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BIS LIVES Prayer Pledge

In His Heart: The 2020 Prayer Pledge // Day 14

An Image of the Sacred Heart

Pompeo Batoni | “Sacro cuore di Jesù”, painting on the altar in the northern side chapel of Il Gesù in Rome, 1767

Reflect

The air in the chapel contains an allure, powerful yet gentle. And I am drawn into the intensity of God’s love for me. It is so present, so tangible. It is almost overwhelming.

But am I just being silly, like a girl being wooed by a handsome prince in some fairy tale?

Then, I remember a homily I once heard. Father talked about how the entire Bible is a love story about Jesus pursuing us. He never stops seeking me, never tires of inviting me into relationship. Yes, in a sense, Jesus woos me.

Reassured that I’m not being silly, I settle into the silence of the chapel. There, Jesus has my undivided attention. He captures my heart and floods me with affection.

And the familiar image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus comes to mind.

This image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus has been around for centuries. It hangs in homes, is enthroned in churches, and is printed on holy cards.

Sometimes, I take such images for granted. Until one day, I am caught off guard, and the once-familiar image captures my imagination, as if I’m seeing it for the first time.

First, I perceive Jesus’ eyes, fixed on me. They are filled with love, tenderness, and longing. They look deep into my soul and express nothing but compassion for me. I could get lost in them.

Then, I notice Jesus’ hand, open and inviting. It reveals one of the wounds He suffered for me, and with contrition for my sin, I kiss and venerate it. I place my hand in His, and I feel a closeness with Jesus that I want to hold onto forever.

Finally, I see His Sacred Heart. Jesus is holding it out as a gift for me to receive. And I am struck with realization. Before Jesus asks me to give, do, or sacrifice anything for Him, He gives me His Heart, generously and freely.

No wonder I feel giddy! Jesus loves me! He pursues me! Yes, He woos me!

How can I not respond by giving my entire life to Jesus’ most precious Sacred Heart?

Before Jesus asks me to give, do, or sacrifice anything for Him, He gives me His Heart, generously and freely. #BISblog #prayerpledge // Click To Tweet

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Let Us Pray

Lord, I see the way You look at me with tenderness and love! You invite me into a deep intimacy. You give me Your Heart, Your everything. And in return, Lord, here I am. Amen.

For Discussion

How does this image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus capture your own heart?

What about it draws you into a deeper understanding of His love for you?

In His Heart: The 2020 Prayer Pledge // Day 14 #BISblog #prayerpledge // Click To Tweet

Sarah Damm is a regular contributor to the BIS blog. She is a Catholic wife and mother of six children, living in Minnesota. She spends her days running errands, helping with homework, and keeping up with laundry and the family schedule. Sarah loves her faith, coffee, and good books. You can find out more about her here.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Bonnie Melielo
    January 15, 2020 at 12:23 am

    Soon after converting I was bemoaning to a (very young, recently ordained) priest about how hard it was to love everyone I meet. He said, You are trying to love with your heart, you need to let Jesus love with your heart. It was so profound for me and became my daily prayer. Jesus, love through my heart. About a year later I met up with him and told him about the impact that short bit of conversation had on me. He pulled out and gave me an awesome, and totally different than the typical, image of Jesus giving His sacred heart, to me. I adore it and pray with it daily, and I pray for this holy priest and his heart and vocation.

    • Reply
      Sarah Damm
      January 15, 2020 at 8:50 pm

      Wow, Bonnie! I love that bit of advice. So helpful!

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