A blessed Solemnity of the Sacred Heart to everyone!  I’ve been wanting very much to get back to writing my blog, and I have felt particularly inspired on this holy feast day.

A few weeks ago, I came to my car and found a bookmark stuck into my car window by an unknown person.  It had an image of the Sacred Heart, and a prayer to the Sacred Heart.  It was the same prayer my formation director had given me to pray when I began as a Lay Dominican postulant:

O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore You, I love You, and with a lively sorrow for my sins, I offer You this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure, and wholly obedient to Your will. Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in You and for You. Protect me in the midst of danger, comfort me in my afflictions, give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, Your blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Amen.

For the first time in a while, I felt called back to my “normal” life.  My life is not “normal” without me writing my blog.  So… here I am, writing on the feast of the Sacred Heart!

When I think of the Sacred Heart, I think of a blazing fire.  It is such a perfect symbol of God’s love.  Each of the three Persons of the Trinity is associated with fire.  In the Old Testament, there is the burning bush aflame with a fire that burns but does not consume.  Also, God appears in the OT enveloped in smoke.  The Holy Spirit appears as tongues of flame at His descent upon the disciples.  And Christ’s heart is aflame with that same fire.  Only the most ardent of fiery loves could see Him through His Passion.

For many years, I regarded the liturgical year in terms of Christmas and Easter.  By which I mean December 25th and Easter Sunday.  Now, I appreciate and admire the very rich progression of the liturgical year–the way that liturgical days and seasons are extended across the calendar and the way that the Church emphasizes and re-emphasizes the important facts of our faith.

This week, now that Easter has ended, followed by the Ascension and Pentecost, the Church takes us back to Holy Week, to the days leading up to Easter.  This past Sunday, we celebrated the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.  It re-emphasized what happened on Holy Thursday–the institution of the Eucharist.  Today, this Friday re-emphasizes that Christ loved us so much He suffered and died for us on Good Friday.  It is as if the Church is saying, “Now that the great season of rejoicing is over, take some time to remember what led up to it.”

God loves us. His love burns like a fire.  His love has wrought the wondrous things of Creation and adopted us as His own children.  His love has shed a wonderful new light and many gifts upon us.  His love has overcome death.  You wouldn’t think it would be easy for us to lose sight of this… but we do.  So let us thank God for His Church and her constant reminders!

And let us also thank God for our priests on this final day of the Year for Priests!