We all dream of finding great love and a life of happiness with the beloved. It took me a long time to realize that it is right in front of me, in the Blessed Sacrament, in a greater way than could be found anywhere else. I spent my years in high school and university seeking this love in other places and each time leaving with an unsatisfied heart: nothing was enough. It was unfair of me to expect infinite love from other people, yet looking back, this is what I wanted.
Instead of finding it in other people, I had a conversion. Even so it took me a bit of time to open up to Jesus. For me, it was something gradual. Yet when at last His love began reaching my soul, it was something I never knew existed. How to describe the deep joy, the feeling of being set free, totally understood, loved, – not like in any earthly love, but infinitely infinitely more, because to no human love can we give our hearts so completely. There’s no way I could ever earn such a love, yet it was there, and it’s there for each of us. It’s there even if you’re coming to it with a lifetime of sin and failure.
And yet, God does not do all His work in our souls in one step. He could, as He could do anything, – but we open our hearts to Him bit by bit. Though in my imagination I felt like it’s not possible for God’s love to be even greater, I saw later that there is no limit to His love and our understanding of it is like a drop in an endless ocean.
I read about that idea of God’s love being infinite, and I didn’t get it, and I still don’t get it. I don’t see the depth of it, and so often, these ideas just seem like so many words – ideas we believe, but have not met. Of course, we don’t meet ideas, we meet Jesus Himself, – He is not content with only showing us about Himself; He wants us to KNOW Him.
Know like how the bride in the Song of Songs knows her Beloved, and seeks Him alone: “I found Him whom my soul loveth: I held Him, and I will not let Him go” (Douay-Rheims).
I never knew about God’s longing for us until I started to read about this in Catholic books. Not an impersonal “us” – but for YOU, for me. Personally, intimately. He longs to immerse us in His love, to unite us so closely with Himself that we become one with Him. He is always the Gentle Saviour, but this longing is something more vehement, like a fire, that consumes His Heart in the Blessed Sacrament, as He waits there for us – alone, day and night, on a cold ciborium. The Prisoner of Love. How much must He want instead to make His home in our hearts, – to enter into us in Holy Communion.
“The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head” (Luke 9:58).
O Jesus, let my heart, be that place.
There are words of Jesus that continue to amaze me whenever I read them. When I first read them, it’s like I discovered hidden places in my heart that I have not yet surrendered or given to Him. Past wounds that now bring me closer to His love, as He makes Himself the only answer to all my desires.
These words were spoken by Jesus to a nun, Sr Mary of the Holy Trinity:
“Give Me your heart – that heart which creatures do not know and which they slight; it is more than a universe to Me, because I love you”.
More than a universe! This little heart, that compared to the universe is like an atom or less. If we see His longing for us… this longing that lead Him to the Cross, caused Him to cry out “I thirst” as He was dying in anguish, and that now consumes Him as a prisoner in our Tabernacles – how could we not give ourselves unreservedly to Him? The God who made Heaven, the stars, planets, oceans and everything there is – He has all, all except the one thing He wishes that we could give – our little hearts. Poor as they are, His unspeakable love and desire for them is what drew Him from Heaven to be made Man, and be nailed to the Cross, and continue seeking us from eternity.
“For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29, Douay-Rheims)
(the quote is from the book ‘Words of Love’, compiled by Fr Bartholomew Gottemoller, TAN books, Charlotte, North Carolina, 2012).