The Source

 

THE-ONLY-REST-SACRED-HEART-OF-JESUS-_57

The Only Rest ❤ Sacred Heart of Jesus, antique 19th lace holy card – France

 

I have a shrine within me.
Tapers burn there day and night
flowers gather round the candles—
colors and living flames
mingle in extravagance of bloom,
celebrating love and chastity.

I meet you here in stillness.
My head against your tranquil heart
bends in homage, rests in peace;
my own heart dares to merge
with that unquenchable furnace from which
we both derive our reckless gift of self.

This is the living flame of love,
this is the source of primal energy,
of every urge to impetuous offering
of myself. Here, with bowed head
and face against your breast
I drink the strength I need, and give my all.

 

~ A poem by Barbara Dent, O.C.D.S.

The Most Important Thing in Life

 

Sparrow art by jake weidman

Art by Jake Weidmann

 

When I was haltingly beginning to acknowledge both God and Christianity, I asked myself in the midst of my travail: “What is the most important thing in life?” The answer came without hesitation: “The kingdom of heaven within.” I was startled. I should never have expected a reply like that. But when I look back over my life, I see that this is precisely true. The times when I felt most alive, most real, most complete, were those when I experienced that state of being I had called “the kingdom of heaven within.” At these moments peace established itself in me.

Without being able to define anything. I had known I was one with God and through him one with all people. Without being able to understand the why and how of the chaos of the world or the chaos in my own heart, I had yet been sure that all things were ordered well and held safely in the hollow of God’s hand. Without being able to explain how, I had been filled with a tranquil joy.

Without any doctrinal background, I knew the truth—that God was love, that I lived and moved and had my being in him, that in some obscure fashion he was working out his will in me, and I might trust him and be at peace.

Yes, this was the kingdom of heaven within, and this was the most important thing in life for me. The times when I had entered into this state of soul had been the times when something enormous had happened to me. On my faith in this reality I could build the whole structure of my existence.

“Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven, and the rest shall be added unto you.”

This realization was one of the crucial happenings of my life. Now I had a focal point. I had a purpose for living—full of meaning for me because it was based on the reality of my own experience. I knew exactly what I wanted from life—I wanted to enter more and more frequently, more and more completely, into this state of being called the kingdom of heaven within. From a bewildering disorder, life became astonishingly simple.

I thought back carefully over the circumstances I was in when I attained this state. These were what I would seek to recapture and cultivate. Many of the items of everyday living were found useless for my purpose, and I put other things in their place. I still did not know why, how, when, or where. I simply relied blindly on an experiential truth to be the light in my darkness.

What I really did was entrust myself to God, and looking back, I can see now the unerring way long which he led me to my true destination once I put my hand in his. Now that he had brought me to the Church, everything was clear. This state called the kingdom of heaven within was the very presence of God in the soul who loved him. It was the Christ-life within. To enter into God in this way was to enter into something of the state that the blessed enjoy in heaven, to become submerged in Christ, to taste here and now the bliss of eternity.

This was the life of identification with Christ to which all Christians are called, and which the Church extols as its goal. As members of his mystical body, they were incorporated into him, sharing his divine life, and fed by his sanctifying grace. The more fully they merged themselves with him, the more completely they were the instruments of God’s will, the nearer they approached the state of the saints. Self still existed, but only as Christ’s vehicle for loving, working, and suffering, only as a husk inhabited by the fertile seed of the Holy Spirit.

At last I understood the life principle of my soul, the source of all my restless yearnings and mysterious, luminous peace over the years. Now it was clear—God had been calling me, as he calls each soul he sends into the world, to a share in his divine life, to identification with his Son, to sanctity.


How for his praise
to order my new ways?
I would be no more myself, but he
using my breath and blood and song
to his own end, my life long.

So do I say—Master, your way
in mystery and wonder has evolved
my safety, and my curse resolved.
Glory and honor and homage are your due.
After the refining fire I bow to you. 

 

~ A reflection and poem by Barbara Dent, O.C.D.S.

 

 

Searching for My Beloved!

Every first Friday of the month we have Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament in my Parish. The first Friday of every month is also dedicated to the devotion of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Today at Eucharistic Adoration I was inspired during prayer to write this reflection and poem.

Carmelite nun with Jesus art by Carl henry Boch

A Carmelite nun consoles Our Lord Jesus, art by Carl Heinrich Bloch

 

Beloved,
I’m searching for You
and I can’t find You anywhere
around my garden.

I’m shouting Your Holy Name
Yeshúa! Yeshúa! Yeshúa!
And I find no answer.
I look and look everywhere
and nothing!
There is no trace of You.

I keep walking 
and find a path that leads me
to the base of the mountain.
I look up the hill
and I begin to sense Your presence.

I feel that You’re inviting me to climb,
so I begin to ascend up the mountain,
I’m so eager to meet with You, my Beloved.

Despite my tiredness and pain
I continue on the journey.
Then suddenly I see You approaching me,
I can begin to see Your full figure
with Your white spotless tunic,
I can see the contour of Your hair but I can’t see Your face,
and You know what I’m thinking about…
Then suddenly, You begin to talk to my heart,
“Not yet my beloved child, not yet.” 
“You can’t see my face now.”
“But come and see my hands and my feet.”

As I get closer to You,
I lay down to Your feet and caress it lovingly,
then I can see they are bleeding from the old wounds.
I say nothing! I can’t talk, I have no words.
I feel only sorrow.
Then, as I rise and hold Your hands,
they are also bleeding from the old wounds.

I break down in tears,
there are no words between us,
only a sacred silence.
Then, I see Your side where Your Divine Heart is,
and I can see drops of red blood beginning to soak Your spotless garment.
I do not know what to do!
I’m at a loss for words!
I stand still…

Then, You gently speak to my heart once more.
It was Heart to heart…
“My beloved child,
I’m still suffering greatly.
My wounds can never be closed.
They continue to be open for all.
I bleed out of love and for love.
I feel Your pain and the pain of every creature on earth.
Console My Suffering Heart, console it.”

How, my Beloved Lord? How?

“Loving Me, loving Me in all and in everyone.”

 

~ My Personal Reflection

 

 


“There is in the Sacred Heart the symbol and express image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ which moves us to love in return.”
Pope Leo XIII