THE NEWNESS OF A NEW MONTH
It’s June now. A whole little bundle of Time we call a month. I’ve never yet found a good definition of Time, but I sure know how to appreciate it, and so much so that I know why people call it a gift. I’ve had to scale back some of my ordinary activities in April and May due to physical . . .unpleasantness; and now, as June starts, I may be getting better, and I find I can concentrate on some new interests.
So here’s one new activity that reminds me to use my remaining Time for worthwhile interesting things:
A few months ago, a long-time friend whom I had lost contact with for a while encouraged me to learn how to play the recorder so that she and I could play together somewhat regularly. There’s my dark brown recorder on the center of my music. My friend plays both alto and soprano recorder, so when we play together we can sometimes hear the full range of this lovely little instrument. Really, there is no sound quite like the recorder. It’s just made for the pleasing sounds of early Western music.
I read music, but learning the fingering of a new instrument is more of a challenge than I thought!
The movement from music on the page, to brain, to fingering chart, back to brain, to fingers, to the recorder does not always happen simultaneously; meaning that the fingers play slower than the music goes. Figure that out.
(You wouldn’t notice if I’d just stick to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.)
But that’s what comes with doing something new. I’m in a new phase of reading Latin now too, so instead of saying “Wow, I think I’m getting the hang of this” — now I’m back to the brain-strain phase of learning a language.
There are a few other new projects I’ve got going that seem to be oh, so possible as this new month starts.
But there is a more important project for me. This isn’t just any ol’ new month, it’s June — the month that Christendom has associated with The Sacred Heart of Jesus. Although that particular image meant nothing but sentimentality to me in my younger days, now I know that it is so rich in meaning that for centuries people far smarter than I have written deep and inspired books about that very theme; and a knowledge of what it means has guided people into pathways of holiness – without which we cannot see Heaven.
Heart + Flames of Fervor + Thorns of Pain + Drops of Blood + Altar for Sacrifice (Cross)
The “sacred” is easy to understand; that is His holiness, and holiness is of God alone. But the “Heart” part is one that I’m working on, and will do so with great diligence this month. “Heart” refers to the Love of God and His will to love us, individually. “For God so loved the world . . . ” is a familiar phrase. But it really means that God loved a world of individuals; each singular unique individual person; no exceptions.
Okay, but “Love.” I’m not sure I have a good definition of Love either, although I know how Love acts and I know how to show Love and I know how it feels to Love someone – a lot. But it’s being on the receiving end that is the point of the Sacred Heart – indicating an intimate one-on-one contact so close and caring that there is a union of the two, God and our soul, Creator and the cherished created one.
Of course Christianity has a communal aspect: love your neighbor, etc. But the First Great Commandment is actually between you and God and it is to Love God with all your being and strength. It’s Love for God unto Unity. It’s a Unity with Love that is fervent, intense, and self-sacrificing, that burns away anything that is not of God. The Love from the Sacred Heart makes all things New and Beautiful.
And that’s a big project for the month of June!