Grace to you!
Yesterday, I reflected on the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. As the Sacred Heart of Jesus speaks to us of God’s Love and Mercy, the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary speaks to us of purity, true devotion to the Son by Mother Mary, and enduring love for the Trinity to whom she was totally consecrated.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary remind us of what many call the Two Hearts of Love. Some Religious Orders model their charisms after the example of these Two Hearts of Love. The blessings thereof are inestimable.
Mother Mary’s heart was completely pure because it was an unreserved home for God’s Word. “She treasured it in her heart” (Luke 2:19). She bore the Word in her mind. She carried him (Jesus) in her womb.
“My Mother” Jesus once said, is “anyone who hears the Word of God and keeps it” (Luke 8:21). Mary is regarded by many theologians as the archetype of the Church. She is the archetype of true Christian faith, the faith in which Christ is born.
What message does the Immaculate Heart of Mary speak to us about? How does this powerful and enriching feast resonate with our own hearts and the yearnings of our hearts?
For me, it is a source of strength, a model of true devotion to Jesus and enduring love for God. It is a celebration and a feast of the triumph and audacity of true devotion to the Holy God. In this celebration, we connect with the purity and love of God to us and a model of excellent response by grace back to God.
In our sexually revolutionized world, Mary’s intercessory role would also help in our purity of life. For instance, as you may know, priests make a vow of celibacy. Keeping those vows depends on the grace of God and their response to that grace. In most cases, Mother Mary helps immensely, especially when the forces of impurity in our over-sexualized world try to pull them away from their vows.
With Mother Mary’s gentle, tender, motherly support and unmerited grace from the Son, the momentary gratifications are seen for what they are. They go like the wind; but true love and true devotion, not based simply on feelings, endure. Such is the kin of love that keeps families and friendship together in God who loves us.
Daily Rosary, those roses (beads) of love through which we connect with the mysteries of our faith by the rhythmic movement of our fingers over the beads while the memories of the events of our faith are absorbed in our contemplative minds, has always been a source of strength.
I feel compelled as I develop this reflection, to share how deep love for God and Mother Mary are a source of strength to me as a priest.
Married or single, we have common temptations. Why not take them to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (the Heart of Love and Mercy) through the Immaculate Heart of Mary (the heart of tenderness, love, empathy, true devotion and purity). You will see how your struggles will be overcome by the grace flowing from the Two Hearts of Love.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.