Heart Check-Up

A couple of weeks ago, I shared an excerpt from Pope Francis' Message for Lent 2015:
During this Lent, then, brothers and sisters, let us all ask the Lord: "Fac cor nostrum secundum cor tuum": Make our hearts like yours (Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus). In this way we will receive a heart which is firm and merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent or prey to the globalization of indifference.
"Make our hearts like yours."

How's that going?

We're halfway through Lent, so it's time for a cardiac check-up. In what ways have our hearts grown more like the Heart of Jesus these past weeks?

To reflect on this, we need to pay attention both to our own hearts and to the Heart of our Lord.

The Heart of Jesus

Scripture is a privileged place to explore the Heart of Jesus. Let's recall the passages proclaimed so far on each Sunday of Lent:

First Sunday of Lent, 22 February 2015
  • Mark 1:12-15
  • "The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan."
Second Sunday of Lent, 1 March 2015
  • Mark 9:2-10
  • "Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them."
Third Sunday of Lent, 8 March 2015
  • John 2:13-25
  • "He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, 'Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.'"
Fourth Sunday of Lent, 15 March 2015
  • John 3:14-21
  • "Jesus said to Nicodemus: 'Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.'"

Asking for the grace and help of the Holy Spirit, we can meditate on these scriptures.

What is Jesus like in these passages?
What does he see and hear?
What does his voice sound like as he speaks?
What happens if we gaze into his eyes as we imagine each Gospel scene?

Jesus, help us know your Heart.

Our Own Hearts

Thinking about our own hearts over the past four weeks, we consider how Jesus has already been working in our hearts for us.

How have I been tempted?
How have I felt transformed, lifted up by the power of God?
How have I felt desperately thirsty for others to know the Father?
How have I suffered? Have I offered up that suffering as a prayer
for the good of others--for their salvation?
What other movements of the heart do I notice?

We can bring our hearts right to the very Heart of Jesus.

Like the Beloved Disciple at the Last Supper, we can rest our bodies up against Jesus' chest.

We can listen to the beating of his Sacred Heart.

We can close our eyes and inhale the scent of our Lord, truly human and truly God.
We can share with him the movements of our heart we noticed in prayer just now.

He knows our hearts already.

He knows them intimately.

But he loves to hear us tell him all about our hearts--
these hearts he made,
these hearts he enlivens and directs,
these hearts he aches for.

Jesus, make our hearts like yours.