Friday, 2 December 2011

Last first Friday of 2011

Heart Speaks to Heart, Sr Mary Stephen CRSS*
Going to mass every first Friday of the month is a traditional way to express devotion to the Sacred Heart.   And today was a very special day for me as it is the last one of a year which has been devoted to Heart of Jesus. Over the past year, using the icon as a focus, I have just allowed things to unfold as they will, rather than impose my own agenda.   This is not really me, but letting go in this way has been  rewarding in so many ways.   Because of a funeral, the readings at mass today were different to those as set out in the Roman Missal. But the reading today from St. Paul could simply not have been more appropriate for me.

Out of his infinite glory, may he give you the power through his Spirit for your hidden self to grow strong, so that Christ may live in your hearts through faith, and then planted in love, you will with all the saints have strength to gasp the breadth  and the length, and the height and the depth; until, knowing the love of Christ, which is beyond all knowledge, you are filled with the utter fullness of God.  Glory be to him whose power working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; glory be to him from generation to generation in the Church and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen. 
 Ephesians, 3: 16-21

As I listened to St. Paul, the words of St Teresa and St John of the Cross, which I have been exploring recently, and Teilhard's approach to the Sacred Heart  came together like two spotlights overlapping one another in the darkness.  This journey has turned out to be very much about strengthening  my 'hidden self' deep inside my 'inner castle'. It has been about listening to the call of the Sacred Heart so that Christ may live in my heart.   Reading the  icon has lead me to realize that - as the 'delight of all the saints' - the Sacred Heart needs to be discovered with the help of all the saints who have taken delight in the heart of Jesus.  At the same time, I discovered that with Teilhard as my guide to a cosmic and universal Christ, I did not go off into some new age direction, so much as it has enabled me to  re-discover the age old teachings and traditions of the Church. ( So thank you Ian.)   I am now ever more convinced that this is what  Teilhard wanted above all: a rediscovery of the meaning of the Sacred Heart  and an enriching and deepening our understanding of the mystery of God's love and mercy.  The Sacred Heart is calling us to participate in and become one with  the divine centre which is both the centre of our very souls (burning and glowing in our 'hidden selves')  but also the glowing and radiating centre of the entire cosmos: Christ Omega  who will complete us as individuals and bring all creation into 'the utter fulness of God'.

* I have been looking at this lovely  banner by Sr. Mary for quite a while, but I really only 'got it' today!

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