"We all sat in a circle right in the middle of the cross, where the two boards would have met, where the heart of Jesus would have been." —From The Fault in our Stars, by John Green
I hope that everyone is having a blessed week! Today, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, but before we turn to look at the Sacred Heart, I want to look at a rather secular book and movie. The Fault in Our Stars has made quite a splash this month on the movie scene, as one of those sappy teen romantic dramas. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I have started reading the book and couldn't help but notice that the whole crux of the romance begins as the characters interact in a cancer support group, which meets in "the heart of Jesus" (see above excerpt), and the story and romance proceed from there.
This small and yet insignificant part of the story really stuck out to me, that this whole love story starts in the "heart of Jesus". For the past few months, I have been meditating and trying to develop a greater devotion to the Sacred Heart and searching for an answer to the question: "What does it mean to be devoted to the Sacred Heart?" So, you may be wondering why I brought up a teen romance novel. The answer is that the Sacred Heart calls us into relationship. All love (authentic love) starts in the Heart of Jesus, and this love brings us into union with each other. We can think of the number two as being a mystical number, as is stated in the Legion of Mary handbook. It is in the number two that relationship is forged, but two cannot stay two forever. Two must become one. This is what it means to be devoted to the Scared Heart: We must be enveloped in the Love of Jesus, to form a bond, a relationship with Him, and then to find union with Him, to become one with Him, to find a new and loving intimacy, greater and more intense than any human romance.
We must become one with His love, and we must become His love for others. It is in this loving encounter that we reach into the very essence of God, to know that God is love, and that this love is seeking union with us. It is here that we realize our dignity as children of God, it is here that we experience the treasure of God's Divine Mercy, it is here that we find the love and acceptance of Jesus. It is here that Jesus tells us, "I love you so much that I want you to be holy, and if you fail at being holy, my love will never end for you." It is in the Heart of Jesus that we also become united in man, it is this divine love that brings all humankind into unity, to enter deeper into God's love, is to enter into a new relationship with humanity, in which our relationships take on new meaning, and we become united in love with our fellow man, and hurt and division fade away.
May this Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus help us to grow deeper into the love of Christ, and through our unity with Him, may we be brought into greater unity with each other.
O most holy heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore you, I love you, and with lively sorrow for my sins I offer you this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to your will. Grant, Good Jesus, that I may live in you and for you. Protect me in the midst of danger. Comfort me in my afflictions. Give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, your blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Amen.