A Burning Heart

sacred_heart_02bThere are many and varied images that we see of Jesus Christ. One that seems to cause the greatest curiosity may be the Sacred Heart image. This is the image where Jesus is pulling back his cloak to reveal his heart which is flaming and surrounded by a crown of thorns. Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Alacoque and said this to her, “My Heart, loving passionately mankind, can no longer contain the flames of its charity; it is necessary for it to manifest it to them, in order to enrich them with the treasures it contains.”

Essentially Christ’s heart of love is burning so abundantly and generously it cannot contain itself. He desires to pour out his unfathomable love on mankind to share the gifts and treasures his heart has.

So what are we afraid of?

Pure, unselfish, immeasurable Love?


What holds us back personally from this most generous offer? What holds back humanity?

Love is what directs God’s Heart. God IS love! Perhaps our warped understanding and experience of love is what scares us the most? Maybe we have been used instead of loved properly. Perhaps the love we have been shown by someone we were close to was no more special than their love of shoes, or cars, or pizza? When they had their fill, they discarded us and moved on to something or someone else?

Maybe our family of origin was broken or dysfunctional. Our first home should be a “school of love” where we are taught so many valuable life lessons. How to treat one another, cooperate, affirm and learn to work out our differences in a spirit of true love and affection. Sadly though, they might be places of betrayal, pain, and abuse.

Even if any of the above or something much worse has been your experience you need not remain in that place of loneliness and hurt.

Fr. Berlioux, a nineteenth-century French priest and spiritual author writes this of Christ, “It was love that caused him to be born, to act, to suffer, and to weep; it was love, finally which made him die. And in the Eucharist, it is love that induces him to give himself to us; to be our guest, our companion, and our Savior, our food and our nourishment.”

Everything Christ does and says is out of love! Why are we afraid to respond to this love?

If your past has shown you only twisted versions of use, if your current situation is not the best demonstration of “selfless donation for the good of another”, then I suggest, no, I strongly recommend you turn to the genuine Heart of Love to seek where you are lacking, fill what is missing, and come drink deeply of the Love that is without end or limit. It is from this Heart- the Most Sacred Heart, that you will learn how to give and receive real Love.

Finally, St. Gertrude who also had the pleasure of intimate union with Jesus shares these words, “If people but knew how you love them: if you would but discover to them the infinite riches of your heart, they would all fall at your feet, and would love only you O mystery of infinite charity and abyss of love…”

So the question to each human heart is this: will you continue to spend your limited days on earth accepting a counterfeit of love, wallowing in the hurts of the past, and exposing your heart anew to more abuse?

Or, will you run to the “Mystery of infinite charity and the abyss of love?”

As always, our Loving God leaves that up to us and will not force this amazing gift of Love on us without our permission or invitation.

So what’s it going to be?

Barbara Lishko works full time as a Lay Catholic Marriage Minister. She and her husband Mark, an ordained Deacon, have been married for 35 years and are blessed with five young adult children, whose lives grow and expand through marriage and grandchildren.

Through the inspiration of her family, work in the Catholic Church and wacky life experiences her dream of writing was born. She is the recipient of the Diocese of Phoenix St Terese of Lisieux award. Barbara can be reached at blishko_58@yahoo.com