~ St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
“The Significance of the Sacred Heart of Jesus” was our special seminar with Sister Bernadette Anello, MSC for the two weeks – September 26th to October 7th. It was a blessing to have her illuminate the spirituality of our Institute. Praying the Sacred Heart Novena made our classes so very meaningful. Sister Patricia Spillane’s booklet has comprehensive concepts of the Heart of Jesus; please be sure to use it for your upcoming novena next year. You will absolutely love the various attributes of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and meditate on them all.
Our prayers and discussion were intentionally focused on all the aspects of Jesus’s heart. Helping us to have a fuller understanding, Sister Bernadette included some noteworthy writings and meaningful resources. We read Segundo Galilea’s writings, our Constitutions, Mother Cabrini’s writings, and shared our lived experiences. These magnificent resources made our two-week session unique and remarkable.
An understanding of how the theology and devotion of the Sacred Heart was a strong response to the needs of the times during the life of Francesca Cabrini, helped us to better appreciate the focus our Foundress had for our missionary congregation.. We could see why the God Who loves us would appear to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque to emphasize His great desire to draw one and all into His Heart of Love.
The apparition of the Sacred Heart to Margaret Mary bears one simple message to all: His Heart burns with love for all humanity, excluding no one. He loves us, and He deeply desires our love in return. In the crucifixion, His Heart was literally pierced out of love for us. And, far too often, the humanity He created and saved has responded with ingratitude and indifference. In turning to His Heart, we constantly receive and return that love, and we implore His mercy for ourselves and for those who are far from him.
We are so grateful to Sister Bernadette for sharing her wisdom with us, and to the Formation Team for creating this opportunity for Sacred Heart Theology and Spirituality. We hope that reading this short reflection gives you insight into what we have experienced.