, I pretty much had Saint Louis’ True Devotion to Mary memorized, and certainly recited by heart the longest form of the consecration whenever I had the chance, loving to do menial work around the seminary as this would give me an opportunity. Then Paul VI died and was quickly followed by JPI, then JPII. I marveled to see “Totus Tuus” on the Coat of Arms of the new “Marian” Pope.
As the years went by, I confess that even as I studied Mariology all the more, I was perhaps a bit complacent, rarely doing the long form of the consecration yearly as the decades sped by, but instead doing shorter forms. As I now go through 33 Days, I very much appreciate the presentation of Father Gaitley, so much so that I laugh with joy as I read along day by day, seeing that he has not only understood it all so very well, but can drag us all through the preparation with ease. I must say that I’m enjoying it all tremendously.
By the way, thanks to so many for your prayers and notes that you’ve sent it. Your prayers are bearing fruit. Thank you.