Marian Movement of Priests
Early on in my “conversion”, four years into the priesthood, my experience with Medjugorje coincided with an introduction to the Marian Movement of Priests. Since I whole-heartedly believed in Our Lady's presence in Medjugorje I thought it was most important to do what she was asking of us. Our Lady in Medjugorje had words and direction intended to restore a simple, true and mighty spirituality similar to the early Church. Our Lady's words and direction to Fr. Gobbi of the Marian Movement of Priests were intended to renew and reform more specifically the priest, her priests' who belong to her when they consecrate themselves to her Immaculate Heart.
My life has never been the same! The doubts and concerns I had about the priesthood in my first 4 years were eventually resolved within a year or so after my consecration to her. The consecration simply involves the giving over of your life to her. I did this one day while on my way to work when I was working to train in addictions counseling with the potential idea of leaving the priesthood. I said, “Blessed Mother, you have my life. I am sick and tired of trying to figure this out on my own. If there is anyway you can use me, as long as I am on this earth, for the betterment of the world then you have my life. You show me the way to live it”. And she took it! Within that very day and weeks to come she showed me, even with some mystical happenings in my life that in many ways continue to today, that she was very real and present to me. After my consecration to her Immaculate Heart it became apparent to me that Our Lady needed more faithful priests not more alcoholism counselors. She took my life, and upon reading and trying to live her messages my vocation to the priesthood was more and more restored to the pattern I believe Jesus desires for His priests because we are being formed by her who helped form Jesus Himself. My vocation now belonged to her.!
My hope and prayer is that more priests may find the fullness of the priesthood that I believe only the Blessed Mother can help us discover. Without her we can't stay humble enough, nor docile enough to the Will of God. I've heard that this understanding and spirituality, of incorporating the Blessed Mother into a priest's devotional life, was strongly encouraged in past times. It was news to me! That's why, because of my experience, I believe that not only is devotion to her important but because of the tremendous pull of the culture away from God for laity and priests alike, the consecration to her is imperative! By belonging to her, the devil can no longer get us; tempt us yes, but we are out of his grasp protected by her because we now belong to her. This is why the devil tries to frustrate anyone from getting to know her ie. doubt Medjugorje, criticize Fr. Gobbi, mock Fatima, reason away the miracles…, it's all a bit of pride that gets in the way of a simple, trusting, childlike faith!
For more information on the Marian Movement of Priests check out www.mmp-usa.net .