To realize that a human heart contained the fullness of God’s love is a truly astounding thing. This beauty of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is not manifested solely in the intensity of the love that it contained—this one Heart so full of love that it is literally aflame with passion.
The wonder includes the reality that humanity and divinity were united in it—in the Heart itself and as a result of it being pierced and poured out for us all. The mystery of this Heart also encompasses the reality that it did not cease to be at the Crucifixion. Rather, through Jesus’ bodily Resurrection and Ascension, he continues to carry this Heart still beating and burning with love for all.
As our founder, Blessed Basile Moreau wrote, "There is in our eyes of faith nothing that merits our respect and our adoration more than the Sacred Heart. If we contemplate it as it is, it is a part of the flesh of our Lord, the center of a life that was consecrated wholly to the salvation of the world, and the source of the precious blood that purchased us for God."
Contemplation of this wondrous Heart leads to the realization that we are invited to enter into it. To enter into this love involves not only the sheer joy of knowing that we are loved, but also the potential of being set ablaze. Truly letting go and being consumed by this love is daunting, for who knows where it will take us?
It is intimidating to step forward into that vast love, yet how can we not? That we may live in that love is the very reason that fleshly Heart was formed and pierced. To be enveloped in that love is the end for which we were created. It is meant for us, and we are meant for it.
This reflection for the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the patronal feast of the Priests of Holy Cross, was written by Fr. James Gallagher, C.S.C. A member of the United States Province, Fr. Gallagher currently serves as the Director of Campus Ministry at the University of Portland in the United States.