When I was in high school, a Totus Tuus team would come to my parish each summer. One year, on the night we were having Adoration, I thought about how the team would do the same program each week. Each week they would have Adoration and I found myself thinking that it must not be that novel of an experience anymore. If they did it week after week, they must get used to it and not be as excited as I was, since I rarely had the opportunity to go to Adoration.
Fast forward a few years and I was a member on a Totus Tuus team. I realized how wrong my earlier assumption had been. It was because I was closer to Christ that the night for Adoration seemed so much dearer to me than it had before. No, it wasn’t a particularly new experience, but I yearned for that hour each week when I could just sit before Our Lord.
This memory came to mind because today in my sophomore class I showed a couple clips from “The Passion of the Christ.” As Jesus carries the cross, there is a part where Mary is racing to reach Him as she recalls a similar incident that took place when He was a child. My heart was aching with this dear mother and I found myself near tears. Part of me thinks I shouldn’t have this response anymore since I’ve seen the movie several times. Yet I think it is almost a requirement that as we draw nearer to the Lord, we develop more of His Heart. He has a tender heart. Sin makes us harden our hearts, but Jesus gives us new hearts, hearts of flesh.
“A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26)
Hearts of flesh feel experiences more intensely. I find myself wanting the heart Jesus has and yet being fearful of what that will entail. My heart is already very sensitive at times, how would it respond to being more aware of the impact of sin in the world? Could I handle a heart like His that would be vulnerable and open to all? Wouldn’t I get wounded?
We fear being wounded. Rightfully so, because it hurts. Yet if we want to follow Jesus, we must carry our cross and live as He did.
And Jesus was wounded.
His heart could truly love because it was truly open. In my mind, I seem to imagine that Jesus had this loving heart that was also fiercely guarded, like the armor of a knight. That is incorrect. Jesus is the Divine Healer who allows Himself to be wounded for our sake.
The closer we come to the heart of Jesus, the more we will experience in union with Him. Hearts of steel and stone cannot deeply love. Jesus desires us to have hearts of flesh. Hearts that can be wounded, but more importantly, hearts that can love and be loved.
|Heart of Jesus, sanctify my heart.|