By Carolyn Shields
Feast of the Sacred Heart: June 28th
Do you ever have weeks when you feel small? I don’t know why it still surprises me, but I’m always taken aback when these funks last longer than a day or two. It can feel like all of a sudden the progress and maturity and developments and growth we’ve been building up for years takes two steps back and suddenly, we’re about five years old before the Lord. Curled up. A bit scared. And almost, but not quite, sucking our thumb.
There’s something about these moments though, when we feel meek and little, that draws us closer to the Lord’s heart.
And it was precisely in my own moments such as these that I stumbled across a powerful prayer:
Jesus, can you remind me how much you love me?
Jesus frequently told St. Faustina of the amount of graces that He has if only we ask for them. He even says “I am saddened when souls ask for little, when they narrow their hearts.”
Jesus loves to be asked for these graces! And can’t you imagine our God up there when he hears this prayer? He hears these words - “Jesus, remind me of your love!” - and His heart leaps with JOY at the invitation to love you. He’ll jump to action to remind you, I’m sure. And it’ll probably look different. It might be softening blows while you’re still reeling from the last one, not knowing another was en route…or it might be the peace to let all of your tears out, or the time to break in undisturbed silence. Or it might be Him sending you a little needed pick-me up, or opening your eyes to the gifts around you.
Jesus would never hear this prayer and neglect it because His love for you is so vast that He went and died for you…and He would do it again and again and will always help you remember this if you ask. I would almost say that Jesus asked this same thing of the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. He knew He was loved, but He needed help remembering it. And God sent the angel to comfort Him when Jesus felt so human too.
Our God’s sacred heart beats with love, He speaks through love, and He is Love.
As we approach the Feast of the Sacred Heart, I encourage you to contemplate that heart and all the Love within. What do you think it sounds like? Literally. Like if you actually put your ear to His chest, what tempo would it pick up? Would it sound so incredibly…human? Or would it have a little rhythm all to its own? And what must it have been like for Mary holding Him after the crucifixion? Do you think she pressed her face to his sunken chest, listening for a heart beat that was stone cold quiet?
And what about after the resurrection?
Sometimes in our smallness and littleness, we need to remember how that Sacred Heart beats for you.
I just listened to a reflection by Carla Grismer on her meditation on the COVER of Visio Divina—not even necessarily a painting inside. She wondered why we put what we did on the front of our book, and her reflection on the Sacred Heart made us sigh…this is why we love doing what we do. Go give it a listen!