Peter Faber and the Heart Space

Ignatius Loyola and Peter Faber were together students at the University of Paris, even roommates. Peter taught Ignatius Aristotle and Ignatius taught Peter spirituality. Faber already had a rich and deep spirituality. Ignatius had already composed his retreat in the cave of Manresa. One can only imagine the late night conversations between the two of them! Peter was to be ordained as Ignatius’ first companion – before Ignatius – and shortly before his ordination Ignatius led him through the retreat. Peter was also the first to go aboard with Ignatius when they were about to start the Society of Jesus, and on August 15, 1534, Ignatius and his six companions met in a crypt and made vows while Peter celebrated Mass. (Tylenda, Jesuit saint and martyr)

In his book Peter Faber: A Saint for Turbulent Times, Jon Sweeney offers a new and intimate look at the life of the young saint. I was particularly touched by Faber’s diary entry about a deep longing he felt one day while celebrating Mass: “Would my whole inner being, especially my heart, give in to the coming of Christ in order to open up and give him a place in the center of my heart . “

When I read this, I was put back in second grade. My classmates and I sat on the edge of the chapel’s cold wooden benches. The granite walls lined by the station exuded a cool dampness that made me shiver. Sr. Norah, our guitar-playing headmistress, spoke to us First Communicators about making a place for Jesus in our hearts: “Jesus knocks on the door of your heart.” How strange and interesting it seemed to think my heart had a door. And Jesus wanted to go in? My imagination has settled on this picture.

I wonder how it would look like in my life today:

What would the door look like?

What would the knock sound like?

How long would it take me to open the door?

How about seeing Jesus standing there?

How would I greet him? And he me?

Which emotions would arise in me?

How about if Jesus penetrates my heart?

Would he find it an inviting space or would it be too much clutter for him to freely enter and move around?

Faber took these images to the next level when he considered not only opening this door, but also lingering Jesus permanently in this space of the heart. I am considering implementing this in my own life today:

How about if Jesus lives in my heart all the time?

How about having him there when I was sad and sad? And with joy?

How would my awareness of Jesus’ residence in my heart affect my daily interactions? How do i drive Job? Running errands? Walk through the town? Spend time with the family? Friends? To finish tasks? Go to the church?

Really, it’s a truthful reflection. I think I have a lot to do!

Open the door to Jesus

by Rebecca Ruiz

Jesus, I don’t know how to do that
how i should be
what I should do.
I don’t know if I’m getting it right at all Lord
but I know that you like my wish to welcome you.

So come and stay with me
in the deepest depths of my being –
my heart space.
Will you enjoy my joys with me?
Will you comfort me in my worries
Will you anchor me in times of change

Would you teach me how to do
To see how you see
To hear the way you hear
Feel how you feel
To react, how you react
To love how you love
Be the way you are

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