As the urgency of the climate crisis escalates, what is stirring in your heart? It must be beating pronouncedly, with a burning desire to act. Our heart beats because we care and we recognize some importance or value. Pope Francis in Laudato Si’ says that “a sense of deep communion with the rest of nature cannot be real if our hearts lack tenderness, compassion and concern for our fellow human beings,” (LS 91). Only hearts filled with tenderness, compassion and concern can be aflame to heed the call to Care for Creation.
June 16th is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a beautiful devotion that became a feast day in 1856 by Blessed Pope Pius IX. Appearing to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French Visitation nun and mystic who promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart, Jesus said, “My divine heart is so passionately fond of the human race, and of you in particular, that it cannot keep back the pent-up flames of burning charity any longer. They must burst out through you and reveal my Heart to the world.” Jesus pointing to his heart shows his eternal love for us, a love that is all-consuming and desires to be shared.
Taking part in the First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we consecrate ourselves and offer our hearts to be in union with the Heart of Jesus. It can also be an opportunity to renew our pledge to Care for Creation as God’s steward. Pope Francis continues, “we are speaking of an attitude of the heart, one which approaches life with serene attentiveness, which is capable of being fully present to someone without thinking of what comes next, which accepts each moment as a gift from God to be lived to the full,” (LS 226). To consecrate ourselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is to share that heart aflame through our actions.
Only when we are in communion with creation will our hearts be ruled by tenderness, compassion and concern. A culture of encounter begins to blossom the moment we open ourselves to others and share Jesus’ burning love with them. Take part in the Season of Creation. Host of a screening of The Letter. Become a Laudato Si’ Animator. Whatever your next step is, let that stirring in your heart lead you to action and to the Heart of Jesus!