+ J.M.J.A.T. +

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Behold, my heart...

"O Jesus … remember that you did promise that when you would be elevated on the cross, you would draw all hearts to you. Behold, my heart, softened into tenderness by your death, will no longer resist your calls. Draw all its affections to your love. You have died for me, and I wish to live only for you… .I thank you for the light which you give me, in making me see in these wounds and lacerated members, as through so many lattices, your great and tender affection for me… My Jesus gives himself to me, and I give myself entirely to him… .Come, O Holy Spirit, and inflame our hearts with the love of you."

-St. Alphonsus

He is risen! Alleluia! Last time I posted I was really having a difficult time with following my dear Savior's will. However, Easter has brought with it the peace of doing God's will and not my own. It is amazing how the Church seasons embrace all our human frailty and emotional need at different times. I really identified with the death of Jesus in these days because I was feeling a deep loss in my own life. I also felt a sense of insecurity and unknowing - I'm sure much like the feeling of the disciples when Jesus was crucified. However, at the Easter Vigil, Jesus gave me the grace and the desire to offer my heart to Him in the same way that He offered His spirit to the Father. As the candles were lit, I gave myself over to Him. In that moment I experienced the rebirth of Easter. Problems don't cease to exist, but a joy and peace encompasses them and holds them in the hands of the Father. New graces, new experiences, new adventures occur... there is no longer death, but new life! Who would ever think that this would be the way God would choose to work in our hearts?

It is all about our hearts though. It is all about vulnerability and openness to God's touch in the most personal places of our lives. He touches our desires, our needs, our sadness, our joy, and our pain in ways that inflame the love within us. Today I want to thank Jesus for joy and sadness, for life through death, for peace in difficult times, for allowing me to change and be myself, for being with me when I'm not with Him, and for waiting at my tomb to tell me to rise and set out again on another adventure with Him.

It seems to me more and more all the time that this life with Jesus, especially in my life as a religious, is one big adventure and just when I think that it can't get anymore loving, anymore exciting, anymore passionate, sacrificial, energizing, and life-giving He takes me to a whole other place, a whole other level. I can never understand His will and I can never know the love He has for me without looking upon the Cross and entering the tomb.

Jesus, let me love you with my whole heart. Let me trust in You. Let me grow into the person you desire me to be. Let me give of myself, holding nothing back. Let me follow wherever you lead. Jesus, be with me. Amen

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