If we… lend our ears to Jesus, the great teacher of the devotion to Mary’s august Heart, He will impart to us many… edifying and consoling truths. Let us listen.
I alone, Our Lord tells us, can worthily proclaim the devotion which the hearts of all who love me shall cultivate towards the Heart of my holy Mother, for I am the source and principle of all the great and marvelous qualities to be found in this abyss of wonders, and I alone have a perfect knowledge of the eminent perfections of her Heart.
I am the eldest Son of this maternal Heart and am therefore filled with the most tender and filial love for it. I am the first-born of my most worthy Mother’s incomparable Heart, as I am the first fruit of the adorable Heart of my Eternal Father. My admirable Mother formed me and carried me in her Heart more holily, longer and sooner than in her womb. (1) For the sanctity of her blessed bosom has its origin in the charity and purity of her most holy Heart, and she became worthy to form and to bear me in her womb because by humility, purity and love she first formed and carried me in her Heart. She bore me in her bosom for nine months only, but she always held me and will forever hold me in her Heart. I am, therefore, in a way, more truly the fruit of her Heart than of her womb.
O admirable mystery! Her incomparable Heart is, among created beings, the masterpiece of my Almighty Goodness; yet by an unfathomable miracle I am myself the excellent product of her humility, whereby she drew me from my Father’s adorable bosom, where I was born before all ages began, that I might be born of my virginal Mother in the fullness of time.
I have always been and shall forever be the most singular object of all the affections of her Holy Heart, as she herself has always been and will forever be, after my Eternal Father, the first object of my love.
All who truly love me must, therefore, be particularly zealous in honoring and teaching others to honor the Heart that I love more and that gives me greater glory and love than the hearts of all the angels and men together.
For all these reasons, I myself have willed to be the teacher of this devotion practiced by many of my saints during the past centuries, a devotion still observed in many churches today; and I personally taught the first principles of this devotion to St. Mechtilde.
It is I, my dearest children, who have made it flourish again in your hearts. I am now addressing those who have a special veneration for the most worthy Heart of my virginal Mother. I myself have rooted in your hearts your ardent desire of honoring Her Heart as I wish it to be honored.
I know that, as her Heart is the first object of the love of my Heart, after the Eternal Father, it is likewise, after God, the first object of your most tender and holy affection. Therefore have I given it to you to be an inexhaustible fountain of blessings in your midst.
I have given my Mother’s Heart to you as a divine Sun to enlighten you through the darkness of the world, to warm you in the frosts of mortal life, to gladden and to comfort you in the sorrows, pains and miseries of earth, and to vivify and strengthen you against the decline and weakness of human frailty.
I have given her Heart to you as a beautiful mirror, into which you should often gaze in order to see the stains that tarnish your souls, so that you may cleanse them. With the aid of this celestial mirror, you should array your souls with becoming ornaments that they may become pleasing in the sight of my divine majesty.
I have given the Heart of My Mother to you as an unshakeable tower and impregnable stronghold in which you may take refuge and seek shelter against the machinations of the enemies of your salvation.
I have given it to you as a burning furnace of divine love into which you are to throw yourselves and be consumed, that you may turn into fire and flames of love for Him who is all fire and flaming love for you.
I have given her Heart to you as a perfect pattern of the respect, love and obedience that you must entertain for those who hold God’s place on earth. I have given it to you as a fountain of wine, milk and honey, whence you may draw the charity, kindness and meekness with which you should treat one another.
I have given her Heart to you as a heavenly chronicle and book of life, that you may study its pages unceasingly, and learn to know perfectly and to love ardently the ravishing beauty of those Christian virtues whose faithful practice gives eternal life. But what you should learn above all from this book are the marvelous merits of holy humility and the means to practice it, so as to crush in your hearts the cursed serpent of pride and vanity that wreaks such havoc, not only in the souls of children of perdition, but in my own children’s hearts as well.
I have given the Heart of my incomparable Mother to you as a holy Rule that will enable you to become saints, if you faithfully observe it. It is the rule of the divine life you should lead, of the high qualities and habits you must assume, of the evangelical teachings you are to follow. By this rule you must measure the holiness that should permeate all your actions, the sentiments and affections that should fill your hearts. It is the rule of the love and hatred, the joy and sorrow, the desires and fears that must be yours, if you are to please me and sanctify yourselves.
I have given her Heart to you as a vast ocean of graces of every kind, from which you must draw the graces you need at every hour, every moment, every place and every occasion, to avoid the manifold snares of Satan, which cover the entire earth, and to be able to serve God in justice and holiness all the days of your lives.
I have given her Heart to you as a precious vessel, filled with manna from heaven and the nectar of paradise, to nourish your hearts with the meat of the angels, even in this world, and so to inebriate them with heavenly wine, that the things of the earth and time may be forgotten entirely and the sole delight of your hearts rest in those things which are heavenly and eternal. Such was always the life of my holy Mother, who is also your beloved Mother, and such were the affections of her Holy Heart.
I have bestowed upon you the royal Heart of your great Queen to be regent of your hearts, to rule and govern them according to the most adorable will of my heavenly Father that you may be entirely fashioned according to His Heart.
