Two weeks before I got married, I went on a pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi, Italy with my mother, my dear friend, and the priest who was going to marry my husband and me. During one of our visits inside a church in Rome, my mother pointed out a side chapel to me. It contained a strikingly beautiful image of Jesus. He was holding out His most Sacred Heart in His right Hand. If you stood in front of the image, it looked like He was looking right at you. His expression was profoundly serious. Yet even more so, it was filled with love.
The Vulnerability of the Heart of Christ
What struck me the most about the entire image was how Jesus held out His Sacred Heart in His Hand. His Heart looked so exposed and so vulnerable. I wanted to protect it, to love it, to tell Him to keep it safe. I knelt in front of the image of Jesus and thanked Him for offering His Heart to me.
As soon as I knelt and prayed, I realized that what I wanted Jesus to do–to keep His Heart safe instead of holding it out for the world–was not what we, as Catholics, are called to do.
Jesus was teaching me a lesson, and the timing of that lesson, just two weeks before I got married, was perfect. I am called to hold out my heart, just as Christ does, to my husband, Mike. I’m called to hold out my heart, exposed and vulnerable, to my son Peter. I am called to hold out my heart, in pain and in joy, to my neighbor in need. Jesus was teaching me to hold out my heart to others just like He does. I must take the risk of it being broken and hurt, yet also take the risk of it being deeply and profoundly loved.
The Sacred Heart Heals Our Hearts
A woman’s heart is a beautiful masterpiece. Sisters, God formed and fashioned our hearts to know, love, and serve Him. Jesus wants our hearts to flourish. He wants our hearts to be pure and free! He wants to tend to the gardens of our hearts. Let Him be the gardener of your heart.
Christ, the gardener of our hearts, always brings healing. He brings strength. Sometimes, holding out our heart to others causes our heart pain. Our hearts may be pierced, mocked, manipulated, broken, scourged, trampled, and forgotten. When we experience this, we must ask Jesus to heal our hearts.
The God-Man Heals Our Wounds from Men
As I continued to kneel and pray in front of the image of Christ and His Sacred Heart, my mind was filled with the times I was hurt by men. In the past I held out my heart to men. In return, I felt pain and was left broken-hearted. So I asked Christ to heal my heart and to strengthen it. I asked Him to forgive me for hurting other hearts. I begged Him to prepare my heart for my husband. And I felt Christ’s love and forgiveness. He became the Divine Physician of my heart. He not only mended it, but He strengthened it, too. I left the image joyful, knowing that Christ loves me completely.
If your beautiful heart that you hold out so lovingly and vulnerably, has been hurt by a man, or is being hurt, run to the Sacred Heart. Fall in love with the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Let His Heart romance your heart. His Heart is safe. He will not hurt you. He wants to love you.
When we fall deeply in love with Jesus’ Sacred Heart, our own heart is strengthened to such a degree that nothing can separate us from His love:
…neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:38-39
Coming to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for Healing
Here are three simple prayers to pray to the Sacred Heart. These prayers are powerful in asking Jesus’ Sacred Heart to heal our own hearts.
- Jesus, I trust in You.
- O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, within Your Heart I place my every care. In every need let me come to You with trust saying, Heart of Jesus, help me. (source)
- Holy Heart of Jesus, Sweet Sanctuary of rest, bring peace to my soul and settle my spirit. I vow to place all of my worries and fears into the wound of your Sacred Heart, there to be tended to in accordance with your perfect will, which desires only the best and highest good. Your love alone is enough, and I surrender to it; clinging to the hope of a swift resolution and trusting with confidence in all of your promises. (source)
Claire Couche is a wife and mother. She graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville where she studied history and theology. She later received her B.S.N. and worked as an oncology nurse before becoming a stay-at-home mother. Claire enjoys cooking, traveling, creating, living life in abundance, and petite French pastries. You can find more writings from Claire and her husband, Michael, here.