The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary
“And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” The Greek philosopher Socrates is credited for these famous words: “The unreflected (or unexamined) life is not worth living.”
We celebrate the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We are called to have a heart like that of Mary. We are called to examine first our hearts.
The physical heart has four chambers only; but the heart of the soul has many chambers. What do these chambers of our hearts contain? Am I keeping some hurtful memories alongside happier ones? Am I holding on to some resentments and grudges or have I filled some chambers with forgiveness? Is there a chamber in my heart now empty because of a broken relationship? Have I locked that empty space or have left it open, waiting for it to be filled with consolation and healing, and with fresh affection?
Let us also examine if our hearts are expanding or narrowing. Is my heart expanding to accommodate everything that came my way? Peace and pain alike? Is my heart enlarging to welcome God’s grace in my joy as well as his gentle touch in my sorrow and grief?
The most important thing to examine today is whether our hearts are growing due to a deeper personal relationship with God. Do I turn to the Lord living in my heart? To lean on his strength in my weakness? To depend on his providence in my need? To seek his counsel in my doubt? To obtain his wisdom in my confusion? To reach for his companionship in my loneliness? Actually, from these very questions, we can learn how to have a life that is reflected and examined, thus, worth living.
We celebrate today a Marian festival, the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The gospel tells us that Mary was someone who reflected on the marvelous revelations of God. Mary would come, eventually, to keep in her heart not only joyful recollections of Jesus’ birth, but also the painful memories of his suffering and death.
And so it is with us, too. Our hearts are the storehouses of all that has shaped us to be the persons we have become. Our hearts are the Lord’s dwelling place where he wants to forgive our sins, heal our wounds, calm our fears, and give us the peace that comes only from his heart.