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Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary means two things. It means invoking her and imitating her. Invoking her is praying through her to God, beseeching her; while imitating her means striving to become like her, doing what she would do.

For what do we invoke Mary? What do we ask her to obtain for us? Through her Immaculate Heart we especially ask her to love like she does, sharing in her love for God and all mankind. We ask her to obtain for us her spontaneous doing of God’s Will. We ask her to become sinless as she was, before our lives are ended, using every grace God gives us as we strive for perfection. We ask her help that the maddening drives of our fallen nature become less compelling and our passions less masterful. We pray most of all that our sins which offend God become less deliberate and less frequent.

Next, in practicing devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, we must strive to imitate her in her practice of love. We know that we often sin by saying “No” to God, but we can also sin by saying “Yes” to creatures against God’s Will. We can sin by indulging creature satisfaction deep down in our hearts without saying a word. To grow in virtue we must very often sacrifice creatures that God does not wish us to love. In fact, often our greatest obstacle to sinlessness is the attachment of our spirits to creatures against God's Will.

In our devotion to Mary’s Heart there is no more effective prayer than the Rosary which is about the mysteries of her Son’s life and hers. There is no better way to obtain through Mary’s intercession the help we desperately need to learn how to be loving and selfless. To gain this selfless love, we must also learn how to give ourselves in loving those thoughtless people who enter our lives unintentionally. The most grievous pain, the most patient endurance that people will demand of you is from the people you like, who will try your patience and not even know it. It is the good, unwitting people just being themselves who will crush the last iota of selfishness in you. They seem unaware of how tormented you are by their actions, the way they behave, what they say or don’t say. We all have much to learn. Let us ask Our Lady to help us. Say a little prayer to her in every emergency!

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