"Do not let the past disturb you, just leave everything in the Sacred Heart and
begin again with joy!"
-St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta
It was a rainy day, and it seemed like the weight of the world was upon me. I felt this overhweming sense of doom. Wasn't sure where it was coming from, but all I could think about was all the bills I had to pay and not sure where the money was going to come from. Then my mind kept going back to all my past sins, regrets, and failures. I felt as if I couldn't move forward. It was such a heavy feeling. I thought that maybe if I talk to someone it would help, so I called a therapist and made an appointment for the following week. My heaviness lifted a little bit and I was hopeful that things would get better. When I met with my therapist, I sort of connected with her, but there was still that sense of dread. As the weeks and months went on, I continued in therapy, and I got a lot things off my chest. I came to realize that my therapist was really there to listen. She was not going to take away all my problems. I kept wondering how can I get rid of this heaviness that weighs on my heart? Will God be the one to do that? Will He be able to take away all my worries and anxieties?
I am sure we have all been there. The heaviness and weight of the wolrd, the stress of everyday life, conflict either at home or at work. Things in life add up and the more life experience we have, the more it can pile on. We just celebrated the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus which falls on June 24th of this year. If you are not familaliar with this feast day in the Church, it has its origin in the 11th century, but it did not get official celebration from the church until 1673. A sister named Margret Mary (who later became a Saint) reported having visions of Jesus where He showed her an image of what is now known as the Sacred Heart. He said to her "My Heart is so full of love for men that It can no longer contain the flames of Its burning love. I must discover to men the treasures of My Heart and save them from perdition." Jesus wanted her to let people know of how much love He has to give and how so many souls reject Him. Many people of that time saw the Lord as distant from their lives. They were not recieving Communion at Mass. Jesus asked St. Margret Mary to spread the devotion throughout the Church. He asked for acts of reparation, for Communion on the First Friday of each month and for the observance of a Holy Hour (Adoration).
Gradually the words of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to St. Margret Mary became well known and they had a powerful influence throughout the Church. Special prayers devoted to the Sacred Heart became wide-spread, as well as more devoted and frequent reception of Holy Communion. There are also 12 promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Some of them which Jesus said, "I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life," "I will establish peace in their homes," "I will console them in their troubles," "Lukewarm souls shall become fervent." There are several more of these promises that Jesus mentioned and you can find more about the 12 promises at thecatholiccompany.com
It seems as if with every century, humanity keeps making the same mistakes. People tend to neglect God and put Him on the back burner. They don't put Him first in their lives. Back in the time of the 1600's, people thought Jesus as distant. It appears that the same is true today. Some people think He may be a myth or someon's opinion. It seems that today what is your truth is good for you, and I will be alright with my truth whatever that is? But this way of thinking, this philosophy does not satisy the human soul. We still keep searching for love. There is still that hole in our hearts that is aching for something. That "aching" feeling doesn't stop until we have a relationship with God because that is what we are made for. We are made to have a relationship with Him, to Love and to know Love and give Love. How many of us really know Jesus? and even know the Holy Spirit? We can have a relationship with Him if we just open our hearts. This relationship is so great, so tender that all our needs our met when we come to know Him. All fear, anxiety, depression melts away. A relationship with Him is not something that happens overnight. Just like with any relationship, it grows over time.
I know for myself that when I invited Jesus into my life, and into my family, into my healing, my life changed for the better. There is much more peace in my life now. I can get through tough times becaue I know Jesus is with me. I am able to respond better to situations and I am not as much reactive as I used to be. I have been working in ministry and in the mental health field for many years now. What I have encountered in helping people to know Jesus, is that many people's relationship with their parents (or caregivers) is fractured, flawed and a wound, or a trauma from the past needs to be healed. When we think that God has abondaned us, or that He is out to get us and point the finger at us, it is really our emotional baggage from our past that needs to be dealt with. We project our emotional junk onto people and also on God. Once we heal from our wounds, we can know God better.
In conclusion - If you are searching and looking for peace or for love, you don't need to search for it anymore. Leave all your doubts, burdens, everything in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He will tak care of it for you and you will not be dissapointed. The 12 promises are true in what He said to St. Margret Mary. I know, because I have experience them.
About the Author: Donna L. Marotto is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a Faith Formation Coorindator/Youth Ministry and Lay Franciscan. If you wold like her to do a talk/retreat, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at Youarelovedministry.com