Almost a year ago, a family member upset me so deeply with some news that I struggled mightily with prayer afterwards. Prayer seemed so very difficult.
It was then, that by some inspiration, my heart found a prayer to Mother Mary, a prayer born of my helplessness ~
I bind my heart to Yours
Since that day, that prayer has become like an old friend. I’ve gone ever so often to it whenever I am overwhelmed by anger or despair. I’ve ‘given’ it away to those in need as well, because in those six words is a Hand held out to us as we are tossed madly about in the heart of the sea, breakers and billows passing over us.
This year, just recently, Susan Skinner wrote a blog post, Trinity of Hearts and it brought back memories of I bind my heart to Thee. She wrote of a vision of a trinity of Three hearts that she had been given in prayer – Jesus’, Mary’s and ours – and of God’s words to her.
When I read that post, the words swirled before me. I understood the words and yet, did not understand their meaning. But that image of the three hearts stayed with me. A short time later, my spirit in the desert, I recalled Susan’s vision. And I figured perhaps that was what I needed to pray: that my heart be placed between the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, to form a trinity, to glorify God. I felt that I could do nothing till I did that.
I’d be lying if I said I understood what I was about to do; I understood nothing.
So, I said the prayer one time. Listlessly. I press my heart to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Then, maybe a few days later, the prayer ‘came before me’ again, and I said it and it felt different. My spirit no longer felt dead, unresponsive. Buoyed by hope of coming alive again, I not only pressed my heart to form that Trinity but that of others too – family, co-workers, superiors at work.
Almost immediately, I was rewarded with a piercing, a thorn through my heart, by someone whose heart I had pressed into Jesus’ and Mary’s.
The pain was not severe but enough to dim the joy~light in my heart.
I recovered soon enough. And today, during my morning prayers, I once more pressed hearts into Jesus’ and Mary’s.
Once more, immediately, a new piercing.
That was when I made the connection. I was being wounded every time I placed hearts into the blessed Chalice. With each wounding, I was having to fight myself and my inclinations to cut others just as they had done to me. Each time, I saw my soul as God might see it. Not a pretty sight.
I wish I could say that what I saw humbled me. That the illumination drove me back to God with a renewed vigour born of repentance.
It didn’t. I wasn’t afraid of the prayer but I did shrink from it. No one wants to be hurt. We want to go out into the world and conquer it for Christ. We want to emerge triumphant. Not hurt and wounded, cast aside and in need of binding. That doesn’t fit the portrait of a Christian warrior in a Lepanto battle.
But it does a broken reed. And Jesus was that reed.
So, who was I to reject the call of the Broken Reed?
God knew the very minute my spirit was bending to His Divine Will. He brought me another prayer, to ask if I would trust in Him ~
Holy Mother, grant this of yours,
that the wounds of the Crucified be well-formed
in my heart.
Grant that the punishment of Your wounded Son,
so worthily suffered for me,
may be shared with me.
Let me sincerely weep with You,
bemoan the Crucified,
for as long as I live.
To stand beside the cross with You,
and for me to join You
in mourning, this I desire.
When my body dies,
grant that to my soul is given
the glory of paradise.
I didn’t want this wounding. I was sick of this suffering. There never seemed to be an end in sight. I was fed up of being hurt, of seeing my family being stoned. Fed up of being misunderstood and maligned. Fed up of fighting myself. Fed up of living in joylessness of what tomorrow held.
I wanted the glory of paradise and I wanted it now. To savour it alive on this earth – not in the life to come.
But who was I to reject the call of the Reed?
Once more, God knew the second I accepted the Wounds of Christ in my heart. He took me back to Susan’s post, Trinity of Hearts. And the mists that were there before were no more.
The broken hearts of the faithful will be repaired with the thorns of suffering.
I understood what I hadn’t before. That I will see Heaven only when I am pierced by the very same thorns that pierced my Lord.
Wounds of the Crucified
Be well-formed in my heart.