It’s a First Friday!!!
WOOO!!!!!!! (Can you tell I’m a little excited?)
First Friday means I, along with Ryan at Back of the World, and a host of others, are writing posts in honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus!
Then, we head over to www.OMostSacredHeart.com and add our link to the linky-thingy-ma-bob!
(The link will stay open a while so we would love for you to add a post! I know I’ll be reading them all!)
My grandmother is Irish and she is an incredible woman. (Actually, what am I saying? I’m just repeating myself there. She’s Irish. Of course she’s incredible.)
But really, she is.
Born in Cork, she fell in love with an ambitious Irishman who had the temerity to leave for the opposite side of the world, that great unwashed contintent, that backwater of civilisation: Australia. (It was the 1950s, people, and say what you want about Australians, we’ve never been terribly classy.)
About six months later, he wrote back to her and said, “jump on the next boat and come marry me.” So she did. She’s always been brave and determined like that. Unstoppable might be a better word.
Fortunately for me, she is also a woman of deep faith. She was the one who took me to St Patrick’s Church whenever we went to the city, and let me light the candles and guess who all the saints along the walls were. She is the one who taught me to pray to St Anthony whenever we went into a car park. She is the one who offered a decade of the Rosary for me every night.
And she was the one who gave me a little book called the Treasury of the Sacred Heart.
It was through that little book that I met, and fell in love with, the Sacred Heart. I was still an Evangelical Christian at the time but my heart just got these prayers and aspirations to the Heart of Jesus. I recognise the same fervency, the same passion, the same longing to be completely Christ’s – to give Him my heart and to be found, safe and beloved, in His.
I kept it by my bed, and without even realising it, I found myself thinking about the Sacred Heart. And then I found myself praying to the Sacred Heart. And then loving the Sacred Heart.
Because seriously, God has a Heart. Just let that sink in. Not a metaphorical heart or a symbolical heart or some weird hologram heart but a true flesh-and-blood Heart. A Heart just like yours and mine, except not your yours and mine because His Heart is divine and His Heart “is compassion itself.” It was, and is, my comfort and my stronghold, my refuge and my happy place. When I hear the words, “Sacred Heart”, I hear the infallible proof of God’s love:
In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)
My grandmother doesn’t speak much about her faith. When she gave me the book, I was both a Protestant and, far more dangerously, a self-absorbed teenager. So of course, I assumed that she didn’t have much of a faith. Learning to love the Sacred Heart has taught me how very, very, very wrong I was.
Now, we get together and giggle about how much we love the Sacred Heart. She tells me that she couldn’t get through the day without the Heart of Jesus.
I tell her, “me too.”
And that whenever she’s feeling anxious she prays to the Sacred Heart, “O Most Sacred of Jesus, I place all my trust in Thee.”
I tell her, “me too.”
Then she tells me how sad she is that people don’t seem to love the Sacred Heart anymore, how every home had a portrait of the Sacred Heart when she was growing up, and how she hopes people will love the Sacred Heart more because He is so very, very good.
And I tell her, I hope so too.