... in a barbed wire fence

Published on 11 Jun 2021
Barbed wire and heart shaped leaves

Today is the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is a very important devotion for Catholics, but one I have sometimes struggled to understand.

I have found the imagery often associated with it offputting, a little gory. Not least the image of the heart bound round with the crown of thorns. In fact, as I was looking at this image the other day, I thought it was like barbed wire. But by coincidence, I was on a walk recently and as I sat on a bench looking out at the view, I noticed a plant that had wound its way around the barbed wire fence, creating a pattern with its heart-shaped leaves. The sacred heart in a natural form. The love of Christ grows around the thorns which were placed on his head just as this plant weaves around the fence. The light too was playing through the green of the leaves, just as the Sacred Heart is often depicted as aflame. The fenced helped to frame this. Without the fence the plant would have grown elsewhere and I would not have seen it in this way.

As I looked at it I was reminded by all those who suffer from the consequences of sin in many ways, whether that of themselves or others, especially those in prison, and how Jesus comes to us in the midst of our suffering and sinfulness to show us the way and to bring us life.

Where have you found God today?

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