In this video, Dr. Julie Burkey, Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Theology at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, discusses the apparition of Our Lady of the Golden Heart and reflects on how we can embrace the Blessed Mother’s example during Lent.
Our story begins on November 29, 1932, when five children are on their way to school in the village of Beauraing, Belgium.
They had a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary walking above them on what seemed to be a cloud. This visitation of the Blessed Mother would continue over the next five weeks with the children reporting some 32 more visits from the Blessed Mother, the final one occurring on January 3, 1933.
Now it was during her appearance on December 29 that she opened her arms to display a golden heart. Thus, we have another title among many for Mary: Our Lady of the Golden Heart.
The messages that Mary spoke to the children during these many apparitions were brief and simple, but all highlighting the same profound spiritual directions that Mary had given in previous apparitions. The words she spoke to the children echo the familiar themes of living a virtuous life and the need for prayer. She told the children to always be good and urge that people pray always. Then, further addressing the children, she said: “Do you love my son? Do you love me? Then sacrifice yourself for me.”
Jesus and Mary may be asking that same question of us: do you love me? A good question to ponder during this season of Lent.
Lent is a gift. Our church in her infinite wisdom has given us this time as a training ground for sacrifice.
The disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving prepare us for living a Christian life and the mission of bringing others to Christ in his church, this Lent.
Meditate on Mary’s questions:
– do you love me?
– do you love my son?
And know that love calls us to obedient action. Let us use this Lenten time well.