Mary Pondered in Her Heart
But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be — Luke 1:29.
And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart — Luke 2:19.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and His mother kept all these things in her heart — Luke 2:51.
In the Thirteenth of the Month Club monthly newsletter, we spent 20 months reflecting on the mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, listening to the meditations of Marians and trying to go deeper into the events described. But why do we pray the Rosary in the first place? Why the repetition of mysteries and prayers?
When we pray the Rosary, we follow the example of Our Lady. Luke's Gospel repeats that Mary "pondered," Mary "reflected," Mary "kept all these things in her heart." Pious tradition tells us that Mary was the one who created the Stations of the Cross, allowing her to walk again and again at the side of her Son during His Passion and death. She contemplated the mysteries of the life of her Son, keeping them in her heart, in her memory, at the very center of her being. Doing this, she becomes a model and icon of the Church.
It's the Church's task to "do this in remembrance of Me" — to offer the Passover of the Lord, the Eucharist, over and over again till the end of time. It's the Church's task to preach the Gospel, the same Gospel, and preserve and spread the one faith in Jesus Christ in all ages till Christ's Second Coming. It's the Church's job to remember the events of Christ's life, to ponder them so thoroughly that we are transformed by them, that we come to resemble them, that we become the Body of Christ to the height and depth of our being.
Christ's life has this power to transform us because He is God. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us:
His Paschal mystery ... is unique: all other historical events happen once, and then they pass away, swallowed up in the past. The Paschal mystery of Christ, by contrast, cannot remain only in the past, because by His death He destroyed death, and all that Christ is — all that He did and suffered for all men — participates in the divine eternity, and so transcends all times while being made present in them all. The event of the Cross and Resurrection abides and draws everything toward life (1085).
By pondering these things in our hearts like Mary did, we shall become holy. We shall have a share in the eternal life of Christ.
This pondering, this loving contemplation of the life of Jesus, is the spirituality of the Immaculate Heart, the subject of a new series in the 13th of the Month Club newsletter. Next article: the "heart" according to the Church.
For more on how pondering the mysteries of Jesus' life with faith brings us into transforming communion with Jesus Christ, see Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC's The 'One Thing' Is Three (Product Code: TH-ONE), pgs. 73-84.
Spirituality of the Immaculate Heart
Mary Pondered in Her Heart
The Heart of The Matter
Temples of the Holy Spirit
From Sons to Slaves
Baptism Saves You
Confession Resurrects You
Eucharist Nourishes You
Confirmation Ignites You
Through Darkness Into Light
Mary, Mother of Christians
Salt. Light. Hope.