Unique and Precious

rose-and-pearl+JMJ

People show love to each other in different ways: words, little sacrifices, signs of affection.

We can show love for God in different ways too. We worship, adore, choose His Will over ours, do works of service.

Yet there always remains something very hidden between God and the soul, something invisible to everyone else. This hidden love for God in the heart is something very intimate and so very special.

It is also completely unique.

This is something I’ve been realizing more lately. No two souls are alike. No one can give Jesus what you can give Him. No one can love Him like you do. The way you look at Him, speak to Him, the way you adore Him – it is something fully known only to God, and something that sets you apart from everyone else who has ever lived or will live.

Never in the history of the world would your soul be repeated. There is only one of you, and Jesus longs to have YOU, specifically. No one can love Him in the same way.

Since God knows us so intimately, even better than we know ourselves, we can trust Him with all our emotions and struggles. He already knows our hearts and understands them perfectly, and He knows the hidden parts of us that we are not able to express.

As Jesus looks into our hearts, let us not turn away in fear, but meet His gaze – so gentle and kind, and give Him any brokenness that needs to be healed. He always looks into the heart with immeasurable tenderness.

No matter how ordinary or insignificant you may feel in the world, there is only one of you for Jesus. He knows your face and your voice from all the others, and He longs for your unique and unrepeatable heart.

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Resting with Jesus

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+JMJ

Sometimes life can get very busy. Besides work, duties, vocal prayers that I need to finish somewhere in between, – it’s so easy to forget to just BE with Jesus.

Yet I think this is something so healing, and something that He really wishes for.

I have been thinking recently, what are the desires of His Heart.. Fears and anxieties can be very paralysing yet God doesn’t intend for us to live that way. Though we have crosses to carry, I believe He wants us to carry them with trust and abandonment to His Will, not stopping at resignation.

Yet sometimes, a mere effort of the will isn’t enough to receive this grace. We need to spend time with Jesus and let Him work in our hearts and help us to open up to Him. Time spent in mental prayer or Adoration can be a chance to just rest with Jesus and let the transforming radiance of His light and love permeate our souls. Is this not the meaning of contemplation – to forget all else except Jesus, look upon Him and love Him. I’m sure if we could see Him with our eyes, we would not ever want to look away!

What does Jesus want?

Often I want to give something beautiful to God. But in certain moments I feel I have nothing really to give. We can give Him that nothing… And one thing I’m beginning to realise is that in that moment, Jesus delights in GIVING to us.

Its a great mercy from God when He receives our little gifts. What must be the Mercy of His Heart when He simply gives to a soul who has nothing? In those times we feel we have only sins, failures and anxieties, but we no longer pretend.

And what’s even more amazing is that Jesus doesn’t only generously give to us, but inexpressibly DELIGHTS in that!

In those moments when He just wants us to forget all things and love Him (is His desire for every moment to be like that?) am I still clinging to my anxieties, attempts at vocal prayers, or trying to prove my worth to Him? Yes there is a time to give to Jesus, to prove our love. Yet even in this, we need Him, we need grace.

Maybe Jesus just wishes I would let go and not escape His embrace any longer. He wants a time of nothing but love between Him and my heart – a time that would allow Him to act freely.

As I consider that this is a time of great consolation and delight to Jesus, I wonder how much have I understood His Heart? How can it be that God would have such joy not just when we give to Him, but when He gives of Himself to our poor little souls? Do I ever delight with Him about my nothingness, or complain about it?

It astounds me to think that Jesus isn’t only the “beggar of love” as some have called Him. His humility is so deep that He begs TO love. It is rest to us, and to Him. And He knows that in our pride, distrust, or fear – we may still say no to this greatest and most free gift.

He desires your heart

+JMJ

There is a picture of Jesus I have that I really love. As I was looking at it one day, I wondered – what is it in His expression that helps me to pray? As I looked more closely, I saw that there was great longing in His eyes. What does Jesus long for? I believe it is to love us and to be loved in return. As Jesus’ Heart is more loving and thus more sensitive than ours, He suffers greatly when His love is met with rejection or indifference – especially in the Blessed Sacrament; the Sacrament of His love, where He is often left alone.

It is when we begin seeing more of Jesus’ love for us that we begin to really love Him. His thirst to have all of our hearts rather than just a part, satisfies our desire to love as well. Each soul is called to an intimacy with Jesus that is interior, strong, and consuming. How beautiful life becomes when we fall in love with Our Lord. I believe He longs for this too, but how?

