Two years ago walking the steep path up Beinn Lora, Argyll, Scotland I began to feel breathless and my heart began pounding. It was a surprise and an alert to be careful. After the holiday my doctor sent me to a heart clinic where I underwent some energetic tests – pedalling a machine which pushed harder and harder against me. I was ‘wired up’ and had to try to my limit. Afterwards I felt worse than I had on the walk in Scotland! Fortunately things turned out OK and I was simply given advice on how to have a healthy heart.
So often we take our hearts for granted. They are there beating throughout our lives. Within just a few weeks of conception a heart beat is heard and brings great joy to parents when they can hear it too. The heartbeat is a sign of life, constantly beating, constantly sustaining us.
Of course the heart also symbolises much more. We say words such as ‘my true love has my heart,’ we talk of being ‘broken hearted,’ we draw hearts as signs of deep love and care.
It is in these ways that talking and thinking of the ‘Sacred Heart’ brings me strength and hope in my faith. I believe creation has direction, that evolution is guided and not random. In the moment of creation and throughout time the sacred heart of God beats, sustaining and giving new life and direction to creation. ‘In the beginning’ the Bible tells us was ‘the Word.’ Christ the Word of God is also Christ the Sacred Heart of God.
The heart is a sign of love, care and affection. The Sacred Heart is a sign of the eternal love, compassion and affection of God for each of us and for the whole of God’s creation.
In our prayers as we imagine the Sacred Heart beat of love permeating all that is, we stop and rest close to that heart and draw others, our loved ones, friends and those in need into that love as we pray for them.