In paragraph 238 of her diary, St. Faustina reflects on her prayer the night before taking her perpetual vows:
O Jesus, tomorrow morning I am to make my perpetual vows. I had asked heaven and earth and had called upon all beings to thank God for this immense and inconceivable favor of His when suddenly I heard these words, “My daughter, your heart is My heaven.”
What a profound revelation! We think of heaven as the place of the saints, where Mary reigns as Queen and where we hope our relatives and friends enjoy the Peace of the Blessed Trinity—a Peace unlike that which the world can give. Heaven is where we want to be in our eternal state yet, do we ever think of what heaven means to God? In this short reflection of Faustina’s, we hear Jesus tell her that her heart is “His heaven.” Imagine that! Imagine even further what it would be like to hear those words directed toward me. Does Jesus desire the same of me? I know He wants to dwell in my heart. Am I to make my heart a heavenly place for Him?
In today’s Gospel we hear Jesus give Peter the Keys to the Kingdom, reflecting the Full Authority given to Eliakim in the first reading. Notice the description of the authority that accompanies the key of the House of David God gives to him: when he opens, no one shall shut; when he shuts, no one shall open. That authority is absolute. There are no conditions set over it. It’s the kind of authority we all dream of having, maybe over some aspect of our lives, our situation, our community or our world. It makes me wonder what I would do if God gave me such keys of authority. Enough musing over what is not real. Let’s look at the key he does give each of us.
Yes, God gives me a key similar to that of the one He gave Eliakim and the ones He gave Peter and just as Eliakim had full authority to open or to shut, just as Peter had full authority to bind or to loose, so I, too, with this key have full authority. It is the key to my heart over which God has given me the same full authority. I can open or shut my heart to Him. I can accept and bind His love and will or I can give them up and loose them. My heart is the Kingdom where He desires to dwell and, despite His immense desire, He will never force Himself on me. Only I hold that “Key.”