How do we turn our faith into such a close relationship? G.K. Chesterton once said something that may sound surprising: “Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair”. If this is what Our Lord wants, how do we get there? I struggled with this question myself. I worried if I was being too bold with Jesus. I wondered – does He even want me to be that close? I am not a saint, far from it.

At first, our faith is something that is more theoretical. I think as we begin to pray and discover God more, we begin to know God by loving Him. Knowledge of Him becomes something deeper and it inflames the soul with love.

When we fear a close relationship with Jesus, perhaps sometimes it’s a fear of presumption, but I think it can often be a lack of trust. At the same time, the soul intensely wants to be loved by Jesus.

While I was wondering if Jesus would love me as much as I longed for, He loved me beyond all understanding. I forgot that Jesus wants to be one with each soul. He is jealous for our hearts and doesn’t want just partial intimacy with Him. Have we understood His Heart?

Have we understood how even little things we do for Him touch Him deeply? How attentive He is to our every thought, every heartbeat! If we only understand His love more, that would transform our relationship into something so beautiful. Each soul is unrepeatable. There will literally never be another like you, and you can give Jesus what no one else can. Your place in His Heart cannot be substituted by another. Let this bring you to total trust and confidence. Jesus already wants to love us more than we want to be loved, – we just need to let Him.

There is a beautiful poem by the Spanish Saint, St. John of the Cross. It is called the Spiritual Canticle and it is a loving dialogue between Christ and the soul as between a Bridegroom and bride. St. John also wrote a book explaining the meaning of his highly mystical poem. Each verse has some sort of hidden and very spiritual meaning. There are some verses in the poem that I believe show the level of closeness Jesus wants with souls:

“In the inner wine cellar / I drank of my Beloved, / and, when I went abroad through all this valley, / I no longer knew anything, / and lost the herd that I was following”.

St John describes this as the goal of spiritual growth, in which the inner wine cellar is the “most intimate degree of love” where Jesus infuses His own love into our souls. The soul forgets everything else, because Jesus becomes everything to it. If this is indeed the goal of holiness, then Jesus must very much want us to discover more of His love.

How do we even begin? Though I’m still learning, there are some ideas that I found helpful. I’m sure there are more.

  •  LET Him love you. Surrender any fear or distrust! Jesus wants your heart.
  •  Spent time with Him. Imagine an engaged couple: do they not rejoice to speak together?
  •  LET Him act. This can be hard. If while speaking to Jesus you find yourself recollected in His presence, just love Him back, open your soul and let Him do what He wishes. Be generous in responding to Him. We can never out-do Him in generosity! What do we get in return for our little efforts? His own Heart, the Heart of God.

One day as I was standing at a bus stop waiting to get home after work, I was struck by how ordinary I am and how extraordinary it is to know Jesus. As women we’re pressured to compare ourselves with others. Maybe by the standards of the world around us we all fall short. I looked at myself as another face in the crowd. Nothing extraordinary. But I realized that I’m happy, because Jesus is in my life. He can fill everything we need with Himself, and He can be who we need Him to be.

For Jesus, we are not a crowd. His gaze centers on each person. He sees YOU – as no one else sees you -and desires your heart. This relationship is not a theory, neither is it a shallow romantic notion. It is love shown through the Cross, stronger than death; a divine love that will not be content with anything but total union with the beloved.

(This article is also posted on the Made4More blog)

Arise!

“After these things was a festival day of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem a pond, called Probatica. In these lay a great multitude of sick, of blind, of lame, of withered; waiting for the moving of the water. And an angel of the Lord descended at certain times into the pond; and the water was moved. And he that went down first into the pond after the motion of the water, was made whole, of whatsoever infirmity he lay under. And there was a certain man there, that had been eight and thirty years under his infirmity. When Jesus had seen him lying, and knew that he had been now a long time, he saith to him: Wilt thou be made whole? The infirm man answered him: Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pond. For whilst I am coming, another goeth down before me. Jesus saith to him: Arise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole: and he took up his bed, and walked. And it was the sabbath that day. The Jews therefore said to him that was healed: It is the sabbath; it is not lawful for thee to take up thy bed” (John 5: 1-10, Douay-Rheims).

