The Hour of Mercy and the Immaculate Heart of Mary

by Larry Maginot –

“Son, why have you treated us so?  Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously” (Lk 2:48). These words of Our Lady spoken to the 12-year-old Jesus upon finding him in the Temple express the sorrowing anguish that filled the Immaculate Heart for the three days she and St. Joseph spent searching for Him. We clearly sense in these words the profound mystery that she who is “full of grace” was yet subject to the anxieties of life common to us all. Of course, we can be confident that Our Lady carried herself in the midst of all such distress in a manner keeping with the true nobility of her soul to an extent that can be an inspiration to us all. St. Faustina relates to us in her Diary that “the Mother of God gave me to experience the anxious concern she had in her heart because of the Son of God. But this anxiety was permeated with such fragrance of abandonment to the will of God that I should call it rather a delight than an anxiety.” (1437)

When we look back upon the events of the Gospel, which Our Lady along with her faithful spouse St. Joseph lived through and navigated, it can be difficult for us to grasp with any appreciable degree the apprehension of the moment that must have weighed heavily upon them. In our own Rosary meditations, we should learn to associate our own experiences of life’s tensions. And especially when in the midst of such momentous trials learn to join our hearts to her own Immaculate Heart, cultivating the content of our meditations into a habit of the heart.

In our devotion to the Immaculate Heart, we meditate upon one who continuously offered herself to God’s will in all circumstances. The ejaculatory prayer taught to St. Faustina by Our Lord expresses this act of self-abandonment well, “Jesus, I trust in You,” as does Our Lady’s own response to the angel Gabriel at the Annunciation: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38).  Not only is this self-abandonment effective for growing in moral strength and virtue, but it is also key to unleashing the supernatural power of God’s grace and extending the reach of His mercy.  Listen to these words of Our Lord to St. Faustina: “The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is – trust.  The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive.  Souls that trust boundlessly are a great comfort to me, because I pour all the treasures of My graces into them” (1578) and, “When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls.” (1074)

St. Ambrose tells us that the three days of searching that preceded the joyful finding of Jesus in the Temple prefigure the three days between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.  It was during this time of intense anguish that the stark memory of her Son’s sacrificial suffering incubated and germinated like an incredible seed within her Immaculate Heart. That seed was planted in the Immaculate Heart during the “Hour of Great Mercy,” as Our Lord refers to it to St. Faustina: the three o’clock hour of Good Friday, when Our Lord’s Sacred Heart was pierced with a lance and blood and water gushed forth like a fountain for the renewal of humanity. This moment seemed by all appearances to be an event of utter defeat. Rather, it is the precise turning point of all history. And the Church repeatedly returns to this point as it enters into the treasury of its memory, the Immaculate Heart of Mary. “From all My wounds, like from streams, mercy flows for souls, but the wound in My Heart is the fountain of unfathomable mercy.  From this fountain spring all graces for souls.” (1190)

Let us together enter into our Mother’s Immaculate Heart, taking the advice that Our Lord extended to St. Faustina when He said, “Know my daughter, that your silent day-to-day martyrdom in complete submission to My will ushers many souls into heaven.  And when it seems that your suffering exceeds your strength, contemplate my wounds, and you will rise above human scorn and judgment.  Meditation on My Passion will help you rise above all things.” (1184)

Larry Maginot is a statue custodian for the WAF USA Pilgrim Virgin Statue program and is the author of “The Marian Manifesto,” published by Blue Army Press and available at ShopFatima.com.

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