From early times Mary has been seen as the first disciple and the model for all disciples of Jesus. Mary is also the model for the Church as a whole. One ancient writer said that what we say of Mary we can say of the Church and vice versa. Both, in their own ways, bring Christ into the world. Both magnify the Lord. Both are present during the Way of the Cross and at the first Easter. The Church and Mary pray together in the Upper Room.
Like Mary and Joseph who were perplexed at the finding in the temple, the Church is often perplexed. Mary prays for those who call upon her prayers; the Church prays always for the living and the dead. Mary was especially close to the heart of Jesus. She is the perfect disciple of his heart and extends his compassion in her own outreach to the world.
Lord, your human heart was formed in your home in Nazareth. Your mother educated you as any mother will. You, in turn, have inspired the heart of your mother with the compassion which filled your own. Through her prayers I ask you to form my heart.