This Bible passage has been on my heart after trying to deal with some feelings of loneliness. I wanted to explore the message that Jesus was trying to articulate. Once I did I realized that I, too, am ‘the man who cannot walk’. I am crippled by my own human weakness, events in the past that continue to affect me, and most of all a seeming impossibility of solving the problem myself. Sometimes we go through things that we don’t know how to explain to another person and experience a type of loneliness in suffering. Thankfully, Jesus does not wait for us to become strong enough by ourselves, and wants us to turn to Him as the source our healing and strength.

Just like this man, sometimes we come to a place where we feel completely alone. It doesn’t even have to be something exterior like an illness. It can be an internal trial that we feel we can’t share with others, and wonder if anyone would really understand. Or it may be a mental illness, like depression, anorexia or bipolar disorder that can be misunderstood by others – this can bring much loneliness and feelings of being judged and uncared for.

One Sunday, as I thought about this Gospel passage at Mass, I realized some things about this man that I didn’t notice before. He was in a place with a lot of other sick people. Yet for such a long time (38 years!) he couldn’t receive the healing that he longed for. He was so close! He was right beside the pond, and all he had to do was go into it, but he couldn’t even do that. Was he tempted to believe that God had forgotten him? That He didn’t care? After all, it was God’s Angel who brought the healing – why to everyone else and not to him? Maybe if there was someone to help him get into the pond, he could be healed. But he didn’t even have that. No one would take pity on him and do the simple act of carrying him into a pond that was so near. Every time he tried, he didn’t have enough time and someone else always got there first. How frustrating and discouraging that must be!

I don’t know for sure what it was like for this man, but he must have felt forgotten, alone and like no one cared enough to help him. It was like he was the smallest, most forgotten person in society. Even in his need, no one took pity. There are many people like this and how does Jesus respond to them? How does He see the poor old woman wearing a curtain for a skirt, that I saw one day in the city? Or the man on the street who feels ignored by everyone as he begs for a few cents? Or people who try really hard but feel cast aside by society, and someone always gets ahead of them? Maybe we are not in such situations but there are times we can feel very helpless too – when we can’t help ourselves, and we wonder if others understand. As a young girl, I struggled with feelings of loneliness and didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t know how. Sometimes I can still feel like that little girl despite being grown up now. Little sufferings compared to these others, but even the littleness of them could be discouraging – “no one would understand why this is a big deal to me, but it is, so I’ll stay silent”. How much in us always stays in our heart, unknown to all others? Maybe you can relate.

What is Jesus’ response to all this? Is it the response we fear from the rest of the world? “It is not a big deal. Deal with it”. Or just blind indifference? Does He see the depth of the heart that we can’t communicate to others, – the part of the heart that no one will ever know? It’s so comforting to read this passage because we see that He does care. He understood everything about this man. He saw him as a priceless person whom He created and gave an immortal soul to. He saw the hope He has for this man – a life of eternal glory and the beatific vision of God in Heaven. He saw his childhood and his whole life, all his experience of life that remained unknown to others. He saw his sins. He saw his anguish at being near this pond for thirty eight years, not being able to enter there on time and having no one to help him.

And He came to the man Himself. He didn’t just ask another person to help him and carry him to the pond. He didn’t see all the other people first. He came to the MOST helpless man there, almost like He sought him out, and came to that place just for him! Though this man was forgotten by everyone else, He was the one Jesus chose. Our Lord healed him simply by willing it – “Arise, take up thy bed, and walk”. If you feel like you are alone, dealing with a situation that you can’t easily talk about or express and if you feel like you don’t have a friend to help you or if you feel overcome with unworthiness and too sinful to approach God, remember that there is never such fear with Jesus. He looks deep into our hearts and understands everything in an instant. He hears our prayers when we don’t have words to express what we need. And even for the most miserable person in the whole world – Jesus would seek them out.

Comment from Made4More blog: “If you know someone struggling with depression or a crippling illness, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and offer love and support. The gift of your presence is enough, you don’t need to go out of your way to do huge gestures of love, start with the small things (sending a care package, visiting them, taking them out for a coffee). These gestures widen our capacity to love others more deeply.”

Also posted at Made4More

What is God like?

Charity and purity are the most beautiful ornament of the Heart_ Turgis

(just a list i came up with one day while thinking..what is Jesus like..who is He?)

