My devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus began at a very young age, and I didn’t even know it. As a matter of fact, I forgot all about it until the Holy Spirit reminded me about it last fall. It was something I had blocked in my memory because of fear. Fear I had been committing a grave sin at a very young age. By falling in love with Him.
Shortly after my first Holy Communion, I received a picture of the Sacred Heart Of Jesus. I honestly do not remember where the photo came from but I think my great uncle, who was a priest, gave it to me, with a rosary and a marble statue with a metal plaque bearing the image of the Last Supper. He had also celebrated the mass for my communion, during my grandparents fiftieth wedding anniversary. No matter how I received it, I fell in love with His face and kept it for some time. No matter what I was doing during the day, hanging out with my friends in front of the house, or doing stuff around the house, I would go into my bedroom and gaze into His eyes, believing if only in my child sized brain, He was my “Boyfriend”. Like more teens & girls do today, with celebrity’s photos. Then walk back to my friends or what ever and pretend to be what “They” wanted me to be. I wasn’t exactly a “Good Kid”. Most everything in my youth, I repent for now. I call it the added weight to my “Cross” I carry back to our Lord. Not the sins, but the pain I know that I caused Him. Keep in mind, I had only fallen in love with His face, not knowing Him through His word and loving Him for what “I THOUGHT” rather than for what I now know Him to be.
One day, as I was looking into His eyes, when I escaped from the world and I could just see His face, I became overcome by guilt and thought, He is God Peg.. Who are you to call Him a “boyfriend”. So I asked someone. An adult, who told me no. I knew in my heart He was with me. I felt him throughout my entire body. I could hear Him saying in my heart “You are far to young, one day I will come to you”. My stupidity and pride blocked these words leading me on a path that not many return from. I got rid of the picture of the Sacred Heart of our Lord that I had fallen in love with, believing I was not good enough, with much angst and started to become, what the world wanted me to be. I was an angry child after that. Nothing could make me happy. I remember giving the picture to my mother and telling her to keep it, thinking He couldn’t love me. I ran away from Him, like the naked man in the garden, the night before His execution, disobedient to everything, heading into the world, without my “Sheet”. Afraid to stay when He needed me to learn, and grow up in my faith. My love for Him, was not perfect yet. I did not love Him fully.I’m not making excuses, there is no excuse. Only my repenting.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” 1 Corinthians 13:4
I was impatient, I was mean to others, I envied anything and anyone better than me, I boasted and lied to make myself look better and I allowed my pride to get the better of my faith in Him. Worst of all, I did these things, knowing He was still with me. When I did these dreadful things, I could hear Him telling me NO until one day, I could only hear myself, becoming deaf to Our Lord. Thus, moving forward to committing the ugliest mortal sins, that only He can scrub clean from my soul, through my sorrow and repenting. Repenting does not mean to just say your sorry, it means to change your entire way you are living, and live through Him and not just lip service.
Being on the path back to Him, I have found, true love and see that love growing stronger and stronger. An unbreakable Love. Love for everything He is. Love for His word, His forgiveness and His church. Through His church, I can touch, taste, hear and see Him. As that love began to build, slowly I was able to see Him in total strangers. It has been a very slow process, but one in which I am so grateful. It was only this past year, that I discovered again, the photo of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in which I loved as a child and now love with every fiber of my being, fully and maturely, not based on what He “Looks Like”, but how He is.
Edit to add: July 1, 2014
So much has taken place since this post, since the day I walked away from our Lord at that young age to now in how He has done so much to get me back home.. Yesterday, all I could think of was our Lord and how all I wanted to do was attend Holy Mass. I got home from work, and was listening to music, pondering… The time for Mass was getting closer and a song started to play. One I had not heard in many years and never truly listed to the lyrics. I did yesterday. My heart burst when I understood the lyrics and that particular time in my life I had walked away from Him, because I did not know how to love. Bringing me back to yesterday, and how He not only taught me how to Love Him, but to understand He will never leave me.. Keep in mind, you have to read my entire blog to understand how long it has taken to get back home…
I ran all the way “Home”, and the door was open, waiting for me..