Lamentations 2.2,10-14,18-19; Psalm 73; Matt 8.5-17
Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary originated with St John Eudes (1601-80). Whereas the Sacred Heart of Jesus shows the infinite love of God for humankind, Mary’s Immaculate Heart points to her interior life and presents us with a model for the love we return to God.
Her heart is a ready heart [Psalm 107/108.1], a prepared heart, a whole (integrated) heart. [Psalm 118/119.2] ‘Before she conceived Christ in her womb,’ St Augustine of Hippo wrote, ‘she had already conceived him in her heart.’
St Lorenzo Giustiniani (1381-1456) wrote: ‘Imitate her, O faithful soul. Enter into the temple of your heart that you may be purified in spirit and cleansed of the pollution of your sins.’ We pray this day that a merciful God may make of us worthy temples of his glory, that like her our hearts may be made ready, may be made whole. As she treasured the events of His holy life, storing them up for contemplation and pondering [Luke 2.19], so may we think devoutly on the life of God in our midst, hiding His word in our hearts. [Psalm 118/119.11]