1) Good night, Sweet Brain! Dear Mind, I love you. These aren’t exactly the terms of endearment we’re used to saying. Instead, we call our loved ones “Sweetheart” and “Dear Heart.” You won’t find poems to a beloved that identify the other solely with their brain, but with their heart. That’s not to say we don’t value their minds/brains, but it is their heart that we feel encompasses the other as a person. As much as we value rationality and reasoning as a defining characteristic of what makes us human, still the heart is seen as the crux of our humanity.
Similarly, as Fr Michael Gaitley pointed out in the DVD series for his Consoling the Heart of Jesus book (which I highly recommend, by the way), there is no statue or devotion of the Sacred Brain of Jesus. The very image of such a thing makes me laugh, for I cannot picture such a devotion. Instead, it is His Heart that gets the devotion because it is the heart that encompasses a person’s identity. This underscores Jesus’ humanity and His identity with humanity, as well as His great love for us.
2) I’d known about devotion to the Sacred Heart, and I’d known that Eucharistic miracles always showed the transformed Host to be the heart muscle, yet in my mind the two were somehow separate: I’d never connected the two in my mind. What an amazing revelation of Jesus’ Sacred and Eucharistic Heart!
3) I hadn’t really thought about how to console the heart of Jesus before beginning this book retreat. The other day, though, I caught a glimpse of God’s love for us, and how to console Jesus’ Heart by uniting my own sufferings to His. I’d told one of the children that he needed to do something before he could have what he wanted. Instead, he screamed, ran away, and refused to be comforted. It broke my heart hearing his anguish and knowing he wouldn’t allow me to comfort him or draw him to me, knowing he’d be happier if he’d just do that one thing so that he could do what he wanted, but knowing he had to take that step on his own.
Then I thought how Jesus’ Heart must break when He sees us refusing to follow Him and refusing to allow Him to come to us and help us. In that moment, I felt a glimmer of His sorrow and sought to comfort Him as I also asked Him to comfort my child and me.
I’m still not entirely sure how to offer comfort to Jesus in a situation like that other than to be with Him, but perhaps that is what is needed. After all, sometimes when I’m sorrowful, all I need is for someone to sit with me, joining with me in my sorrow without doing anything else.
4) I grew up Baptist, and frequently sang hymns about Jesus as our friend. At the same time, Jesus was depicted as an angry judge by some. As a Catholic I’ve emphasised His glory and His Sacred Heart. It can be difficult finding that balance sometimes, I think. Jesus is God, and therefore is glorious, awesome, unfathomable. Yet He Himself calls us friends, so that we know He is utterly approachable. I’m not always sure how to convey to my children the truth that Jesus is their Friend, and is also due our reverence and worship in specific ways. I suppose maybe the best thing is to live it myself and talk about it, and eventually they’ll understand.