St. Margaret Mary’s apparition of Our Lord with a visible Heart is known as the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In this image, His heart is on fire with His divine love for us, radiant like the sun, surrounded by thorns symbolizing His suffering and death, and topped by the cross, the symbol of His victory.
This is a very dearly loved image of Jesus, and one of great meaning for us. Jesus’ heart is the center of His being, the seat of His human consciousness, the abyss of His Divine love, mercy, and compassion.
Jesus living within each of us has experienced our loves, humiliations, betrayals, rejections, our own sufferings, deaths and resurrections. We, living in Him, as His Body and Bride, the Church, have experienced His life, too. The Sacred Heart in religious art can also be seen as a symbol of this solidarity and union, this communion and humanity we share with Christ, as well as the mystical union we have with His divinity. More obviously it is a symbol of His love for us, all of us.
I have to think, in these dark times, during this epidemic of heartlessness, when so many seem determined to enrich the powerful and take away even the most basic of needs from the poor, the disabled, children, and the sick; when Black Americans are shot for little to no reason, even in front of their little children, and at an alarming rate, and there is not enough love in our society to make it stop; when people are dying from gun violence and we can’t even hear each other enough to problem solve in a meaningful way, when every day we have to find ways to decompress from all the hatred and stress, when people who raise the standard of morality and compassion are undervalued, that it’s time to look to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. What are we doing? The opposite of the Gospel.
We’re finding ways to keep our life, not lose it to love and compassion. We are jealous of our stations in life, we fight to keep our own privileges, our own rights and freedom at the expense of others. We fight to be as heartless and greedy as we want, to not have to consider the pain we cause when we speak without compassion. We say we speak the truth in love when we want to justify our harsh talk that only turns others away from religion.
We need hearts. We need Jesus. We need the One who said, “Come to me, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart.”
“Ask the Friend for Love.
Ask Him again.
Ask Him again.
For every heart will get
What it asks for the most.”