3/29/12

Praying 10 Minutes a Day: Fifth Week/Friday

Sacred Heart of Jesus by Dali

Of all the images of the Heart of Jesus I've seen, Dali's is my favorite.  Its in-your-face strength reveals a divine source of power, even though the heart in the painting is so very human.  Perhaps it's just my imagination, but doesn't Christ's heart seem, here, a rose, offered on the stem of the Cross?

Dali's Sacred Heart portrays so clearly and frankly the beauty, strength, intensity and raw humanity of Christ's divine heart. This is not the passive Christ of so much religious art but rather the strong Christ of self-emptying love whose heart was crucified for us.

Here is a Christ we can imagine fishermen leaving their boats and nets to follow. Here is a Christ strong enough to carry any burdens we might place in his hands. Here is a Christ with a heart robust enough to pump its Spirit through the universe; a heart tender enough to welcome any and all who seek refuge within it; a heart unafraid to expose itself that all might know its love and mercy; a heart ready for giving itself away from unfathomable depths; a heart big enough to be the very heart of God, the heart of God's Word made flesh, that our hearts might come to know his love for us.

In the week ahead, on Palm Sunday and Good Friday,
we'll hear the story of Jesus' heart offered for us on the Cross...

Christ's heart is God's mercy on us...

Christ's heart is God's forgiveness of our foolish sins...

Christ's heart is God's pardon
for our crimes against the hearts of others in our lives...

Christ's heart is offered in love
for all the times we have selfishly held on to our own desires,
for all the times we have stubbornly held back
what was ours to give and share...

Christ's heart, sentenced to the Cross, is our freedom, our parole,
our own sentenced served...

As I enter the Week we call Holy, I pray...

Help me to know and acknowledge my need for your mercy, Lord...

Help me to see in your suffering the forgiveness of my sins...

Help me to find in your heart my hope for God's pardon...

Open my heart to what your heart offers me...

Help me to forgive those who have offended me, Lord,
in thought, word and deed,
in what they've done and in what they've failed to do...

Help me forgive the ones who have hurt me the most:
open my heart with mercy to welcome them back...

Help me forgive even those who have not asked me to forgive them,
those who have not or will not acknowledge
the harm they've done me...

When I find it impossible to forgive someone,
remind me of how freely and fully you forgive me,
regardless of what I have done to offend against your love...

And when others forgive me, Lord, 
help me accept graciously the gift of their mercy... 

As I enter the Week we call Holy,
open my mind and heart to the mercy you offer, Lord,
and draw me into your heart
where the gift of your mercy springs forth,
a fountain of pardon of peace...

In this Holy Week, Lord, lift up my eyes
to see the beauty and strength of your heart,
opened for me on the Cross
that I might have life
and have it to the full...

Today I'll find some time to be quiet...
I'll find some time to be alone with the Lord...
I'll find some time to leave the demands of my daily life
and to be still... and to know that you are near...


If you'd like to pray the Litany of the Sacred Heart, you'll find it here.


Are you new to "Praying 10 Minutes a Day in Lent" - or are you having trouble getting started?  The first installment offers some thoughts on getting started, as do the subsequent posts in the series.  So take a look and join us!  


 

   
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