Monday, 21 November 2016

The Heart Of The Gospel. Part 5.

By Francis Patrick Donnelly


Christ, it is true, was known in prophecy, but it was Mary's heart that was the first to know Him in realization. There was nothing on Mary's side to dim or tarnish that knowledge. What was offered was received, undiminished and unblemished. When the Heart of Christ, therefore, in Its turn would take to pondering, where would It turn, prompted by every noble impulse, more surely than to the heart of Mary? If a mirror is perfect, it gives back the image perfectly. No flaws or blurs on its polished surface impair the reflection. In fact, a perfect mirror is not seen at all; it is lost in its reflection. Such, no doubt, was the reflection of Christ in Mary's heart. There was no self there, no blurring, no impairing of the knowledge and love of her Son as they radiated from her heart. Christ, then, would see in her, one responding perfectly to His grace, and, pondering on that fact, there would be an answering reflection from His Heart. Then would arise the exquisite rivalry of loving hearts. Imagine, if you can, where it would end in the case of Jesus and Mary. Put two polished mirrors face to face and a lighted candle between them. Your eye will be bewildered with the multiplied views of the tiny flame, stretching away in the distance. The rays of light leap from surface to surface, giving rise to an endless succession of images. Perhaps that picture will help you to realize the depths and deepenings of love as Jesus and Mary pondered in their hearts upon one another with ever new interchanges and reproductions of the light of love.

If Mary's heart gathered up in its loving meditations an epitome of Christian truths, Jesus, with His pondering Heart, could find in Mary's heart the epitome of His life and mission, of His Incarnation. He could watch every drop of His Heart-blood finding response in Mary. When sin would have seized upon Mary's soul at its creation, His blood was there to interpose between the destined victim and its inherited doom, and Mary's soul came into existence immaculate. In her this greatest mystery of Christ's grace as well as all other
mysteries received their exemplification. About her He saw the Holy Trinity concerned in the Annunciation. Upon her consent His own Incarnation was made to depend. No, Christ would not have to look beyond Mary and Mary's heart to find a picture in miniature of the wondrous dealings of God with man.

We know, however, that the Heart of Christ in Its hours of prayer thought of other hearts too. Sinful hearts as well as Mary's sinless heart came within the scope of His pondering. Well for us that they did so! We need the prayers of that Divine Heart. "In the days of His flesh with a strong cry and tears offering up prayers and supplications to Him that was able to save Him from death, He was heard for His reverence." The burden of our sins drew the strong cry from His lips and wrung the tears from His eyes, but He was heard, as He is heard now too. His priesthood is everlasting. "Whereby He is able also to save forever them that come to God by Him; always living to make intercession for us." The unbelief of Thomas was the occasion of showing us that Christ did not permit His wounds to be closed. They are still open, and the most eloquent intercession comes from the wound of the Heart. Nor is that silent prayer the only one now offered for us 'in Heaven. The Heart of Christ still ponders on our sins and Mary's sinlessness, and still prays to God for us and is still heard for His reverence.