Today we celebrate the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a companion to the celebration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (which we celebrated yesterday). This memorial has a lot to do with relationship to Mary. Because she was immaculately conceived--preserved from all taint of original sin--and her heart is completely pure, she retains a tremendous capacity both for joy and suffering. We tend to emphasize the sufferings and sorrows of Mary, but there is a chaplet devoted to the seven joys of Mary, too! This devotion can become very sentimental, but there is a strength here as well. We recall the promise of Our Lady at Fatima: "In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph." This is a reminder that despite all the sound and fury of the devil, God will always win.
Mary promised the conversion of Russia and a time of peace at Fatima. May these two events come to pass in our lifetimes!