Ben and Kaylin Zumwalt, two of my best of friends, and biggest supporters of my poor vocation, had their newest baby baptized today, on a feast we three share a deep love for. On August 17th, heaven welcomed little Mary Elizabeth Zumwalt, into the world. Such saintly names, as Mary’s big sister in the photo is named Therese Zelie. Ben and Kaylin began attending the Latin Mass these last few years and have fully immersed themselves in this Mass and all things traditional Catholicism; this included having Mary Elizabeth baptized in the Old Rite.
What is today’s feast, you might be wondering (outside of the 13th Sunday after Pentecost)? In 1944 Pope Pius XII instituted the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He proclaimed that it be celebrated, on August 22nd, every year in the Church Calendar. The feast of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, was the first ever, to be made a feast in the 1600s; most of the readings were formed by Saint John Eudes (feast recently celebrated in the Old Calendar), and so the feast itself is not new- the feast of the Pure Heart that is! But Pope Pius, confirming that we are living in the age of Mary, knew it was time to institute this feast with the title of “Immaculate” because the entire summary of this age of Mary is directly tied to the outcome of the triumph of Her Immaculate Heart, as predicted at Fatima. It deeply saddens me, that along with a New Mass and New Calendar, this feast would be wiped away and replaced with the Queenship of Mary. I have no problem with the feast of the Queenship, the issue I have is that the Queenship feast is celebrated on a totally different day in the Old Calendar, and instead of keeping the Immaculate Heart Feast, on the appropriate day, they replaced Mary’s ancient feast of Her Most Pure Heart with the Immaculate Heart, and erased today’s. Why? Doing this not only eliminated Mary’s glorious title of “Most Pure Heart” which always follows the feast of the Sacred Heart, but essentially was a smack in the face to Pope Pius XII.
Instead of talking about the politics, as much as I love talking politics in the Church, I just want to lovingly wish my blog followers a most blessed feast of one of my all time favorite devotions in history: the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In short, I owe my life, my vocation and heart to Mary and Her Heart. I fall short so often and any virtue in my life has ONLY been a result of Her being there to hold my hand and help me to be a better woman. I have often asked myself, “what can I offer God by being a woman?” As I am no priest nor great leader; I am a simple daughter. Before Mass today, the priest said powerful words to me of, “ it is your job, especially on Her great feast, to mirror the life of Mary”. As women, in particular, we have a duty to especially imitate Her. That being by motherhood or virginity; I am so consoled when I merely think of Her “perpetual virginity”, because it is the life I am willing to shed my blood for. We need more women today, to have the courage of the virgin martyrs who came before us, who would have rather suffered death than lose their virginity. They did not need to discern the celibate state of life, they answered with their blood. For those young women out there desiring to follow Mary specifically as the virgin brides of Christ, be bold and valiant in this culture of modernism and death! We have such a perfect Model before us: the Immaculate Heart of Mary. For daughters of God, it’s so important to embrace the state in life, in which God has called us, and look to Her with how to live it perfectly.
This image above, that I have written on in other blogs, is probably the most significant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for myself, which has been with me in every season. Before Carmel, when I embraced devotion to Mary, it hung in my college apartment and wherever I lived thereafter. When I entered Carmel, I couldn’t take it with me but in my heart I often thought of how beautiful Mary’s Face looked and longed for that particular picture to land in my possession again. During novitiate formation, I was suffering a period of darkness, where I felt that I had nothing. When I was reader in the refectory, I opened one of the books to read to the sisters and low and behold, the image I had been secretly seeking was bookmarked there. I received a blessing from one of my Mother Superiors to keep it, and from that moment on, it remained in our breviary up until my departure. When I received my own set of Carmelite Rite Breviaries (another gift of Mary’s Heart), when I began pursuing the Anchorite vocation, I was able to obtain the same image and tucked Mary’s Heart inside the pages again. I have since enhanced the photograph, giving Mary a beautiful light blue, which matches Her eyes. I cannot tell you how much comfort I have in seeing Her spotless purity and beauty shine through this particular image of Her. It is now the main theme of our blog and included in all our Esty sales.
PLEASE do not be afraid to love Mary with everything that you have; this is HER time. Our Lord will never be known and loved as He ought if you slight His Mother. But also this: She is not a means to an end. She is always and forever your Queen, Mother and Best Friend. At some point, in the future, I will post more in depth how the “practice of the presence of Mary” transformed everything about me, and has the ability to do such wonders in every human heart that chooses to give all to Mary. She is not preached enough, and if She is, it is not done in the proper light. Until we see the whole world bend to True Devotion to Mary, we will only see more chaos. I beg of you to fight for Her and never neglect Her, as She has already suffered so much….