Eucharistic Reflection: You are a tear in my heart

by Diocese of Des Moines | August 24, 2021


By Brooke Miller

Parishioner at the Basilica of St. John


The Eucharist is a blazing fire.  It is the same roaring fire of an intimate lover’s gaze, iconic of human lovers but transcended to greater heights in Jesus Christ.  Where there is Divine Love and the human person, there is desire and Presence too intimate for speech.  The Eucharistic Bridegroom speaks Love to His Bride with sighs too deep for words.

St. Augustine says, Cantare amantis est, singing is a lover’s thing.  In the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus Christ, I cannot help but be taken up into the Lover’s song.  St. Augustine did not have this in mind, but as I reflect, I gravitate toward the song, “Tear in my Heart” by Twenty One Pilots.  There is no doubt that singer Tyler Joseph wrote the lyrics for his wife.  However, from my Catholic Christian consciousness with the Last Supper discourse and the marriage analogy of the fifth chapter of Ephesians resonating deeply in my heart, I hear Jesus Christ speak to His Church in these pregnant words. “She’s a tear in my heart; I’m on fire.”

I have always felt an intense call to the vocation of beauty.  Art often speaks a clearer reality than my wordy sentences, and I am grateful for the gifts of image and wonder.  In prayer, Jesus showed me the image of the priest’s hands holding the Eucharistic, Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Broken in two, both Eucharist and burning Sacred Heart.  The Eucharist is broken at every liturgy.  On earth, we see in the midst of this break, an empty space.  In the sacramental reality, there is the pierced Heart of Jesus Christ, true God and true man.  In the center of that wound, there you are, the Bride of Christ as an individual in your personal relationship with Jesus and in community as a member of the Body, the Church.

In his book, Credo for Today: What Christians Believe Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI writes about the incarnation of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary.  He says, “Mary is identified with daughter Zion, with the bridal people of God.  Everything said about the ecclesia in the Bible is true of her, and vice versa: the church learns concretely what she is and is meant to be by looking at Mary.”  What do I learn from this perfectly beautiful woman who was the spouse of the Holy Spirit?  She is a listening woman.  A woman of prayer.  A woman completely open to God.  She is a lover.  We are called to be lovers.    

However, there is more!  In his apostolic letter, Mulieris Dignitatem: On the Vocation of Women, St. John Paul II writes about the vocation to virginity and the theology of femininity.  He says, “Women, called from the ‘beginning’ to be loved and to love…” [emphasis added].  Do not miss this!  Whether male or female, the ontological reality of femininity cannot fail to take hold of us.  What set Mary apart?  God gave her all of Himself from her conception; she surrendered to His Love and received Him completely.  She surrendered to being loved by God.

Mary is our mother.  We are called to find out who we are from her and to imitate her.  Just as the Word became incarnate in her womb, so too, Jesus in the Eucharist wants to become incarnate in us as we receive Him into ourselves at every Mass.  The world will see Jesus in us as we enter into deeper communion with Him.  We will only be drawn into deeper union when we let ourselves be loved.  Let yourself be loved by Jesus!  From the silent host in the monstrance, I hear Him call, “You are a tear in my heart.  I am on fire, for you.”       

Reflection Questions:

  • How does the reality of God’s passionate love for me resonate in my heart? Does it bring me joy, confidence, discomfort, or something else?
  •  What does Mary teach me about the way I am called to receive Jesus?

Petitionary Prayers:

  • For a greater awareness of God’s passionate and personal love for each one of us, we pray…
  • That we may see in Mary a perfect model, and have the grace to receive Jesus fully into every aspect of our lives, we pray…
  • For anyone who feels unlovable or alone, may they experience God’s unfathomable love for them, and may they find comfort in His Eucharistic heart, we pray…
Diocese of Des Moines

The Diocese of Des Moines, created in 1911, serves people over a 12,446 square mile area in the southwestern quadrant of Iowa, including 23 counties.