Monday, June 1, 2009

The Sacred Heart: The Sensible Image of Christ's Love

Today marks the first day of June in the year of Our Lord 2009. June is the month in which the Church commemorates the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Pope Leo XIII wrote "...there is in the Sacred Heart a symbol and a sensible image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ which moves us to love one another; therefore it is fit and proper that we should consecrate ourselves to His most Sacred Heart-an act which is nothing else than an offering and a binding of oneself to Jesus Christ, seeing that whatever honor, veneration and love is given to this divine Heart is really and truly given to Christ Himself." (Annum Sacrum, On Consecration to the Sacred Heart, 1899: para. 8)

The first of June is also the Feast of St. Angela Merici, one of the Church's great educators to whom is attributed the quote, "Disorder in society is the result of disorder in the family." St. Angela, who was especially devoted to the Passion of Jesus, recognized "the supreme importance of Christian education, not merely for each individual, but for families and for the whole of human society, whose perfection comes from the perfection of the elements that compose it." (Pope Pius XII, Divini Illius Magistri, 1929: para. 8). Perhaps because she was orphaned young, but raised in the loving environment of her uncle's home, she also understood that "the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world."

Seeing how society was sadly impacted by the lack of Catholic education for the girls of her era (13th century), and also recognizing the importance of the mother (who is the heart of the Christian home), St. Angela acted to ensure that little girls and teen girls received a proper Christian education. But this was not all. St. Angela and her companions visited the poor, gave away as alms the resources upon which they themselves relied, and took care of the sick. St. Angela later founded the Ursuline order, which brought many more souls to Christ through Catholic education.

St. Angela's faith and good works, proof of her devotion to the Sacred Heart which is the "sensible image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ, which moves us to love one another," remind us that the Christian education of youth is a noble work of "daily duty" for mothers and fathers, that the family is the foundation of society, and that the family must be founded on the Cornerstone - Who is Christ the Lord.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!