Desert heart

Edit Desert HeartA prickly heart
beats inside a chest.
Thump thump thump,
the thrum of blood
coursing through veins,
like a river swollen with melting snow.

How sharp that heart appears,
pointed, angry, dangerous.
How dry and desiccated,
like something that might turn to dust
if you touched it, if you could touch it.

For the brave who might reach out,
even tentatively, with a gloved hand,
delicately probing the sharpened points.
Like tiny knives poised to cut
the one that comes close, they wait.

Tender fingers push them aside.
Gently, lovingly pressing into the flesh,
finding a moist treasure, supple within.
A hiding place for love,
encased by thorns,
freed by human hands and a heart.



Broken Hearts on Valentine’s Day

broken_heart_by_starry_eyedkid-1Many years ago, as a longtime single person, I made a decision to stop hating and avoiding what I thought of as the evil of Valentine’s Day. That year, I sent cards to so many people, you would have thought it was Christmas. Somehow a locked door in my broken-feeling heart flew open. It was freeing  and ever since that time, I have looked at the day differently. But that is me, and not everyone feels this way. Today can be a day of real misery for so many of us.

Liturgical Press has just published a fine book by Diana Macalintal called The Work of Your Hands, Prayers For Ordinary and Extraordinary Moments of Grace. While I will be writing more comprehensively about Diana and her book, I did want to offer one of the prayers, because it addresses those for whom this is not a joyful day. With permission of Liturgical Press, I offer Diana’s Valentine Prayer When Your Heart Is Broken.

Valentine’s Prayer When Your Heart is Broken
It’s February again, God,
and I’m surrounded by reminders of my broken heart.

Like fancy cards and paper cutouts,
we give our hearts away so easily.
And too often in return,
we receive only broken promises.

But you, O Lord, are ever-faithful,
you who heal the brokenhearted
and bind up all our wounds.

Bind me now to your Son’s Sacred Heart
that the ache I feel may draw me closer
to those whom he loved
even when they turned aawy.
Let my heart not become a heart of stone,
roughened by bitterness
or calloused by doubt,
but let it be a heart of flesh,
strengthened by your unbreakable promise,
willing to give,
ready to forgive,
and open to trying again.
-Diana Macalintal, reprinted with the permission of Liturgical Press

Very moving. Perhaps this is for you? Or for someone you know? Maybe you can send it to them, or simply say a prayer for them on this day. Or say a prayer for the many people that we do not know, but who are suffering or isolated today.

ResizeImageHandler(If you are interested, you can order the book at this link. There is a great deal on, to buy the paperback and the eBook in a bundle for only $9.49, which can be found here.)