On Easter Sunday, some good friends (Cindi and Megan) attended morning Mass.  Afterwards they handed me a small but VERY heavy gift bag.  Cindi explained that the “potato heart blog post” that I wrote at the beginning of Lent touched her heart and inspired the gift. Since reading this post, Cindi set out on her South Mountain hiking expeditions to look for rock shaped hearts to bring me on Easter.  Her husband joked that one needed “some imagination” to see the hearts!  But each rock is clearly shaped like a heart…and much like our human hearts the shape is not perfect…there are some sharp edges, some rough spots.  It’s all part of the beauty!  I am very taken with the uniqueness of each rock type and shape.

The very next day our Mother Vicar, Sr. Marie St. Paul, shared with me a meditation she  – quite providentially – had just read from Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen:

“The human heart is not shaped like a valentine heart, perfect and regular in contour; it is slightly irregular in shape, as if a small piece of it were missing out of its side. The missing part may very well symbolize a piece that a spear tore out of the universal heart of humanity on the Cross, but it probably symbolizes something more. It may very well mean that when God created each human heart, He kept a small sample of it in heaven, and sent the rest of it into the world, where it would each day learn the lesson that it could never be really happy, that it could never be really wholly in love, that it could never be really wholehearted until it rested with the Risen Christ in an eternal Easter.”

The Lord uses the hearts He created to bring us the love of His Heart – and to make us long for that wholeheartedness that will be ours in the Kingdom!  There we will no longer have divided, wounded hearts.

As we go on our own unique hiking expeditions through this vale of tears, the Lord buoys our sometimes sagging hearts in simple yet extraordinary ways.   Time and again I have experienced this – these little tastes and glimpses of the Eternal Easter.  Sometimes by way of a potato, other times by way of a rock; sometimes by a stranger’s smile, other times by reuniting with a long lost friend; sometimes by a quiet moment of prayer, other times by a stunning Arizona sunset; sometimes by a good book other times by an encouraging “You can do it” whilst gasping for air during a workout; sometimes by a colored picture from my 5 year old niece, other times from an anonymous note in our prayer box that just says “Thank you”; and on and on and on.  Always each of these “hearts” bear the mark of the Risen Christ.  What amazing Divine Mercy flows from His riven side, His wounded Heart!  His love is ever-present…if only we have eyes to see and a heart open to receive!

Let us give thanks with grateful hearts for the rock rolled back that reveals the empty tomb!  Happy Easter…(and thank you Cindi for the gift of your heart!  Rock on!)