Faith & Life



June is the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In the late 1600s, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque experienced a series of divine revelations from Jesus who revealed the secrets of His Heart. Jesus told her about His infinite love and forgiveness for all people.

In her writings, St. Margaret Mary noted the words of Jesus, “Behold the heart that has so loved men and which has spared itself nothing, even exhausting and consuming itself in testimony of its love. In recompense, I receive from most only ingratitude, by their irreverence and sacrilege, and by the coldness and scorn they have for Me in this Sacrament of Love.”

Desiring to unite all human hearts to His, especially through the Eucharist, Jesus told St. Margaret Mary that He wanted people to attend Holy Mass, receive Holy Communion, and go to Confession for nine consecutive first Fridays. He also wanted a feast established to honor His Sacred Heart on the Friday following the feast day of Corpus Christi. June 16 is the day that feast day falls on this year.

The image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus has many symbols that teach us about how Jesus loves us. The image of a heart serves as an icon of the intimate dwelling place from which Jesus fully reveals the sentiments of His Heart.

The cross above the Sacred Heart reminds us of Jesus’ death on the cross, the greatest sign of His love for us. The crown of thorns surrounding His Heart help us to recall His Passion and that every sin pierces His Heart. The wound below the crown of thorns, often accompanied by a spear, leads us to consider the pierced side of Christ on the cross from which flowed blood and water, prefiguring sacramental grace. The heart enflamed leads us to consider the offering of Jesus is passionately consumed out of love for mankind. Finally, the Sacred Heart is illuminated by rays of light that lead us to recall Jesus’ mission in bringing light into the darkness as the “light of the world.”

Our hearts each reflect a history of being blessed with love and being wounded in moments that we were not loved. We are all capable of being wounded in this fallen world, and we may find ourselves helplessly contemplating our own wounds with sadness and self-contempt.

As we approach this feast, take time to contemplate the image of the Sacred Heart. We will come to realize that nothing pierces our hearts that doesn’t go through His first. Jesus does not want us to be alone when we are suffering. Let your heart speak to His Heart by honestly relating your thoughts, feelings and desires. Tell Him about everything you carry alone. He promises that you will find rest. When we unite ourselves intimately to the Heart of Jesus, we not only encounter His compassion and understanding, but we also learn how to imitate the “ways of His Heart.” This June, let Jesus awaken in you a new desire to love and forgive like Him. Pray the litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, perhaps taking one line to meditate on each day and in the same spirit as the traditional “Jesus Prayer” offer a petition such as, “Heart of Jesus, Son of the eternal Father, have mercy on me, a sinner!”