Reflections on the Wounds of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
A prayer that has been on my heart recently is a line from the Fifteen Prayers of St. Bridget of Sweden: “Hide me in your wounds.” The phrase kept coming to mind during prayer, and I couldn’t figure out why or what it meant.
Today, on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, He started to make things a little clearer.
For the past few days, I have been especially vulnerable to hostility that has seemed to pop up in every area of my life, especially on social media. Whenever I have tried to present helpful information or offer some kind of assistance, I have been met with not only a rejection of what I have to offer, but also criticism of it that tends toward being unkind. The hostility really got to me, and I thought that I was being too sensitive by taking this rejection personally.
This morning, it happened again. I received a complaint about something I had helped with, and my immediate response was anger. How could someone be upset that I was offering them something free of charge and for no benefit to myself? Why wasn’t it good enough? I was tired of and hurt by the constant rejection that seemed designed to tear me down. All I wanted was to be helpful.
Then, it hit me like a ton of bricks. This is exactly the point of the feast of the Sacred Heart.
Jesus’ love for us burns intensely in His Sacred Heart. In the image of it, the Sacred Heart is literally on fire. Yet at the same time, the Sacred Heart is pierced with a lance and surrounded by a crown of thorns. Even as Jesus pours out His love for us through His sacrifice on the cross, we have continued to wound Him by our sins. Even worse, we have rejected His merciful love by not loving Him in return. Jesus wants desperately to offer us His love, and instead of accepting it, we all too often complain about it and outright refuse it.
I think that Jesus wanted me to share in his experience of rejection for the feast day of His Sacred Heart this year. He gave me the grace to feel a taste of the pain we cause Him. If I am hurt by a few people rejecting my highly imperfect work, how much more must Jesus be hurt by our rejection of His perfect love?
While I don’t believe that God wants me to suffer, I do believe He allowed me to experience this pain to reveal the depths of His love even more, and to remind me that He wants to draw me so much closer to Himself. That’s part of the reason why He desired that, for a time, I should hide in His wounds—so that I could see the Heart that bore them, and move forward by returning love with love. Today, I pray that the love of Jesus’ Sacred Heart may cover you, and that you may unite your own heart joyfully to His.