I have been doing a lot of thinking on, praying with, and studying of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This image of Mary is near and dear to my own heart as it is the namesake of my own religious congregation. But recently it has been an image — and a certain kind of devotion — that has drawn me in, almost as if asking me, inviting me, to go deeper.

I didn’t really grow up with Catholic devotions though the sacredness and mystery of Catholic devotions surrounded me like incense on a high holy day. As a kid, I wondered how people could be so into their devotion, what attracted them so much. No devotion ever gave me that kind of feel so I figured I was either doing something wrong or I just wasn’t religious enough.

Things have changed since I was a child. I look at and experience Catholic devotions in a very different way, though the feeling of sacredness and mystery are still there. As Mary and the image of her immaculate heart have stayed and grown with me, I’m in a different place to consider what devotion means to me and what this image in particular means to me as well as within the Church’s tradition and the lived faith of others.

Awake My SoulCoincidentally (in fact I remembered this just as I was writing this post) I recently discovered a book we published at Loyola Press in our company library: Awake My Soul: Contemporary Catholics on Traditional Devotions It’s got me wondering what Catholic devotions mean to other people.

How are you with devotions? What are especially meaningful to you and how does it engage you, call to you deep within your spirit?