Two Hearts United

Sacred Heart of Jesus - Jesuit Retreat House on Lake Winnebago in Oshkosh, Wisconsin

One of the more unique depictions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus can be found at the Jesuit Retreat House on Lake Winnebago in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  The statue is of Jesus sitting down with his arm wrapped around a small boy.  The boy, clearly in distress, rests his head on our Lord's shoulder.  Jesus' entire attention is on the child.  He is not thinking about anything else.  He is like a good parent completely present to his child who is upset about something.  The child finds comfort in being able to simply be with someone who offers unconditional love.  Jesus does not need to say or do anything.  The boy is not asking for anything.  The two hearts—one taking in, the other offering out--are united.

Jesus desires us to be like children (see Matthew 18:3). He tells the apostles to let the children come unto him (see Matthew 19:14).  Children are completely dependent and vulnerable and authentic.  When we acknowledge our pain and open ourselves to God, the Sacred Heart begins to beat.  Christ pours his love and comfort out upon us.  Our heart communes with his--this is the essence of mystery of the Sacred Heart.

We are called to take our sorrow and nothingness to the Lord and sit with him, surrounded by his love.  We can trust that Jesus will be attuned to us. Whatever wound we bear will be silently healed.

There is a second part, then, to this Sacred Heart image. We are called to be like Christ and offer that love and comfort to another.  Whether we are parents or not, the challenge is for us to focus our complete attention, in love and desire, upon those before us.  We can be an alter Christus.


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