..merciful
Savior
unconditionally loving
rest for our souls
Prince of Peace
victorious over death and darkness
forgiving
His love is infinite
loves us more than His own life
compassionate
won’t ever give up on us
humble
accepts ANYONE who comes to Him
totally understanding
patient
gives eternal life
Holy
pure, sinless
caring
kind
gentle
Healer
not like the world
longs for us to know His love
loves us individually, not in a general disinterested way
brings joy
brings hope
friend of sinners
friend of the forgotten, the broken, the suffering, the lonely
our Best Friend
our Lord and King
His heart is full of love for each of us
infinitely powerful
unchanging
all knowing
faithful
keeps promises
honest, never lies
encouraging
has a plan and hope for each person
just
His ways are not our ways
trustworthy
His grace is enough
Creator
generous
teaches us to love others
not selfish, loves us to the point of self sacrifice
loves us in truth and actions, not just words
rejoices when we come to Him!
waits for us
can change us, helps us overcome sin
would never drive us away
looks at our hearts, not just at words and externals
does everything for a reason
knows exactly what we need
would still have died for you even if you were the only person on earth

Jesus is love 🙂

(image credit: http://holycardheaven.blogspot.ca/

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Letter to a soul losing hope

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This is just something I wrote to help me remember how God sees us. Hopefully it could be an encouragement to someone. I wrote it as if God is speaking.. I hope everything in it is accurate 🙂

+JMJ

“My beloved child,

How many times have you cried, “where is God? Where is my hope?” – and I was not far away watching you from a distant place, but so near you, that you could not even feel Me. You were looking for Me outside of you, when I was so near and embracing your soul. Will you at last open the depth of your soul to me? O come, come now to My Heart! I long only to embrace you.. it is not too late… do not run away. Why do you look around as if searching for a place to go? I am here to give you hope, to envelop you in My loving light so that no darkness may ever touch you. I will not let you go because My love for you endures eternally. Will you let Me love you? Don’t fear… My Heart has enough love to consume all your sorrows and miseries. You have doubted Me, yet nothing can take away My love for you. I am telling you now, all is not lost… Yes, there is still hope.

My Heart wishes to heal all your troubles and to calm all your fears, to be your light, guidance and delight that surpasses all other loves. All this time, you were truly seeking for Me, but you mistook the love for creatures for the only Love that can satisfy you. I created you for this. I created you to be loved, and I love you! I love you, and I have died for you as the proof. Now at last will you trust Me? O how I long for you to trust Me and abandon yourself in my embrace. I love you, My child! Do not despair. Nothing is lost. Come and find your hope.. your strength will be found in Me. Regardless of how lost you feel, I can and will find you.

I will bring you back to your home, where you will never be lost again, where your heart will never again experience sorrow. I long to consume your heart in My Love, and show you the richness of My power, strength, divine and most perfect Light. You are so little and I see how you suffer from your human weakness, but I can supply for all your misery. I myself will give you hope. I see the beginning, and the end of your life. My Will for you is more beautiful than you can imagine. Trust Me, and do not abandon the hope that I place in your heart.

Always remember.. I love you, more than My life. Life your life for Me. Don’t fear, and live, live with Me. I shall always be with you, and support you. If you have God, and if God is on your side, what enemy will dare to harm you? I allow suffering only for your good. Trust can help you see what is hidden from your eyes, and your heart can know what is not yet within your sight. Someday you shall see and understand and know perfectly. Though it might be difficult to see this in the present darkness, until then, I will carry you as a mother carries her infant. I will hold you close to My Heart forever. You, yes – you are the delight of My Heart, and My Heart will not be content until you are hidden within it.

Child, come into the wound that was opened in My Heart for you. Come and forget all your miseries. I, Jesus, long to be your Savior and to heal your poor heart with My love. I am waiting for you.”

(image credit: http://holycardheaven.blogspot.ca/

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

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God’s longing

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+JMJ

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).

Looking at Our Lord – 2

Angels, tend you your chalice Receive this precious blood on the altar of my sacrifice Carry it to the heights of Heaven_ Letaille 669

+ JMJ

Cars and people pass by a church. People are running errands, shopping, meeting friends… everyone is so busy. How many know that Jesus waits for them? How many know that He is not only spiritually, but physically, substantially, present in the Blessed Sacrament? There, in the Church, within the Tabernacle… He is alone. Would any visit Him, even greet Him from outside? If only they would… He longs to meet this soul that just walked past. Or this other soul who just drove past quickly thinking of other things. How many thoughts are worthless, not about eternal things, but of the world, entertainment, fashions, temporary enjoyment… If only they would come in, and pour out to Him all their troubles and worries and heartache and weariness. He longs to give them grace… to have them recognize His love, – and this is like a thirst, which nothing else can quench. He longs immeasurably for them to finally receive His love, and His Mercy burns Him because He is forced to keep it within His Heart, and souls would not accept it (2). Blindly, they continue on the road that leads to the dark abyss… blind and not hearing His calling. Some, aided by the prayers of the Blessed Mother, the Saints, and other Christians, turn towards Him, and are enfolded in His Mercy… but so many are lost, and fall one after another into hell (4).

