Often, as I pray, kneeling before Mass, I close my eyes and envision Jesus, crowned with thorns, standing before me in white and golden vestments. We are together, in a darken room, almost a corridor of sorts, and I am staring at Him intently, longing for His forgiveness. I can see His thorns, prominently on top of His head , looking almost regal, like a mighty King. I can see His lips being swallowed up by His shaggy beard, and even His rough, wounded hands, but never can I see His eyes! His eyes are always covered by the shadows of the darken room, seeming to hide from me. I suppose it to be my sin that casts those shadows, blocking my view of His eyes which, no doubt, are peering into my soul, saddened by what He finds there, and still eager to pour forth His mercy.
I see Him reach down, pulling back His vestments and the most glorious of lights fills the room as His sacred heart slowly leaves His chest, floating through the air, towards me. Truly magnificent… the beating heart of Christ, vibrantly red, itself wrapped in thorns, consuming the darkness with its divine light, hovering before me! Drawn to look down at my own chest, I see my heart, a cold and blackened rock, slipping out of my body and falling to the ground! It leaves behind a hole that only the heart of Jesus can fill. Steadily, His heart enters my body, filling my chest, His light spilling out through every pour in my being, transforming me and conforming me until He and I are one. I am thankfully lost in the ocean of His mercy!
Unlike my my “daydream”, St. Padre Pio, my patron Saint, actually had an encounter with Jesus that was very similar in nature. It was reading about this event, that inspired my “vision”, and continues to inspire me even still today. St. Pio wrote the following passage in a letter to Fr. Agostino, one of his spiritual directors, a very dear and close friend, and a con-friar of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. I find it to be a very moving scene of God’s infinite mercy for those whom He loves… us! As “saintly” as St. Pio was, while he walked this earth, its amazing to read his letters, he was as eager for Jesus’ forgiveness and grace as you or I. I love this man! St. Padre Pio… pray for us!
I was barley able to go to the divine Prisoner to celebrate Mass, but when it was over, I stayed a while with Jesus in order to give thanks for His graces. O how gentle was the conversation that I had with Paradise that morning! Even if I wanted to try to tell everything, I would not be able to. Things were said that cannot be translated into human language without losing their deep and celestial meaning. The heart of Jesus and my heart were, if you will permit the expression, fused. They were not two hearts beating, but one. My heart had disappeared as a drop of water in the ocean. Jesus was Paradise, King. My joy was so intense and profound that I could contain myself no longer and the most delightful tears flowed down my face.
St. Padre Pio – April 18, 1912
About the Author:
Joe McClane – The Catholic Hack! – is the director and events coordinator for Fullness of Truth Catholic Evangelization Ministries, as well as an a Catholic New Media producer & Evangelist. He is married to his lovely wife Michelle and they have five children. The Catholic Hack | Catholic Apologetics, Theology & More!