August is traditionally called the Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, since the traditional feast of her Immaculate Heart is celebrated on August 22. This feast of Mary’s Heart is the octave of the feast of her Assumption into Heaven, which means the two feasts are connected in the logic of the Sacred Liturgy.
The truth of Mary’s Assumption means that her Heart is in Heaven, glorified in its resurrection and ascension in her Son. Mary is the first to share in her Son’s Resurrection and Ascension. She followed where He went first. Her Heart, which was always in Heaven by faith, hope, and love, is now in Heaven by glory.
Each Christian is invited by grace to this same sharing in Jesus’s Resurrection and Ascension. We are all called and empowered to live, like Mary, with our hearts already in Heaven by faith, hope, and charity, so that they can one day be in Heaven in glory. This is the key to happiness even in this life: to have our treasures and hearts already in the Heavenly happiness that never passes away.
The easiest and most accessible way for us to keep our hearts in Heaven, and thus achieve real happiness, is by the life of prayer, which exercises the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity. This is one of the reasons why daily time of prayer is a duty for all Christians. Daily prayer is ordinarily necessary for salvation. It is the way I keep my heart locked in to my eternal happiness so that I don’t deviate by sin from the good path. In my daily prayer, I meditate on divine things and ask for the help I need to be saved.
The Holy Rosary is a most excellent way to exercise our duty and privilege of prayer. If I pray the Rosary with devout meditation on the mysteries, I have entered into the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who “kept these things in her Heart.” In this way, the Rosary is the best and easiest way for me to keep my heart in Heaven, in the glorious abode of Mary’s Heart.
This time of the octave of the Assumption is an excellent opportunity to commit ourselves to the daily recitation of the Holy Rosary. One could, for example, pray five decades of the Rosary upon rising, another five decades on his lunch break or during afternoon naps for the kids, and then another five decades with the whole family at the end of the day. If one were to pray this way, with devotion and attention and love, he would be a saint in no time! Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cause of Our Joy, pray for us!
Fr. Joseph Previtali