How can Christ’s heart possibly be large enough to hold us all?
Consider the beauty of this wooden carving. I see it as an image of Christ’s wide open heart. I am struck by the scale of the heart relative to the size of the image itself; the prominent size and the width suggest an openness which cries out in invitation. A wide gate welcomes many visitors, and so it is with the heart of Christ.
Yet as I look closely at the image, I can see that entering Christ’s heart is not a simple or effortless task. Those who wish to enter must make an effort to climb. We are welcome, but we must respond to the invitation.
My eye also takes note of the relationships that are present among the masses. Those gathering are side-by-side, one after the other, united. The community matters.
Once one enters, Christ’s heart is actually not a resting place, but what appears to be a portal. Christ’s heart is not the destination, but an entry. I am left questioning, “Once through the heart, what is to be discovered on the other side?”
The answer to that question reveals itself to me daily. As a child of the Sacred Heart for over forty years now, I know that the answer changes continually based on what I need in the present moment and the gifts I require in order to serve my community. It is a challenge to stay connected to Christ’s heart in our busy world. Yet if I take even just a few moments to rest in the portal, Christ is always prepared to hand me the grace I need.
Having just begun the Easter season, I find myself pondering Christ’s resurrection and the hope I find in the message of His eternal presence. Easter helps me understand how Christ’s heart is large enough for all of us, for it reminds us that He is everywhere with us and always a portal of grace through His gift of the Spirit who gradually transforms our own hearts.
Reflection by Catherine Ronan Karrels, Head of School, Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart
Wood carving by an unknown artist