The Creator of the World has a human Heart:

“For by His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man. He worked with human hands. He thought with a human mind, acted by human choice and loved with a human heart. Born of the Virgin Mary, He has truly been made one of us, like us in all things except sin. (Gaudium et Spes #22).

Introduction of Private Devotion to the Sacred Heart: St. Margaret Mary Alacoque:

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque received several private revelations of the Sacred Heart, the first on 27 December 1673 and the final one 18 months later. The visions revealed to her the form of the devotion, the chief features being reception of Holy Communion on the first Friday of each month, Eucharistic adoration during a “Holy hour” on Thursdays, and the celebration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart.[8] She stated that in her vision she was instructed to spend an hour every Thursday night to meditate on Jesus’ Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. The Holy Hour practice later became widespread among Catholics.[9][10]

On 27 December 1673, the feast of St. John, Margaret Mary claimed that Jesus had permitted her to rest her head upon his heart, and then disclosed to her the wonders of his love, telling her that he desired to make them known to all mankind and to diffuse the treasures of his goodness, and that he had chosen her for this work.


The devotion reaches St. Josemaria Escriva: “One day in 1929 (Escriva) had received a ather strange letter. It was strange because it was written by a Salesian nu, frm France, not known to im, who signed her name Sulanitis. She was engaged in spreading devotion to the Merciful Love as Margaret Mary Alacoque had propagated devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was also strange, because this nun could not even have known about the existence of Opus Dei, which at that time was only ‘what God wants,’ ‘what God is asking me,’ ‘God’s affair.’ The Work, which Father Escriva had seen for the first time a few months earlier, had neither structure nor base, neither name nor address. Strangest of all, the letter said this: the final solution for the Work would come, exactly as God wished, but after much searching.”[1]


I take this from Richard Rohr:


“Ok, you be you and I’ll be God. And since I’m God, I’m watching you get up exhausted every morning, and I’m so touched that you want to spend this time with me. Really, I am! It just means the world to me. The thing is, I just can’t bear how much I love you. It’s too much! And so at a certain point I rush into the bodies of your children and wake them up because. . . .”

Jim paused. “Because I want to know what it feels like to be held by you.”

Yes, the interruption is the presence of God that I was so desperately trying to access in moments of stillness and silence. With or without the luxury of stillness and silence, God comes to us disguised as our very lives (as Paula D’Arcy has said). In my case, Jim helped me to discover how my path as an exhausted young parent was the monastery of my own transformation. If I learned to let my heart open enough, I just might begin to recognize each cry, each diaper change, every choo-choo play time request . . . all of it, as the startlingly stunning, diaphanous infusion of infinite love colliding into the small shape of my very finite and ordinary reality. There, at the intersection of everything, is God with us . . . wanting to be touched, noticed, nurtured . . . held by us. All we have to do is behold.

I.e. Pay strict attention to what is being asked of you in this moment. If you do it and obey,  you are having an experience of Christ, and if you give yourself to it, or to him or her and ask the question: tell me your story (as Fr. Michael Himes suggests), and if you listen and put yourself into the story of the other, you are on your way to becoming “another Christ.” Because in this case you are his eyes and ears and mind and imagination and memory …. and Heart. You become His Heart by asking this apparently unimportant  person ( there are no unimportant persons), “Tell me your story.” You see? You are giving yourself away, and by so doing so saving yourself – and the other [for they need to be affirmed by being list end to and love in the listenint].





[1] Pilar Urbano,  “The Man of Villa Tevere” Scepter (1994) 7.

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