What can we say about the Sacred Heart of Jesus? It’s a heart that overflows with the love of God. From this heart, which was pierced at Calvary, flows a torrent of grace — a crucified, merciful, burning, passionate love flowing out for you.
The love within Jesus’ heart is a crucified love because it gives everything and does not let even the deepest pain hold it back from loving. It’s a love that chooses willingly and joyfully to suffer for those whom Jesus loves. This is why most images show the Sacred Heart surmounted by a cross and surrounded by thorns. No pain, no suffering, was too much for Jesus to bear — because he wanted you to live with him.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus overflows with a merciful love. It is a never-ending fountain of mercy and forgiveness, and day after day, Jesus pleads with us to open the doors of our hearts to this mercy.
This is a heart that overflows with a burning love. Images usually depict flames of fire coming out of Jesus’ heart to symbolize the intensity of his love. This fire of divine love changes, transforms, and purifies everyone it touches. It can ignite a fire, empowering you to love Jesus in return and to go on to love others as he does. In the words of St Bonaventure: Let it transform you into the very image of Christ.
Finally, the Sacred Heart of Jesus overflows with a passionate love. Jesus wants to be with you, to embrace you in your joys and comfort you in your afflictions. Learn how to welcome this passionate love into your heart, and you will know an intensity and depth of love that you would have never before thought possible.
“Jesus, I adore your most Sacred Heart! By the power of your Spirit, ignite the fire of your love in me. Make my heart like your own — overflowing with crucified, merciful, burning, and passionate love for you and all your creatures.”
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), a French nun, claimed to have received visions of Jesus Christ during the octave of Corpus Christi, 1675. Jesus told her, “Behold this heart that has loved men so much, and has been loved so little in return,” and asked Margaret Mary for a feast of reparation on the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi. Margaret Mary reported everything she saw to Fr. de la Colombière, superior of the small Jesuit house at Paray. He acknowledged the vision as an action of the Spirit of God, and directed her to write an account of the apparition. He also made use of every available opportunity to circulate this account through France and England.