Thursday, October 27, 2011


Speaking from an open heart can seem so vulnerable and yet be one of your strongest assets. I am reminded of a story I once heard some years ago, attending mass at The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart here in Richmond, VA., one Valentine's Day weekend.

On this particular Sunday, a priest presided over the mass by the name of Father Renninger.

He started his homily unlike many, cracking a joke. (Which I liked.) After intriguing me, he continued the beginning of his sermon by relaying a true story about what Valentine's Day was truly about in his eyes.

Living within close proximity of his grandparents, Father Renninger would often visit them every afternoon walking home from his Catholic high school. On one such afternoon, he found himself interrupting his grandmother caring for his elderly grandfather, cleaning him, after soiling his clothes.

Horrified (as any teenager would be) he quickly tried to excuse himself by closing the door, but as he did so, his grandmother angrily shouted out to him "DON'T YOU DARE CLOSE THAT DOOR. SOMETIMES LOVE LOOKS LIKE THIS."

Ashamed and dismayed he preceded to help his grandmother care for his grandfather.

Over the years, I'm surprised that I can remember that homily with such clarity. Maybe I feel more compelled to share it with others merely because love is an open heart. Closing yourself off doesn’t feel good. It makes your heart heavy and contracted. The most open person in a relationship is usually the strongest one.

Sometimes love looks like a mother burying her mother. Sometimes love looks like a daughter caring for her elderly father, and sometimes love is doing things for someone, not because you need them but, because they need you.

Gracias a la vida. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here I am, new to Seattle, just got internet and I saw that you had 2 new posts to your blog. I'm not even sure if you knew that I subscribed to it, but I do and I love reading it. Anyway, I just read this entry and no shit, Jenessa, it made me tear up. Thank you for posting this. Even though I'm 2300 miles away, I still feel pretty close to you and your life and your thoughts through your blog.