Attentiveness to the Heart of Jesus
Before I begin this blog, I would like to define the word “attentiveness” and what it means so we are all on the same page!
Webster’s Dictionary online defines it as follows:
“mindful, observant – “attentive to what he is doing.”
“heedful of the comfort of others”
“Attentiveness” is something that we truly need in our lives for sure! Just in the course of a day, we find ourselves being attentive to our families, our husbands, our wives, our sisters and brothers, our friends, our schoolwork, our chores, our homes, our driving, our phones, voicemails, texts, and the list goes on and on. Attentiveness! What a gift it is when we are attentive to one another and the needs and comfort of the “other.” How they appreciate that attentiveness in their lives!
I remember as a young mother bringing my first born home from the hospital and thinking I wouldn’t wake up when he cried out for his feedings during the night. I didn’t realize that before I even left the hospital, I was equipped with an “inborn alarm” that would awaken me out of a deep sleep. I would find myself up and out of the bed holding my baby and nursing him, before my husband even opened up one eyeball to the cries of his son!
Attentiveness! Attentiveness! Attentiveness!
Attentiveness to the needs of another is certainly necessary with babies and children as I have illustrated above, but we also need “attentiveness” with others in our lives in work relationships, our marriages and in our friendships as well as every relationship that the human soul experiences in this life.
Attentiveness builds relationships when one cares about the “other.” It builds a trust and a deeper commitment to the “other” when one goes about being “attentive” to others and not self.
Jesus Calls to My Own Heart
It was only in the last couple of weeks, that in my own personal prayer, Jesus again spoke to me through the words of Gabrielle Bossis in the anointed book “He and I.” I’ve written so many times over and over about this woman who has so influenced my spiritual life. She has become my friend, my companion on my journey, and she always seems to be ready to help me when I need to move forward or understand something with better clarity. I want give you a short bio to better acquaint you with this beautiful soul of Gabrielle Bossis:
Gabrielle was born in Nantes, France in 1874 and came from a wealthy middle class.
There was no need for her to earn a living yet she pursued a nursing degree, helped out in various parish projects, embroidered Church ornaments for missions and practiced the fine arts of the day – music, painting, illuminating and sculpture . . . and participated in her favorite sports of horse riding, dancing and many other social activities.
She was always surprised in her life by an inner voice which she felt with awe but it was only at age 62 that the “true dialogue” began with the “Voice” of Jesus and continued until two weeks before her death on June 9, 1950.
I became acquainted with the book back in the early 1990s when a dear Carmelite priest would come and give teachings on it. It was at this time that the book began to speak to my heart and bring me into a “School of Love” with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
I have mentioned, too, in past postings that we used the book last summer every time someone visited the statue of Our Lady of Fatima pilgrim statue in my home. We would open up randomly and somehow every time the words of Gabrielle and Jesus hit home to the person who needed to hear that message of love or instruction.
My Gift to the Sacred Heart
Taking the book in hand and into prayer with me a couple of weeks ago, right before I was celebrating my birthday, I wanted to hear what Jesus might want to say to my soul through His words to Gabrielle. I really wanted to confirm what was in my own heart and what I felt Jesus desired of me so I opened up to the following passage in the book, He and I:
He and I – July 24 – Holy Hour
Which of us is waiting the more impatiently for the moment of intimacy, you or I?
Yes, I know that you are thinking about it and preparing for it, that you are coming out of a sense of duty. But I’m coming from pure love. Ask Me for this love as though I were a merchant.
Gabrielle asks Jesus:
“What shall I give you in payment?”
“Your gratitude, which will burn like the flame of your Joy. What I give surpasses your poor little means and awakens new feelings in you – feelings you thought to be beyond your power to experience.
This unexplored domain amazes you and proves that it is I Myself who act in your attentive and docile soul.
Oh, be attentive to Me!
“This is a signal way of reaching Me. It is then that I come, and the greater your desire for Me, the greater will be the measure of My grace.
When someone is waiting for you, don’t you hurry?
Don’t you like someone to call because he cherishes you?
And when someone seeks you out to talk with you, this gives you pleasure, doesn’t it?
I am still more sensitive because I am always the One who loves first.
Even if you do little, you touch Me deeply. I, a Man God. . . what delicate sentiments are Mine!
Who will be able to feel the heart-beat of My love?
Above all, who will know how to respond?
Learn day by day, so that the moment will come at last when you will know.”
A Prayer from the Heart for Jesus
I have been reading the above passage over and over since I first turned to it. The words of Jesus to Gabrielle will hit you like waves on a sandy beach. They come full force and then slowly withdraw back into the ocean, but not without drenching our souls with His Word and His teaching.
Jesus tells us that even if we do little but are “attentive” to Him, mindful and observant of Him, we will touch Him deeply!
He tells Gabrielle “what delicate sentiments are Mine!” When I first read that line, again I had to go and look up the definition of the word “delicate.”
According to Webster, here are two illustrations of the word “delicate:”
“marked by keen sensitivity or fine discrimination”
“involving matters of a deeply personal nature”
Can you imagine this God who loves us so deeply, “He” tells Gabrielle the following on Holy Thursday, April 14, 1949:
“I burned with desire to belong to all of you, to remain in your possession right to the end of time, to be something you could take, eat and drink. To be shut into your Church to wait for you there, to listen to you, to console you in the most intimate union of all.”
Yes, I would say that Jesus is most delicate with our souls involving matters of a deeply personal nature, wouldn’t you?
How do we become “attentive’ to Jesus in our daily lives?
He spells it out very clearly to St. Margaret Mary in the following:
“Know that you will satisfy all by loving Me without reserve and without interruption;
Think and apply yourself to loving Me perfectly, pay attention only to loving Me and consequently only to pleasing Me on every occasion and in everything;
Let My love be the only object and the end of all your thoughts, actions and desires;
Breathe only My love, and endeavor so to love Me that you may love Me daily more. . .
You will accomplish more by this holy exercise, than you have promised by your vow.
Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
I find in my own life that there is so very much at our fingertips; so many, many devotions, books, books, and more books. We are often so tempted to hit that button on Amazon and order yet another book, seeking the answers that our hearts are restless for as St. Augustine so aptly tells us. I can surely attest of the many pages that have turned through my fingertips and have clouded my mind with so much information.
Just recently I had a conversation with a dear friend. We were speaking of devotions and how certain books touched us and moved us deeper into relationship with Jesus. I find that the book, He and I will never leave my hands. Truly it is “He” talking to Gabrielle but also talking to us so profoundly and deeply. Nothing compares with Holy Scripture but if you want to be attentive to Jesus and His Sacred Heart, invest in a copy and hit that button on Amazon or wherever you purchase your books. You will not be disappointed!
I close with a quote from the title page from “He and I:”
“When I found Your Words, I devoured them, they became my joy and the happiness of my heart.”
Jeremiah 15, 16
May Gabrielle Bossis and St. Margaret Mary
bring you ever closer
Sacred Heart of Jesus
©2019 Anita Guariglia
Photo Credits/Featured Image/Anita Guariglia
Gabrielle Bossis/IHS PatrickRobles, blog Parousie
St. Margaret Mary/Mary Ellen Fosso
Youtube: 10,000 Reasons/Matt Redman