Indulging in a habitual negativity, Fr. Edward Looney was asked how that sat with his devotion to Mary.
Based heavily on scripture, Church teaching, and Looney’s personal experience, A Heart Like Mary’s gently encourages us to imitate Mary’s love for others and devotion to God. Each day’s meditation offers simple, reflective insight into a unique characteristic of Mary’s heart — 21 attributes and 10 separate desires of her heart that, when adopted, can improve every aspect of our lives. Fr. Looney gives us a fast take on his new offering.
What inspired the book?
I have always had a love for Mary. My spiritual director in the seminary was a Mariologist (a person who studies Mary) and shared that same love. One day when I was in his office with a few others, he called me out. I was being my usual self, negative and critical, and he said to me: “You love Mary so much, but Edward, where is your Marian heart?” I took those words to prayer and asked Mary what it meant to have a heart like hers. Every day I began to pray that I might live with a Marian heart, and I identified several characteristics. One day, as I prayed like I did every morning, to live with a Marian heart, the outline for A Heart Like Mary’s came to me and I started writing down all the different attributes.
Did writing this book teach you anything?
One thing I learned from writing the book is that I still need the book! I noticed recently that I had slipped back into negative talk and pessimistic thinking, and I realized I needed to re-visit what it means to live with a Marian heart. Intentionally focusing on living with a Marian heart made all the difference for me, and I noticed an attitudinal shift.
If there is one person you want to reach with this book, who would that be?
I hope it’s okay if I answer with two different people!
First, I’d like to reach a person who wants to be introduced to Mary. I believe the book serves as an excellent introduction to Mary’s role in scripture and relating her experiences of life to ours.
Secondly, I hope that the book reaches a person who might be in the same place where I was—needing to look deep within my own life and heart and ask, “What needs to change?” Striving to live daily with a Marian heart has made me a better person.
What is the ideal beverage to have in hand while reading your book?
I envision people using this book as a daily devotional, so I would say a cup of coffee, or cappuccino, or tea would be the best drink. Each meditation has a daily step toward living with a Marian heart. Reading the book in the morning challenges a person to take up the practice of Mary’s heart from their waking hour each day.
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