Today we celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, one of my personal faves and, in my opinion, one of the more intimate feasts of the Church year.
It’s all about love! This feast and devotion was established in 1675 at Jesus’ request through St. Margaret Mary Alocoque. In establishing this devotion, Jesus expresses a simple desire: to be loved, and through the observation of this feast and its devotion, he invites us to respond:
“Behold the Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself, in order to testify its love; and in return, I receive from the greater part only ingratitude, by their irreverence and sacrilege, and by the coldness and contempt they have for Me in this Sacrament of Love. But what I feel most keenly is that it is hearts which are consecrated to Me, that treat Me thus. Therefore, I ask of you that the Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi be set apart for a special Feast to honor My Heart, by communicating on that day, and making reparation to It by a solemn act, in order to make amends for the indignities which It has received during the time It has been exposed on the altars. I promise you that My Heart shall expand Itself to shed in abundance the influence of Its Divine Love upon those who shall thus honor It, and cause It to be honored.”
The Church sets aside this day every year to venerate the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Additionally, the Church dedicates the entire month of June to Jesus’ Sacred Heart. How can we go deeper in our love for Jesus during this special time and love Him such a way as to console his heart?
In yesterday’s meditation in the Magnificat, Elisabeth Lesuer gave us a clue. She wrote a beautiful reflection on Jesus’ invitation to love during this time of the Sacred Heart. It touched me deeply. I pray it will do the same to you and that it will prompt you to generously love Jesus in each moment of your day.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us! Anne
EWTN gives a terrific summary of the feast.
During the month of the Sacred Heart, [I Resolve] to meditate every day on the beauty, love, and holiness of the Heart of Jesus. To offer in a spirit of reparation part of the suffering and deprivation I now endure, consecrating the rest to other intentions: the conversion and holiness of those who are dear to me, the salvation of others, the good of the Church. In the absence of all conscious joy, to establish myself more firmly than ever, by God’s grace, in complete serenity. Never to show by irritation or by outward exhaustion, which is more likely for me, the moral and physical fatigue caused by certain difficulties and long illness. To do everything to preserve and improve my health, and to make of this disagreeable concern, my practice of self-denial.
To learn from the Heart of Jesus the secret of love for others and deep knowledge of them: how to touch their wounds without making them sting, and how to dress them without reopening them; to give myself to them and yet maintain my privacy. To disclose truth in its entirety and yet to make it know according to the degree of light that each can bear. The knowledge needed for this ministry only comes from Jesus Christ, by encountering him the Eucharist and in prayer.
Servant of God Elisabeth Leseur
Magnificat, Vol. 15, No. 4, pp. 91-92