Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Today is a very special day, as we celebrate here both the Visitation and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Although Marian feasts are broken down into Solemnities, Feastdays, Memorials, “other” feasts and “local” feasts according to the liturgical calendar, they will all be treated as Feastdays in my “Categories”, because that is what they are in my heart!

To honour and celebrate the Immaculate Heart of Mary here today, I would like to share a video with you from the YouTube Channel of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. This video, in eight minutes, encapsulates exactly how I hope to spend my day, and the rest of my life, for that matter: reflection on Mary, responding to an invitation to consecration or renewal of consecration, prayer and song. May you be blessed today!

 
O Holy and Immaculate Heart (featuring Fr. Maximilian Dean and Michael Grogan)

The Feast of the Visitation

The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth before the birth of Saint John the Baptist is the second joyful mystery of the Rosary.  The theme of the liturgical celebration of this Marian Feast is “sharing feelings of joy by praising God.” 

Everywhere we turn in the unfolding of the Visitation we find joy, thanksgiving and praise.  Mary makes haste to go to Elizabeth so that they may rejoice together over both being with child.  As soon as Mary greets Elizabeth, John leaps for joy in the womb.  Upon seeing Mary, Elizabeth cries out in a loud voice, and then praises both Mary, and Jesus in the womb, as being blessed.  Mary’s response of praise and thanksgiving is her spontaneous, powerful Magnificat.

Underlying all of this joy, praise and thanksgiving is the Holy Spirit.  It is the Holy Spirit who urges Mary to make haste to visit Elizabeth; it is the Holy Spirit who fills Elizabeth, and the Holy Spirit who causes John to leap with joy in the womb because he is so near to the presence of Jesus.

In the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia we are told that Mary’s “presence and much more the presence of the Divine Child in her womb, according to the will of God, was to be the source of very great graces to the Blessed John…  Feeling the presence of his Divine Saviour, John, upon the arrival of Mary, leaped in the womb of his mother; he was then cleansed from original sin and filled with the grace of God. Our Lady now for the first time exercised the office which belonged to the Mother of God made man, that He might by her mediation sanctify and glorify us.”

This is another wonderful thing upon which to meditate – that Mary, in the Visitation, exercises her role as Mediatrix of all Graces for the very first time.  With a short, inspirational homily touching upon this very aspect of the Visitation, as well as Mary’s role not only as Mother of God but our Mother as well, here is Father Ignatius of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, courtesy of the franciscanfriars YouTube Channel: 

Like Angel Voices to Mary

Exquisite.  No wonder they call themselves Seraphim. Their CD “Hail, Queen of Heaven” is available through Gentle Spirit Music Productions.

With Thanks

As the month of May draws to a close, I’d like to send this out especially to Ann in Ireland and Carol who’s heart is in Ireland.  Ann, this is the way you started the month of May off, isn’t it!  I hope you enjoy it; I know I did!  I found this on the YouTube channel of maureenderry (Maureen Hegarty), which I think you will both enjoy (if you haven’t already discovered it for yourselves!)

 

Dedicated to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Through the graciousness of Jesus and Mary, I have been led to what I believe will be the theme song for this site:

The song is entitled “Oh, Sacred”, by Jane Chifley.  You can read more about Jane at Catholic Planet, as well as find information about her CD entitled “Heartbeats”, which is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  You can listen to other of Jane’s songs there as well.

Thank you to Jane Chifley for this beautiful music, and for sharing her gift and her love with all of us.

Inseparable

I have two small booklets at home by Rev. Lawrence G. Lovasik, S.V.D., one being Favorite Novenas to Jesus and the other being Favorite Novenas to Mary.

In the Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, one passage mentions the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

Grant me the grace for which I humbly implore You through the Immaculate Heart of Your most sorrowful Mother.  You entrusted me to her as her child, and her prayers are all-powerful with You.

In the Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we find an appeal to the Sacred Heart of Jesus:

Filled with confidence in your motherly Heart, which I venerate and love, I come to you with my pressing needs.  Through the merits of your loving Heart, and for the sake of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, obtain for me the favor I ask.

It’s kind of strange that I never noticed this before.  Even in novenas not written expressly to the Two Hearts, the Two Hearts are there, together.  Thank you, Jesus and Mary, for helping me to “see” this now.

Two Hearts United: One Covenant

When I posted Saniuqa’s YouTube of the Immaculate Heart of Mary back in February 2008, I was very curious about one of the quotes from Pope John Paul II:

It is my prayer that the Covenant of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary be better understood and appreciated by the People of God so as to promote authentic devotion to the Heart of the Son and His Mother in our day.

I had heard different terms and phrases used to describe the united Hearts of Jesus and Mary, but up until that point never the word “covenant” in this regard.  Looking into it further, I found some very good explanations, information and references in an article by Monsignor Arthur Burton Calkins entitled, “The Hearts of Jesus and Mary and the Theology and Practice of Reparation”. Monsignor Calkins writes:

As Jesus’ Heart manifests God’s new covenant with his people and may even be called “our covenant with God”, so Mary’s spousal Heart is the perfect response to God’s new covenant with his people.  In a certain sense we can say that the new covenant is made in the Heart of Jesus and endorsed by the response of the Heart of Mary.  Mary has, in fact, made the response for all of us.  Hence the Pope could say on 9 June 1985, Through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, let us remain in the Covenant with the Heart of Jesus”.

And what is a covenant?  A covenant is a promise; a holy promise.  As we enter into and consecrate ourselves to the Two Hearts United, we come under the cover of this Holy Covenant between Jesus and Mary to God our Father.  We come into agreement with God’s new covenant for His people, through Jesus’ manifestation and Mary’s perfect response.  As we enter more deeply into the Two Hearts, we will be called upon for our own manifestation and our own perfect response as participants in this Covenant, will we not?  Sacred Heart of Jesus, Immaculate Heart of Mary, help us to become worthy.