Grace to you!
Yesterday, I reflected on the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Here, I reflect on the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
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 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 utterly pure because it was an unreserved home for God's Word. "She treasured it in her heart" (Lk 2:19). She bore the Word in her mind. She carried him (Jesus) in her womb.
"My Mother," the Lord Jesus once said, is "anyone who hears the Word of God and keeps it" (Lk 8:21). Many theologians regard Mary as the archetype of the Church. She is the archetype of the true Christian faith, the faith in which Christ is born and breeds life to anyone who believes.
What message does the Immaculate Heart of Mary communicate to us? How does this powerful and enriching feast resonate with us 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 us away from our vows. Mother Mary is also a trusted companion for married couples in their commitments to be faithful in their marriage vows.
Mother Mary's gentle, tender, motherly support and unmerited grace from Christ help the believers in the journey of life. In her model, momentary gratifications are seen for what they are—things that don't last. While pure love and true devotion, not based simply on feelings, endure. Such is the kind of love that keeps families and friends 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 are incredible Marian prayers. As we roll the beads, the memories of the events of our faith are absorbed in our contemplative minds. The prayerful contemplation has always been a source of strength.
Personally, a deep love for God and Mother Mary is my strength as a priest. I can tell you that the freshness of anointing from the Holy Spirit is assured with Mother Mary. She is the spouse of the Holy Spirit. She nudges me on to love her Son and welcome the anointing the Holy Spirit. I am equipped to follow in her footsteps to tuck God's Word in my heart.
Married or single, we have everyday temptations and struggles. 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 you will overcome your struggles by the grace flowing from the Two Hearts of Love.
Mary of the Immaculate Heart, pray for us. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Photo by Elleov © Cathopic
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.