Blogger’s Note: This is the latest in a collection of daily posts outlining my journey to the Sacred Heart over the past year or more. See an overview and links to past posts here.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, this spring I brought the various tugs on my heart—Divine Mercy, Salesian spirituality, and Sacred Heart—to my spiritual director to consider whether and which of them to pursue. He asked me what I knew about the Sacred Heart revelations to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque—what was the meaning, or what was Jesus trying to share.
At that point, I knew only what I had picked up in the second of the Divine Mercy video series my men’s group is watching: The Church was battling the Jansenist heresy, which said that salvation was only for the elite few, that you had to earn God’s love, and that most people weren’t good enough to receive the Eucharist or salvation—but the message of Jesus’ Sacred Heart message was that God’s love is an endless, burning love for all of mankind regardless of sin or station. He loves us deeply and He deeply desires our love in return.
He told me that was right, then explained that the message of Divine Mercy was a deepening of the Sacred Heart message—that Jesus wants to save all of humanity, and that no one on earth gets to say who is worthy of God’s love and mercy: “It is above our pay-grade.”
No wonder both devotions were drawing me—each was drawing me deeper into the other.
He didn’t say much about St. Francis de Sales, instead addressing my own strong tendency toward vanity, insecurity and not measuring up. What follows is as close as I can remember to his advice for me.
“I want you to remember two things. First, remember that God is calling you now, in this moment. He wants you today. Not the Jim you were. Not the Jim you will be a year from now. He wants you as you are, to do the work he has for you now.”
“Second, I want you to remind yourself, ‘I am the one who rests his head on Jesus’ breast,’ like the beloved disciple, John (John 13:21-26). Remember, Jesus and His disciples are sitting at the table, and Jesus says one of them will betray Him. Peter wants to know, but doesn’t ask; he signals John, who is beside Jesus and leans against His chest, close to His heart. The one who rests his head on Jesus’ breast, the beloved disciple, is the one who knows what Jesus is about.”
Jesus is calling me now, as I am. Nice.
I am the one who rests his head on Jesus’ breast? Really?
I am a beloved disciple, and I know what the Lord is about. Now I get it.
I am the one who rests his head on Jesus’ breast.
Who wouldn’t work wonders if they believed those words? “I do believe, help my unbelief!” — Mark 9:24
Father had pointed me again in a heartwardly direction. As providence would have it, the next weekend I began to see more clearly what his advice meant…