Saturday, June 16, 2012

Immaculate Heart of Mary

The heart is one of the most important parts of the human body. It is the source from which and through which our life's blood flows through our veins, and is distributed to the various parts of our bodies. It is the first organ to function when we begin our existence as human beings, and the last to cease to operate when death comes. Many deaths are attributed to failure of the heart, and this might well be given as the cause of all deaths. Of all the organs of the human body the heart seems to be the most vital. With it life begins and ends. It is the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega, of our physical existence. When the heart fails, death follows.

The importance of the heart, however, does not consist so much in its physical qualities and operations as in that it is the seat of the affections. This is due chiefly to the close union that exists between the soul and the body. Through this union the heart responds promptly to the affections of the soul; it expands with joy, contracts with grief, melts as it were with compassion, quickens its pace with hope, and little by little succumbs to sorrow and sadness which finally devour it.

The nature and subject of the devotion to the heart of Mary is what we celebrate today. And it is to the Immaculate Heart of Mary that we consecrate ourselves on this day with this prayer:

O Mary, Virgin most powerful and Mother of mercy, Queen of Heaven and Refuge of sinners; we consecrate ourselves to thy Immaculate Heart. We consecrate to thee our very being and our whole life: all that we have, all that we love, all that we are. To thee we give our bodies, our hearts, and our souls; to thee we give our homes, our families, and our country. We desire that all that is in us and around us may belong to thee, and may share in the benefits of thy motherly blessing. And that this act of consecration may be truly fruitful and lasting, we renew this day at thy feet the promises of our Baptism and our First Holy Communion.

We pledge ourselves to profess courageously and at all times the truths of our holy Faith, and to live as befits Catholics, who are submissive to all directions of the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him. We pledge ourselves to keep the commandments of God and of His Church, in particular to keep holy the Lord’s Day. We pledge ourselves to make the consoling practices of the Christian religion, and above all, Holy Communion, an important part of our lives, in so far as we are able to do.

Finally, we promise thee, O glorious Mother of God and loving Mother of men, to devote ourselves wholeheartedly to the spreading of devotion to thy Immaculate Heart, in order to hasten and assure, through thy queenly rule, the coming of the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart of thine adorable Son Jesus Christ, in our own country, and in all the world; as in Heaven, so on earth. Amen.