STUBENVILLE, Ohio, JUNE 11, 2010 (Zenit.org).- “Immaculate Mother, in this place of grace, called together by the love of your Son Jesus the Eternal High Priest, we, sons in the Son and his priests, consecrate ourselves to your maternal Heart, in order to carry out faithfully the Father’s Will” (Benedict XVI, Fatima, May 12, 2012).
What is the “heart” of Mary? St. John Eudes, master of the devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, explains that the heart designates the entirely of the person: his will, his intellect, his soul, his passions, and even incorporates his body in so far as it includes reference to the physical organ. Scripturally, “heart” signifies person, much more than “head” signifies person.
Consider, in pondering the mystery of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the perspective of three Persons.
The Father looks down upon the heart of his immaculate daughter and sees his greatest created masterpiece, second only to the sacred humanity of his incarnate son. Far beyond the seven natural wonders of the world or even the heavenly cosmos, the Immaculate Heart represents the greatest craftsmanship of the Creator. Full of grace beyond all other creatures both quantitatively and qualitatively, the heart of Mary exceeds the ark of the covenant as a dwelling place of God the Father, who has the greatest paternal predilection for his daughter’s heart -- a filial heart who returns his divine love with a perfect and perennial human “yes” of love and abandonment to her Abba.
The Son gazes at the Immaculate Heart and his heart leaps with infinite joy, reverence, and gratitude for his all-loving mother. If sons instinctively honor and defend their mother by some embedded code of natural law, how much infinitely more does a divine son love his tender, compassionate human mother? Jesus also sees in the mystery of the Immaculate Heart the means by which he received his own human heart, as blood pumped from that stainless maternal heart flowed into her spotless womb to form the human heart of the divine Redeemer.
This is why the saints never separate the Hearts of Jesus and Mary in their spirituality. Eudes will add that their hearts are so inexplicably united in perfect conformity to the Father’s will that it is most accurate to speak about the one, single “Heart of Jesus and Mary.”
The Holy Spirit marvels at the pure heart of his human spouse. The Old Testament “shekinah,” or holy cloud that would overshadow the ark to animate it with the presence of God, was a mere foretaste of the Spirit’s overshadowing of Mary at the Annunciation, in order that the divine and human spouses could come together to bring the world its Savior.
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