Loving, Compassionate Heart


By Sr. Onellys Villegas, MHSH

(This post is part 1 in a six part series on “To Love Like Jesus: A Spirituality of the Heart”.  Each week, we will post a reflection based on the Litany of the Heart by Wendy M. Wright.  To read the Litany, click here.  As Women of the Heart, the Mission Helper Sisters invite you to pray and reflect with us during the next 6 weeks, as we publish one reflection each week on this rich and inviting spirituality).With us, ponder:

What would it mean to love like Jesus?
What would it mean to have a heart like his?


Loving, Compassionate Heart

“So loving”… the all-encompassing loving presence of the Sacred Heart in our lives helps each of us to contribute to the holiness of the Church and give glory to our God.  It is this loving presence in our lives that leads us to experience the Soft Whisper of Love.

Leaving for my work (as a counselor to women who are victims of abuse) one morning I had this deep sense of a loving presence. As my morning continued and a I listened to women experiencing pain, desperation and fear, I looked up through the window and I saw a huge tree with branches spread wide, as if it wanted to give me a big hug. I called it to the attention of the woman in the room with me to see if she was seeing what I was seeing, and she smiled. At the end of the session, I shared with her the big hug that I experienced from a loving presence in the room.  She was open to it and left with a big smile on her face!

We read in the Gospel of Matthew: “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be”. (Matthew 6:21)

“So Compassionate”… Compassion alludes to kindness and sympathy, but there is something deeper, something even more profound and powerful, in its meaning. Compassion inspires and encourages us to expand our circle, it invites us to embrace all life, regardless of species,  and be able to make loving, merciful choices.

The Sacred Heart represents a God of Compassion who desires that we live and act compassionately. “Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight”. (Psalm 119: 77)

Compassion occurs when the heart “quivers in response” to the suffering of another, giving rise to the wish to alleviate that suffering.  When we are suffering and feel the urge to help ourselves, we are experiencing self-compassion.

I will end this reflection by sharing with you a reminder for all of us from a teacher at Loyola University of Maryland, Robert J. Wicks:


Read a bit

Listen to a favorite song

Call a friend

Remember a kindness

Help the poor

Keep perspective

Smile broadly

Laugh loudly

Close doors gently

Do what you can

Live gratefully

Relax for a moment

Breathe deeply

Tease yourself often

Take a quiet walk

Tell God a funny story



“Mercy is Misericordia” – A Reflection for the 4th Sunday of Lent

By Sister M. Judith Waldt, MHSH

The Latin term for Mercy is Misericordia. This is illustrative in that the meaning of the term “Miseria” refers to suffering, which so many people experience in many and varied ways. “Cordia” refers to the heart. Thus, Misericordia means joining in one’s heart to the suffering of others. This is the core of what extending Mercy is all about – uniting our hearts to the suffering of others, placing our lives in solidarity with the suffering.

mercy_visiting the hospital

If we reflect on the Incarnation – how God enters into our world and embraces our humanity we see that God chooses to unite the Sacred Heart of his Son to our suffering. God does not do this out of necessity but out of love. Our suffering is transformed, not eliminated.  It is akin to visiting someone who is ill in the hospital – not because you have to, but rather, freely, and from love.

Their suffering is transformed, not eliminated, because they are no longer alone. The one who chooses out of love to enter into their suffering changes the reality. When we think of the Sacred Heart of Jesus joining his heart to our suffering, it reminds us that we are no longer alone.sister-judy-waldt-visiting-the-hispanics

As Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart, this is our mission: to enter into the suffering of others out of love and to bring the Sacred Heart to themIn doing so, we do not eliminate suffering, but transform it by the love of the Sacred Heart, helping  people know that they are not alone.