Heart speaks to heart
“What do you want?” – these are the first words of Jesus in the Gospel of John. And the people who he asked were flustered when the question was put to them – just as most of us would have been. Constantly we are being told by the media, by family and friends, what we should need or what we should want. And more often than not, those things are not what we want. Pressured, quite often in a nice way, to agree we feel as though something is missing from our lives, as though we are a little lost, as though we are running on empty.
“What do you want?” is an important question that we should ponder. We need to make space in our heads and hearts and let this question sit there and echo for a while. We need to listen long enough to find out what we hunger for. Our hunger can tell us what is important. Nearly always what we truly want deep down is love, or courage, or security or peace or passion or some other quality of the heart. And all those Jesus offers to us. Uniquely. What I want in the way of passion or love will be just that little bit different to what you want. In listening to the need of my heart and opening it to Jesus, I will desire what it truly is that I want and what I was created for.
Loving God, our hearts are restless until they rest in you. Send your Spirit into my heart that I may truly know, embrace and celebrate the unique way you have made me in your image. With Jesus as guide may I embrace your love. I ask this in his name, confident that you will hear me.
Sr Kym Harris osb
How do you love me? Let me count the ways.
How many of ways in which you love your child/ren would they consider as loving? Buying ice-cream on the way home from school, yes; making them eat their vegetables, no. Taking them to Dreamworld, yes; taking them to the dentist, no. Letting them do something they really want, yes; setting boundaries on their screen time, NO. Yet you as a parent know that many of the things they experience as negative are amongst some of the most loving things you do for them.
This coming week, the Church has the Feast of the Sacred Heart, in which we celebrate the Love of God towards us. If you look at the traditional picture used for this Feast, you see Jesus pointing to his Heart on fire, burning up with love for us. You also see thorns twisted tight around it, symbolising the suffering he went through in his Death and Resurrection. That is, burning, bright, warming love is mixed with harsh pain.
Recognising the many ways in which God loves us can be a challenge: we do not see God and more often than not only discover God’s love in reflection. As God’s relationship with each of us is unique, it will be different for each person. Some of the simplest things can be signs of his love. Silly as it may sound, I find a warm bed on a cold wet morning speaks to me of God’s love, as does sunrise on the Capricorn Coast. In the love of friends, I feel God’s care. But I also know God’s love in tough times when I keep going when I don’t want to and, importantly, when I say or do the right thing when I am confused and challenged beyond myself. On this coming Feast, I will take the time to count the ways in which God loves me. And I expect that once I start, I will discover ways I had not expected.
Loving God, let me count the ways in which you love me. As I discover the simple and the quirky signs of your love, may I be a sign of your love to my family. I ask this in Jesus’ name, confident that you will hear me.
Sr Kym Harris osb