A Reflection On The Immaculate Heart of Mary

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Recently, in a homily, my parish priest mentioned a simple yet profound statement- a moment of conviction for my head as well as my heart. He said “no human, other than Jesus, knew and continues to know intimately the Holy Trinity as Mary.” 

Mary’s Immaculate Heart reveals her intense love of God and thus her interior life. To progress in the interior life, I would do well to follow Mary. If I desire to fan into flame a deeper love for the Blessed Trinity and reconsecrate myself to Jesus, I need to be united more closely to my Mother’s Heart.  We all know that theologically, the word “knew”, indicates more than intellectual knowledge.  It means intimacy--divine intimacy.  The secret of the interior life is learning to abide.  Mary teaches us how to abide in God through a single word: YES.

Mary lived totally in complete “comm-union” with God.  She knew God beyond any shadow of doubt as her Abba Father.  She had complete trust in Him as she had consecrated herself, given her initial “Fiat” to Him, first as a little child, according to the tradition of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, at the age of three.  One can imagine how her contemplative heart was being nurtured as she learned to pray and listen to God, treasuring all the words and pondering them in her heart even then.

Although conceived without the stain of original sin, Mary’s humility and generosity allowed her to cooperate in God’s mission-the redemption of mankind.  Mary’s Immaculate Heart, although tempted like ours, remained full of grace and virtue and unattached to earthly pleasures.  Her oil lamp was always full and focused on God waiting for the Spirit of Divine Love to knock.  Completely docile and receptive, Mary opened herself freely and totally at the appointed time to the Divine Will of God.  Through her selfless “Yes”, “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14) making her Immaculate Heart fruitful and life giving for all of humanity.

Mary’s Immaculate Heart is an example of what God created our hearts to become.  Docile and receptive to all the Father wants to give to us and create within us, by grace – another Christ, with our cooperation.  Each moment God presents us with opportunities, both joys and sorrows along with His grace to repeat, with Mary at our side, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to thy word.”  As we remain close to Mary in prayer, we allow God to recreate us; to be transformed by grace through, with and under her Immaculate Heart.  The Blessed Virgin teaches us to believe in our vocation to sanctity, to divine intimacy. God is
faithful, “He will finish the work He has begun in us (Phil 1:6)” and Mary Our Mother will be our ever-present guide along the way of holiness.

Will you join me on this Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to consecrate or reconsecrate yourself, to give your life more fully, to Jesus through Mary?

A Solemn Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: by Ven. Pope Pius XII

Most Holy Virgin Mary, tender Mother of men, to fulfill the desires of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the request of the Vicar of Your Son on earth, we consecrate ourselves and our families to your Sorrowful and
Immaculate Heart, O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and we recommend to You, all the people of our country and all the world.
Please accept our consecration, dearest Mother, and use us as You wish to accomplish Your designs in the world.

O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and Queen of the World, rule over us, together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Our King. Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism; kindle in our hearts and homes the love of purity, the practice of a virtuous life, an ardent zeal for souls, and a desire to pray the Rosary more faithfully.

We come with confidence to You, O Throne of Grace and Mother of Fair Love. Inflame us with the same Divine Fire which has inflamed Your own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Make our hearts and homes Your shrine, and through us, make the Heart of Jesus, together with your rule, triumph in every heart and home.

Amen.

 

Facts About The Memorial And The Immaculate Heart of Mary 

  • The Memorial is a moveable feast and always follows the moveable Feast of the Sacred Heart- nothing separates the Immaculate Heart of Mary from her Son.
  • The image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is most frequently depicted as a burning heart pierced with a sword, recalling Simeon’s prophesy in Luke 2:35, and encircled with white roses which witnesses to both the intense purity of love and joy with which Mary loved God, both the Father and Son, and the sorrow which she endured on behalf of her Son Jesus and her love for mankind.
  • Reference to the Immaculate Heart of Mary can be found as far back as the 7th century.
  • Devotion began in the Middle Ages and practiced by many well-known saints such as St Bernard of Clairvaux, Gertrude the Great, St Bridget of Sweden, Bernardino of Siena, Francis de Sales, among others.
  • St John Eudes in the 18th century and St Catherine Laboure with the Miraculous Medal in the 19th century are given credit for propagating the Immaculate Heart of Mary devotion and making it public.
  • In 1917, Mary’s announcement to the children of Fatima that "God wishes to establish the devotion to her Immaculate Heart in the world" in order to save souls from hell and bring about world peace, and also asked for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.
  • In 1942, Pope Pius XII consecrated the world to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary and instituted the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1944.
  • Pope Paul Vi, Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
  • Numerous countries and dioceses around the world are consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  The United States was consecrated in 1959 and renewed in 2006.

 

- Contributed with love by a professed member of Apostoli Viae. 

 

1 Bainvel, J. (1910). Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In The Catholic Encyclopedia.
New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07168a.htm
Photo courtesy of
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Immaculate_Heart_of_Mary.jpg

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