The Sacred Heart of Jesus

Have you ever heard of the Sacred Heart of Jesus? I remember my Mom, a devout Catholic, praying to this icon of Jesus. In fact when she died, one of my treasured heirlooms was a large Sacred Heart of Jesus holy card with a picture of me taped to it. 

What is the Sacred Heart of Jesus?

It represents the wounded healer; the gentle, humble man who came to show us a different way. That is the way of living with gentleness, courage, and self-knowledge. It is a way of being compassion’s presence in a suffering world. 

So, what does my poem mean? How is Jesus a bodhisattva?

In Buddhist terms, Jesus was a bodhisattva. He was an enlightened being who came into this world to alleviate suffering. He chose a ministry that would focus on the suffering in the world. He chose to bring awareness of this suffering.

Jesus was committed to alleviating suffering and teaching his followers to do the same. His whole life, his whole ministry was about compassion. Some examples of his compassionate action: the hemorrhaging woman, the loaves and fishes crowd, the family of Lazarus. Can you name others? 

We all go through suffering. I believe that Jesus did, too. He was a wounded healer powered by the compassion in his heart. His Sacred Heart is a bodhichitta heart. 

What exactly is bodhichitta?

It is an awakened heart. To have bodhichitta is to be empathetically aware and acting upon that empathy. That action is compassion.

Christian teachings say that Jesus came to save the world. He did that one compassionate act at a time. I believe that as bodhisattvas we continue his ministry each time we engage our bodhichitta and are compassionate. 

“Wait! I’m not bodhisattva material!”

Are you aware of suffering? Do you feel called to alleviate suffering in the world? Do you practice compassion when you are aware? Then you, my friend, are a bodhisattva. It really is that simple. 

Van

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