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Mar 29, 2024 335 Sister Jane M. Abeln SMIC
Encounter

Does Love Hurt?

I remember a time in my ministry when I had felt a fellow minister distancing himself from me for no apparent reason. It seemed like he was struggling, but he wouldn’t share it with me. One Lenten day, burdened by this thought, I stood in my office and cried out to the Lord in my heart: “Jesus, I feel so left out of this person’s life.”

Immediately, I heard Jesus respond with these sad words: “I know how you feel. It happens to Me every day.”

Wow! I felt my own heart pierced, and tears flooded my eyes. I knew these words were a treasure.

I continued for months to unpack that grace. Since my Baptism in the Holy Spirit twenty years ago, I had considered myself to have a deep personal relationship with Jesus. But this Word from my precious Savior and Lord opened a whole new insight into Jesus’ Heart. “Yes, Jesus, so many people forget You, don’t they? And me too—how often am I going about my tasks, forgetting to bring my problems and thoughts to You? All the while, You wait for me to turn back to You, who looks on me with such love.”

In my prayer, I kept processing those words. “I know better now how You feel when someone rejects You, accuses or blames You, or does not talk to You for days or even years.” I would more consciously take my own sorrows to Jesus and tell Him: “Jesus, my Beloved, You feel this same sadness that I am feeling. I offer my little hurt to console You for so many people, including myself, who fail to console You.”

I saw in a new way my favorite image, Jesus with His Sacred Heart’s rays of love flowing out, lamenting to Saint Margaret Mary: “Look at My Heart that loves people so much—but receives so little love in return.”

Truly, Jesus gives me little trials daily so I can have a tiny taste of what He endured for us. I will always remember that moment of agony that brought me closer to the amazing, tender, long-suffering love of our dear Lord Jesus.

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Sister Jane M. Abeln SMIC

Sister Jane M. Abeln SMIC is a Missionary Sister of the Immaculate Conception. She taught English and religion in the United States, Taiwan, and the Philippines and has been in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal for 50 years.

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