I noted Sean Salai’s interview of James Kubicki, who heads the Apostleship of Prayer ministry of the Jesuits. In his discussion of the importance of encountering Jesus through his heart, I was drawn to a recollection of an experience from last summer when I was in Omaha.
I was surprised to find Jesus and a traditional image of the Sacred Heart presented in my mind. It’s not a devotion I grew up with. But this was not a traditional encounter. I wrote about the experience in a reflection paper:
(T)he Lord took his heart in his own hand, and extended it to me. The heart splintered in front of me and I had the sense I had absorbed something. The real surprise was that I was nearly overcome with a wave of something so unique and powerful I had no other words for it than simply the love of Christ.
The only response that came to mind was: thank you.
I have learned that “Thank you, good-bye” is not the first thing I should consider in these luminal experiences. My spiritual director encourages me to return to these places of consolation and prepare to receive more. A week later, I was in the chapel at Creighton. While waiting for Vespers to begin …
I was drawn to the text of the Beatitude in one of the high windows, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” I prayed, will you bring me peace? While the importance of the visual is stressed in the use of our imaginations, I felt drawn to a listening experience. I turned to Gustav Holst’s “Venus, The Bringer of Peace,” the second movement in his suite The Planets. As I listened I noticed a subtle pulse in the music, like a heartbeat. That beating heart of the Lord, being offered to me: I found it yet again when I didn’t expect.