Aug 2020 - The Immaculate Heart of Mary
A sermon preached by Rev. Fr. Jean-Pierre Boubee, SSPX on devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Let us go to Jesus through His most holy Mother.
Sermon given by Rev. Fr. Jean-Pierre Boubée, SSPX
St. Nicolas du Chardonnet, Paris
Saturday, May 2, 2020
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
My very dear faithful, who are not present with us, normally so many of you would come to Mass on the first Saturday of the month, in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Maybe even today, since it is the beginning of this month of Mary, you have a certain bitterness, a certain sadness, at not having been able to receive communion. This bitterness, this sadness, is certainly very normal, but at the same time you can transcend it: you can turn it into something better.
I would like to show you in a few words why it is that we honor the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
For Mary herself, at Fatima, did not say, “In the end I will triumph,” but, “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” Why did she make her heart stand for her whole person, just as we do for the Heart of Jesus? To show us that in this battle, which is a battle of the end of the world, an apocalyptic battle, the victory, the great victory, will be above all a victory of her love. It is because she loves. If we were counting on our own merits, we merit very little to be able to obtain this victory. This love was the reason for her “Fiat,” which gave us the Incarnation. If there had not been that “Fiat” by the Virgin, given by her heart, there would have been no Redemption. It is by her “Fiat” that she was present at the foot of the Cross. It is by her “Fiat” that she accepted at the foot of the Cross to be our Mother. And today it is by this same “Fiat” and this same love that she accepts to be our salvation, to be our banner.
Moreover this idea is ancient because it is present in the Tradition of the Church. Take for example St. Augustine – St. Augustine who tells us that the Virgin Mary bore Jesus more in her heart than she bore him in her body. Then we have all that development, the great saints that we always quote, St. Bernard, St. John Eudes, of course. And Fatima: Fatima which in 1917 came to announce this apotheosis of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Let us not be slow to attach ourselves to this devotion, to attach ourselves to it profoundly. Let us love this devotion; let us love it with all our heart.
Why fix our gaze on Mary? Why fix our gaze on her heart? Why do we have the impression, after the great theophany, the apparitions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, all of a sudden we focus on the Immaculate Heart of Mary? What is the reason?
We all know that we love to contemplate nature, to contemplate wide open spaces, to contemplate the heavens. But it is always hard for us to contemplate the sun, which is too bright for us. Whereas a full moon is able to fill our heart with a real joy. We can look at a night with a full moon in a kind of enchantment for a long time, because the full moon reflects, in a way adapted to our poor nature, this light of the sun which we cannot gaze on directly. A beautiful image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which is for us the same kind of perfect reflection, since the light received in this Immaculate Heart of Mary is of course the light of the infinite love of God, and the light of infinite love incarnate in the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And so, concretely, how do we attach ourselves to this Immaculate Heart? Concretely, the apparition of Fatima and its sequels gave us the main lines of this devotion, and they are still going to serve us today as a guide. Certainly in 1917 Mary told us, “I will come to establish devotion to my Immaculate Heart.” So she foretold it; she said that she would come later, a little bit later. She and the children were speaking, and then she opened before them that vision of hell which made them cry out with horror – that hell into which souls are falling by the thousands and thousands – and immediately afterwards is when Mary foretold that she would come to announce this devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
It was in 1925 in Pontevedra that she came to speak of this devotion to her Immaculate Heart. Jesus was actually the first to speak, saying that He wanted us to have pity on the heart of His most holy Mother. A very astonishing event. He was there with His Mother and He is the one that spoke immediately. For He is the one who suffers when we offend His Mother, and who asks that we make reparation to the heart of His Mother. Then Mary, the Virgin Mary herself explained what she desired: this devotion to the five consecutive first Saturdays of the month, to which she attached immense graces, including the grace of our salvation, the grace of our perfection, of our progress.
She even explained a little later, in 1930, why she wanted five Saturdays, for five types of offenses that were wounding her Heart: offenses against her Immaculate Conception, against her virginity, and against the divine Maternity. Offenses also against her holy images, and most of all the offense of defiling the hearts of children, to the point of preventing them from loving the Virgin Mary, which is even more horrible than defiling her images: defiling that divine image and making it impossible for children to turn to Mary.
