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“As for Mary, She treasured all these things and pondered them in Her Heart”
(Luke 2:19)


One of the things a mother does is to remember; she keep a mental inventory of all the events of the life of her children, and many of these tales will be told to family and close friends, particularly as the years pass. My own mother did this when I was a child, telling me about things long since passed, events from her own life and events from mine in the time before I could remember for myself.

And so it is with Mary – perhaps more so, given the entirely unique situation in which She found Herself as Mother of God.

Because of this, it is not at all surprising that Mary treasured all the events from the early life of Her Son – and as time passed, She alone was the custodian of those very early memories, for St Joseph had died. No doubt there were many occasions when Mary would have sat quietly with Jesus and spoken of the things from those early days – the visit to Elizabeth, the journey to Bethlehem and His birth there in the manger, the Shepherds and their story of Angels in the night sky, what Simeon had prophesied to Her, and much more besides.

I suspect that much later, long after the Lord had ascended to Heaven, Mary recounted these events again – this time, with the friends of Jesus, His Apostles. Luke paid particular attention to what She told Him about the early life of the Lord, and eventually these accounts found their way into written form. The clue that Mary was the source of much of what Luke writes – apart from obvious logic – are the words at the top of this page. In a particular way, the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary are the school of Mary, the classroom in which we ponder – with Her – the events of the early life of the Lord, along with Her response to those events.

‘Keeping all these things and pondering them in Her Heart’ is the mark of Mary as the supreme contemplative. It arises from and contributes to Her singular holiness. Her Immaculate Heart is a garden of delight for the Lord God, a place where He alone walks, a garden enclosed for Him alone. And yet despite this, She opens to us Her Immaculate Heart and invites us to spend time in Her company that we, too, might ponder those wonderful events treasured in Her Heart. This is the nature of prayer with Mary; we enter into Her Immaculate Heart and there, we find the Lord awaiting us.

May the Immaculate Heart of Mary obtain for us the grace to desire, to seek and to find the gift of contemplative prayer, and may She teach us how to pray.

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