From The Admirable Heart of Mary by St. John Eudes
Mary is truly admirable in all her perfections and in all her virtues. But what is most admirable in her is her virginal Heart. The Heart of the Mother of God is a world of marvels, an abyss of wonders, the source and principle of all the virtues which we admire in our glorious Queen: “All the glory of the king’s daughter is within.” It was through the humility, purity and love of her most holy Heart that she merited to become the Mother of God and to receive the graces and privileges with which God enriched her on earth. These same sublime virtues of her immaculate Heart have rendered her worthy of the glory and happiness that surround her in heaven, and of the great marvels that God has wrought in and through her.
Do not be surprised if I say that the virginal Heart of this Mother of Fair Love is an admirable Heart indeed. Mary is admirable in her divine Maternity because as St. Bernardine of Siena says, “to be Mother of God is the miracle of miracles,” miraculum miraculorum. But the august Heart of Mary is also truly admirable, for it is the principle of her divine Maternity and of the wonderful mysteries this privilege implies.
Of Mary’s admirable Heart I shall attempt to speak…although to speak and write worthily of the holy Heart of God’s own Mother one would need a heart of fire. To know and proclaim the perfections of the noble Heart of the Queen of Angels one should have the intellect of a cherub and the flaming love of a seraph. Nay more, it would be necessary to possess the mind, the heart, the tongue and the hand of Jesus Christ, the King of all hearts, to understand, honor, proclaim or commit to writing the treasures of sanctity contained in the holy Heart of Mary, the worthiest, most royal and most marvelous of all hearts after the most adorable Heart of our Savior Himself….
When the angels beheld their Queen and ours at the moment of her Immaculate Conception they were filled with admiration at such fullness of grace and in their wonderment exclaimed: “Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as any army set in array?” (Song 6:9). What then must their rejoicing be, now that they behold in heaven all the marvelous perfections of her Heart from the first moment of her life on earth until the last?
The God of Angels finds even the footsteps of this glorious Queen so holy and so pleasing to His Divine Majesty that He exclaims: “How beautiful are thy steps in shoes, O prince’s daughter!” (Song 7:1). Under His divine inspiration Holy Church, both Militant and Triumphant, celebrates on earth and in heaven Our Lady’s visitation to her cousin Elizabeth. From this we see how great is Our Lord’s desire that we should admire and honor as He does the many holy and admirable actions that were inspired in the most amiable Heart of His peerless Mother.
If the smallest virtuous act of this heavenly Virgin represented in Sacred Scripture by one of her hairs, is so pleasing to God as to make Him proclaim that she has wounded and ravished His heart with a hair of her neck, (cf. Song 4:9) what must we think of the manifold acts of love which, like sacred flames, were constantly darting from the burning furnace of her virginal Heart ablaze with divine love? These flames were incessantly rising to Heaven to the Heart of the Most Holy Trinity.
Holy Church, whom the Divine Spirit guides in all things, celebrates on earth and will forever celebrate in heaven several feasts to honor the various events in the earthly life of the Mother of God, such as her Presentation, in which she offered herself to God in the temple of Jerusalem; her Purification to honor her obedience to a law that did not apply to her; the feast of Our Lady of Snows in memory of the dedication of the first church consecrated to her. What praises and homage her Holy Heart then deserves, that Heart which for at least sixty-three years offered up so many acts of faith, hope, love of God and charity towards men, humility, obedience and every other virtue? What mind can understand and what tongue express the richness of this incomparable Heart, the Sovereign of all hearts consecrated to Jesus?
Her Heart is a vast sea of grace, a measureless ocean of perfections, an immense furnace of love. Would that I might lose myself as a drop of water in this ocean or be consumed like a straw in this furnace, so that nothing of what I write could be considered as coming from me, but only from Jesus Christ who is the unique source of all good!