Last Fall, on the Feast of Christ the King, as a diocese we dedicated ourselves to the Heart of Christ. Since that time, I have seen images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus displayed in Chancery offices, in parishes and in parishioners’ homes. Hopefully, this consecration was just the beginning of an opportunity to love Christ more fully and to ask Him for His mercy and love in our lives.
This Fall, Pope Benedict has asked us to begin celebrating a Year of Faith, an opportunity to renew our relationship with Christ. Here in our diocese, we’ve been preparing for this Year of Faith by focusing on a love for God that is foundational for growing in our faith.
In his pastoral letter, Fountain of Life, Fire of Love, Bishop Loverde urges us to examine why it is that we long for love. He writes, “There is a deep longing in the human heart for enduring love, and because God is love (cf. 1 Jn 4:8), this deep longing is really a longing for God. God alone can ultimately fulfill this longing of the human heart because He Himself created us with this innermost desire for Him, although so often we do not consciously realize its true source.”
Perhaps it has been awhile since you prayed to the Heart of Christ or remembered the Act of Consecration we made last year. Here are just a few suggestions for ways we can strengthen our relationship with the Heart of Christ before entering into the Year of Faith this Fall:
- Read or re-read Bishop Loverde’s pastoral letter. His devotion to the Heart of Christ and explanation of the Sacred Heart and Divine Mercy is not only informative, it helps us enter more fully into prayer.
- Pray to the Heart of Christ. Ask for His mercy and His love throughout the day. These prayers can be as simple as saying “Sacred of Jesus, have mercy on me” or “help me to love You more”
- Enthrone an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in your home. You can find a ceremony here. This image will be a physical reminder for you and your family/housemates of Christ’s presence in your life.
Consider strengthening your love for the Heart of Christ this month. As Bishop Loverde wrote in a column last fall, “Too often we forget that the Lord loves us so much that He is with us constantly, listening to our prayers and providing us the grace to live lives of authentic holiness.”
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have Mercy on Us.