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Friday, June 7, 2013

Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

"Prayer and fasting are good, but better than either is almsgiving accompanied by righteousness." Tb 12:8

Hearing that someone has an immaculate heart can be off putting to contemporary thinkers and believers but upon reflection we realize that it allows Mary not to worry or fret about her own burdens and concerns, but to be totally open to the needs of all her children. As Immaculate, Mary is completely other centered. Assured by the Angel that the Spirit of God had come upon her, she not only does not protect herself against the judgments of those who would question the source of her pregnancy, but relies on the Spirit for everything, especially the call to care for those given to her as her children by Christ on the cross. 

Most of us realize that it is almost impossible to have what are called pure intentions because our own needs and internal conflicts get in our way. People don't marry or respond to a vocation to religious life or priesthood simply because it pleases God. Rather, we are attracted to a particular Gospel path for a wide variety of reasons, all of which will need to be purified over time.  If someone marries, for instance, because of the physical beauty of the other, they gradually learn how fleeting this kind of beauty is and unless their hearts are converted in a manner that allows them to see the inner goodness of their spouse, they will find themselves growing distant from the one to whom they promised life long fidelity.

Of course, this is more obvious to most of us as we age. The smooth, vibrant skin that so attracted us to another is replaced by wrinkles and laugh lines which have their own beauty and story, but can initially be something we work hard to cover up or ignore, and this is when Mary Immaculate teaches us so much. Letting God cleanse our heart opens our eyes to see God in all of creation not just in that which please us.

Today, look in the mirror and pray, not to be made young again, but for purity of heart.

Have you been blessed to know people with undivided and other centered hearts?

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