George Macdonald writes, “God is so beautiful, and so patient, and so loving, and so generous that He is the heart and soul and rock of every love and every kindness and every gladness in the world. All the beauty in the world and in the hearts of men, all the painting, all the poetry all the music, all the architecture comes out of His heart first. He is so loveable that no heart can know how loveable He is can know only in part.”
The parts my heart knows:
Ray, who gently but persistently encouraged me to accompany him to Adoration. He prayed for me outside the chapel as I gazed upon the body of Jesus. Directly above the Eucharist hung a crucifix. I came before Jesus in fear and trembling, full of the knowledge of my own sin. “Not this time, Lord. I do not believe you can forgive me. How can you forgive me again?” As I wept, the Lord said to me, “Don’t you know this is why I am on the cross? I knew you would sin in this way. Because I love you so much, I made a provision for this very moment and act. Nothing can separate you from my love.”
My best friend, Anna, who I have known for over ten years, who has seen all of my ugliness and is still my best friend. Who, during a fragile, pivotal point in my life, invited. Did not urge or lecture, but simply invited me to community, invited me to prayer, invited me into the Heart of the Father. Who never took back the invitation when I resisted. And whose invitation was eventually the doorway through which I came home.
A priest on a Catholic retreat in the mountains. Prayer on the opening night. Where are you, God? Will I find you here? Am I still precious to you? As my heart cried out silently, Father Keith put two hands on my shoulders. The surety in his voice unshakeable, he says, “Oh, yes. He loves you.”
My parents, their love so unconditional, unwavering and uncompromising. Ever forgiving, yet never content to see me stay in the same place or to accept my sin. Their love shapes me, as Christ’s also longs to do.
Witnesses to Jesus are all around me, in every moment of gladness, every kindness bestowed upon me, every person with beauty in their heart, those that love me and continue to love me in my weakness. These are the witnesses that point to Christ. The most positive witnesses of my experience never come from those who are most learned or who make the best argument. They come, always, from those who live humbly with Jesus, who know Jesus so well that they can speak for Him when I am unable to hear for myself. It is out from behind their eyes that He peers, it is between their arms that He embraces, it is from their lips that He sings His love song to me.
Melissa Mrozek is a young adult Catholic and recent graduate of St. Mary's University in Maryland.