The Heart of Hope: Weekly Message for 06-01-2021

Dear Friends in Christ,

Many people in the Northern Hemisphere hope for a return to some sort of normality this summer, free of face masks and (anti-)social distancing.

June in particular is a month of hope, when many couples embark on the life of holy matrimony.

For Catholics, there is another reason for hope. It’s the month of the solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart is, as Pope Benedict XVI said in a 2006 address, “rooted in the mystery of the Incarnation, [for] it is precisely through the Heart of Jesus that the love of God for humanity is sublimely manifested.”

It means devotion to Jesus himself, to the Word made flesh, to the humanity of the Son of God, and, in a particular way, to the love of God in human form.

Think about it. If we took the infinitely perfect God, in his infinite love, and tried to fit him into a human form, what would that be like? It would be Christ himself.

Reminding ourselves of that love is easy. We only need to gaze upon a crucifix.

It’s a simple gesture, yet one worth keeping on the radar, as we continue to grapple with pandemic fallout, political and military tensions, and the rising tide of purposelessness that seems to engulf a lot of drifting souls.

Only through love do we grasp what it is that should hold us together. And only in the love of Christ do we see what that means in its most perfect form.

For added help, you might check out our Retreat Guide on the Sacred Heart of Jesus, “Fire and Thorns.”

It could help enkindle the hearth of hope.

In Christ,

Father Edward McIlmail, LC
Ask a Priest contributor

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