June is the month devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
I actually began this post on the eve of the great Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus last Friday but, you might be surprised at this…time for writing posts can be tight when one is following a monastic rhythm of prayer, work and other observances. But, gratefully we have the whole month of June to celebrate the love of Jesus expressed through devotion to His Sacred Heart.
Throughout our community’s history (we were founded from a monastery in the Scranton, PA diocese to this diocese of Owensboro, KY in 1946) this solemnity has held a special place in our hearts. Our dear Mother Mary Agnes Roche (founding Superior) started the tradition of each Sister receiving a “virtue” on this special day from the Heart of Jesus. A beautifully decorated slip of paper with a scripture passage and quote from a saint is created for each Sister. These are then placed near the monstrance and each Sister goes forward to receive her word of love from her Divine Spouse.
Our Founder considered devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus as primarily a debt of grateful love and also as a means of reparation for the humiliation and insults suffered by Our Lord in His Sacred Passion and in the Holy Eucharist. I will share below an example of his thoughts written in a letter of spiritual direction.
I thought each of you would also enjoy receiving a “virtue”. This can be your special meditation during this month of June devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart. And you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.
~ Matthew 11:28-30 RSV Catholic Edition
Never cease to abide in the most holy and most pure Heart of Jesus. Love Him through His own Heart. Be penetrated with sorrow as you reflect on the insults He receives in the Blessed Eucharist and make atonement for them by acts of humility, adoration, love, praise, thanksgiving, etc. …Realize your own nothingness more and more and let yourself be guided increasingly by the breath of love, according to the good pleasure of the Divine Majesty. Whoever shall make himself little shall be exalted. The more we annihilate ourselves, the more we shall be lifted up and ennobled. Such a soul will be brought more surely into this cenacle, this wine-cellar of the Beloved, this royal vestibule leading in the nuptial chamber where the spouse has loving converse with the Divine Bridegroom. All this, and infinitely more, is what it means to enter into the most amiable Heart of Jesus, in which the soul finds itself transformed and made divine and absorbed into the ocean of the Infinite Perfections of God.
~ Saint Paul of the Cross