Loading...
Loading...
Click here if you don’t see subscription options
James Martin, S.J.June 21, 2019
Digital illustration by Ciaran Freeman

Subscribe to “The Examen” for free on Apple Podcasts

Subscribe to “The Examen” for free on Google Play

Join our Patreon Community

This week we celebrate the Beautiful Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.  The main origins of the feast are with the visions received by St. Margaret Mary Alocoque, a 17th-century Visitation nun in a town called Paray-le-Monial, France.  Her visions of Jesus presenting himself with his heart, were initially disbelieved by her fellow sisters.  Then Jesus promised her in prayer that he would send her his “faithful servant and perfect friend.”  Shortly afterwards, a Jesuit named Claude la Colombiere showed up at the convent to serve as a spiritual director for the sisters.  He saw that Sister Margaret Mary’s visions were authentic, and devotion to the Sacred Heart spread from there.


Some people might be turned off by the devotion thanks to kitschy representations of Jesus pulling open his cloak and pointing to his Sacred Heart.  But if we set this devotion aside, we will miss out on a great opportunity to meditate on one of the most important aspects of Jesus’s life: the way that he loved.  The Sacred Heart is an invitation to ask ourselves, “How did Jesus love?” and “Whom did Jesus love?” For me the answers to those two questions are: abundantly, totally and completely; and everyone, especially those who were poor or marginalized.  But there are other questions that Solemnity of the Sacred Heart raises: “How do I love?” and “Whom do I love?”  And the most important question of all, “How can I love like Jesus?”  Maybe that’s a question you can ask yourself all week, as you encounter each person with the love of your own heart, which seeks to love as Jesus’s Sacred Heart did.

[Don’t miss any of the latest writings, podcasts and videos from Father Martin. Sign up for his newsletter.]

More: Prayer
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
William McCormick
2 years 5 months ago

The Sacred Heart of Jesus devotion is most precious. Indeed, I keep failing in my lifelong quest to receive Holy Communion on nine consecutive months. This devotion is opposed to homosexual acts.

Dale Athlon
2 years 5 months ago

To Catholics, June is not pervert LGBT sodomitic month, but devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ for reparation for sin. Look it up. Don’t let Fr. Martin fool any of you. I am confirmation sponsor for 3 nephews and I work to keep their souls away from Fr. Martin.

Lisa M
2 years 5 months ago

Dale, what part of Catholicism teaches you so much hate towards those you do not share an understanding with? With all due respect, if you are the Catholic guide for your nephews, I truly hope they receive other examples. How on one breath you can speak of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and on another spew such contempt for your fellow man is truly astonishing, and that is coming from someone who parts ways with some of Fr. Martin's thinking. Sadly, it is once again another example of picking and choosing what you believe should be the focus of the faith, and ignoring all else, at the expense of completely missing Christ's message.

The latest from america

"Five years have passed since I visited this place with my dear brothers Bartholomew and Ieronymos. After all this time, we see that little has changed with regard to the issue of migration."
Pope FrancisDecember 05, 2021
My father shaped my concept of God, and Ignatian prayer brought me closer to my father and Christ.
Pierre ThompsonDecember 05, 2021
A Reflection for the Sunday of the Second Week of Advent
Kerry WeberDecember 05, 2021
A Reflection for the Saturday of the First Week of Advent
Maurice Timothy ReidyDecember 04, 2021