How My Marian Tattoo Has Challenged Me

I consecrated myself to Jesus through Mary about two years ago. Consecration requires a complete gift of self to Jesus through Mary. Why would it be through Mary? For many reasons, one of which is because Jesus came into this world through Mary—so must we go to Jesus through her. Marian consecration draws one closer to Christ and the Blessed Virgin; it also points us to a life of communion with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The 33-day preparation process was transformative for my prayer life because it gave me structure, which I realized I had been severely lacking and desperately searching for. The preparation requires praying certain prayers each day and focusing on the spirit of God rather than the spirit of the world. It is encouraged to make sacrifices during this preparation period because it reminds us that true satisfaction is not of this world, but rather, God is the satisfaction that we seek. On October 7th, the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary, I prayed the act of consecration.

My consecration inspired me to get a tattoo of the Marian symbol. It is not gaudy or obnoxious. Rather, it is simple and small. Still, it is on my wrist and therefore, it is noticeable. Noticeable to the point that I get a lot of comments and questions about it.

Prior to my reversion, I struggled back and forth with a few teachings, but what Catholics believe about Mary was never one that I questioned. The problem was that I accepted the Catholic Church’s teachings on Mary without being well-versed on the actual teachings. Somehow, this had not caused any noticeable problems for a while (at least according to my flawed perception) until a certain day.

I was at a conference with participants ranging from Catholic to evangelical to non-denominational and I was wearing short sleeves, which revealed my Marian tattoo. This prompted many questions by non-Catholics on both the morality of tattoos and the meaning of the symbol. The morality of tattoos is a topic for another day. So, when someone asked what the symbol was, I happily began to describe to her my Marian consecration. She objected to the principle of it and wanted to know where in the Bible we as Christians are directed to do this, where in scripture we learn that Mary was without sin, and if Mary was in fact without sin, why was this the case, and why we exclaim “Hail, Mary” if Mary is not a part of the Trinity. The questions went on. While I did have answers for some of her questions, I was humbled by the realization that even though I consider myself a devout Catholic who prays a daily rosary and is consecrated to Jesus through Mary, I did not know and could not convey the full truth and the sources for her to reference.

I was utterly humbled. I truly believe that if we fail to humble ourselves, God will humble us. All I could do with this occurrence was praise God for the opportunity to grow in humility and go forward with a renewed desire to learn.

Perhaps you (like me) aren’t as prepared to defend our mother Mary as you think you are. Perhaps you (like me) have a bit to learn yet. Or maybe you have some coming around to do with certain teachings. Whatever stage you are in, I encourage you to reflect on your faith and your ability to defend the Church’s teachings, especially concerning the Blessed Virgin Mary. That way, you might be able to recognize any inaptitude prior to the moment you find yourself unable to answer crucial questions to a person who needs the truth. There is something to be said about understanding our faith in a deep way not because of doubt and attempt to disprove, but rather because of the desire for an increase in understanding of the faith and teachings of the Church to better defend it.

Thanks be to God for the teachings of the Church and for the Holy Bible. Thankfully, we have no reason to despair with questions and uncertainty because the answers are readily available to us; we simply must seek that out so we can convey this to curious people who are searching for the truth even in their misguided contempt and doubt.

Again, I implore you to truly look inward and reflect on your personal aptitude to defend Christ and the Church in a convicted way. I urge you to never cease learning about our great God and our beautiful faith. And as I always will, I encourage you to consecrate yourself to Jesus through Mary.

If you are interested in Marian consecration, I highly recommend Father Michael Gaitley’s “33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat In Preparation for Marian Consecration,” which you can find here.

 

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