Friday, May 30, 2008

Sacred Heart of JESUS

I’m certain you’ve heard someone say, “She has a heart as big as the world.” We use that description when the depth and breadth of someone’s loving defies the boundaries of our own capacity to do good. Usually, this person seems to have a corner on compassion – a greater share of empathy and basic human kindness. The great solemnity we celebrate today - the Sacred Heart of JESUS - is a fine day to be especially grateful for those wonderful lovers in our lives. Without them we could not begin to understand the love JESUS has for each of one of us and for all of us.

The image adored by Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (and, Saint Gertude of Helfta before her,) is startling. It is not a Hallmark heart, or a child’s paper Valentine. It is the human heart exposed, eviscerated and obvious. It reminds me more of what I saw in Anatomy & Physiology class in high school. (I was green the better part of Junior year!)

Still, there is something that comforts me in this image. JESUS holds out his human heart – a heart that beat faithfully and broke from time to time. His very human heart understands the depths of sorrow and the euphoria of love. He felt his heart pound with excitement and fear – even to its very last beat. I know that the devotion to the Sacred Heart is three-fold: human, spiritual and divine. But it’s the human part – his capacity for love and loss, and the need he had for his very next breath – that captivates me.

Today, as we attempt to grasp the love it takes a lifetime to accept, I will pray for three very special women in my life whose hearts are vulnerable – physically, literally vulnerable. I will ask this gentle JESUS to bless their days with peace and their nights with good rest. I will ask him to give them deep joy in the present moment and take away any fears about tomorrow. For this same JESUS is Lord and master of all creation. And we will not breath our last until our hearts have been completely filled with his risen love. Is there someone you want to pray for today?

Blessings and love to you all…

- Sister Vicki

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

From Today's Gospel...

Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you,there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age:houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands,with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.

On Saturday a serious candidate for entrance to our community drove for five hours to take her three cats to some loving friends. She said goodbye to them – even as she hopes to visit them there someday. It was a hard goodbye and even harder to return home and experience their absence. She did this because one cannot enter a monastery with pets – even when they are deeply loved, as these three have been. We must be free…ready to embrace the life that is to come in community. This is one of the very hardest realities of coming to the monastic life today. I ask your prayers for our candidate – who we may one day call, ‘sister’ – and for all the women in discernment with us. May they each have the grace and courage to leave behind what they must to embrace the Benedictine way. May they know the joy of community and the certainty that they have chosen the right path – narrow though it may be. I am in awe of the women who are coming to join us. They are truly eager to seek GOD and willing to do what is necessary to prepare the soil for a good harvest. God is blessing our house…and I am so very grateful!

Blessings and love,
- Sister Vicki