Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Our Lady stated that her Heart is the hope of the world. She expressly requested the practice and spread of devotion to her Immaculate Heart [at Fatima], saying that it is in the designs of the Divine Mercy to help the world through this Heart.

Mary,

Your heart is a shrine of peace, for it is the heart of the Mother of the Prince of Peace, a heart never for a moment disturbed by evil passion, a heart whose gifts to mankind are mercy, love, and peace. To all of us your immaculate heart after that of Jesus is most loving and most merciful. How many afflicted hearts are consoled in you! How many frail hearts are strengthened by you! How many are now in heaven because of the protection given them by your merciful heart! We obtain everything for our peace of soul in time and eternity from the Father through the Heart of Jesus and everything from Jesus through your heart. You are truly the “Queen of Peace.”

[From: Mary My Hope, Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik, S.V.D., pgs. 61-62 and 65-66]

With a special intention at this time for Syria, dear Mother.

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

At Mass this morning, our pastor mentioned in his short homily that he had heard a talk given once, which he couldn’t go into detail about in such a limited time, but that he wanted to just share with us something he had found very interesting. 

He related how, with Noah, the rainbow signified an ark (arc) of promise; with Moses, the Ark of the Covenant signified God’s presence; and with Mary (and through her), since she herself is the Ark of the New Covenant, we have not only God’s presence but union with Him.

So this is what I’ll be reflecting on as I go about my day, this beautiful feastday of our Lady’s, which is the fourth anniversary of my consecration to Mary.  This 33-day renewal period has been a real challenge for personal reasons at home – I’ve been scattered, distracted, and living with much emotional upheaval, but plodded through with Mary’s encouragement and, I suspect, much help from the Holy Spirit.  I am eternally grateful.

From:  “In the End My Immaculate Heart Will Triumph”, page 79:

“To the souls who are consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary…. She [Mary] will bring all hearts into union and lead them into the embrace of Jesus.  Each one of us will become the sign of unity to all the world.”

Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

As I posted yesterday at Contemplative Haven, this year the feasts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary seem to have an extra special significance for our times and for the darkness in the world these days.  For one thing, they are not falling in June as they usually do, and for another, they are coinciding this year with the First Friday and First Saturday of the month. I hope you will have time to read the post at Contemplative Haven as a backdrop to my post here today, because reparation is as central to the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary as I mentioned that it is to the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This is entirely and divinely appropriate and ordained, isn’t it, since the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts are the Two Hearts United, after all.

Mary revealed her Immaculate Heart to the children at Fatima, and it was through the Fatima apparitions that reparation came to the fore, with the institution of the First Five Saturdays.

As Father Joseph Homick wrote in his  most recent book, A Place Prepared by God [see book image in the right-hand sidebar]“Reparation to the Heart of Mary is required simply because Jesus loves her so much and will not tolerate that she be reviled by evil or ignorant people….  Now in the glory of Heaven, Jesus wants the world to know that He loves his Mother as well, and therefore that reparation must be offered by his faithful people for those who wound her heart with their sins and their callous disregard for her whom God has loved so much and exalted so highly.”  [page 210]

Of course, our Mother’s Immaculate Heart is far more than a reminder to us of the need for reparation.  As Father Joseph so beautifully put it:  “The Immaculate Heart of Mary is the place prepared by God as a refuge for his children as they make their difficult way to Heaven along the narrow and hard but life-giving path to the Kingdom.  What a marvelous place of beauty, purity, holiness and joy, and what a source of wisdom, courage, and peace!  The Lord is so good to us to share with us this treasure of his.  He knows how much we need her, even if we have not come to the fullness of that awareness ourselves.  We will find her waiting for us when we do.”  [pages 209-210]

Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

As the Year for Priests was drawing to a close yesterday on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, our parish invited everyone last evening to attend a recitation of the Rosary in gratitude for our own two priests as well as for all priests and their needs/intentions.  It was very beautiful and powerful.  The setting sun was coming through the stained-glass window just behind our statue of the Blessed Virgin.  The cadence of the congregation was soothing and contemplative, yet energizing and inspiring as well, and it was good – somehow comforting – to hear the sound of so many men’s voices praying the Rosary.

