Good Friday Visitation: Beat On, Mighty Heart

sacred heart of Jesus framed

Midway through Holy Week my thoughts have turned to Jesus in a surprising way:  in the symbol of the Sacred Heart.  As a child I marked the First Friday of each month by accompanying my enthusiastically pious father to the Mass and Novena of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  My own fervor was sparked by a painting of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Jesus with an extended heart encircled by a crown and with rays of light streaming from it. It hung above our living room couch where at age fifteen I received what I thought was a vocation to join a Trappistine monastery.  Right.

Imagine my surprise, then, when ten years ago, after all the liberated theology- from Berkeley no less- this symbol made a stunning re-entrance into my life.  I was meditating when a vision manifested before my inner eye.  Jesus stood before me with hands outstretched, holding his bloody, and beating heart out to me:

Jesus:  Take my heart.
Rita:     (in breathless horror) I couldn’t do that!
Jesus:  (Lets go of his heart with one hand and opens my hands) Do you love me?
Rita:     Yes. I do.
Jesus:   Take my heart.  (Puts his heart into my hands)

Take my heart.  The heart of Jesus, or Aung San Suu Kyi, or Nelson Mandela, does not belong on a wall, safely enshrined to soothe our communal conscience.  Rather, we must embrace it, bloody mess and all.  May this Good Friday remembrance teach us compassion.  Beat on mighty heart!

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2 thoughts on “Good Friday Visitation: Beat On, Mighty Heart

  1. “Take my heart. The heart of Jesus, or Aung San Suu Kyi, or Nelson Mandela, does not belong on a wall, safely enshrined to soothe our communal conscience. Rather, we must embrace it, bloody mess and all. May this Good Friday remembrance teach us compassion. Beat on mighty heart!” This part of your inspiration from Jesus says it all for me. Thank you. “We must embrace it, bloody mess and all.” It take courage to take up Jesus’ beating heart and I need to hear this more often. For those who have trouble with blood (I have met a few) and it makes them sick to their stomach or to faint this vision may not work for them. Blessings to you. Doesn’t courage have the base word cour which is heart?

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