The Sacred Heart of Jesus Burns with Love for Us


In the 17th century in the French village of Paray-le-Monial, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque received visions from the Lord Jesus. Margaret Mary writes in her diary that Jesus shared with her the intimacy of his Sacred Heart. On one occasion, she recounts that Jesus said to her, “My divine Heart is so inflamed with love for men, and for you in particular that, being unable any longer to contain within itself the flames of its burning Charity, it must spread them abroad by your means, and manifest itself to mankind in order to enrich them with the precious graces of sanctification and salvation necessary to withdraw from the abyss of perdition. I have chosen you as an abyss of unworthiness and ignorance for the accomplishment of this great design, in order that everything may be done by Me.”
Margaret Mary fully understood her own unworthiness to be an instrument of this manifestation of God’s love. Often in the Sacrament of Penance, she would speak to her confessor, a Jesuit Priest, Saint Claude La Colombiere. At first, Father Claude doubted the authenticity of her visions. He thus gave her a test. He instructed Margaret Mary to ask the Lord to reveal to her the last mortal sin that Father Claude confessed – and for which he received absolution – during his last confession. Margaret Mary obeyed this instruction. The answer she received shocked both her and the priest, but also confirmed the authenticity of the visions. When asked to reveal the sin that was already absolved, Jesus responded, “I do not remember.” Yet again, the Lord demonstrated the richness of his mercy, and the tenderness of his Sacred Heart. When the Lord forgives, he also “forgets.” How great is God’s mercy and love!
The Church dedicates the month of June to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, when we remember the power of Christ’s love and mercy. God designed the human heart for the capacity to love eternally and unconditionally. Yet society so often reduces love to physical affection alone. Biblical wisdom provides a more ancient worldview, however: “Deep waters cannot quench love, nor rivers sweep it away” (Song of Songs 8:7). This should bring consolation to every human heart. Man understands his deepest self as one created by and through unconditional love, which transcends the desires of the flesh. During this month of June, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Church turns our eyes to the one who loved us to the point of shedding his blood. Even though we are unworthy, as Saint Margaret Mary knew she was, the Lord still reminds us that his Divine Heart is so inflamed with love for us, he must spread his Charity to the corners of the earth through his messengers of mercy.