Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Month of the Sacred Heart

We have entered the month of June, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A beautiful season to honor Our Lord’s Heart. The Sacred Heart that was formed in the hidden depths of Mary’s pure womb. This Heart that would have physically beat in rhythm and unity with the Immaculate Heart that would have been like heavenly music to His ears. Her Immaculate Heart pumped the blood, with the needed nutrients, in the forming of this Sacred Heart. It is truly a profound thought to ponder on. The Creator allowing Himself to be knit from the smallest atom by His most chosen creature, His mother, that He created! It is a love of such intimacy that it would bring any mother who has carried precious life within, to tears.

As mothers we know that it is more than just supplying the sustaining nutrients via the placenta that we contribute in the formation of our children. We know that the emotional state and well being of the mother can affect the baby. I can look at the child of my most peaceful pregnancy and see a very calm and peaceful child. I have one of my precious children who is a little more highly strung than the others and it was a pregnancy where I was involved with on-going counseling outside the home of someone who was in deep distress, hearing a lot of pain and anguish on a daily basis...There is definitely more than the physical involved in the development of a child.

Then there is the spiritual aspect. We pray for our babies from the moment we know they are within. I like to particularly think that when we receive Jesus in Holy Communion that our child is also nourished in some spiritual way through this Divine communication. The importance of receiving pre-natal blessings, being blessed with relics, the use of sacramentals are all important to baby. At present I bless myself and baby with the Holy Oil of Loreto each morning.

So when we think of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we hear the ‘echo’ of Mary in His heartbeat.

I think these realities should also explain to us WHY Our Lady had to be created by God, "Immaculate" and without sin. Our Lady needed a Saviour, but Christ used the graces from the cross to save her in the most perfect manner possible. That is why we see Mary as the masterpiece of His creation AND of His redemption. When we honor Our Lady we are honoring God in a way that pleases Him greatly because Mary's glories are the beautiful manifestation of God's grace, never rejected. Therefore we should acknowledge, rejoice and praise God's own handiwork.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a tradition in my father’s family that goes back to my knowledge, to his grandfather – my great grandfather, John Joseph Mullins. When my nanna passed away, we were given the enormous Sacred Heart picture that my great grandfather had bought (which would have been very expensive in its day.) I hope to show this beautiful image on the feast of the Sacred Heart later this month.

But there was also another picture of the Sacred Heart that my great grandfather treasured. A smaller picture, that was always by his bedside for as long as anyone could remember. There is a special story that I hope to share later, in regard to this picture. I have no memory ever seeing this picture in the flesh, my great grandfather died when I was very young. My nanna’s youngest sister, Aunty Mary, is the only still living child, and she has this image. She sent me a black/white photocopy of it with a listing of the colours for everything on the image, many years ago. I re-drew this beautiful and rare image (I also did a few drawings for other relatives) and we have ours hanging in our lounge, above our altar, along side a matching Immaculate Heart I designed from the original Sacred Heart.

I have never seen a Sacred Heart like this image. My great aunt does not know the origins of this particular image either. Has anyone ever seen it? I have searched extensively on the internet in years gone by and never found it. There is a beautiful caption written in the scroll,

“The Heart that is never strange or cold,
The Lobe that is ever new and old.”

This is written in a very old, fancy font and when I questioned my great aunt Mary about ‘the Lobe’ she says it clearly looks like a ‘b’ but I have a feeling that ‘v’ can sometimes look like a ‘b’ in some scripts. A lobe is a word associated with the liver not the heart...I wonder if it really reads, “The Love that is ever new and old.” I have drawn mine exactly as the original and so I suppose it is up to private interpretation, and I say myself, "Love". Though I would love anyone’s thoughts on this, on how they think it should read, knowing more on scripts or this expression... These beautiful words echo St Augustine's famous cry, "Late have I love Thee, Oh Beauty, ever ancient and ever new."

My great grandfather had a special prayer that he recited everyday in front of this image,

Though I ask for a long, long time, still I ask of Thee,
Oh, Sacred Heart of Jesus once more to plead for me
To Thine Eternal Father, for a great favour.
I place it in the centre of Thy broken bleeding Heart,
When covered with the crimson cloak of Thy most
Precious Blood, They Eternal Father cannot refuse
To hear, ot my prayer, but Thine.
Jesus Christ my God and my Redeemer,
I trust in Thee, in Thy Heart – in spite of all –
And forever. Amen.

What I do remember is my dear nanna, lovingly reciting this prayer of her father’s. This dear great grandfather instilled a deep love and devotion in his children for the Sacred Heart of Jesus. May it never be neglected in his generations to come, to the end of time. That would be a legacy to give him great joy.


just another day in paradise said...

This is such a beautiful post. I'm posting a link on my blog. I need to read this over and over again this month. God bless you and your precious little one.

Micki said...

Wow.....what a wonderful writing. I got chills when I read what happened to the card. Sacred Heart of Jesus, protect us all.

Alice Gunther said...

Checking in late to say this is fabulous. (I had just left home when you wrote this, so I'm more than a bit behind.

You are great!

Anne (aussieannie) said...

I'm checking in late too, to thank you dear girls for all for your kind thoughts.

That's ok Alice! You are making memorable moments over at the Cottage that are giving me a very enjoyable read at present!! Keep on making them (just not the really heart-thumping ones..)

Purpleflowerpatch said...

This is such a treasure to have as a family heirloom - the love and devotion that you have witnessed in the life of your family. Amazing stuff.
Anne, it's defintely a V, because it's the same in the word 'ever'.