Today is the feast day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It's a special day for the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart as it calls us to give expression to a spirituality of the heart, writes Sr Monica Cavanagh RSJ.
It was a feast important to both our founders Julian Tenison Woods and St Mary MacKillop and still held dear in the hearts of the Sisters today.
In May, I had the opportunity to hear Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila speak to Congregational Leaders of Religious Institutes from around the world. I found a deep resonance with his sharing on the culture of encounter referred to in Pope Francis’ encyclical Fratelli Tutti and the celebration of the feast of the Sacred Heart.
He began by referring to this passage from Exodus: I have witnessed to the affliction of my people. I have seen their misery, heard their pleas for help and I know their suffering. (Exodus 3:7)
This is a God who knows the heart of the people, a God who loves us with great tenderness. A God who binds up wounds, reaches down to feed the hungry and who fills our hearts with that same love in order that we too become the heartbeat of God flowing through our world.
Jesus lived his life centred in the heart of God. Jesus’s life embodies this compassionate way as he reaches out to touch the eyes of the blind man, brings life and hope to the widow of Nain and restores dignity to the Canaanite woman. From this heart place he acted courageously in welcoming all to the table of life. His ultimate gift of love comes to us from the Cross where he teaches us how to humbly walk amid the pain of our world as missionary disciples.
Sr Monica Cavanagh is the Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Saint Joseph
Feast of the Sacred Heart 2021 (Sisters of Saint Joseph)