The Immaculate Heart of Mary


It’s natural that the feast in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus should be followed by a feast in honor of His Mother’s Immaculate Heart. For without that Immaculate Heart, there would have been no Sacred Heart. The Son of God from all eternity would have existed, it’s true, but He could not have taken flesh and become human without Mary’s acceptance of God’s will into her Heart. It's been said that Mary first received into her Immaculate Heart what she then conceived in her womb--the Word of God, Jesus.

In honoring the Heart of Mary we commit ourselves to having hearts like hers. That means hearts which are free of sin, free of any obstacle to God’s grace, pure and totally committed to the will of the Father. It also means having hearts which ponder the events of Jesus’ life, keeping “all these things” in our hearts as today’s Gospel (Luke 2: 41-51) says Mary kept them in hers.

In the “Spiritual Exercises” whenever there is a particularly important grace that St. Ignatius wants us to pray for, he invites us to use a Triple Colloquy or intimate, heart-to-heart conversation. He explains: “The first colloquy will be with our Blessed Lady, that she may obtain grace for me from her Son and Lord….” Then having asked the intercession of Jesus’ Mother and ours, we go to Jesus Himself and ask for the grace. Thirdly, we go, as it were, with the Mother and the Son, to the Father and ask for the grace. Such conversations—with the Mother whose Heart was completely open to the will of the Father and with the Son who was obedient unto death to the will of the Father—will prepare us to approach God the Father with the same desires of the Sacred and the Immaculate Hearts. I think the lyrics of a U-2 song apply here: "Two Hearts Beat as One." The Hearts of Jesus and Mary beat as one in their total surrender to God's will. Our devotion to the Two Hearts should lead us to have hearts that are also purely devoted to the will of the Father in our lives.