Monday, October 14, 2013

She Understands My Heart

Yesterday Pope Francis renewed the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The statue of Our Lady of Fatima was brought from Portugal to Rome for this simple but beautiful moment.

There was something about this iconic statue that struck me powerfully as I watched the Mass yesterday morning. This is the statue that bears in its crown the extraordinary relic of another Pope who will be canonized next Spring. The bullet that carried the future of the Church and the human race in its flight is now a jewel in Mary's crown.

Pope Francis knows that the Mother of God is our mother, that she is the "untier of knots," all the knots that bind us up inside ourselves, and keep our hearts from growing.

The heart is a mystery. I think it is a place where Mary is especially important.

Mary is the Woman. "Be it done unto me according to your word." Her submission, from her heart, is the beginning of everything.

She understands my heart. She knows how I struggle with "sub-mission," with saying YES to God and allowing Him to draw my freedom into the His Great Mission -- the giving of Himself, the pouring-out of Himself in love. I compromise, complicate things, evade, resist! I tie myself into knots.

Mary unties the knots. I have to let her take care of it. She has a patience and a compassion in her heart that has been given to her precisely to accompany me, as my mother. She has the supreme empathy for my destiny. This is true for each and every one of us.

Thus the Pope knows that it is meaningful to consecrate the world once again to Mary's Immaculate Heart.

Why would he do this if she's not really there, or if she doesn't matter or doesn't help?

Mary is not a doctrine to be puzzled over. She's a real person, she's really there, she's our mother, she cares for us, she helps us, she loves us... and we don't have to understand "why" in order to go to her.

Either she is a real person who hears the Pope's prayers, and your prayers and my prayers, or else WHY BOTHER WITH ANY OF THIS AT ALL?

My heart? Its a mess. It doesn't want to submit. It doesn't know how to open up, to let go of its smallness, to receive a gift greater than itself, and be transformed by sharing in God's infinite love.  My heart is proud. My heart is afraid. My heart is petty.

I give it to Mary. "Mother Mary, untie the knots."