"Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart." —1 Kings 3:9
Solomon asked for and received "a heart so wise and understanding that there (had) never been anyone like" him (1 Kgs 3:12). However, "when Solomon was old his wives had turned his heart to strange gods, and his heart was not entirely with the Lord, his God, as the heart of his father David had been" (1 Kgs 11:4). Solomon, the owner of what was the best heart in the world, suffered heart failure because of his sinfulness, especially idolatry.
On this first Saturday of the month, we think of Mary's immaculate heart. Her heart was even better than Solomon's, but she did not suffer heart failure. Rather, her heart was pierced many times, especially on Calvary, "so that the thoughts of many hearts may be laid bare" (Lk 2:35). Through Mary's faithful, suffering, immaculate heart, we can receive help in accepting her Son's graces to resist temptations and thereby avoid heart failure. If our hearts have already failed, Mary is praying from her heart for our repentance.
Prevent or recover from a heart attack. Accept Mary as your mother (Jn 19:25ff) and intercessor (see Jn 2:5). "Guard your heart" (Prv 4:23).
Prayer: Sacred Heart of Jesus, make my heart like Yours (see Mt 11:29).
Promise: Jesus "pitied them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them at great length." —Mk 6:34
Praise: St. Agatha willingly suffered torture and death to protect her virginity.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, July 28, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 3, 1999