Monday, September 24, 2007

A Sample Vow of Consecration of Suffering

Yesterday on the Feast of St. Padre Pio, I renewed my vow of consecration of suffering. I renew this vow each year on this date, although the first time I made the vow was prior to St. Pio's canonization.

But it seems appropriate to have chosen his death date and feast day for renewal of this vow.

Last evening, after Mass at the Cathedral, I did not locate my confessor, so I asked another priest to please receive the vow. I knelt before the Tabernacle at the high altar, and proceeded to repeat the following:

"I [full name including confirmation name] as a lowly bride of Christ, offer as sacred all my suffering: past, present and future--pains of rejection, humiliation, insults, physical ailments and injuries, emotional distress, mental depressions, spiritual torments and doubts, remorse due to sins, loss of self-identity, ignorance, pride, and human failings. I offer all pain I have knowingly and unknowingly caused or will cause to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary, the angels and saints, and any holy creatures or holy creation.

"I resolve to offer myself--body, mind, heart and spirit--as an immolation for Holy Mother Church, to consciously accept God's declaration that my suffering and the suffering of Holy Mother Church shall be made one. I offer to suffer now and forever, if this be the will of God, as reparation for the pain of infidelities, assulats, dissensions and indignities caused to Holy Mother Church by myself and any laity and religious persons in the past, present, and future.

"Henceforth, I shall choose whichever course of action in thought, word, or deed will provide greater self-mortification, including that which would prolong my life of suffering, and as approved vymy spiritual father, fo rthe greater fulfillment of my vow of consecration. I offer my hands, tongue, head and heart in seeking and responding to physical and spiritual opportunities to use my God-given talents and gifts in order to strengthen the foundation of the True Church, its Teachings, Traditions and Spirit.

"I pray to respond and react to all suffering with Jesus' love and to inspire wtih love, those who may be the cause of my sufferings.

"I make this vow of consecration to suffer for Holy Mother Church in the presence of God the Fahter, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, the Apostles, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Therese of Lisieux, Sr. Josefa Menendez, Sr. Mary of the Holy Trinity, Bl. Charles de Foucald, St. Faustina Kowalska, St. Padre Pio, my Guardian Angel Beth, my Spiritual Father, [and the name of the priest now receiving the vow], and any angels, saints and deceased relatives and friends who love, support and strengthen me by being holy witnesses.

"May the Lord be pleased to crush me in all my infirmities."

I hope this vow helps give an idea to anyone desiring to make such a vow. This year I left out another line which I realized was repetitive in bulk. The first time I made this vow was over seven years ago. Since then, the suffering has been increased, but not necessarily just the physical suffering. More so, there has been tremendous suffering of annihilation, of not having a place in the Catholic Church, of this sensation of being very much alone, unutilized, and set out on the peripheral, as if not a part. My confidence level with Catholic people has dropped, and it would be low with other people if I had opportunity to become close to anyone. So, this is a form of suffering which I did not expect or even know about.

Yesterday the vow was especially meaningful for I have hurt others with my honesty, with the feelings I express of my interior thoughts and perspectives. I repeated the vows with tears, and somehow it was all the more meaningful due to the darkness and sense of uselessness going on in my spiritual and physical life at this time. All is in the Order of the Present Moment, and so it is allowed by God.

If one makes such a vow, it must be understood at some point or another that God will take the vow and do with it as He wills. The response will vary, and this is how life is with the need to expect the unexpecteds.


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