“In the pierced Heart of the Crucified, God’s own Heart is opened up; here we see who God is and What He is like. Heaven is no longer locked up. God has stepped out of His hiddenness. That is why St. John sums up both the meaning of the Cross and the nature of the new worship of God in the mysterious promise made…’They will look on Him whom they have pierced’ John 19:37” ( Pope Benedict XVI).
As the month of May comes to a close, I look forward to June, as the month devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. One of my favorite prayers that we pray in our community is the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I remember when I was visiting our community for a week, the summer after my Freshman year at college, already as we prayed this Litany (of the Sacred Heart), my devotion to the Heart of Jesus was drawn deeper as I prayed each invocation to the Heart of Jesus. Jesus was revealing to me more secrets of His Heart and the great love with which He loves us. His Heart is so infinite and His love never-ending that every day we can dive deeper into this Heart which is like an ocean, an ocean of Mercy.
On June 12th, we will celebrate the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Heart of our Merciful Lord, who has loved us unconditionally. As I was praying for inspiration from the Holy Spirit for this blog entry, I was reminded of my past experience when I first prayed the Litany of the Sacred Heart and was being overwhelmed by the secrets of Christ’s Heart which HE began to reveal to me. This Heart has been opened and is revealed to us. Here we see and experience God in His unconditional Love, in the sacrificial gift of Himself to us. Through the piercing of Christ’s Heart, a burst of light illumines the darkness. What was once veiled is now revealed. The gates of Heaven are opened and His unconditional Love is more deeply visible.
Unconditional. To love unconditionally means to love without holding anything back, no conditions, no attachments. Unconditional Love asks for vulnerability. Jesus teaches us this great lesson of what it means to give everything without holding a single part of our heart back from selfless love. He gives us His Heart. His love pours out of His Heart like a waterfall, drenching and embracing His bride, the Church. This Heart has been poured out upon YOU! He asks, “Will you receive this Heart?” Is the vessel of your heart open or is it closed? Maybe our vessel is only partially covered and His love is trickling in. What keeps us from receiving His love? Are there fears? Tell Jesus. Tell Jesus everything! Do not be afraid!
In John’s Gospel, John repeats the words spoken to the prophet Zechariah, “They will look on upon Him whom they have pierced.” Looking upon this Heart is contemplating His Heart. To contemplate is to look, not just a passing glance, but to truly look upon His Heart with a gaze of one utterly conquered by love. We have to stop, truly stop from the busyness of our daily life to look long at the wound made by love.
Through His loving and gentle Heart, He calls to us, draws us out of hiding, out of our darkness to clothe us in the rays and beams of Light. A song I have heard multiple times speaks about coming out of our hiddenness. We may have places in our hearts where we might be afraid to allow Jesus to come close. Here are some of the lyrics:
Come out of hiding, you’re safe here with me
There’s no need to cover what I already see.
Jesus already knows our weaknesses and fears, but He doesn’t want us to experience them alone. He wants to be so close to those weaknesses so He may show us how He transforms them, transforms us into something even more beautiful. When we allow ourselves to give everything to Him, He is glorified. He patiently waits for us gently speaking, “do not be afraid, you are safe with me. There is no need to keep me at a distance.” He alone gives us His peace. The refrain of the song reveals a part of Christ’s Heart:
Cause I loved you before you knew it was love
And I saw it all, still I chose the Cross
And you were the one that I was thinking of
When I rose from the grave.
He has loved us and continues to love us unconditionally even in our weaknesses and imperfections. Trust in this Love! Rest in His Heart. Look, gaze upon Him who has been wounded for you, wounded with Love. May you experience this unconditional love as you simply gaze in silence upon His Heart.
- Sister M. Isabella, FSGM