The Heart of Perfect Love

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. Luke 2:51

Over and over, the Scriptures reveal to us that the Blessed Virgin Mary “kept all these things in her heart.” What things? She continually pondered the great mystery of the life of her Son as His sacred life unfolded before her eyes.

A mother’s love is strong. Many times, a mother is more aware of the details of her child’s life than even the child itself. She is attentive, consoling, present, tender and loving. This was who Mary was to her divine Son, Jesus.

Mother Mary did not have full knowledge of every divine reality. She did not gaze upon the Most Holy Trinity with her eyes as she walked the earth. She did not have the full knowledge of the plan of the Father. But she did walk through life with the perfection of faith. She also knew the many truths of Heaven and earth through her Immaculate Heart. Her heart was a heart filled with every virtue. She loved with a love that was indescribable. And what she especially pondered in her Immaculate Heart, over and over throughout life, was the pure and perfect love she had for her Son. To her, this love left her in amazement. She was continually in a state of holy awe as she interacted with her Son, gazed upon His sacred life, and watched Him advance in “wisdom and age and favor before God and man” (John 2:52). The love in her heart was a lesson to herself. She continually deepened her knowledge of God through the pondering of the perfect love placed in her heart by her God. And this God, her Savior, was her Son.

We celebrate today the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Though there are many feasts throughout the year in which we honor this holy daughter of God, this celebration is an opportunity for us all to ponder her pondering heart.

A human heart is not just physical, it is also spiritual. It is the spiritual source of our love of God and others. From our heart flows either virtue or vice, love or hate, generosity or selfishness. As we honor the Immaculate Heart today, we are called to look at the ideal of what should live within our own hearts and what should flow forth from them. The perfection of all virtue is what must ideally flow from every human heart throughout time. And it is the heart of our Blessed Mother that will teach us how to internalize those virtues so as to become an instrument of the love of God to others.

Reflect, today, upon the spiritual perfection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Perfection is difficult to comprehend in our fallen state. But the more we look to the ideal, the more we will desire that ideal. And the more we desire that ideal, the more we will obtain it. Allow yourself today to ponder the ideal heart as it resided in the Mother of God and ask for her to intercede for you so that you will more fully imitate her.

Most Immaculate Heart of Mother Mary, you reveal to us the perfect way to love your Son and to be devoted to Him. Fill me with the love you had for your Son by interceding for me. Thank you for the witness you gave to us all and help us to imitate the countless virtues that flowed from your heart. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us. Jesus, I trust in You.