There was a time in my life I thought it would be cool to have stigmata. Now, I’ve got a constant ring of pain around my head, two small scars under my ribs on either side (plus the big one down the middle), stria that look like whip marks. Tiny scars in the centers of my hands from IVs, and the occasional pain in my hands and feet from the cold.
When I was a kid, and I heard “Lift up your hearts” at Mass, I thought it sounded gross. Now, obviously, I understand the metaphor, but back in my teenaged years, I started taking a somewhat literal approach to it. “Here, Lord, is my heart. It’s no good to me. You can have it back. Your Sacred Heart was pierced by a lance, and my heart feels every day like it’s being pierced over and over. So I lift it up to you. Combine my sufferings with Yours.”