Chapter One: Grace and Devotion to Mary
Chapter Two: Mary, Holy Objects and God
Chapter Three: Primary Teachings - Mary the Virgin
Chapter Four: Mary and Jesus
Chapter Five: Deeper Teachings -
Chapter Six: Teachings Not Yet Declared Dogmas -
Jesus and Mary
A Mediator with our Mediator
Chapter Seven: Final Thoughts and Reflections
of the Holy Spirit
of Jesus Made Present
and Church Unity
Consecration to Mary Individual and
Litany of Mary's Faith Journey
© Copyright, J. Roy MacIntyre 2009
Devotion to the Sacred Hearts
A treatment of Mary being part of the co-redemption of the human race joined with Jesus the God-man would be incomplete without mention of the teaching concerning, and the devotion to, the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. As noted above the hearts of Jesus and Mary are an intricate part of the whole process of co-redemption and so devotion to them is briefly reported on here.
The first point that comes to mind in considering devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has to do with the mercy of God. A significant teaching of this devotion is to shed light on how Jesus is infinitely merciful. He desires that all people turn to Him, be healed, forgiven and thereby saved.
God is Love and He thirsts for souls. We are therefore reminded that the physical suffering of Jesus' agony, which was greater than any other, pales in comparison to His emotional and spiritual agony. His heart represents this emotional and spiritual suffering. Jesus experienced this suffering when His people, whom He loves, reject His love and abuse Him and His gifts. Part of Jesus' suffering in this is that His people, by rejecting Him, harm themselves.
God initiated the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus so people would pray and do penance as reparation, atonement, appeasement and consolation to Jesus for what He suffers because of our sins and the sins of the impenitent, those hardened in their sins. In return, we receive special graces, especially the promise of redemption. Jesus, then distributes graces, in some just equivalency, to souls so they too will have the grace to repent and be saved. In other words, God gives us an opportunity to be co-redeemers with Jesus by practising this devotion to His Sacred Heart.
I think it is beyond our comprehension how powerful our puny prayers can be when they are offered as reparation to the suffering Messiah, the Sacred Heart of Jesus. However, we do know God will not be outdone in generosity. If we give our time and effort to pray sincerely from our hearts for sinners, to make atonement for them and ourselves, God will give the grace of repentance and perseverance and we will be co-redeemers with Jesus.
In the twentieth century, Jesus seemed to have gone even further in demonstrating His mercy through the revelation to a Polish nun Sister Faustina Kowalska of devotion to the Divine Mercy. He revealed that through saying a brief chaplet of prayer to the Father in reparation for the suffering and death of Jesus, one could obtain the grace of final conversion for anyone that one says it for at the hour of his or her death. Generally, this devotion will also bring God's mercy on the whole earth in this time so deserving of chastisement. Jesus promised that the world will receive a time of His mercy before the day of His justice.
Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is similar to devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The reason for this is because our sins not only offend Jesus but also Mary. Mary suffered as a result of our sins as she witnessed her Son, the Son of God, suffering and dying on the cross. To add to this, Jesus is further offended because His innocent mother suffered witnessing His agony also as a result of our sins.
Because of our sins offending Mary, God initiated the devotion of reparation to her Immaculate Heart. As with devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, this devotion provides grace of repentance for sinners and provides assurance of our own salvation. Therefore, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a further opportunity for human beings to participate with God in the outpouring of His mercy on the whole of mankind.
These special devotions are given at this time to the world because Jesus and Mary are so much offended by the evil behaviour of mankind, yet God wants all to be saved and inherit eternal life. There is a great depth of mystery in these devotions, as noted above how these Hearts penetrate to the depths of God. What we know, is that by practising devotion to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts, we console these suffering hearts and thereby obtain graces for the body, the Church.
Certainly, part of the devotions to the Immaculate Heart is tied up in Mary's immaculate purity. Her life of holy virginity is in dire contrast to the sexual immorality, which is tacitly and openly promoted in the world today. Of course, Mary's purity is more than her resplendent chastity – it is her singularity of attention to God and His will for her and her perfect faithfulness to His will.
Another thought about the mystery of devotion to the Immaculate Heart has to do with Mary's contemplative nature; ",She pondered all these things in her heart" (Lk 2:19 & 2:51). This indicates that she carried within her heart all the events of the life of Jesus – the joys as well as the pain. Our devotion to the Immaculate Heart gives us a participation in her co-redemptive work. It also inspires us to a life of chastity after her example and a life of atonement through meditation on her life and the life of Jesus.
A full presentation of the devotions to the hearts of Jesus and Mary, however, is beyond the scope of this book. The author, therefore, encourages the reader to explore the wealth of literature on these devotions.
Mary's designation as Co-Redemptrix tells us a number of truths about God and about ourselves. First, it tells us of His humility in condescending to take flesh from a humble virgin for His act of redemption.
Secondly, it tells us about His willingness to risk the salvation of His beloved people by placing it in the hands of Mary and then of all His disciples. This means He has an extraordinary faith in us that we will follow the lead of the Spirit to bring the Good News to the waiting world. God assists us in these efforts, requiring only that we love Him so that He can turn everything to good for us (Rm 8:28). If we could only grasp this faith He has in us, how much faith we would have in Him and what works we could do in His Name.
Thirdly, Mary's participation at Jesus' crucifixion gives us a sense of how God suffered in seeing both the physical and emotional pain exchanged between the eyes and souls of Jesus and Mary. The very presence of Mary at the Cross increased Jesus' suffering but it also increased His consolation because of her sublime love for Him.
For those who can see, let them see: to better know who God is we need to study Jesus and Mary together. To have a fuller understanding of the Holy Trinity, that is, God's revelation of Himself, we should study Jesus and Mary together. As with the wise men who "found the Child (Jesus) with Mary His mother" (Lk 2:10-11) we will not only find Jesus with Mary but the Holy Trinity as well. To the degree that we separate Mary from Jesus our understanding and knowledge of the fullness of God will be diminished accordingly.