June, as we know, is the month dedicated to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. When I read the headline the other day that married persons are 14% less likely to suffer a heart attack it got me thinking about how mind, heart and body stand more of a chance of being healthy and wholesome from a physiological perspective, if we see the needs of all three from the spiritual perspective first.
There are mountains of evidence and data now supporting the undeniable fact, that lifelong, committed matrimonial bonding and love makes for a generally happier, healthier life and positive outcomes on well-being, not just for men and women but most especially for children. But before we recognize all these great things about the benefits of marriage for ourselves, our children, the Church and wider society, it makes total sense that we should draw all the inspiration, energy, strength and encouragement we need from the One whom we seek so earnestly to follow who said: “This is my body.”
Over the last couple of weeks, it’s been so edifying to read of so many Blessed Sacrament processions taking place all over the country, particularly with parents and children accompanying our Eucharistic Lord in honor of the feast of Corpus Christi, a feast that so beautifully bridges the period between the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as well as the Immaculate Heart of Mary. After all, Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, took his flesh, his body from His beloved mother. And as I looked at images of children accompanying the Lord in procession it put me in mind of the famous nursery rhyme; Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb, Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow…”
(And this is my own interpretation) I thought to myself, “Mary” can be Our Lady, she brings us close to Jesus “the Lamb” who is “white as snow” like the consecrated Sacred Host lifted high for adoration. The ‘little lamb’ in the rhyme made the children laugh and play just like the Real Presence of the Lord in the Holy Eucharist brings delight and joy to children. But for us as adults, when we worship Him in this form in humble childlike faith and love, our hearts are filled with similar delight so that we are once again given the ‘joy of our youth.’
Now when I hear the rhyme and sing it with my child (who loves it over and over again) I am reminded of the Holy Lamb of God and the joy and power his Body and Blood can bring to me in my own feeble body, mind and soul, so that I in turn can pass it on to my offspring.
As one very wise and humorous blogging Catholic wife and mother so beautifully put it: “My role in evangelizing amounts to nothing more than me being one beggar, telling another beggar where the bread is.”