Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s on the Lake,
Praise God for these beautiful summer days! This past Monday, I was home for the day off and was able to help get the last of the corn planted. It was thoroughly enjoyable. Now the rest is up to providence. In the end, we all need to place our hearts in the hands of God.
This coming week we celebrate our Parish Feast Day for Sacred Heart. I want to include here part of an article describing the history of this revelation of Jesus’ Sacred Heart:
“Jesus revealed to the saint [St. Margaret Mary] His heart, burning with love for humanity. Pierced and crucified — offering salvation and mercy — Jesus’ heart longs for us to offer our love and devotion in return. If some distorted forms of spirituality focused only on God’s punishment, the Sacred Heart emphasized mercy. If many believers inordinately feared God, here divine love and joy were manifest. If Jesus had seemed distant and unapproachable before, the Sacred Heart beckons us to enter into the divine furnace of charity.
St. Margaret Mary described her experience of the Lord: “My divine Heart is so passionately fond of the human race and of you, in particular, that it cannot keep back the pent-up flames of its burning charity any longer. They must burst out through you and reveal my Heart to the world, so as to enrich mankind with my treasures.” Following this revelation, Jesus united her heart with His in a fusion of mystical love and joy.
As St. John reminds us, God is love (see 1 Jn 4), the One who empties himself out for others, desiring our eternal salvation, seeking out the lost and carrying the wandering sheep home. The whole Christ event is a mission of mercy, as the Son, in radical obedience to the Father, becomes incarnate in our flesh — preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, healing the sick, forgiving the sinner, feeding the hungry and, ultimately, offering His life on the cross. Every word, action, gesture and attitude of Jesus manifests a perfect, pure and selfless love for each human person. If love means willing the good of the other, completely free of self-interest, we see the perfection of such charity in the burning heart of Christ.
Lest we think that such a love is naive, simplistic or easy, the Sacred Heart shines forth, crowned with thorns, pierced and bleeding. The crucifixion of Christ is the terrifying path through the valley of darkness and evil which God himself walks, embracing everything sinful, broken and dead that ensnares and destroys us. By remaining silent before His persecutors, praying for His killers, loving a dying thief and asking forgiveness for sinners, Jesus shows that the unconditional, infinite and divine love of His heart is the only force that can heal the world of its hatred, sin and rejection of God. By taking upon himself the totality of human evil committed by every person of every time, Christ refracts this overwhelming darkness into the light of the Resurrection.”
Let us run to the Lord’s Heart burning with love for us! Let us place there our loved ones, our families, our world. This is the life and mission of our Church.