Sunday, 12 June 2011

The feast of Pentecost: a Eureka moment!

It is not often I have ‘Eureka’ moments. But I had one yesterday: not that I jumped out my bath and ran round the streets of London naked, but it was a moment when I think I had discovered something new about myself. Let me explain.

A year ago, yesterday, June 11th ( on feast of the Sacred Heart) I felt that I had to devote myself to the Sacred Heart. I laughed to myself and smiled, because the Sacred Heart meant very little to me. I had grown up with it, and I was aware that it was important to Teilhard, but it was something that I was really not bothered about. As I said in an earlier blog, the only real adult memory I have of the Sacred Heart ( which made an impression) was seeing the great mosaic in Sacre Coeur in Paris as a student. That impressed me, but as for the rest, no. But last year I felt that – after several years of heartache and sadness - somehow I should get it, and with a smile and a laugh I said : ‘ OK, Lord, let’s go!’ And so I went off on my pilgrimage to find the Sacred Heart. I was determined that it would not be about reading books, but reflecting and exploring and above all, praying. Eventually I realized that the image thing had to be sorted, and hence this project – which has been immensely worthwhile.

So, yesterday was the anniversary of starting this journey. I did not want to sit and agonize over it, so I got on with the day and went to mass last night: the first mass of the feast of Pentecost. And during the mass I had my ‘Eureka’ moment. I think I finally found what I was looking for. One year later is a little too neat, but there we are! It was during the Sequence and I thought and felt these ideas and feelings.

We are inviting the Holy Spirit to come into our hearts. And my heart, I realized, is what God sees and wants. My heart is, I now believe, a kind of emergent property of all I am: it is the sum of all my parts and greater than all of them. And only God can see this process of me becoming me. Only God can see ‘all of me’: the way in which my soul and mind and body interact and how all the different parts of my life interact and overlap and shape and form one another. If God is Alpha and Omega, my heart is the Sigma (Σ) : the summation of all the things that have shaped and formed my inner being. My heart is that complex centre of my being which emerges as the essence of me. I cannot know my Sigma, just as I cannot apprehend the Alpha and Omega that is God. Indeed, only God can see this summation or essence of me. And what God sees, he loves. God loves me, all of me: he loves my heart. And he wants to live in my heart. Because I cannot be complete without God’s love holding and pulling all me together. That is what God sees when he sees each one of us: a beautifully unique creation which evolves over the course of a life, however short or long. But a creation whose heart - his or her Σ - is incomplete without the gravitational presence of divine love. In Teilhard’s terms: my heart is being pulled and attracted by Christ Omega. God, who is love, loves us for who we are and is infinitely merciful and forgiving of our failures and inadequacies. God loves and wants our love. In the life and body of Jesus of Nazareth he has shown us HIS essence in a way that we as human beings can understand. Jesus is the way, the truth and the light sent to guide us to God’s love.

And so to the Sacred Heart. Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit desires to live in our hearts, but all too often we do not get or understand this or we just refuse the invitation. And this hurts the God who loves us. Perhaps we are rather scared or frightened? Perhaps this is why I keep writing ‘Scared Heart of Jesus’ and have to keep correcting my blogs. I may be scared of the Sacred Heart! The message of the Sacred Heart, however, is that I should not be afraid to open my heart to God and to others. I just have to trust in that love and allow myself to be open to the attraction of Christ Omega: the Sacred Heart. Yes, the Sacred Heart is on the face of it a simple – if not crude - symbol, but it is a powerful expression – indeed the most powerful expression – of the relationship God wants with us. That is, a union: his heart in ours. God wants to complete us. But in order to have the courage and strength to overcome our fears of surrendering to this love we need the Holy Spirit. And hence, the lines of the Sequence – Veni, Sancte Spiritus - which seemed to penetrate into my heart at Mass:

Light immortal, light divine,
Visit thou these hearts of thine,
And our inmost being fill..

Bend the stubborn heart and will,
Melt the frozen, warm the chill.

And so we say:
‘Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in us the fire of your love’

This was made beautifully clear for me in the reading for the day in my Magnificat. ( A really excellent publication! ) It has a quote from Brother Simeon, a Cistercian Monk ( Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis ) And it struck through to my heart and made so much of my journey thus far so much clearer.

Tears are the humble, created water of my heart that corresponds to the powerful water of the Spirit’s life in me. Tears are perhaps the most rejuvenating and re-creating water of all, the evidence that I have allowed grace to melt the ice at the centre of my being. As Leon Bloy says strikingly, where there are tears, there is the Holy Spirit, because the Spirit of God is always, as at the beginning, ‘hovering over the waters’. (cited in Magnificat, June, 2011: Vol 1, No 9, p 174)

Perhaps all the tears of the past few years had finally melted my heart – the Σ and centre of my being. A year ago, on the feast of the Sacred Heart, the Holy Spirit could at last find a small space to fill and a flicker of an ember to enkindle. As a result I found the courage to say, ‘Let’s go’, and for the first time I actually let go.

No comments:

Post a Comment