Afterwards I was reflecting on what I would post in honour of the Immaculate Heart of Mary today, and I decided that I would like to incorporate Her love and guidance for our priests, and in that way pay honour to our priests as well, as their special year is ending.

In, “The Sacred Heart and The Priesthood”, Mother Louise Margaret Claret de la Touche (1868-1915) writes of the special love that the priest should have for Jesus – that this should be a love such as Mary had for Him. In Part Four, Chapter XII (The Blessed Virgin and the Priest), she writes:

There is only one creature who has loved, and who loves Jesus as the priest should love Him; there is only one heart which can serve as a model to him for this love; it is the heart of the Most Holy Virgin.  The love of the priest for Jesus should be in everything like the love of Mary for her divine Son.

Like Mary, the priest, elevated to a very high degree by a grace of preference, nevertheless remains an inferior creature, in submission to the divine Master.  Like her, he touches on nothingness by his nature, and on intimacy with the divinity, by a privilege of love.  Like her, he should be more enlightened on the truth of his own misery and wretchedness, and more influenced by divine radiations of Infinite Love.  Like her, he receives from the Omnipotence of the Holy Ghost the power to produce the Word Incarnate in the world:  the Mother produces Him in the truth of His visible flesh; the priest in the truth of His Eucharistic Flesh….

Jesus wishes to be loved by His priests as He has been loved by the Virgin Mary, and He has included in the privilege of the priesthood graces similar to those contained in the privilege of the divine Maternity:  graces of intimate and altogether singular union with His adorable Person; graces of ineffable purity; graces of unreserved devotedness.

Jesus holds the treasury of all graces, including those He has designated for “the privilege of the priesthood”, but He has given His Blessed Mother the honour of distributing them, of dispensing them.  So not only is the Blessed Virgin the model of love on which the priest should base himself, but as Mediatrix of all Graces, the priest is dependent upon Mary for receiving the graces required by him to be able to love Jesus the way he should.

What does it look like when a priest enters into a deeper, more intimate, mystical relationship with Mary?  What happens when Mary as model takes on a more profound meaning in his life, and the graces begin flooding in?  Abbot Joseph of Word Incarnate has written two beautiful posts about his own recent experiences in this area.  I’m posting two snippets here, but I invite you to read them in their entirety, and be blessed…

To Jesus with Mary

He looked at her and her arms, which were extended in a gesture of loving welcome. Tears spontaneously began to flow, freely but gently, as what may have been the grace of true repentance was granted him. In an instant something was communicated from her to him, which came much faster than the time it took to assemble it into words in his little brain. It was simply this: “Come to me, and I will take you to Him.” Here was the answer, without explaining how it would be the answer….

He had to admit that perhaps after all these years he didn’t know the Lord well enough to love Him the way He ought to be loved—and right here before him is this Lady who knows and loves Him more than anyone else.

One Jewel, Many Facets

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that she has made her presence felt in my life in profound and unexpected ways in the past six weeks or so, and I’m still in awestruck wonder as I go more deeply into the joyful mystery of it all. I’ll be eternally grateful for what the Almighty has done for me through her, this precious gift of God’s love, the Mother of Jesus.

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today was easily one of the best days of my life.  Yesterday I finished my 33-day preparation for my second annual renewal of my consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  I also took some time to myself to pray the 33 meditations (short prayers to the Immaculate Heart of Mary) all over again, though I had prayed them one at a time for the 33-day period.

Today I attended the five-o’clock Mass at our parish.  I arrived well in advance, and renewed my consecration in the small chapel (which I have mentioned in a few posts over at Contemplative Haven), in front of the Blessed Sacrament and the picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and beside the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Then this evening, for the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we attended the eight-o’clock Mass and candlelight procession at the Notre Dame de Lourdes Grotto in Vanier (Ottawa).  I have been going to pray at this Grotto since I was a little girl, and the evening celebrations on the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary are very beautiful.

