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This Heart is a pierced Heart.
By Ruth Burrows, Catholic Education Resource Center – Jesus stands before us with a pierced Heart. We have seen how knowledge of God has always cost; the human heart has to be broken open before it can receive God, and thus it was with Jesus. And the deepest mystery of all is that we learn that the Father’s own Heart is pierced.
How can we enter into this pierced Heart? Only by becoming like it, living in love at whatever cost, paying the high price of loving. Too easily we assume that loving is a pleasurable experience. Most surely it is the only sweetness in life, but this must be understood correctly. True love is always bleeding in our mortal life. You simply cannot have love in this life without pain.
Just think of our own way of carrying on. We get hurt, offended…what do we do? Shrink into ourselves, erect all sorts of barriers. Our heart has withdrawn from the one who hurts us in any way. We mustn’t be hurt, “I matter,” our poor ego cries. But that is not how Jesus loves. If we would be like him we must struggle to the death with all this, refuse to curl up, refuse to withdraw in the slightest. We must go on exposing ourselves, giving ourselves, pouring ourselves out.
We say we want to love, we want to serve, we want to give ourselves, and at bottom we are saying we want selfish satisfaction. We want to feel we matter, are important, we want to feel fulfilled; in other words we are using others, and the beautiful concept of love is being abused. Love is selfless. The way into the Heart of Jesus is not through intellectual insight, not through glowing emotion, but through learning to pay the cost of pure love. There is sacrifice involved in letting others be themselves.
Ruth Burrows. “United with the Sacred Heart.” from Through Him, With Him, in Him: Meditations on the Liturgical Seasons (London, UK: Sheed & Ward Ltd., 1987).
Reprinted by permission of Bloomsbury Publishing.
Ruth Burrows is the pen name of Sister Rachel, O.C.D., a nun of the Carmelite monastery at Quidenham in Norwich, England. Among her books are Guidelines for Mystical Prayer, Essence of Prayer, and To Believe in Jesus.