Today being Epiphany, my headline works out nicely. But my epiphany isn’t so much about Epiphany as it is the Aha moment I had in Adoration the other night.
I can’t get enough of Fr. Jacques Philippe. I sense he is one of the great prophets of our time, in a humble sort of way. Everything I read of his, I love, and I’m finding one of his latest books, “Real Mercy,” just as insightful as the others of his I’ve stumbled across.
His revelations are, perhaps, nothing new, but they resonate deeply. It’s not even so much that he speaks with eloquence, but he does speak with wisdom. Often, he draws on others — saints like The Little Flower — in what he shares. Then he relays these older truths in new ways that can grab the heart.
The other night, my ink pen swirling about the pages of this little book, I was reaching the end of my holy hour when these words floated past:
Forgiveness wasn’t even a topic burning in my soul that evening, but it’s something we can never ponder too much, I suppose. And the start of a brand-new year seems as good a time as any to wipe clean the slate of our souls. Philippe’s words were perfectly timed either way, because now, when I need them, they’ll be there.
A hardened heart can be a mighty stumbling block. To live freely, we must have an openness to renewal. But it’s rarely easy, and sometimes it feels downright impossible, to let go of old wounds.
Philippe wants to bring hope. He offers a way to manage this whole forgiveness thing that, while simple, may not have occurred to most of us before.
“Go through the heart of the Father,” he says. “This is the source of forgiveness.”
We don’t have to take up this task of forgiveness alone, or even rely on ourselves for it. And maybe that’s why we struggle so much, and why forgiveness – or lack thereof – plagues us so. Maybe we just haven’t understood that we were never meant to shoulder this by ourselves.
Focusing on ourselves, we lose our way. We are not wholly capable of the mending that needs to take place. God alone, as always, can lead us through it. And he leads us first, if we allow it, straight into the middle of HIS heart — his sacred heart. It is here where we are to begin. Not “out there somewhere” and not even within ourselves. It is God’s heart in its abundant mercy that can guide us.
And if we need a little help getting there, our blessed mother will gratefully accompany us to the heart of her son. She is, after all, the “mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope.”
Yes, this forgiveness thing can be the hardest thing ever. But with God’s expansive heart as the starting point, we can start down what feels like an impossible road and find ourselves — and our own heart — transformed.
Go to the heart of God. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Just go, and seek the love that awaits. In God’s heart, you will find the forgiveness you seek, and then, having found it, you can give it away.
Q4U: What was your latest epiphany?