I apologize about how quiet we've gone. We both are waist deep in our senior year of college and are striving to simultaneously seek the Lord wholly, pass our classes, apply for post-graduation programs, get jobs, invest in friendships, and still get sufficient sleep. :)
Last week I was hit with an idea that I wanted to reflect upon in a blog post. I was inspired by a conversation with one of my sisters and I was feeling really good about the post I wanted to write. This is not that post.
Because then on Thursday last week, I started the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary (again). I've started this a couple of times, but the two other times I got about a week in and felt that my heart wasn't in the right place to do the consecration well or that my intentions behind it were not holy intentions (wanting to fit in, doing it because it was the "thing to do," etc). The Lord has done a lot of work in my heart and in my life in the last twelve to eighteen months and I feel that my heart is in a good place to complete the consecration. And I don't think I'm the only one who thinks that, because Thursday night, Satan waged an incredibly intense attack on my heart that more or less debilitated me for the entire weekend.
It wasn't until Sunday morning that I made the connection. I was reading in my consecration book about Satan's special hatred for women, but particularly for Mary. In Genesis, the Lord says to the serpent (Satan):
"And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head and you shall bruise him on the heel." (Genesis 3:15)
He hates Mary because she easily overpowered him. Devotion to Mary brings about great holiness, swiftly and deeply, and makes saints of all people. Satan, rightly, hates this! His mission is to pull us away from God no matter what it takes, so someone who is so good at making people holy would drive him absolutely crazy.
Starting the consecration was like putting a big huge target on my heart. Satan came in and brought back to my heart every lie about my worth and beauty and dignity. He brought up every struggle with jealousy and comparison and temptation. He told me I was never going to be desired or pursued, that I was unworthy of love, that the man that I am attracted to would never like me. He brought into my heart all of my fears of the future and change and heartache. And as much as I tried to fight him, he's really good at finding our wounds and ripping them open again, so my weekend was really hard.
But the most beautiful thing is the way my sisters rallied around me. I asked for prayers from my closest prayer warriors. I confided more intimately with a couple sisters about what was being torn through my heart and they prayed for me. They shared encouraging words from their own experiences to comfort me. They prayed against the attacks and helped fight off the evil one. They spoke powerful Truth against the lies I was being fed. They shared with me words that God had given them in prayer about the war going on in my heart.
Sisters, there is a real battle waging for souls. Satan is real. Spiritual attack is real. The need to intercede for one another is real. This is where the value of sisterhood comes in. As women we bear life, and as women of strong faith we bear strong faith in the relationships we have. Women of strong faith coming together creates a powerful force.
I encourage you to pray for one another. Come together with a small group of women and pray with one another. Pray to Mary, ask her intercession. Pray the Most Holy Rosary. Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Pray against spiritual attack on the hearts of women (and men) everywhere. Because we are a community of believers, and we need one another.