Reflection for the Immaculate heart of Mary, 8th June – Fr Kevin O’Gorman

Six months from now we will hopefully gather to celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a special day in our SMA Calendar. This is not to hurry things along in a hectic rush for Christmas but rather to see how Mary is inextricably linked to the liturgy of the church in all times and seasons. Today and then Mary is called Immaculate, the thread of grace that integrates the whole of her life, from conception through the course of her journey as Mother of the Incarnate Word.

Today’s Memorial  complements and is completed by yesterday’s Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of her Son. Their hearts are not mawkish metaphors meant for our fascination but symbols of faith for salvation in our spiritual pilgrimage as the People of God. Mary’s significance for our spiritual journeys  – in this time of synodality for the whole church – is  wonderfully captured by Pope Paul VI : ‘She shows forth the victory of hope over anguish, of fellowship over solitude, of peace over anxiety, of joy and beauty over boredom and disgust, of eternal visions over earthly ones, of life over death’.[1]

Let your Immaculate heart Triumph – Stained glass window from the chapel of the cloistered Dominican nuns in Lancaster, PA.

These virtues of Mary – both moral and theological – offer a very different vision to what which the world offers at this time with wars being waged without any respect for the innocent, women and children,  injured and homeless, where injustice and inequality flourish in favour of the few, with environmental degradation in every corner of the earth, with social media often being misused and manipulated to spread harm and hysteria, where human existence is threatened and truncated from conception through to natural death. Mary’s Immaculate Heart is a bulwark against evil on earth and a blessing for eternal life.

[1] Marialis Cultus – To Honour Mary, (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1074), par. 58.

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