Friday, October 16, 2009
Saint Margaret Mary Alocoque, Saint of the Sacred Heart
Today we commemorate a great Saint of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Saint Margaret Mary Alocoque. She is a witness to the profound love that Jesus has for every one of us. Her life is a testimony of suffering, courage, fortitude and sincerity. Read her life and see for yourself how much she suffered in order to make the message of the Sacred Heart of Jesus known and loved.
Saint Margaret Mary is a favorite saint of mine. She did not have an easy life. And yet, she is the one who made possible, through her fidelity and constancy, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart and the universal practice of the First Friday Devotion, which involves reception of Holy Communion, and prayer before the Eucharistic Lord in reparation for the indifference, contempt, and sacrilege that so many Catholics commit.
My homily to the school children today centered on the fact that Jesus, as Man, desires friendship with each of us. He is truly God. But in His Sacred Humanity, he desires our friendship, just as we desire to have friendship. He was like us in everything except sin. And so the desire of His, that we be His friends, is not something alien to our understanding.
The First Friday Devotion really is centered in making "reparation" to Jesus' Sacred Heart, present in the Most Blessed Sacrament, which is the most vulnerable sign of His Love for us. He puts Himself into the care and the hands of the Priest; He is present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity beneath the sacred species of bread and wine, which with our eyes we see, but with faith we know that they are Him. He asks us to show our friendship by honoring this most humble "immolation" of Himself by receiving Him in the state of grace and spending time in loving, adoring, thanking and interceding for His children.
Saint Margaret Mary is a sign to us of the immense love that Jesus has for each and every one of us. Let us repay that love by being willing to spend time with Him in His Sacrament of Love and being willing to repent for our sins. Let us make time to "repair" for the ways we have abandoned, betrayed, or even rejected Him, taking the sins of the world into our prayer, making an act of friendship with Him, Who has loved us so much.