The Sacred Heart of Jesus Wants to Love You

By embracing Christ’s infinite charity, no matter how much we have sinned, we can be free like never before.

‘Sacred Heart of Jesus’
‘Sacred Heart of Jesus’ (photo: Maria.Ratta / Shutterstock)

“Do not let the past disturb you. Just leave everything in the Sacred Heart and begin again with joy.” —Mother Teresa of Calcutta

About the same time I was earning a bachelor’s degree with a dual major in Spanish and Theology in preparation for becoming a Calvinist missionary, I started buying fresh tortillas from a local Mexican grocery store. They were delicious, I had little time to cook, and regular trips to the charming little tienda inspired me to learn Spanish all the more.

After a few visits, I just couldn’t resist strolling curiously down the “naughty” aisle — that is, the aisle with the “idolatrous” Catholic candles (or so my gravely misled Calvinist sentiments warned me). When I laid my eyes on a Sacred Heart candle — the typical Mexican kind that pictured Jesus with relentlessly tender love in his eyes and a heart all aflame with undying love, it was “all over” — or at least it began to be. I mean, really, who could look at such a humble, beautiful item of devotion and think it was inspired by Satan, as I had been led to believe by my Calvinist family members, pastors and friends?

Throughout my childhood, I was always told that a Christian never looks with favor on any image of Christ, Mary or the saints, especially not with a spirit of prayer or devotion, because to do so is considered “idolatry” worthy of eternal damnation. Even pictures of Jesus in children’s storybooks were forbidden by my strict Calvinist family members and friends. And yet, as I looked into the eyes of the gorgeous, ethereal image of my Lord Jesus on the candle, I knew I had to take it home with me and begin to pray with it every evening — my heart would not find peace unless I did so. And so I did, and the rest is history — that is, a love affair with traditional Catholicism and never a moment’s regret for surrendering my soul to Holy Mother the Church.

For the next couple of decades after buying my first Sacred Heart candle, devotion to his Most Holy Heart, Desire of the Everlasting Hills and Burning Furnace of Charity, became a lifeline for me. Since then, his Heart has been my comrade amid life’s warfare, my beloved friend, my luminous healer, and my unfailing guide.

A few years ago, I began getting spiritual direction from Father Terrence Gordon, a truly amazing priest with a very beautiful, fatherly heart. He showed me that the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus could heal me from my extremely traumatic childhood and young adult life, not to mention the death of my twin daughters, and all of the wounds of abuse, sin and angst that had haunted me all of my days because of it. Through his wisdom, charity, and pastoral care, I was able to see that all of the dark places deep inside of me could be transformed by the illuminating love of Christ, my pain could become a source of redeeming jubilation, my sins could be cleansed by his goodness, and the traumas and hurts I endured may be healed beyond my greatest hopes.

By embracing his infinite charity for myself — no matter how much I had sinned — I realized I could be free like never before. And by letting his clemency melt away all of my bitterness and anger towards others — no matter how badly they had treated me — I could live in the light of the Truth, as a beloved daughter of the King of Kings, washed in the streams of his Most Precious Blood, now and forever.

For the first time in my life, I began to know that I knew I was precious to his Heart, and nothing could steal this sense of security away from me again. After the brutal beatings of life had worn me down, his Heart had become my eternal solace, and his Sacred Wounds, my peace of soul and mind. As St. Thérèse of Lisieux once said, “You heard me, only Friend whom I love. To ravish my heart, you became man. You shed your blood, what a supreme mystery! … And you still live for me on the Altar. If I cannot see the brilliance of your Face Or hear your sweet voice, O my God, I can live by your grace, I can rest on your Sacred Heart!”

In the end, the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord wants to do the same for each one of us. No matter where we are in the spiritual life, what we have gone through or what we have done, he wants to be there for us through the magnanimous love of his Heart. In the words of St. John Henry Newman, “O most sacred, most loving heart of Jesus, thou art concealed in the Holy Eucharist, and thou beatest for us still. … Thou art the heart of the Most High made man. … Thy Sacred Heart is the instrument and organ of Thy love. It did beat for us. It yearned for us. It ached for our salvation. It was on fire through zeal, that the glory of God might be manifested in and by us. … In worshipping thee I worship my incarnate God, my Emmanuel.”

A Poem to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Sacred Heart of Jesus is really my only true love; It belongs to my Beloved incarnate, who came to me from above.

His Heart is a messianic mystery that I grasp only by God’s gratuitous grace; It draws me to contemplate the mercy radiating from His Holy Face.

This Heart dwells in the King of the highest heavens, and yet it once beat with the subastral blood of men.

Christ allows His heart to be consumed out of sovereign liberty, So that His sons and daughters may be made joyful, pure, and free.

His Heart of Love is so regal yet so meek, Its divine humility draws all who search and seek.

The Heart of Our Eternal Friend and Master, Is all we need to love, adore and follow after.

It burns with agony over these days of the Church’s Passion; It longs to be our luminous sanctuary, our mystical refuge, and our bastion.

Jesus surrenders His Heart for us during each Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, His clemency is so radiant, so beautiful — we cannot just let it pass.

If we cling to this great Heart from dawn until the setting of the sun, By the power of its love, the battles of our days will be won.

If we trust in its magnanimity, we can be serene, we can be free; The Victim’s wounds have paid our ransom, so that we may see.

The charity of His Heart can heal us from so much angst and pain; its kindness is a balm poured forth from the Lamb who was slain.

If we raise Christ’s Heart high so it may reign above all the land, He will keep us safe forever in the palm of His Father’s mighty hand.

If we give ourselves entirely to the Desire of the Everlasting Hills, Our spirits will find rest, and all within us will, at last, be still.

By Amanda Evinger