In the Old Testament, we read how Samuel and others were dedicated to God at an early age by their parents. They were presented at the temple to live there with the priests and be educated and brought up consecrating their lives to God. According to tradition, there were lodgings in the temple where women, also, were housed while they devoted themselves to the divine service in the temple. It is our ancient Catholic tradition that our Blessed Mother, Mary, while still an infant, was also offered to God by her parents and presented at the temple. This is what we celebrate as “The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” The Greeks refer to this festival as the entrance of the Blessed Virgin Mary into the temple.
Our Lady herself, in her first moment of reason, consecrated herself to God, as all Christians are called to do. Every baptized Christian is bound at their moment of reason to dedicate their lives to God, however, unfortunately, so few do. We live in an age of self-love instead of love of God and willingness to live for Him. We owe Him everything, yet many never think of Him, much less thank Him or give Him credit or glory for our works. However, of ourselves, we can do nothing and the good works that we do are His and not our own.
The Blessed Mother spent her youth avoiding occasions of sin, keeping herself pure and holy. She carefully watched over her soul, always in prayer to the Father to help her. By making a vow of virginity to God, she led the way for other women to follow her example of purity. She remained in the Temple and thus was separated from the world until her marriage to St. Joseph.
From Johnnette Benkovic’s Graceful Living: Meditations to Help You Grow Closer to God Day by Day
Mary is the heart of the Church. This is why all works of charity spring from her. It is well known that the heart has two movements: systole and diastole. Thus Mary is always performing these two movements: absorbing grace from her Most Holy Son, and pouring it forth on sinners.
— Traditionally attributed to St. Anthony Mary Claret
As a child of Mary, how can I imitate her as “the heart of the Church”? In what ways can I live this out daily?