The Grotto was filled to overflowing, and my heart was so full of gratitude that so many people had come to celebrate the Assumption and to give honour to Mary.  It is not a day of obligation in Canada.  Everyone was there out of love for Mary, pure and simple.  Pure.  And simple.  After Mass, we lit our candles and processed from our seats up the hill to the Cross, with quiet song interspersed with decades of the Rosary.  (all in French, by the way.)  At the end we sang the Magnificat, and were asked to wave our candles high in the air at each verse.  I held back from going up the hill this year, so I could try to get you some photos.  I’m not very good at night photography (at least, I haven’t figured it out yet…) but there were hundreds of people holding candles, singing and praying.

My heart had been full during the whole Mass and procession, but at the end, as I stood before the statue of Our Lady, my tears really came pouring out.  It was like the veil was lifted for a few moments, out of Mary’s graciousness to me.  I felt her telling me that I was only in one little corner of one little part of the world, and that this had been going on in pockets all over the world today, and that this is what had been taking place all day today in heaven.  As some of us stood in front of Mary, still singing alleluias, holding our candles, gazing up at her with love (some with outstretched arms), I could imagine the love that will be poured out to her when she comes in the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart, to bring in the reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  I could imagine all of us all over the world with outstretched arms and faces raised to the heavens.  Yes.  I believe today was really one of the best days of my life.

Lourdes Grotto Ottawa 1

Lourdes Grotto Ottawa 2

Lourdes Grotto Ottawa 3

Lourdes Grotto Ottawa 11

Lourdes Grotto Ottawa 13

Lourdes Grotto Ottawa 16

Immaculate Heart of Mary

Last spring I was exploring the inseparableness of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (which feastday was yesterday) and the Immaculate Heart of Mary (which feastday is today), and posted some entries on united novenas, Two Hearts United, etc. This year the unification of the Two Hearts is still on my own heart, along with how Fatima, where Mary first revealed her Immaculate Heart (as I posted about a few days ago) plays a role in this unification.

From, “Fatima. Mary’s Immaculate Heart and Your Salvation”, by Frère François de marie des Anges (pgs. 17-18), I would like to share the following:

Thus the revelation of Fatima comes to complete that of Paray-le-Monial [where Jesus revealed His Sacred Heart to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque], and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be joined to the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, commanded three centuries ago.  Indeed, most certainly, these two devotions, as the two Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, are inseparable and could not ever proceed one without the other.  Such is the great design of our Heavenly Father for <<the last centuries of history>>:  the reign and universal triumph of Their two Hearts united.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

My friend Carol shared a link with me from the Catholic Online video section; it’s called “Our Lady Smiles”. I think it will make your heart smile too.

Our Lady Smiles

Thanks, Carol.

The Revelation of the Immaculate Heart

Immaculate Heart of Mary 3The second apparition of Our Lady of Fatima occurred on June 13, 1917 (the first was on May 13, 1917, on which we celebrate the Feastday of Our Lady of Fatima).

It was on the occasion of this second apparition that the Blessed Virgin revealed her Immaculate Heart to Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco. Lucia had asked Mary to take them to heaven, to which the Blessed Virgin replied:

 

Yes, I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. But you are to stay here some time longer. Jesus wishes to make use of you to make Me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. To whoever embraces this devotion I promise salvation; these souls shall be dear to God, as flowers placed by Me to adorn His throne.

The Blessed Virgin then opened her hands and rays of intense light shone out from them. Lucia’s writings tell us: “In front of the palm of Our Lady’s right hand was a heart encircled by thorns which pierced it. We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity, and seeking reparation.”

Lucia expressed her sadness to Mary at the thought of being left all alone on earth while Jacinta and Francisco would be taken sooner to heaven.  Mary replied, “Don’t lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”

[Source: The Whole Truth About Fatima, Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, pgs. 158-159]