5 Ways to Journey into the Heart of Mary

Stephanie EngelmanMarian Shrines of Europe, Spiritual Reflections

Our Mother, Mary, has a heart filled with love for each of her children. She longs to share that love, and yet many of us still feel distant from her.

By the grace of God, however, there are many simple practices which can help us to journey into Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart. In doing so, our hearts become more like hers. We love her Son more, we love one another more, and we recognize ourselves as the beloved children of God that we are.

Here are five practices to help us journey into the Heart of Mary.

Pray THIS SIMPLE YET POWERFUL PRAYER

In his book, 33 Days to Morning Glory, Fr. Michael Gaitley provides a very succinct, yet very rich prayer. Adapted from a prayer of St. Teresa of Calcutta, he recommends praying, “Mary, lend me your heart, and keep me in your most pure heart.”

“Mary, lend me your heart, and keep me in your most pure heart.”adapted from St. Teresa of Calcutta

As Fr. Gaitley explains, “Lend me your heart” is the request that we might love with the perfect love of Mary, most especially that we might love her Son as she did.

The second portion of the prayer, “keep me in your most pure heart,” is a request that we might “love Jesus through Mary, in Mary, and with Mary.” Fr. Gaitley goes on to say, “This is something more than simply having Mary lend us her heart. To understand and live it requires a loving dependence and profound union with Mary.”

While this prayer is powerful in and of itself, you may find yourself wanting to go deeper into living this union with Mary and her Immaculate Heart. And that leads us to our next practice for journeying into the heart of Mary.

Pray the Rosary

The Rosary isn’t just your grandmother’s prayer. It’s a prayer that invigorates the faith of Catholics both young and old, and there’s a reason why it’s been a staple of the Church for centuries.

When we pray the Rosary, we ask Mary to walk with us through the life of her Son, Jesus. Who better to help us to know Him than his own Mother? By praying the Rosary on a regular basis – ideally, every day – the stories of Christ become deeply ingrained in our psyches, and the attitudes and responses of Our Lord and Our Lady gradually become our own. What a wonderful way to go deeply into Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, pondering the responses that welled up from her heart and that of her Son, both filled with love for the Father!

Consider Marian Consecration

Marian consecration is the act of giving ourselves completely to Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Why go through Mary, and not just directly to Jesus? Because we know that we are not perfect, and we ask her to do her work in us, in order that we may become more like Christ. As Fr. Gaitley explains, when we consecrate ourselves to Mary, we are saying: “Mary, I want to be a saint. I know that you also want me to be a saint, and that it’s your God-given mission to form me into one. So, Mary… I freely choose to give you permission to do your work in me, with your Spouse, the Holy Spirit.”

Marian consecration was originally developed by St. Louis de Montfort, and he developed a regimen of prayer to prepare oneself for consecration over the course of 33 days. While this practice has been deeply beneficial to countless Catholics, we find Fr. Gaitley’s program, as outlined in his book, 33 Days to Morning Glory, to be much more accessible to your average Catholic living in the 21st century. We highly recommend prayerfully considering this consecration.

Make A Pilgrimage to a Marian Shrine

Of course, we wouldn’t be much of a pilgrimage company if we didn’t suggest this method of journeying deep into the heart of Mary! However, it was a journey to a Marian site that inspired the very founding of Tekton Ministries, and we hold the Marian shrines very near and dear to our hearts.

As we detail in the video below, pilgrimage to the Marian shrines is a very deliberate act of stepping outside of our comfort zone to draw close to Our Mother, and in drawing near to the Mother, we draw near to the Son. When we go with an open heart, we will inevitably return refreshed, renewed, and inspired. We will most certainly feel a deeper connection with our Mother’s Heart and, through it, a deeper love for Christ.

Whether we travel a few hours to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. or the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, IL, or if we travel across the sea to visit the Shrines of Fatima or Lourdes, Our Lady will most certainly honor our efforts and desire to draw closer to her by bringing us more deeply into her Immaculate Heart.

Adore Her Son

Finally, what can be more pleasing to a mother than to honor and adore her Son? Spending time in adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament – and celebrating Him through the Mass – fulfill Our Lady’s greatest desire. She wants nothing more than for us to love her Son. So, if it’s been a while since you’ve spent time in adoration, or if you haven’t made it to daily Mass recently, might we suggest carving a little time out of a very busy schedule to make your Mother joyously happy?