The first thing I think of when I hear “February” is a heart. The Christmas decorations have been replaced with St. Valentine decorations. Hearts and roses in various pink and red hues are hung from windows and front doors, filling grocery and drug store aisles. These decorations and declarations of love evoke a comforting feeling in me, that I am blessed and I am loved.
I cannot ignore the fact that my heart has also been broken several times. How can this little, yet vital, 10 ounce organ evoke such pain and sadness? After the death of a loved one, so many people tell me, “My heart is broken. I have never felt so much physical and emotional pain.” There is no quick fix for a broken heart. It takes time, effort and a deep faith in God.
Our beloved Mother Mary is no stranger to a broken heart. We have recently heard from Luke’s Gospel Simeon’s prophecy: “And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed” (Luke 2:35). Although Mary experienced intense pain and sorrow throughout her life, she never lost faith in the Lord and continued to do his will daily.
There is comfort in the arms of our Father; he knows the depth and intensity of the pain of our broken hearts. One of the most beautiful and comforting prayers is to the Sacred Heart of Jesus:
“O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I fly, I come to Thee, throwing myself into the arms of Thy tender mercy. Thou art my sure refuge, my unfailing and only hope. Thou has a remedy for all my evils, relief for all my miseries, reparation for all my faults, Thou canst supply for what is wanting in me in order to obtain fully the graces that I ask for myself and others. Thou art for me, and for us all, the infallible, inexhaustible source of light, of strength, of perseverance, peace and consolation. I am certain that my importunity will never weary Thee; certain, too, that Thou wilt never cease to aid, to protect, to love me, because Thy love for me, O Divine Heart, is infinite. Have mercy on me then, O Heart of Jesus, and on all that I recommend to Thee, according to Thy own mercy, and do with us, for us, and in us, whatsoever Thou will, for we abandon ourselves to Thee with the full, entire confidence and conviction that Thou will never abandon us either in time or eternity. Amen”
In this cold month of February, I find warmth in the comfort of God’s love. Not only do I offer him my prayers of thanksgiving and forgiveness, but I offer him my broken heart. Sometimes a broken heart allows God to enter into our lives more easily.
If there is anything Catholic Cemeteries can do for you during this difficult time, do not hesitate to contact us.
Nancy Janesz-Romaine, LSW, MPA
Bereavement Coordinator, Catholic Cemeteries Association
Diocese of Cleveland