She also asked that confession and communion be received on these Saturdays. Of course, you know, we could not confess a whole parish on a single Saturday, every month; it is not even physically possible, obviously. In 1926, Jesus Himself appeared to Lucy and was speaking to her, and He explained certain aspects. When she presented these difficulties to Him, and the fact that sometimes people had a hard time receiving communion the very day, He explained the reason behind these practices. He explained that if people could not receive the very day, they could receive in the week that followed, or even a little later. What really matters is that the heart be open and ready to love the Immaculate Heart of Mary. There Jesus gave us a key, and it is still a key for you this evening, you who are deprived of communion, who are deprived of confession.
We are not in a religion of fetishism, where set actions have to be performed in a very materialistic way at just the right moment; we are in a religion of love, of person to person. It is the Holy Trinity who wants to dwell in our heart and who wants to pour Its graces into us through a very loving heart, the heart of the Most Blessed Virgin. We are among persons. And you, too, today, however far away you be, you can turn to the Virgin. You can beg her, saying, “But dear Mother in heaven, you see what a situation we are in! You see what we are deprived of! And yet we long so much to be there with you.” Do you think such a Mother would not be moved to tenderness and hear your prayer? Do you doubt that if in a few moments, in the middle of this Mass, you make a spiritual communion, a communion of desire, she can perfectly well give you your graces? Of course she can, of course she will! She watches over you. Of course! She loves you. Trust her and speak to her, make reparation to her, and do not neglect those fifteen minutes of presence to her that she asked, presence to her in meditating on the mysteries of the rosary. Do not forget your rosary, your daily rosary during this month of May, and she will not abandon you. There is no difficulty, there is no event in our life which escapes the great wisdom of God or which escapes the heart of Mary.
So show her today that you turn to her – because you trust her and not because you want to check off a box on some official form. This first Saturday of the month is far beyond anything like that. It comes from the heart. The Virgin is sensitive to the heart, and she is sensitive to our heart.
You see, when Lucy made her first communion – it is a very moving episode which is not very well known. She was six years old, and the parish priest, in a very austere way, of course – St. Pius X had said to lower the age of first communion, but the parish priest, though he admired this child, said, “No, no, it will be next year, right now you are too little.” Then Lucy started to cry, and she was sitting there sobbing, with her face in her hands, when Fr. Cruz came in, the Father who was supposed to hear the children’s first confessions. He stopped in front of the little girl and asked her why she was crying. He said, “Come and explain it to me in the sacristy.” So they had a little conversation, and coming out he went straight to the parish priest and announced in no uncertain terms, “She will receive her first communion tomorrow because she is more ready than any of these other girls.” And so it was done.
So she also made her first confession, a confession that she had carefully prepared with her mother. Her mother was waiting at the sacristy door because the sacristy is where they had confessions, and when Lucy came out her mother said to her, “You don’t realize! You have to speak softly when you go to confession. You spoke so loudly, we could hear everything. You don’t go to confession as loudly as that!” But she said, “There was just a little bit when we couldn’t hear you,” and Lucy told her, “That’s my secret.”
You see, that was her secret of confession. Her secret of confession was not her sins, it was what happened during that quiet time. And what happened during that time? First of all, she was not the one speaking, it was the priest speaking, and the priest gave her two pieces of advice. The first piece of advice was, “Guard your soul, which is the temple of the Holy Ghost. Be respectful of that greatness which God has given you.” And right away Lucy asked him, “But how are you supposed to do that?” And the priest answered, “Ask our Lady to take your heart and prepare it to receive our Lord Jesus Christ. Ask her to take care of your heart.” That is what the priest told her, and it stayed in Lucy’s heart for all her life. “Ask our Lady to take care of your heart, so that you can be united to her Son.”
So that is the advice I offer you this evening, as this priest offered it to Lucy. If you are near to Mary, wanting to make reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, ask her to take care of your heart, so that already at this moment you might be more united to Jesus, and soon, I hope, united to Him sacramentally.