There was a family, where the husband had left without explanation. He had simply walked away, leaving his wife and three teenage sons devastated. The woman had been to a Sacred Heart Enthronement that had taken place at a neighbor’s house and she became convinced that her family, too, needed the Sacred Heart to help them deal with the overwhelming hurt and anger they felt.
However, the boys laughed at her and remained unconvinced that a Sacred Heart Enthronement could make a difference. “Do you really think a ceremony of hanging a picture of the Sacred Heart will make things all right?” they asked.
In fact, they said that they would not attend, further wounding their mother’s heart. Nevertheless, she began making preparations, because she was intent on having the Enthronement. The preparation involves family prayer and inviting others to attend. This necessitates getting the home ready for others and of course, the Special Guest of honor.
The boys watched as their mother labored and seeing her dedication, they were moved to help even though it was summer time and they had better things to do. With their father gone, they had to assume many duties, minor repairs and lawn work. This latest task was just another reminder that he was gone.
Yet when the night of the Enthronement arrived, the boys not only attended, but invited some friends to join the throng of neighbors who came to support the woman and her family. They had gone the extra mile and set up a beautiful sacred space for Jesus in the living room of the home.
The Enthronement ceremony includes a procession through the home, with the Sacred Heart image and other sacramentals. It is customary, when members of the family can’t attend the ceremony, to include their photo in the procession, and this night one of the sons carried a photo of their dad, another of their dad and all of them on a fishing trip. A third son carried a picture of their Mom and Dad together.
It was a beautiful ceremony and as it was drawing to a close, the doorbell rang. Moved by the participation of her sons, the mother was feeling full of joy as she went to answer the door.
She opened it and there stood her husband, with a look of bewilderment on his face. “Is everything all right?” he asked. “I have been driving around the house, over and over, trying to find the courage to face you, and every time I did there were more and more cars. I had visions something was wrong!”
When the boys saw their father at the door, they ran to him and brought him into the living room where Jesus was, and explained what was going on.
The family held each other for a long time.
This is just one story of how when we invite Jesus into our homes and hearts He can breathe new life and love into our families.
Did writing this book teach you anything?
When I first started writing this book, I was just learning about the Sacred Heart. I’m a post Vatican II Catholic and really didn’t know it. I have said that writing this book was like going to the school of His Heart and that every lesson was a lesson of Love! I think I learned most about how much each one of us is loved by Jesus and God, our Father.
If there is one person you want to reach with this book, who would that be?
A person who might feel shaken in their faith or challenged by trial, despair or a sense of hopelessness. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is an oasis of grace and a sure and safe refuge. Families especially, where there is brokenness and estrangement. The Sacred Heart promises are especially powerful for these times!
What is the ideal beverage to have in hand while reading your book?
Well, my ideal beverage is Diet Coke with a splash of cherry juice. What’s yours?