This week I was drawn to once again visit the Marian Valley in the Gold Coast Hinterland. On the 13th of every month, the fathers, brothers and sisters of the Pauline Monastery carry a statue of Mary from the Black Madonna Chapel in a procession through the valley, down to the Grotto of Our Lady of Fatima. I joined this procession, after the mass and rosary, to partake in the Benediction and Novena.
I am not entirely sure why I am being drawn back to these traditions lately. No doubt it is partly because the world is going through a time of crisis; but, more than that, there are mysteries of religion that I feel I did not adequately understand when I was younger, particularly concerning the images of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart. They are both depicted as being the source of a Flame. I now think we all have such a heart within us or, at least, we can have such a heart. I call it the Solar Heart.
The realization of our true heart goes hand in hand with attainment of our higher consciousness. It is this ascended consciousness – the awareness of the “I Am” within us - that will survive after death, not the lower sense of self that is trapped inside the mortal brain.
Mary herself stands as a symbol of peace, and the Marian Valley is indeed very peaceful.
I will, no doubt, visit again when I am called to do so.