He calls to souls: “Dearly loved son, I am Jesus, which name signifies Saviour! why else are My hands transfixed with nails which fasten them to a cross? On it, for love of you, I died. My feet are wounded, My Heart wide open, riven by the lance after death… Thus do I stand before you that you may know who I am and what My love is. But do not fear – My law is one of love… and in knowing Me you will find peace and joy. It is sad to live as an orphan: come, My sons, come to Your Father”. (Jesus’ words in “Way of Divine Love”, written down by Sr Josefa Menendez).

If someone walks into the church… do they think of Jesus? Do they recognize Him, waiting for them on the Altar? Jesus spoke to Sr Josefa Menendez of waiting for a chosen soul: “Still, I wait all night and watch in the tabernacle for that soul… fervently hoping that she will come and receive Me… that she will converse with Me with all the trust of a bride (…) Yet when she receives Me in Holy Communion she barely says a word to me (…) she is indifferent, bored… wishes it were time to go… Is it thus that you receive Me, O soul whom I have chosen and for whom I have watched with the impatience of love throughout the livelong night? Yes, I earned for her coming that I might rest in her share her anxieties.. I had prepared fresh graces for her, but she does not want them…” (Way of Divine Love).

Though these words were spoken about His brides, the religious, it shows the strength of His love and longing. All night, He waited for the soul, knowing she would come… looking at all her troubles, wishing to consume them all in His love, and to bring grace, peace, and perfect joy… all night He thought of this, and waited for her arrival (1).

When souls come to visit Him… would they say a word to Him? Would they come close and say “I love You Jesus..”. How much He earns to share this love with them, to hear these words from them. To hold them in His arms and bring them to the Father. How much it would hurt Him, if after such love, they would receive Him out of habit… or worse, in a state of mortal sin… or would come only to admire the architecture of the church and not think of Him at all… but still He is patient, longing, welcoming them, loving and waiting for them… So many Angels worship and prostrate themselves before the Holy Eucharist, giving their love and adoration to their Creator, yet He is there for us.. and so often, forgotten, and abandoned. Such humility on the part of God… that He would hide His own glory, the glory for which all things were made, and stay hidden under the appearance of a little Host.. and in this Host, His Heart is beating just as it does in Heaven. (3).

Then it is night… most cannot come and visit. It is dark in the church. Jesus has no one to comfort Him. It moves His Heart with love if someone remembers Him at home, and spends some time in prayer, wishing that they could visit and console Him in the Blessed Sacrament. He delights in their love if they seek to offer reparation for so many sins done throughout the night.

IF WE COULD SEE JESUS….

Then we would not want to ever look away. Can we come to Him in His suffering? We have come to adore His beautiful eyes, so kind and welcoming, but now filled with tears. We kiss His Face… but it is unrecognizable, covered in Blood and dirt… Judas gave a kiss of betrayal and others scorned Him, hit His Face, even spit at Him… when we lean to kiss Him, not as Judas did, but with love, do we feel the thorns? When we lean to embrace Him as Our Savior, do we feel the scourging, and when we are close to Jesus, do we feel the spear that pierced His Heart…(5). When Jesus is ignored and mocked, do we listen lovingly to His words, do we come close and listen to every beat of His Heart? Do our hearts beat for Him? Can we with humility lie down beside Him as He is on the ground when He fell, unable to get up; do we help to carry His Cross like Simon of Cyrene, or show Him compassion as St Veronica did when she wiped His Face with her veil. How can we shield His Face from those who want to hurt Him further, blaspheme, commit terrible sacriliges… (6,7)

