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Opinion

Sacrament of Penance and Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero Ballescas - The Freeman

March 25, 2022 Annunciation will be remembered as the day Pope Francis led the whole world to consecrate Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The consecration was preceded by what the Vatican described as “the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance.”

Pope Francis’ homily reminded all that the Sacrament of Reconciliation focuses on God and His loving forgiveness, rather than on sins/sinners, that the Sacrament is one of joy, not of shame, and, where frailties and sufferings brought to God become “opportunities for resurrection” rather than “reasons for despair” as “to turn away from you (God) is to fall, to turn back to you is to rise, to abide in you is to have life” (cf. SAINT AUGUSTINE, Soliloquies I, 3).

Pope Francis mentioned that Mama Mary’s Fiat (“Let it be done unto me according to your word”) during the Annunciation “was the most intimate sharing in God’s plan of peace for the world. We consecrate ourselves to Mary in order to enter into this plan, to place ourselves fully at the disposal of God’s plans.”

The Pope emphasized that renewing to Mama Mary “the consecration of the Church and the whole of humanity, and in a particular way, the Ukrainian people and the Russian people who, with filial affection, venerate her as a Mother” was “no magic formula but a spiritual act.

It is an act of complete trust on the part of children who, amid the tribulation of this cruel and senseless war that threatens our world, turn to their Mother, reposing all their fears and pain in her heart and abandoning themselves to her.

It means placing in that pure and undefiled heart, where God is mirrored, the inestimable goods of fraternity and peace, all that we have and are, so that she, the Mother whom the Lord has given us, may protect us and watch over us.”

Portions of the Consecration prayer:

“Holy Mother of God, as you stood beneath the cross, Jesus, seeing the disciple at your side, said: “Behold your son” (Jn 19:26). In this way he entrusted each of us to you. To the disciple, and to each of us, he said: “Behold, your Mother” (v. 27).

Mother Mary, we now desire to welcome you into our lives and our history. At this hour, a weary and distraught humanity stands with you beneath the cross, needing to entrust itself to you and, through you, to consecrate itself to Christ.

The people of Ukraine/Russia, who venerate you with great love, now turn to you, even as your heart beats with compassion for them/for all those peoples decimated by war/ hunger/injustice/and poverty.

Therefore, Mother of God, our Mother, to your Immaculate Heart we solemnly entrust/ consecrate ourselves, the Church/all humanity, especially Russia/Ukraine.

 Accept this act that we carry out with confidence and love.

Grant that war may end and peace spread throughout the world.

The “Fiat” that arose from your heart opened the doors of history to the Prince of Peace.

We trust that, through your heart, peace will dawn once more.

To you we consecrate the future of the whole human family, the needs and expectations of every people, the anxieties and hopes of the world.”

Through your intercession, may God’s mercy be poured out on the earth.

Our Lady of the “Fiat,” on whom the Holy Spirit descended, restore among us the harmony that comes from God.

May you, our “living fountain of hope”, water the dryness of our hearts.

In your womb Jesus took flesh; help us to foster the growth of communion.

You once trod the streets of our world; lead us now on the paths of peace. Amen.”

POPE FRANCIS

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