Two Hearts


Growing up I was always looking at pictures of Jesus and His Momma from a distance.  I wasn't part of the Church life that illuminated what these images were about.  I have come to find out a couple things about images in general.  Notice first of all the ones to the right.  Notice they kind of look European, not from the Middle East, right?

Well, I used to get ticked off about that.  I mean, why not make the image a bit more authentic?!?  I would try to find others to agree with me and heap disdain on the schmultziness and syruppy romanticism of the artwork.  It worked... others agreed with me.

But then all at once I heard that still small voice speaking to me, lovingly, patiently... "Son, perhaps it isn't so bad that various people groups imagine (see the root word image here) Jesus as looking like them, like their tribe.  Aren't some of the most intriguing accounts of the incarnation worded something like "And the word became flesh, and moved into our neighborhood..."?  Isn't it good and right for each people group to make Jesus look like someone from their own neighborhood?  The fact that the European images are the most popular doesn't mean that it is bad for Europeans to imagine Jesus looking like them.  It's ok for Africans, Polynesians, Asians and Native Americans to depict Jesus looking like them too!  Of course we both know he took real flesh from a Middle Eastern woman of Jewish descent around 6 B.C. and therefore looked more like the Jesus cast in 'The Shack' than any other Hollywood depiction, but so what?  The point is that I. Became. One. Of. You."

Yeah.  Ok, so a little compassion towards people who imagine Jesus looking like them would not be amiss.  Ok, Lord you're right!

"Thank you son!"

And so it went.  My education in understanding images that looked silly to me mostly came from gentle conversations with the Holy Spirit.  How did I know it was the Holy Spirit?  Well.. I bounced it off other Christians and well, it just sounded so loving.

Anyway, I digress.  The image above speaks of the two most famous hearts on earth, at least if we measure how much attention has been given to emulating their qualities.  Long before I began praying anything like the prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I was asking God to give me a heart like His.  I saw how miserably short I fell to being loving like Him and I kept asking to have the same kind of love that He does.  Low and behold, I found that MANY other Christians have felt the same way and that there are volumes of books and hundreds of beautifully composed songs and prayers to that end.

The same is true with the Immaculate (pure) Heart of Mary.  What does that mean without waxing too theological?  It means that she completely trusts God, always has, always will.  She is a model of trust, faith, hope and love.  I believe she did it so well that we should all attempt to trust God, be surrendered to his will, receptive of his life giving love, etc. as she was and is to this day.

There is so much more to this but suffice it to say that I want to love like God loves, and for me, Mary leads the way in that so I look to her for guidance in how that is done - human to human.  I mean she is after all the one spouse of the Holy Spirit that actually physically gave birth to God in the flesh.  True, God wants to marry ALL OF US... (Rev. 19:6-9) but Mary has a unique perspective on that marriage and can teach us all a little bit about trust.  Legend has it that she was so sure of her son raising from the dead (He did after all tell them He would) that she refused to leave the tomb and had to be gently removed.

Anyway, I want the absolute love and trust that these two hearts have so I often ask God for it.  I ask Mary to pray for it too.  Maybe that is too weird for some of you (I know it was for me for years!) but perhaps not.  If it helps one person it is worth sharing.  Peace.

Click here to download or listen to the Sacred Heart of Jesus prayer intoned.
Click here to download or listen to the Immaculate Heart of Mary prayer intoned.



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