We are nothing, and He is everything. How incredible it is that something that we, mere creatures, can do – could actually console Jesus, or bring Him joy… Jesus said that when we say the Golden Arrow prayer, we “wound His Heart delightfully” in reparation for blasphemy (11). Our Lord also said to St Gertrude that turning to Him with strong confidence, amidst temptations, moves Him to help this soul. Actually, Jesus used incredibly strong words to describe this, which are so moving and beautiful: “Anyone suffering from human temptations, who flees to My protection with firm confidence, belongs to those of whom I can say: ‘One is My dove, My chosen one out of thousands, who has pierced My Heart with one glance of her eyes.’ And this confidence wounds My Heart so deeply that were I unable to relieve such a soul, it would cause My Heart a sadness which all the joys of heaven could not assuage . . . The confidence that I truly have the power, the wisdom and the goodness to aid a soul faithfully in all her miseries, is the arrow which pierces My Heart, and does such violence to My love that I can never abandon her.” (8). He also said of St Gertrude, that He takes pleasure in gazing at her because she desires the perfection of every virtue, in her heart (8). How incredible is this!

If we could see Jesus, we would look at Him with so much love, but when we look at the Host, Jesus is looking at us. So amazing – Jesus is looking at us! If we could see Jesus looking at us, such love would pierce our hearts, and we could never forget Him. What joy it is to kneel before Him in the Blessed Sacrament, at Holy Mass or Adoration, and look at smile at Him, – knowing that He sees this and it somehow, despite our unworthiness, delights His Heart.

Jesus told Sr Josefa Menendez: “I love souls and I look for a response of love. What is so wounding to My Heart is that often instead of love I meet with indifference. Give Me love and give Me souls… unite all your actions to My Heart. Stay with Me who am with you. I am Love and desire only love. O! if souls only realized how I wait for them in mercy. I am the love of all loves, and it is My joy to forgive”. (Way of Divine Love).

Sources

1. Way of Divine Love by Sr Josefa Menendez
2. Divine Mercy in My Soul by St Faustina
3. He and I by Gabrielle Bossis
4. Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima
5. St Gemma Galgani: http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/tes/a7.html http://www.lovecrucified.com/saints/gemma/gemma_crucifix.html
6. http://godisatworkinyou.blogspot.ca/2013/03/kissing-sacred-face-of-jesus-profoundly.html
7. http://godisatworkinyou.blogspot.ca/2013/06/a-prayer-during-holy-communion-while_8.html
8. http://www.tanbooks.com/doct/gertrude_great.htm
9. Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich
10. “I thirst for you”, by Bl. Mother Teresa, http://www.osv.com/OSV4MeNav/BlessedMotherTeresa/SecretFireGuidedMeditation/tabid/6864/Default.aspx
11. GOLDEN ARROW PRAYER: http://www.catholicplanet.com/catholic/arrow.htm

“May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified, in Heaven, on earth and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar.”

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Looking at Our Lord

Blessed be the most holy Sacrament Sers

+JMJ

A Reflection on the Holy Face of Jesus

“Look at My face, Josefa, it is sin that has thus disfigured it. The world precipitates itself into pleasures of all kinds; such a multitude of sins are committed that My soul is drowned in bitterness and grief… Where shall I find relief for My sorrow? I come here seeking shelter and love in order to forget for awhile the ingratitude of men.” (Way of Divine Love).

Looking upon Our Lord must be an unimaginable joy of the saints in Heaven. Once we look upon God…how could we want to look away, and not love Him? Forever, for all eternity… everything: His Holy Face, His eyes, Sacred Heart, the wounds that He bore for us with infinite love – all inflame our hearts to love Him more and more, the longer we spend gazing upon Him. Here on earth, people find joy in looking at those they love, and we hear of a person memorizing the face of their beloved. How beautiful to memorize His Face, to memorize every detail. After a thousand years, it would not be enough, every moment would be like the first time, that first moment and joy of knowing that we are His, forever and ever, resting in His embrace.

But to see Him looking back at us? God, our Creator, looks at us… with infinite compassion, love, and mercy in His eyes. Who are we, that we can look into His Face, His eyes. And if we can behold not a Judge, but a Merciful Savior, who says “your sins are forgiven, go in peace”. How can we hope, that He would smile at us… we cannot deserve this. It is only His Mercy, His love… such amazing love. We do not comprehend. What can we do in return? Nothing would be enough… not any of our good works, not any suffering, can be enough, it is only in Mercy that God accepts them. We can spend eternity lovingly thanking Him, kissing His holy wounds, thinking of the pain He endured to redeem us. He could have suffered much less and still saved us… He gave everything, everything He had, He suffered like no one has ever suffered, before or since. His love is such that even for one person, He would do this… His love is such that He would be ready to go through torments thousands of times. He died and rose again and now lives forever and ever. His love is infinite.

