Yesterday we celebrated to feast of the very human, very intellectual, St. Teresa of Avila. Today we celebrate the feast of a nun who was in many ways the opposite of St. Teresa.
While Teresa was put in a convent to curb her worldly ways, Margaret, a century later, was saintly from early childhood. Until she fell ill at the age of nine, Margaret worked at pleasing God by denying herself pleasures and by afflicting her body in punishment for the sins of men.
On a much, much lower level a priest friend and I mirror the differences between Margaret Mary and Teresa. Margaret Mary was a mystic, enjoying visions of her Savior so often that as a child she assumed that everybody was having such private meetings with Jesus. My priest friend likes talking about mystical experiences, while I prefer my religion coming to me through Scripture and Tradition.
My priest friend is very strong on devotion to the Sacred heart, while I shy away from displays of red anatomy. I am no authority, so what I feel in this matter really doesn’t matter at all, but I will go along with St. Margaret Mary and her mystic followers in one thing. I believe that Jesus showed her his heart, saying, “Behold this heart which has loved men so much, and has been loved so little in return.” It does make me feel the need to return that love.