Several years ago during my annual silent retreat, a powerful storm raged for most of the week I was there. The retreat house is on the beach so there was a bird's eye view of the sea from the upstairs room that led out onto the upper deck of the house.
One afternoon during this storm, I stood watching the storm and the sea from this room~the only sounds being of the crashing waves and the howling winds. As I stood there, I felt very safe inside the house. I prayed for the safety of anyone who may have been caught out on the sea that day. Then my thoughts turned to Our Lord's Sacred Heart.
The house was a refuge for me from the storm outside. Jesus' Sacred Heart is a refuge from the storms that arise in my life. Whenever I feel vulnerable to the storms in my life, especially the spiritual ones, I pray for Jesus to draw me into the safe refuge of His Sacred Heart. In that very brief prayer, I feel a peace and safety. The storms in my life may continue, but I am protected.
That image of His heart as a refuge is nothing new; the saints attest to to it in their writings. For me, though, that image took on real meaning for me during that week in that storm; it was one of the many gifts with which Our Lord graced me that week.
Jesus Himself wants us to take refuge in His Heart. At the Crucifixion, His Heart was pierced with a lance and was emptied of every last drop of blood and water~the flood of His mercy. After the Resurrection He retained His wounds, including the one in His side. Through this Sacred Wound we can gain entrance to His Sacred Heart and find the peace and protection we so desperately need.