The following is a re-post of what I wrote last year for St. Valentine's Day:
The photo above is one I snapped a few years ago of my favorite tree. When I found the heart-shaped hole in it, I was touched to see where it happened to be located. The "heart" is directly above a spot where I often sat, some years ago, scribbling my first journal notations about what it might mean to live in this world as a cloistered heart.
Coming across this photo in my files, I immediately thought of hearts carved in trees. Hearts made by young men and women intending to signify that their love is permanent. Names inside a heart... linked together by a + . Initials not just scribbled on a piece of paper, but put onto a more permanent object; something expected to last. "I will love you forever," the hearts imply. "I shall carve your name inside this heart, for I do not intend to let you go."
"What will we do," asks St. Francis de Sales, "when, in eternal glory, we see the most adorable heart of Jesus through the holy wound in His side.. a heart in which, written in characters of fire, all of us will be inscribed? Ah! We will then say to the Savior, 'is it possible that You have loved me so much that You have even written my name in Your heart?'"
"See, I have carved your name on the palms of My hands," says the Lord to us. (Isaiah 49:16).
He never intends to let us go. +
(photo copyright © 2011 N Shuman)