The following short reflections are intended to be a companion to the book edited by Fr. Nathan Cromly, Totus Tuus: A Contemplative Approach to Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary.
These reflections, which are intended to supplement Fr. Cromly’s book, are targeted toward younger audiences. Many people have completed a 33 day preparation for total consecration to Mary, yet they may not know how to share this beautiful spiritual exercise with their whole family. This series of reflections is our attempt to help you make it accessible to even the younger members of your family. We have targeted these reflections to anyone over the age of 6. Those who have younger children may wish to involve the younger children by having them complete coloring pages. We worked with an artist to create coloring pages for each day of the consecration. These coloring pages may be found at the bottom of each day, or you may purchase a printed copy here or download a PDF version here.
Why is the consecration 33 days long? Perhaps it is because Jesus lived on this earth for 33 years and each day of our consecration gives us the opportunity to consecrate our lives to Jesus with one day for each year of his life.
What if I miss a day? Don’t fret about it. God knows the intentions of our hearts. He wants you and your family to grow closer to Him, and dedicating time each day to Him in prayer is a great way to accomplish this. If you miss a day, double up the next day and press on. Don’t stop, but try to plan ahead on your family calendar to ensure that nothing gets in the way. Make the daily consecration time a priority like eating or sleeping. Daily prayer is essential to your spiritual life, as necessary to our survival as food and drink.
What if my children won’t sit still and listen? Our goal is not to have the children sit still and listen to every word. The words of the companion reflections are merely a means to communicate a piece of the beauty of God’s plan for salvation to our children. You do not need to read every word to them. Your goal should be to engage your children in dialog about the topic of the day and to help them build their relationship with God and with the others members of your family (especially with you as their parents). If the children have even one topic that they connect with, and you are able to share in a conversation with them about the beauty of your faith, you have succeeded. Our Lady will take your efforts and multiply them beyond your own abilities.
How do I use this guide?
Purchase Fr. Nathan Cromly’s Totus Tuus: A Contemplative Approach to Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary, and use Totus Tuus as your primary text for the consecration. It is suitable for adults and older teens able to go deeper into the mystery of God. Each week has a theme, and the daily prayers and practices are related to that theme.
The best way to make this consecration something the whole family will benefit from, and enjoy, is to set a regular time each day for the whole family to come together and have consecration time. We have found that 30 minutes is sufficient to complete the prayers and reflections, and allow for time to have a family discussion of the topic of the day. Ideally one or both parents will read the Totus Tuus reflections prior to daily family consecration time. You should also find a time when the adults and teens can sit down and go through the daily reflections in Totus Tuus; the reflections in this companion are purposely short and focus on the main aspect of each daily topic. There is much more beauty and depth in the daily reflections in Totus Tuus that adults and teens can better appreciate.