The Sacred Heart of Jesus



The Love of God is for each of us.

In the 17th Century, Christ appeared to Saint Margaret Mary. He entrusted to her, between 1673 and 1675, three great messages for the Church and for the world. She revealed their contents, helped in this by Saint Claude la Colombière. It is a message for today’s world in search of meaning and hope which at the same time is entrenched in the symbol of the Sacred Heart and the whole of Scripture.

We learn from St Margaret Mary that we can understand what humble response we can give to this expectation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus : offer our heart in return. From St Claude la Colombière, the apostle of confidence, we learn to believe that everything is possible thanks to the infinite mercy of the Lord.

The Love of God is for each of us, whoever we may be.

The Heart

 

Sans titre

 

All cultures have recognised that in the centre of life lies the heart, the origin whose regular rythm scans every moment of existence. The heart accompanies man in his relationships : it beats according to the rythm of its deapest and most secret of feelings which are marked by love. The heart appears as something capable of opening up to receive and to give of itself in a relationship or it ends up by closing in on itself. The Bible talks of the heart to express the most intimate part of man, where his inner being lies : his feelings, his impulses, and his desires, but also his memory, his will and his intelligence : one can only know with the heart. The heart is the whole of the person, his « secret garden », which noone knows apart from God alone. It is the heart which seeks God : that is why it is in the heart that God allows himself to be discovered, for God lives in the heart of man.

 

The heart is the whole of the person. So, talking about the Sacred Heart of Jesus is clearly not a discussion of this heart as an organ…  Nevertheless, it is all well and good to delve into the mystery of God who becomes incarnate, is made man without ceasing to be God. At Pentecost, the apostles recognised Him as being at the same time God as true God, whilst being totally and perfectly human. To the extent that the love which Jesus incarnate gives to his Father, and men, his brothers, is the Divine Love of Himself : a love which is perfect, unfathomable, always put first, unconditional, untiring and wholly merciful, intimate breath of life which receives the name : Spirit of God. God loves us. By creating men, he wanted him to be worthy of love and capable of love. He fashioned for him a heart. Let this heart be closed and the man dies from no longer being loved or capable of loving. God refuses that man’s last word should be in this death ! In Jesus, this last word is pronounced in an open heart whilst death thought it had it in its power. The pierced Heart of Christ is the paradoxical sign of the victory of love over death. This gesture is an appeal made so that our heart united with the Heart of Jesus opens itself fully and resolutely to love and thereby finds the essence of life.

The wound of the Heart of Jesus.

 

IMG_8342

It is amazing to see that Christ complains not so much of sin as of the indifference of men, an indifference which closes them to the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross and makes it as though futile. That is why the message of Paray-le-Monial contains an appeal for the reparation and consolation of the Heart of Jesus.

Reparation : to love for those who do not love. Each time we perform an act of love, mysteriously, all mankind derive the benefits.

Consolation : Following Margaret Mary, each eve of the first Friday of the month, Christians who want to can  contemplate Jesus’ agonies  in the Garden of Olives.

 The Church is in an endless quest for this hour, which was lost in the Garden of Olives, lost by Peter, James and John, in order to remedy this desertion and the solitude of the Lord which increased his suffering… Jesus allows us in some way during this irreversibly elapsed hour to continually find him. Again, humanly speaking, and, as before, He invites us to take part in the prayer of his Heart which enflames whole generations of mankind (C. Wojtyla).

 

Whoever wants to understand the history and renown of Paray-le-Monial must go back a long way, beyond the founding of its monuments, into Judea and Palestine 2000 years ago… Another 1200 years before, a people, the sons of Israel, settled in the Land of Canaan. It professed faith in a one and only God, who saved it from slavery in the Land of Egypt, in order to lead it onto this Land of Freedom. United to God, through listening to His words, a long story is unravelling, which will affect all of mankind. Between the years 4 and 7 BC, is born a child named Jesus, of Mary, his mother, who was betrothed to Joseph, a carpenter from Nazareth. At the age of 30, Jesus travels through Palestine with his disciples and twelve apostles He chose for Himself : He introduces Himself as the Son of God, who came into the world in order to call sinners to a life of freedom, announce the Good News of Salvation, heal the sick and forgive sins.

Come to me, you who suffer and bend under the weight of the burden, and I will relieve you ! Take on my yoke and come and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest.

Matthew, 28-29

About to be delivered and nailed to the Cross, Jesus gathers his apostles in order to celebrate with them the Meal of the Passover. Dring this Meal, Jesus offers his Body and his Blood for the redemption of humanity and its entry into eternal life.

After the death of Jesus on the Cross, since it was Friday, bodies could not be left on a cross during the Sabbath (even more so that this Sabbath was the Great Day of the Passover). So the Jews asked Pilate that the bodies should be removed after their legs had been broken. So soldiers went to break the legs of the first and the second of the condemned, who had been crucified with Jesus. When they came to Jesus, seeing that He was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one of the soldiers pierced his Side with his spear, and straight away, there came out blood and water.

John 19,31-34

Life flows from love !

« If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink, he who believes in me ! » As is said in Scripture : « Rivers of living water will flow from His Heart. In saying this, Jesus was speaking of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit which those who believe in Him were to receive « on Golgotha that day, was accomplished the prophecy of Zacharia » : They will see the One they have pierced ».

From now on and to the end of time, drawn to the Cross where hangs Jesus, the Revealer and the Witness of the tenderness of God, countless will be those who know that a heart is open, which is an inexhaustible stream, in which all are called to drink with joy.

On the third day after his death, the apostles go to the tomb and find it empty. The risen Jesus appears « to more than five hundred brothers », as will say St Paul, and notably to the Apostles. He sends them to proclaim throughout the world the gospel of salvation. At Pentecost, the Apostles experience the infinite Love of God for themselves and for all men ; «  it is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit ». Moved from within by the Spirit and by Christ living in them, the Apostles live to proclaim the Gospel in the entire world.

The 17th Century saw an impressive spiritual flourishing. In Paray-le-Monial, Margaret mary takes her place, on the path of the great witnesses of Love.