Feast of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin MaryDear Family of Mary!
In the midst of our novena, we have had the Feast of the Sacred Heart on Friday, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary today (Saturday). Thanks be to God, Reuben has sent us a beautiful reflection for those two days that will help us to grasp the love that surrounds us from those two hearts! Thank you Reuben!!
From Heart to Heart!!
January 2, 2008 “Dear children! With all the strength of my heart, I love you and give myself to you. As a mother fights for her children, I pray and fight for you. I ask you not to be afraid to open yourselves, so as to be able to love with the heart and give yourselves to others. The more that you do this with the heart, the more you will receive and the better you will understand my Son and His gift to you. Through the love of my Son and me, may you all be recognized. Thank you.” Our Lady blessed all those present and religious articles brought for blessing. She asked for prayer and fasting for our shepherds.
I am writing on the Feast of the Sacred Heart. Once again, I find myself thinking about the incarnate nature of our faith: how it’s not a set of intellectual beliefs abstracted from the purely spiritual, but is grounded in the material. And so much so, that Our Lord in heaven made himself material among us by His incarnation in history, and by the Sacred Host of our Eucharist, which is really where the same reality outside of all time enters time. Christ is the unity of God and man, just as we are the unity of soul and body. The whole of God and heaven condescends to be with us in a way which we, as body-souls, can touch and taste and cling to! As Denis is fond of saying – heaven is a real place, with real food!!
Why am I thinking about this today? Because it’s a feast day which celebrates exactly what I’m saying: how God himself, in all his almightiness and power, came to take on a beating human heart that loves us beyond all human measure. And one thing is for sure, that all of us will see this God-Man soon. No matter the length of days left to each individual, or to the world, our lives are as short as the blinking of an eye, when they are seen from God’s eternal perspective. Soon, all of us will stand in front of the incarnate God and hear his beating heart. Judgement will be in relation to this heart. We will have to ask ourselves how much time and care we spent here on earth loving that Heart which loved us all the way to the cross.
And now that we are in the age of Divine Mercy, heralded by the Mother’s real material presence in Medjugorje, we might dare to say that this Sacred Heart beats more passionately than ever for souls. We might say what St Paul says, that where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. It is as though that very Heart of Christ’s is opening itself up to more and more piercings of more and more lances, and all for love. And don’t we feel that in Medjugorje? Isn’t the presence of the Mother in Medjugorje such an immediate and tangible way to hear the beat of Christ’s merciful heart?
I was looking at archive footage of all the many people in the crowds praying at the liturgy in Medjugorje. I was deeply struck by what I saw there. Every face, bar none, and in such an individual manner, was deeply at prayer. One could literally see and almost touch the love of person to person so visible on each of their faces.
Because that’s surely what happens there at the Mother’s home. We become children of she who has an immaculate heart, and so we can learn from her to open our own hearts to the Sacred Heart, which is that heart that so perpetually wants to save and sanctify us.
I noted how all the faces that I saw looked both joyful AND pained, because that’s what love is like. When we become children of God, really knowing in our hearts what our eldest brother did for us, we are pained by the pain He experiences for all of us, and so we become brothers and sisters, who can feel exactly the same pain for each other, yet always with an equal measure of a joy which is entirely other-worldly, and really makes no sense at all to the unspiritual person. Isn’t that amazing, how the spiritual essence of mercy is something that courses through our physical veins, changing even the way we feel, as though directing all our senses to gather in the sights and sounds that help us feel it? Mercy is incarnate in Christ, but sometimes, even I can actually, literally and materially feel it become incarnate in me too. Heart really does want to speak to heart, and Our Mother really does want to encourage the conversation…..
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!