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Heart to Heart: Weekly Message for 06/05/2018
Dear Friends in Christ,
June is a big month for weddings in the northern hemisphere. It is a natural fit, since the school year is over, and the weather is usually nice.
It is also a supernatural fit, for just as families and friends celebrate the uniting of a man and a woman in holy matrimony, the Church celebrates another kind of uniting of hearts.
On back-to-back days the Church celebrates the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The object of devotion to the Sacred Heart is the physical heart of Jesus, which symbolizes his love. “Beneath the symbolic image of the Heart,” wrote Pope Pius VI, “we contemplate and venerate our divine Redeemer’s immense charity and generous love.”
Jesus’ physical heart leads us naturally to the woman who nurtured him in his humanity. The great proponent of Marian devotion, St. John Eudes, insisted that “Jesus is the fruit of Mary’s heart as well as of her womb.”
Mary’s mission went beyond her bearing and raising Jesus. Her heart cooperated with God’s grace so deeply, says St. Thomas Aquinas, that she became enabled to cooperate with her Son in the salvation of all men.
For just as Mary remained eternally devoted to her Son, she remained eternally committed to all the members of his mystical Body. She is Mother to Divine Love, as she is Mother to us.
This double embrace of love – Jesus’ and Mary’s – assures us that we are under the mantle of great protection as we journey through this world.
To better appreciate the Sacred Heart, you might find our Retreat Guide “Fire and Thorns” helpful. Think of it as a lesson in love.
Father Edward McIlmail, LC
Ask a Priest contributor