To evoke the Heart of Jesus can, on the face of it, suggest an old-year spirituality. We can even images of the heart coming out and radiating from the chest of Christ. We must go further and let ourselves be touched by the grace of God. In his Son, he comes to tell us the absolute density of his love for men. We cannot separate the Heart of Jesus from his Eucharistic Body.
Meet the Heart of Jesus
In our life project
9. The Word became flesh and remained among us" (Jn 1.14). From now on, nothing that is human is foreign to him. In him, we are all associated with the fullness of his divinity.
10. The Heart of Jesus is the most transparent sign of God's love for men. (…)
11. In the midst of solidarity and division, loneliness and fraternity, Jesus offers us a heart to heart with him. He comes to live Nazareth in each of us and seize us to the deep roots of our being.
12. The contemplation of his Heart introduces us to where he remains united with his Father and the Spirit, as with all men. This love heals our wounds and fears. It transfigures our poverty and weaknesses instead of revealing its tenderness. It opens us to true compassion (…)
13. So, if our hearts are radiated by Jesus's, others will be able to experience tenderness, discover treasures buried in them and dare to take the risk of loving – Life Project 9-13
The proclamation of the gospel is an emergency for our time. We are more invited to promote the meeting of Christ than to fill the churches. The intimate knowledge of Christ invites us to meet. Together, we remember, together, around the two tables of this "heart that loved the world so much." To proclaim the gospel is to take the time of active contemplation. It is a question of looking at how Christ, himself, has revealed himself; how he offered his heart, to open the world to the gratuitousness of the gift.
A time to feed on God's Love
The Jesuit Pedro Arrupe, testified of his prayer in the small chapel that adjoined his office at the Curia in Rome. There he found all the energy and apostolic dynamism to lead the Society of Jesus on the path of Christ. We are at the very heart of a paradox. Yet the time of prayer, the celebration of the Eucharist, the humble contemplation of Christ are essential places of breathing, discernment and decision. We must first learn to receive ourselves from Christ.
Also, we can ask for the grace of being able to be united more with this love that continues to be given in the Eucharist. It is not a question of sensitivity. We are invited to "feel and taste inwardly" what the Lord wants from me. To accept to let me love is to recognize that I am not my own origin. It is a question of entering, following Peter (Jn 21), on a path that I have not chosen. In this movement, we have the assurance that the Lord is ahead of us.
Walking under the banner of Christ
We will be "carriers of the graces of the Kingdom" if we truly agree to put God's love first in our lives. It is this love that continues to save the world until the end of time.It is a question of recognizing in Christ's act a path to make our world more just, more fraternal.
We have to walk behind the banner of Christ to tear down the walls that separate men and women from God's love. It is synonymous with justice. It is not a forced egalitarianism but to give everyone the right to live with dignity. Loving Christ must lead us to roll up our sleeves, to engage where we feel we will be useful to others. This path of justice, this path of love is also the path of service.
Discovering the heart of Christ as the path of love
Let us not forget, too, that the heart of Christ is also said in the washing of the feet. The heart of our action must draw its strength from the heart of Christ. For this, the time of prayer, of silent prayer, of the sharing of the Word… should not be overlooked. How can we find the path of love, if we do not welcome the one who is the source in the heart of our deserts (Os 2: 16) that are our doubts, our reversals, our so difficult conversion. To pray, there are also many ways.
Discover the heart of Christ as the heart of the Mission
The joys and hopes, sorrows and anxieties of the men of this time, especially the poor and all those who suffer, are also the joys and hopes, sorrows and anxieties of Christ's disciples, and there is nothing truly human that cannot be echoed in their hearts. Their community, in fact, is built with men, gathered in Christ, led by the Holy Spirit in their march to the Father's Kingdom, and carrying a message of salvation that must be offered to all. The Christian community is therefore truly and intimately in solidarity with the human race and its history. Gaudium and Spes 1
To want to live and love in the dynamics of Christ's heart is to be seized by this divine heart that has become a human heart. It invites us to accept our fragility. Let us accept to be touched, deep in our hearts, by the Love of God. It transforms our heart of stone into the heart of flesh (Ez 36: 26). He gives us the strength to walk the path of His Love in spite of our fatigues, our contradictions, "our hearts without intelligence so slow to believe" (Lr 24:25).
Let us nourish our mission by the gentle contemplation of his mercy. And, like St. John, with confidence, let us rest on the Heart of Christ. He will give us thanks to walk in his wake to announce to our contemporaries that gentleness, trust, tenderness are paths to make our world more united and fraternal.
Pierre-Baptiste Cordier Simonneau – SVECJ