Poem: Sacred Heart of Jesus, Help Me Live (Not Just Read) the Scriptures

by | Jun 25, 2021 | Prayers, Spirituality

The significance of the heart in the Judeo-Christian scriptures cannot be overstated. The word “heart” appears 858 times in the Old Testament and 156 times in the New Testament. There is no doubt that our hearts are central to the mystery of who we are. They hold many answers — and infinitely more questions. 

I discovered one particular image that captured this insight during my 30-day Silent Retreat as a Jesuit Novice – the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Sacred Heart always began and ended all my meditations. In my imaginative contemplations, Christ would rip out his heart from his chest and extend it to me. I would then take my own heart out and extend it to Him. My prayer was spent glimpsing the process of our two hearts slowly fusing throughout the retreat. By the end of the retreat, I could no longer distinguish which part of the heart was mine and which belonged to God. While it was scary to “lose” my heart (Matthew 10:39),  it was exhilarating to “gain” Christ’s heart! (Galatians 2:20)

This poem highlights how embedded the devotion to the Sacred Heart is in the Scriptures, and expresses a longing for our own hearts, not just to read, but to live these Sacred Scriptures. 

Grace to Ask: To sync my heart with God’s own heartbeat (1 Samuel 13:14)

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Help Me Live (Not Just Read) the Scriptures

O Most Sacred Heart,
With just one glance (John 19:37)
Your Fire (Luke 12:49)
Your Thorns (Matthew 27:29)
Your Vulnerability (Mark 15:24)
Advance a hidden process (Psalm 139:13-16)
Forming a ‘new creation’ within me (Revelations 21:5)
Even while I am unaware (2 Corinthians 4:16

O Most Sacred Heart,
The Most Holy Trinity (Matthew 17:5)
The infinite universe (Hebrews 1:3)
Dwelling (John 1:14)
In your Heart (John 7:38)
Bleeding (John 19:34)
Out of overflowing love (Romans 5:5)
Faithfully (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
Beating (2 Thessalonians 3:5)
For all (1 Timothy 2:4)
Humanity and creation (Colossians 1:16)
And now for me… (Ephesians 3:16-21)

I ask for a chance to engage with your penetrating questions (Luke 2:19),
For you are greater than the most illuminated answer (John 14:6)

I ask for a trickle of your divine power (Mark 5:30),
For you are greater than the most holy Temple (Matthew 12:7)

I ask for a morsel of your unpredictable action (John 3:8),
For you are greater than the most sacred religious practice (Mark 2:27)

I ask for an atom of your way of thinking, feeling, speaking and loving (1 John 3:18-20),
For you are greater than the most inspired prophet (Luke 11:32) 

I ask for a grain of your Kingdom (Mark 4:30-34)
For you are greater than the most beloved king (Matthew 12:42)

I ask for a seed of your holiness (Mark 7:28),
For you alone are the most ‘Holy One’ (1 Samuel 2:2)

O Most Sacred Heart,
Rain torrentially (Isaiah 55:10-12)
Reign gloriously (1 Chronicles 17:11-14)
Upon my heart (Ezekiel 36:26)
Upon all hearts (1 John 4:11)
Upon the broken & healing heart of the world (Romans 12:2)
For your budding Tree of Life is greater than the most fruitful vine (Revelations 22:2

O Most Sacred Heart,
Jesus (Philippians 2:10),
I (John 13:23)
Most Radically (Matthew 5:8)
Trust (Revelations 22:20) & Act (Mark 3:35)
In You! (Matthew 11:29)

Amen (Mark 15:39


Want to deepen your relationship with the Sacred Heart of Jesus? Try our Ignatian ‘Examen’ based on the fire, thorns and vulnerability of Christ’s heart. 

Feel free to pray with many more hidden Scriptural verses alive in the fire, thorns and vulnerability of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 

Living Christ’s Fire: 

  • Psalm 39:3 – Speaking from the fire within
  • Jeremiah 20:9 – What does prophetic fire feel like?
  • Luke 24:32 – Post-Resurrection, does my heart burn?
  • Acts 2:1-13 – Are the gifts of the Holy Spirit ablaze or dormant?

Living Christ’s Thorns: 

Living Christ’s Vulnerable Heart: 

  • Luke 17:21 – “The Kingdom of God is among and within you”, so share it! 
  • Luke 8:21 – Christ’s ‘Family’ are any and all whose will becomes ONE with God’s will  
  • John 13:23 – Jesus allowed others to be intimate with his Heart
  • Hebrew 10:22 – Only when we give our heart to God can it be healed


Original cover artwork by Ana Sofía “Anita” García (Miami, Florida, 2021), inspired by the Mike Martínez SJ’s album “Worship Real”


Mike Martinez, SJ

mmartinezsj@thejesuitpost.org   /   All posts by Mike