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.
This is my twentieth post related to the Sacred Heart in twenty-one days. As I mentioned in the first one, my motivation for this series was to break into bite-size pieces what promised to be a sprawling single post about how Christ has been drawing me toward His love and mercy via His Sacred Heart (with a secondary motive of breaking through writer’s block to begin writing daily again).
The result has been bigger and more sprawling than I thought, with a longer timeline and deeper connections than expected. In this final, formal post of the series, I’ll share three last connections from along The Way.
- The Little Flower: At men’s group the Wednesday before last, we watched the episode of Fr. Gaitley’s Divine Mercy study, “The Second Greatest Story Ever Told,” on St. Faustina Kowalska. It that video, I learned that St. Faustina dreamt of a conversation with another saint, who encouraged her to trust in Jesus and prophesied that Faustina would be a saint herself one day. That saint was St. Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower, whose biography, The Story of a Soul, I read in spring of 2015, my first year working at St. Michael Catholic Church. It’s not a typical read for me—definitely the writings of an impassioned young woman—but I was drawn into the simplicity and beauty of her self-identified vocation: Love. In retrospect, the appeal of her “Little Way” is the appeal of Salesian spirituality: living out the love of Jesus in the little things in our day-to-day circumstances. Read more about the connection between Sts. Therese and Faustina.
- The Immaculate Heart: I completed my reconsecration to Mary this past Wednesday, on the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Our family first consecrated ourselves to Mary about a year ago, but I did not remember how much of the reflections shared from Sts. Louis de Montefort, Maximilian Kolbe, Mother Teresa, and John Paul II touched on the Sacred Heart, and on Mary’s Immaculate Heart as the model for ours, the human heart most conformed to His. Mary leads us to Christ; her heart shapes ours to His.
- He’s Saving Me. Several times in the past several months I have come to the powerful and encouraging realization that, as much as God is putting me in a position to pray for and share my faith with others, He is also saving me. I began reflecting on this in earnest while reading The Soul of the Apostolate last August, but it became clear again while reflecting on Father’s advice to me this spring, and came to a head during my time alone at the lake in late May. For the past few years in particular, while working for the Church, I’ve shared countless lessons and insights about God’s love, His thirst for souls, His mercy for sinners. Over nearly a decade of talking with engaged couples, I’ve shared many times that even in the best marriage, we will not be completely satisfied. But only in the past several weeks have I taken the time to prayerfully and thoroughly apply these truths to my own soul and situation. My soul is as dear to Him as anyone’s—and so is yours.
God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
The Lord is not waiting for a better you or me to save. The sacrifice is offered; the blood, shed, “while we were still sinners.” Will we waste it?