Consecration to Mary: Just for Super Duper Catholics? (Part 3)
Shortly after my first test in my journey of consecrating myself to Jesus through Mary, I received my second test, which pertained to my husband.
When he’s on his game, there are so many things I adore about my husband. His intellectual wit often leaves me belly laughing. He has a precision-sharp tongue and a way with words that makes even a dull topic seem colorful. Similar to what I observed the first day I laid eyes on him at a church picnic, I cherish the interest, engagement, and tenderness he gives our children. I find his deep commitment and understanding of his faith sexy. His striving to be a healthy person and his passion for me make him attractive to me.
Unfortunately, the level of positive benefits I experience because of my husband’s good qualities are matched in intensity on the negative side when he is in a dark space. His wit changes to humorlessness: he takes even innocuous things I say personally. The precision tongue turns into a scalpel, leaving me feeling like I am in an intense legal deposition with a hostile opposing attorney for extended periods of time. Instead of a promise keeper to me and the kids, he transforms into a promise breaker and an excuse maker. The sexy, deep spirituality morphs into a power hose spraying me and anything else in his path with negative energy. The passion for me converts into relentlessly unresolved conflict and pervasive disharmony.
My husband claims this is part of his being a Scorpio.
Frankly, it’s a wife’s biggest nightmare. When this dark period lasts a long time it makes single motherhood look like a viable and attractive lifestyle option.
We recently experienced an extended period of “darkness” as the drama I described in my “Driven to Drink” series. When a person who typically goes to confession every two weeks hasn’t gone for 13, it is noticeable.
But over the years I have found a secret weapon. It is better than anything I have learned in all of my training and 18 years experience as a marriage and family therapist.
It is intense, targeted prayer.
Once I realize my spouse is in this funk, I turn on the prayer machine (if I were a better wife I would be praying more steadily for my spouse all the time). I throw the mass intentions, the rosaries, and every prayer in between at him. Like clockwork within a few days, Mr. Jekyll goes back to his cage and the endearing Mr. Hyde reappears. And he doesn’t even know what hit him.
So, right as I was ready to implement the winning protocol and get some relief, I heard a little voice saying, “Not so fast, Mrs. Weber…Aren’t you forgetting something?”
“Your consecration to Mary. Remember, you gave Mary all the merits to all your spiritual activities.”
I felt like a master marksman with a gun in one hand and a pack of bullets in the other, but unable to fire. Why is it that I only realized how effective my prayers have been seven days after I gave the merits of them away permanently?
After tensing up my muscles and taking a breath, I acquiesce to surrendering what power I thought I had. I visualized putting my cranky husband in the palm of Mary’s hand. But, honestly, it still felt a bit like dropping him and the problem into a black hole in outer space.
But, as I continued my retreat, I noticed a shift in myself. Tune in next time to see what was up Mary’s sleeve.
Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip: Pray for your husband or a man important to you every day.