How can it be, that God not only accepts our love but delights in it? What is our love? It is only what we have received from Him… and our cooperation, is often so weak, so lukewarm. He gives us the power to love, and we love so feebly, so little, and still we find this is like a treasure to Him, which He delights to look at, which brings joy to His Heart. It is His love that makes it so… our love is less than an atom compared to an ocean. His Heart is an abyss of love. He takes us into His Heart and unites us with Him, and our poor little hearts are consumed in His love.

Do we let Him?

Behold Jesus as He suffers… how much we want to see Him happy, joyfully speaking to His disciples, His friends… but He is all alone. Longingly, He looks at the people gathered around Him… would any comfort Him? He healed them of illnesses, cast out demons from them, with God’s power He helped them all… earnestly, He prayed to the Father for His disciples, for all who would follow Him. But He sees so many cold looks in return. There’s a hatred in their eyes, and for what? Gladly, He would give His life for them… they strike Him, and spit in His Face. One who was among those counted as His own – comes up to Him and kisses Him… but it is not a kiss of love, but of betrayal. Is there not one who would comfort Him? He prayed in the Garden and His sweat became drops of Blood. He saw the many souls throughout the ages, rejecting Him, persisting in sin, rejecting the gift that He is about to make for them, the gift of His own life… going into the darkness, ignoring His hand stretched out to rescue them, ignoring His pleas to turn their hearts towards His, even for an instant (9). Even if they show a little willingness, He could give them grace and do what they cannot (2)… but they refuse repentance, turn away and fall down into the dark abyss forever. Each soul, unique and unrepeatable, a soul made in the image and likeness of God, that can give God something no other soul can – is now forever set against Him, unable to love.

Our Lord’s love is met only with scorn, laughter… they pierce His Head and mock Him. The King of all and Creator of the universe, through whom all things were made, who is one with the Father in eternity – is crowned in mockery with thorns, a purple robe put around His shoulders… and so many souls throughout time join, mocking His kingship, ignoring His laws, preferring to make ones of their own over already set by the Father. So many not believing Him, denying God’s existence, blaspheming…

Shortly before, He is scourged. His pure and divine Body is cut, over and over, till His Blood covers the ground. They laugh and mock as they scourge Him. Why do they not have compassion? Their faces are only full of fury and hatred for Him. They strike over and over, His back, chest, shoulders… His flesh is torn off and you can see the bones and still they do not stop. He offers this suffering to the Father… and once again so many souls though out time, join to scourge Him as they commit sins of impurity, and prefer ‘a moment of enjoyment to His love’ (1).

“What struck me most was the expression of His tortured eyes – those eyes usually so beautiful and so expressive… to-day they were closed, swollen and filled with blood, especially the right eye” (Sr Josefa Menendez, Way of Divine Love – describing her vision).

Jesus falls and the only response from others is to hit Him harshly, and yell at Him to get up. His Blood is flowing from His many wounds… and as He carries His Cross, He falls again and again. He is trying to find the strength to raise Himself up, though it means more suffering, but He is ready to give it all… and the Creator of everything is on the ground, His wounds made more painful by repeated blows. (7)

He struggles to stand up again, and as He once again carries the weight of the Cross – and the weight of our sins – it wounds His shoulder and causes unknown anguish… how often do we think of this wound?

The Roman soldier bends down beside Jesus. Jesus looks at him… this is a man that He created. One day he was born, and lived as a child. Jesus sees everything about this man. If only he would turn, would meet His eyes, and understand the love shown there… but neither does he respond to Love, and – holding the nail to His hand, raises the hammer… a pain like thunderbolts goes through His Body. The other arm… then the feet… Jesus raises His eyes to the Father. Abba!

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!”

The soldiers cast lots for His garments.

Jesus looks into the eyes of His Mother, standing near the Cross… He beholds her suffering, as she sees her Son’s Body so torn, as to shreds, as she sees Him nailed to a cross before her, His Precious Blood flowing down… the Sorrowful Mother, and she weeps and her grief is as none can describe. How dear she is to Him. Mother and Son both suffering, her heart and her pain joined to His.

Incredible thirst overtakes Jesus. Not just thirst for water… but thirst for compassion, and for souls. How many would come to Him? How many would be willing to become one with Him, as He is one with the Father?

A darkness covers the whole earth… and Jesus looks to the Father but His Face cannot be found. “Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabachtani”?

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