On the eve of the Feasts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I’m reminded of a day at the grocery store many years ago.
Since we homeschooled, I often did my grocery shopping during the day when the store was empty. I brought all 6 children with me because my idea was “divide and conquer” with the grocery list. The older kids went off to selected sections of the store, while I took the younger ones to other sections to complete our shopping in the least amount of time. At checkout, they all had their assigned duties to bag the groceries, so that by the time I paid, we were off and ready to go.
This particular day, I had a new cashier. I watched her as she was very distracted scanning my groceries. She kept looking over at the children (ages 1-10 yrs) and shaking her head. “Are all those kids yours?” (As an aside….who would take other people’s children to the grocery store with them???) “Yes”, I said, grateful that my children were unusually well-behaved that day. She continued, “I could never have that many kids. One is more than enough. You think you can give each of them enough attention? One is plenty.” I made my usual nervous response, “Oh, they’re great…they’re great friends…the joy of my life…I love kids…blah, blah, blah”. And off we went.
When we got out to the car, Joseph, my 5 yr old, asked, “Mom, which of us would you give back?” “What?” I asked. “If you only had one, who would you give back?” He had overheard the conversation. His tender heart sounded a little nervous that he might be one I’d give back. I felt a huge swell of love envelope me. I asked the children if they ever felt like there were too many, or if they didn’t get enough of my attention. We had a long conversation about children, families, and generous hearts. I knew that day what occupied my heart. I explained to them how a mother’s heart grows with each child – how each of them have my complete heart. I likened it to Jesus’ heart. That He loves all of us equally and completely. All of them confirmed they felt totally loved - no one was missing my attention, and I resolved that in the future (and there were many other instances of comments by strangers) I would look the person dead in the eye and without hesitation be clear about how Blessed I was and that saying “yes” to God’s plan was the smartest decision I ever made!
On these beautiful Feast days of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, let’s take some time to pray about what occupies our hearts. Do we live our lives in such a way that strangers would know what we love? Do we let distractions enter our lives and displace what we truly love? Do we pray for our husbands and children every day?
John 15:12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.”
May we love with the mercy, patience, kindness, generosity, and completeness of Jesus’ Most Sacred Heart.
May we seek to imitate Our Lady’s pure love for the Divine Will of God.