Does blood still flow through the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in and through his Glorified Body? Jesus ascended to heaven, body, blood, soul and divinity. We know that when Jesus died on the cross, he lost every drop of blood for us. We hear and believe that Christ’s body received back that same blood when Jesus rose from the dead. We believe.
But I wonder, does blood flow through Christ’s Glorified Heart even now?
I became curious about the heart of Jesus recently when our spiritual book club read Fr. Michael Gaitley’s book, “*33 Days to Merciful Love.” In book club, every Monday, we discussed the daily readings from the past week. We discussed Jesus’ Sacred Heart, full of so much Merciful Love for each one of us.
In the book, Fr. Gaitley leads us through the steps to receiving Merciful Love, as told in the writings of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church. At the end of the 33 days, book club members made a Consecration to Divine Mercy. We prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet together before the Blessed Sacrament. We were given Consecration prayer cards and recited the Prayer of Merciful Love that Fr. Gaitley recommended, and we received a blessing from our pastor, Father Adam.
Now that we’re Consecrated to Divine Mercy, where do we go from here, now that we’ve attached ourselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, how can we keep our hearts afire?
Fr. Gaitley tells us that when we Consecrate ourselves to Divine Mercy, we can’t help but suffer compassion for others. Jesus is Divine Mercy. Our hearts will now want to follow Jesus by looking past the faults of others and only recognizing their need, their poverty, and poverty of spirit. We’ll have the desire to help those in need because of our compassionate hearts.
Throughout out her short life, St. Thérèse was concerned with Consoling the Heart of Jesus. St. Thérèse was particularly distressed about the Extravagant Love Jesus wants to give to souls, souls especially in need of His Love and Mercy. St. Thérèse was sadly bothered because too many needy souls refuse to accept this great gift, the greatest gift they will ever receive. “In order to live in one single act of perfect Love, I OFFER MYSELF AS A VICTIM OF HOLOCAUST TO YOUR MERCIFUL LOVE, Asking You to consume me incessantly, allowing the waves of infinite tenderness shut up within You to overflow into my soul, and that thus I may become a martyr of Your Love, O my God!” St. Thérèse -But no, they turn away. Refusing the offering of Christ’s Merciful Love. “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. I will remove the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26
Book club got together the week after our Consecration to Divine Mercy to follow-up.
The follow-up was a review of everything we learned and a reminder to renew our Consecration to Divine Mercy often.
Before dismissing them, I reminded everyone how St. Thérèse was affected after her offer of oblation of herself to Merciful Love of Jesus. Here is St. Thérèse’s experience described in her own words. “A few days after the oblation of myself to God’s Merciful Love I was in the choir, beginning the Way of the Cross, when I felt myself suddenly wounded by a dart of fire so ardent that I thought I should die. I do not know how to explain this transport’ there is no comparison to describe the intensity of that flame. It seemed as though an invisible force plunged me wholly into fire…But oh! what fire! what sweetness!! I suggested they pay attention to any special feelings in their hearts which might be a result of their offering of Merciful Love. I reminded them that, most likely, we’ll not be affected in the way St. Thérèse was. Instead, we may experience something more subtle from Jesus, letting us know that he accepts our offer to receive his Love and Mercy that have been refused by others.
Now book club is moving on to other things, yet I can’t stop thinking about Jesus’ heart. I picture Jesus’ beautiful heart, alive, his Sacred Blood flowing from his very being to us, flowing into those who accept his love, who desire to do his will. Jesus’ Holy Blood is a conduit of Grace and Merciful Love. And sadly, Jesus’ blood continues to flow back into his own heart, away from those who do not accept his Merciful Love. As I meditate on this, I welcome his Sacred Blood into my heart, wanting to understand.
It seems I’m speaking of two hearts, Christ’s Mystical Heart and his Human Heart. I’m confused. I asked the Holy Spirit to help me comprehend the mystery of Christ’s Heart and His Precious Blood. Will I receive an answer to this enigma? Or am I to accept on faith that Christ has a Heart full of the most tender and Merciful Love from which Heavenly Blood and Water flow unto us? The key to the answer is in Christ’s Mystical Heart. Yet, I know Christ only has one heart. I believe Sacred Precious Blood does indeed flow through the Sacred Heart of our Lord but in some sort of heavenly way. All will be made clear to me when I see God face to face!
One day after our last book club session on 33 to Merciful Love, I was taking clothes off the line in my backyard. It was a perfect sunshiny day, very breezy, one of those days that we are so happy to be alive. And then I had my first Merciful Love experience, so unexpected yet so welcome. I was wondering again about Jesus’ need to be consoled? Isn’t Jesus perfectly happy in heaven. Isn’t this what Fr. Gaitley explained to us in the book? “So, at the incarnation, Jesus, the eternal Son, assumed a human nature and a human heart. …In other words, by taking on a human heart, God, in Christ, made himself vulnerable.” Fr. Gaitley tells us that when Jesus chose to be human, he accepted that he would feel a need for our love. I lifted the basket of laundry to carry it into the house, wondering about Jesus letting himself be vulnerable for us. Jesus lets his heart ache with love for us. Jesus wants to be consoled. I felt happy and sad. This was so almost too much to comprehend…and then I felt a stab in my heart. It was warm, peaceful and only very slightly painful. I paused to wonder about this happening, and I remembered my own words to the book club members to pay attention to any special feelings in the heart. And though this experience was very brief, I’m convinced that at that moment, Jesus had given me more of his Merciful Love than usual. The extra love coming from a soul that rejected it. And I remembered that Jesus wants us to pray for these lost souls as well.
I’m truly satisfied with what I’ve learned. Is blood flowing through the Sacred Heart of Jesus? Think about this, we’re granted the privilege of taking a sip of the Blood of Christ during Holy Eucharist. Where does this blood come from? It’s real. It really is the Blood of Jesus. It’s the miracle of the Holy Eucharist. I believe that all who receive Jesus in Holy Eucharist, all who believe that Jesus is the Bread of Life and trust in these words “This is my body!” “This is my blood!” when receiving the body and blood have a mystical experience when receiving Jesus. Such a wondrous miracle!! I don’t see how it can be any other way. Receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus into our person must be a mystical experience!
The Bread of Life
The Blood of the Lamb
A miracle believed
Our Lord received
Mystics are we