I was born here

The other evening, as I was casting around for whatever would be that day's Society quote shared on social media, I saw these words by St Madeleine Sophie. I almost passed them by, as they are well-known, and I've shared them several times already. But this time, something made me stop, read and slowly re-read these words once again: The Heart of Jesus is for (Religious of the Sacred Heart) shelter, food, fire, light, cool water... It is their element, their path, their life, their all. They were born there; there they must grow, live and die: in him, with him, for him.

And for the first time, I read them, not as referring to RSCJ in general, but to me: not to RSCJ "out there", but to me "in here". The Heart of Jesus is for you... It is your element, your path, your life, your all. You were born here... And then came the invitation to truly own the words, to make them mine, and so I found myself saying: The Heart of Jesus is for me shelter, food, fire, light, cool water... It is my element, my path, my life, my all. I was born here; here I grow, live and die; in him, with him, for him. 

I was born here... These words in particular leapt out at me. I was born here, I was formed and created here: here, in the ever-open, pierced and welcoming Heart of Jesus; here, in the very depths of God's abundant, infinite, all-embracing Love. Wow...

At times I reflect on what it means to say I am "of the Sacred Heart", to say I am "of" a Heart which is pure love, totally given. It is a challenge and a privilege, a delight and a vocation in itself. And today, on the twenty-first anniversary of the day I made my vows - vows pronounced to the greater glory of the Heart of Jesus - I am invited to ponder, with desire and gratitude, what it means to be born in that Heart. What can it mean - what do I want it to mean - to say that the Heart of Jesus is my place of birth; to say that I am a native of Jesus' Heart? Nativeness speaks most definitely of belonging and rootedness, of moulding, culture and defining characteristics, and also of deep familiarity and ease, and of one-ness.

I was born here... I hadn't asked for an anniversary gift, but I've been given one, nonetheless. And so I take into this new year of being RSCJ a deeper awareness of my vocation, and the desire to grow in understanding and living this dimension as fully as possible...