A lesson in Chinese on the Heart of Mary

Recently, I found out that in Chinese, the Sacred Heart (of Jesus) and the Immaculate Heart (of Mary) are written with the same phrase "sheng xin", which literally translates to "Holy Heart" or "Sacred Heart". Even though it could be confusing if the words "Jesus" and "Mary" are not added to clarify whose heart they are referring to, I thought it actually expresses the union between the Sacred Heart of Jesus and our Lady's Immaculate Heart in an even more beautiful and apt manner. Are not their two hearts but one, united completely by their love for God? “Our Lady is Jesus with the heart of a mother.” (Abelardo de Armas, co-founder of the Crusaders of Mary).

In the Annunciation and Incarnation of Jesus, His heart is formed in the womb of our Lady, which is consecrated by the presence of the Holy Spirit as He overshadows Her. All of Jesus’ humanity, including His heart, is taken from Her humanity, unspoiled and untouched by original sin. Could His heart not also be described as immaculate?

In the wedding at Cana, our blessed Mother's humble request for wine moved the heart of Jesus. In response, He conformed His will to fulfill the will of His Father, as conveyed to Him through her discreet request, by working His first public miracle. She points out the way for us to conform our will to their united wills - "Do whatever He tells you" - and She Herself lived this union of wills unto the cross.

In the presentation of Jesus in the temple, Simeon prophesied that our blessed Mother's heart would be pierced by a sword. As She stored up these words in Her heart, She must have understood that they would be fulfilled in the moment of His Passion. Standing at the foot of the cross, looking upon the blood and water pouring from his pierced side, She must have remembered Simeon’s words and said too, in Her own heart, pierced with sorrow: “It is finished.” Yet Jesus did not only permit that moment, He willed it for Her, knowing that She would share perfectly in all of His suffering, for their hearts are one: “The Sword He plunged into His Heart, He, with her cooperation, plunged into her own. He could hardly have done this if she were not His Mother, and if they were not in a spiritual sense "two in one flesh," "two in one mind." The sorrows of His Passion were His, but His Mother considered them as her own, too, for this is the meaning of Compassion” (The World’s First Love, Ven. Fulton Sheen).

Even today, in the Eucharist, we contemplate at once the veiled face of Jesus as well as that of Mary, for He is bone of her bone and flesh of Her flesh. “I received My human face from My Mother. When you contemplate My Face, it is her beauty that you are contemplating” (In Sinu Jesu).

With all of this in mind, it is no surprise that the Church has designated the day after the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to be the feast of our blessed Mother’s Immaculate Heart. Their “holy hearts” are one. Let us ask St John the Evangelist this feast day to obtain for us the grace also to rest our heads upon His chest, to listen to the ineffable beat of His Sacred Heart, and to receive our Mother in the home of our heart as he did. In the Eucharist, God will give us the grace of a heart transplant, a heart that beats in unison with His Sacred Heart and with His Mother's Immaculate heart: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).