I wrote this for the current issue of the Catholic Herald, now published in both the UK and these USA. Each week I write 400 words for the issue.
As this number of the weekly you now peruse was issued, we celebrate the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. In the Church’s post-Conciliar, Novus Ordo calendar, the day after Sacred Heart is generally the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This year the day, 29 June, is the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul. In England and Wales, Saturday remains in honor of the Immaculate Heart and Peter and Paul bump aside the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time. In these USA, where I write, Peter and Paul, with its red martyrial vestments, displaces the Immaculate Heart’s liturgical celebration and Sunday remains the green 13th. And, just to add liturgical zest, in the traditional calendar 1 July is the Feast of the Most Precious Blood. Such a cornucopia of feast days.
Speaking of Our Lord’s Blood, let’s circle back to our beautiful pair of heavenly Hearts. Before Mary conceived Our Lord beneath her heart, she conceived Him in her heart. Christ’s Sacred Heart would come to pulse also with blood and humanity He received from her Immaculate Heart. In a foreshadowing, He made her blood His own. Then they gave it, circulated it, Precious, each to the other.
Surely, Mary pondered, contemplated, inwardly gazed at the pre-born Jesus. Surely, Jesus’ Mother, our Mother, listened to His Heart. Did you know that the hearts of mothers and their unborn babies tend to beat with synchronization?
Surely, Mary listened to His tiny Heart, ear to breast, and gazed, contemplated Him after His birth. Did you know that mothers and their babies’ hearts will swiftly synchronize when they smile at each other? Imagine, for a moment, the smiles of Mary and Jesus. Try to picture that. Imagine the heartbeats of Mother and Son, synchronized literally and physically. Be still. Try to hear their hearts.
From then on, the beautiful Hearts of Jesus and Mary were harmonized. I like to imagine that they were so close that when our Lord trudged up hill, perhaps miles away perhaps Mary felt her own heart quicken. If so, consider Mary’s own heart beneath the Cross, as Christ’s struggling Heart cramped to its three-day rest and stopped the flow of the Precious Blood He received from her? Surely, Christ held Mary’s heart in His nail-marked omnipotent hand at end of her earthly life, keeping her safe.
Their Hearts beat for us, long for us. Listen for their hearts.