Mary’s Immaculate Heart

Today is the anniversary of the visions of the Blessed Mother at Fatima. We are all familiar with these and the three shepherd children. However, let us not forget the main point of Our Lady’s messages and pray the Rosary everyday, wear the Brown Scapular and to remember that no matter what happens…and it seems like things are happening in spite of it all… that the most important thing that Mary said was that “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” Her Immaculate Heart is a heart of love, filled with love for God and neighbor; let this be the same sentiments of our hearts. Mary is our example of the interior life, and the heart is the center of this interior life, which is all about love. It is love that really matters.


Contemplation is a simple, loving gaze on God and divine things. Mary, who was influenced by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, is our model of contemplative prayer. “My eyes are ever upon the LORD” (Psalm 25). This describes Mary and her purity. Mary’s purity was of heart, mind and intention. Souls aspiring to contemplation should strive for this kind of purity in imitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

A pure heart that is detached from all that can lead to sin or trouble the soul.
A pure mind that puts to death curiosity, which only troubles and distracts the soul, scattering its attention in all different directions.
Purity of intentions that have only one aim in mind, to please God.
The fruit of this purity is a great mastery over self and opens the way to constantly thinking of God, conversing with Him, performing all actions with Him in mind and desiring only to please Him. Then, like Mary, His presence is always in mind and the soul is constantly turned toward Him.


The virtue that “moderates and regulates all our actions, both interior and exterior, according to our vocation. St. Paul recommends this virtue to all Christians: “Let your modesty be know to all men” (Phil 4: 5). (Divine Intimacy, # 89, by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD)
The Blessed Mother teaches us how we should live. We should live a life modeled after her conduct which was a life of mortification where the senses were kept in check and her soul was always sober and alert. Her conduct was imbued with modesty: in her countenance, the way she walked, her manners, gestures and even her speech. “Be modest in every action or conversation” St. Teresa of Jesus would instruct her daughters.
Modesty of our senses will aid recollection and help us to live an interior life of intimacy with God using our senses to His glory. The senses will need to be regulated and guarded, particularly to curiosity, if the soul is to remain recollected with God. Many images and impressions come to us which are not pure or wholly directed to God; therefore, since all these enter by means of the senses, custody of the senses will be necessary.  Due to our fallen nature our senses tend to sensible pleasures and will have to be regulated and mastered.


Mary’s humble dependence on God and His will is reflected beautifully in her reply, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.” (Lk 1: 38) This interior attitude of Mary’s is equal to that of Jesus: “Behold, I come to do your will.” (Heb 10:9) This deep interior disposition was constant throughout the Blessed Virgin’s life. Her life was one of docility which is expressed in this attitude of “handmaiden”. We too can make this our attitude of being easily led by God when we accept all that He permits in our lives. God wills the inconveniences, poverty (spiritual and material), privations, separations, persecutions, insults, and hardships as grace. Let us, like Mary, humbly depend on God for everything.

Humility of the Blessed Mother

The higher God elevated her, the lowlier she became because of her humility. “The Angel called her “full of grace” and Mary “was troubled” ”(Lk 1: 28-29) Because of Mary’s humility, she disliked praise. Her desire was that only God should be praised. “The more she understood the grandeur of the mystery, the immensity of the divine gift, the more she humbled herself, submerging herself in her nothingness. Her attitude was the same when Elizabeth greeted her, “Blessed are thou among women”. (Lk 1:42) (cf. Divine Intimacy #176)
Our Blessed Mother models for us the effects that graces and divine favors should generate in us – an increase in humility and a consciousness of our nothingness.

The Month of Mary

St. Therese in her Last Conversations pointed out that the Blessed Mother is someone to imitate. “She is spoken of as unapproachable, whereas she should be represented as imitable.” Of course, the Virgin has been graced with special privileges: Mother of God, perpetual virginity, conceived without sin; but she is a model for us to try to be like. That is, imitable in the concrete picture of her earthy life: to imitate her virtues.
May is the month of Mary. During this month while meditating on her virtues, she will show us the secret of her interior life. She is our model in this respect, the model and norm of our own interior life.

To Jesus Living in Mary

O Jesus, living in Mary,
come and live in Thy servants.
in the spirit of Thy holiness,
in the fullness of Thy power,
in the perfection of Thy ways,
in the truth of Thy virtues,
in the fellowship of Thy mysteries,
rule Thou over every adverse power
in Thy spirit, for the glory of the Father.
This efficacious prayer sums up living the interior life. If a soul desires to live a holy life and to profit from the means of sanctification offered by the Church, then it must draw into the interior dispositions of Jesus. What better way to do this than to do it with, through and in Mary, the most perfect living image of Christ.
The object of this prayer is the interior life, a life that is a participation in the life of Jesus.
“Because Jesus is the source of all holiness, we ask Him to live and to act in us, in order that He may communicate to us His Own sanctity: In the spirit of thy holiness.”
“Since we are unable to acquire such an exalted sanctity through our own efforts, we beg Him to come to us in the fullness of his power.”
“Since holiness cannot be attained without the imitation of Our Divine Model, we beg Him to make us walk in the perfection of His ways, that is to say, to make us able to imitate His conduct, His exterior and interior actions, in all their perfection.”
In the truth of thy virtues. The virtues we ask for are real virtues…What Jesus comes to bring us therefore are interior virtues, crucifying virtues: humility, poverty, mortificaton, perfect chastity of mind, heart and body; and unifying virtues; the spirit of faith, of confidence and of love.”
“Jesus practices all these virtues especially in His mysteries, and on this account we pray Him to make us partake in the grace of His mysteries: in the fellowship of thy mysteries….
—the Incarnation, which invites us to put off all self-love in order to consecrate ourselves entirely to the Father in union with Jesus.
—the Crucifixion, Death and Burial which express so many degrees of the total immolation of self by which we crucify our disordered nature and seek to put off and bury our evil inclinations
—the Resurrection and the Ascension, which are the symbols of a perfect detachment from creatures and of the altogether heavenly life which we desire to lead in order to reach heaven.”
“We can not assuredly attain such perfection unless Jesus comes to vanquish our powerful enemies, the world, the flesh and the devil: to rule over every adverse power.”
“Lastly, in order to obtain this grace more readily, we proclaim the with Him we have but one end in view, to procure the glory of the Father under that action of the Holy Ghost: by the spirit unto the glory of the Father.”
(The Spiritual Life by Rev. Adolphe Tanquerey, S.S., D.D.. Tan Publishers)