The feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is not one that is widely celebrated, at least in Malaysia. When the occasion arises, the Feast is celebrated, but I doubt that most Catholics in Malaysia would know when the Feast is.
Mary is the Mother of Christ. Some believe that she is nothing more than a myth. Others think that she is just a normal human being. Why give such honour to a mere mortal woman? They ask.
From a historical point of view, Jesus Christ can be said to be responsible for changing the course of history. If not, most of us would still be worshipping whatever Pantheon was in our region; Buddhism, Hinduism, or even Greek/Roman Gods.
That is one of the reasons why the woman who gave birth to him is so celebrated. But there is another reason as well. Remember that in ancient times, women were not given that much rank, but in Mary’s case, she is seen as second only to God, and rightly so.
Those who read the Bible will realise that Adam and Eve were considered the first sinners, as they took the Forbidden Fruit. What many forget is that just Jesus brought man back to God, in a similar vein, we could say that Mary did the same thing for women. What could be more just, than if the world was brought to know sin through a man through a woman, than for salvation to be brought to us from a man through a woman.
That’s just a thought of mine, so the next person who says that women are born evil should go back and re-read their information.
Furthermore, she is the model of pureness and submission. No, I don’t mean submission as in to Fate, but to the Will of God. How many of us, when confronted with such a choice, would have said yes? Some say that Mary did not think about the consequences about her actions, merely trusting in God to provide for her. I disagree.
I would bet with you that she did think about it, but chose to follow His word anyway. She hesitated. If not, then why was her initial response one of uncertainty?
She is a role model to all of us. Who else could have followed His Word faithfully? Who else could have been the perfect example of saying ‘yes’ to God?
Many Catholic priests and brothers are devoted to her, as are the women. Our Protestant cousins (no insult, just that I used brothers and sisters as to denote the vocations) do not believe in her, in fact they denounce us as to say we WORSHIP her. How untrue!
We do not pray to her, but we ask her to pray for us. She is our intercession, our middleman (or woman). Some may ask, why go through a middle person at all? Why not go straight to God? We all do, but remember that when we fight, we often cannot meet with the person we fought. We are either to embarrassed or proud to acknowledge them. We often use intermediaries.
Mary is the same as that. Furthermore, she gives extra strength to us, not only as faith and belief in her Son, but consolation as well. It is said that Jesus comes to the Saints often not alone, but with His Precious Mother as well. Devotion to Jesus through Mary has yielded results that can still be seen today.
I’m assuming that everyone knows about the Miracle at Lourdes and at Fatima. If you don’t, well, please do a Google search on that. I’ll write on that one later. The proof that I am talking about lives in Rome. He’s on his last legs, but faith in the youth and in Mary and Jesus keeps him alive and kicking. Though he is old, he is still quite popular with youths.
Can’t guess? He is none other than Pope John Paul II. His devotion to Mary, who could be said to be not much older than us when she accepted the Word, is famous and legendary. On the Hem of his robes is the letter ‘M,’ for Mother Mary. And she has taken care of him. Regardless as to what others might say, I believe that she looks after him still. Who else would have interceded for him when he was shot in 1984? (I think). Jesus did, with lots of help from Mary.
Another proof is my grandmum. She is old, getting on to be about 77 this year. Her devotion to Mary has been passed down to her children and her grandchildren (like me!) and is nothing short of legendary in the family. Every night before she goes to bed she says her rosary, which is a special devotion prayer to Mary. Not only that, even when she was on her deathbed she had her Rosary near, and when we had to send her to the hospitals when she was quite ill, one of the most important thing to bring was her Rosary. It had to be either under her pillow or in her hand or pocket.
The main reason why I am saying this is because of a miracle that happened not too long ago. My grandmother had a stroke in the middle of the night. I could not hear her as I was sleeping in the front room. Somehow she called my aunt who lived not too far away, the latter who woke me up. We found my grandmum on the bed. The room was a mess and the phone was off its’ hook, indicating that my grandmum had fallen.
To this day, my grandmother has no recall of how she made it to the phone or how she got back. My other aunt, who is a devout person herself, suggested about a month later that maybe the one who had made the Call was Mary herself. My grandmum has a very strong devotion to her.
Mary is my Queen. It is said that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. How true it is!