I have likewise given you the admirable Heart of my most worthy Mother, which is identified with my own Heart, that it may be your true Heart as well; that my children may possess only one Heart with their Mother, and my members the same Heart as their Head. Thus you may serve, adore and love God with a Heart worthy of His infinite goodness: Corde magno et animo volenti (2) that is, with an immense and measureless Heart, with a Heart all pure and holy, so that you may sing His divine praises and accomplish all your actions in the spirit, love, humility and all the holy dispositions of her admirable Heart. But in order to make this come true, you must renounce entirely your own heart, that is, your mind, your will and your love of self. Strive, therefore, to rid yourself of your earthly heart that is depraved and wicked, and you shall receive an entirely heavenly, holy and divine Heart.
I have finally given this marvelous Heart as an inestimable treasure containing every possible blessing. It is for you, beloved children, to engrave in your hearts a high esteem, a profound respect and a particular affection for so rich a treasure, and to preserve it jealously by the continuation and increase of your veneration for a Heart so holy and amiable.
It is to encourage you to do so that I have said these things. Set down my words in your hearts and practice them faithfully. In this way, you will become the true children of my holy Mother’s Heart, and you will live according to my own. My eyes and my Heart shall ever watch over your necessities. I will carry you in my innermost Heart. You will yourselves be my Heart, my joy and my delight. I will love you as my own Heart, and I will prepare a glorious habitation for you throughout eternity in my Heart and in the Heart of my blessed Mother, which is one with my own. You shall abide forever in our Hearts, and live by their life, you shall possess all the treasures enclosed in our Hearts, and be immersed and buried in their joys. Our Hearts shall be your paradise, the life of your life, the Heart of your heart.
In the love of these Hearts, or rather, this one Heart, you will eternally love, bless and glorify my holy Mother and the sovereign monarch of all hearts, which is the adorable Heart of the most Holy Trinity. May It be forever praised, adored, and loved by all the hearts of angels and of men!
After listening to the divine words of Our Divine Savior encouraging us to love and honor the most amiable Heart of His Blessed Mother, we shall now contemplate the operations of His adorable Heart towards the maternal Heart of Mary, whereby He teaches us even more effectively than by His eloquent words. Oh, who could worthily describe the least spark of the Divine Heart of Jesus, that furnace of love, towards the Heart of His admirable Mother?
Our Lord has so loved and honored her maternal Heart that He has exalted it above all the hearts of the universe, and made it the most august empire of His glory and the glorious triumph of His love. He has so loved and honored her Heart as to constitute it a Heaven higher and more brilliant than all the heavens in which He is glorified and loved more ardently than in the empyrean heaven.
God has loved and honored His Mother to such an extent that from the first instant in which He gave her blessed Heart its being, He worked in it countless great miracles, imparting the most abundant communication of His own divine perfections, and rendering it most worthy, noble, perfect, mighty, wise, holy, just, merciful, kind, liberal; He has made it the richest, happiest, most glorious, most amiable and most admirable of all hearts.
To understand this perfectly, you must recall that St. Dionysius teaches us that divine love reflects the divine attributes in the hearts of the angels as in so many beautiful mirrors, according to the nine Orders of the blessed Spirits. (3)
Now what Divine Love accomplishes in angelic hearts, Mary’s only Son, so filled with love and tenderness for His beloved Mother, has certainly accomplished in her Heart also but in a far more excellent manner. He gathers all the perfections of His divinity, divided as it were among the Orders of the angels, and brings them together in the Heart of the august Queen of all angels. It is fitting that, having chosen Mary to be His Mother, and having become her Son, Our Lord should establish such a perfect resemblance between Mother and Son. The Divine Son seeks to render her similar to Himself in His divinity, just as His exalted Mother caused Him to resemble her in His humanity. As the Eternal Father unceasingly communicates all the divine attributes to His Only-begotten Son with such fullness that He is called the figure and type of His substance and the image of the invisible God, similarly the Son makes His Mother’s virginal Heart participate in all the perfections He Himself received from His Heavenly Father, with such plenitude that her most blessed Heart bears a marvelous resemblance to all the excellent qualities found in our adorable Savior.
Yes, the incomparable Heart of Mary, Mother of our Redeemer, is a most precious and radiant mirror in which Jesus, the eternal Sun, reflects Himself in perfect manner, with all His beauties and perfections, and thereby renders her holy Heart so admirable, so amiable and so praiseworthy that it should be, next to the God-Man, the principal object of our devotion on earth, even as it is the first object of veneration for the happy inhabitants of heaven.
The preceding excerpt is taken from St. John Eudes, The Admirable Heart of Mary, Part Four, Chapter I, and edited by the Order of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary, at www.heartsofjesusandmary.org. The Order of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary is a contemplative community of lay and religious dedicated to serving the Hearts of Jesus and Mary through Eucharistic Adoration, contemplation, and corporal works of mercy.
(1) Prius et felicius in Corde quam in ventre concepit. S. Leo, Serm. De Nat. Dom. See also S. Aug, Lib. De Sancta Virginitate, c. 30.
(2) 2 Mac. 1:3.
(3) De Caelesti Hierarchia, cap. 3, § i.