Tomorrow, on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, we pause to consider that within every religious tradition there is such a variety of ideas and images that individuals tend to gravitate towards those that attract them or provide particular meaning. For Frances Cabrini, it was the human heart of the suffering crucified Christ that resonated strongly within. She saw expressed in the image of ‘The Sacred Heart of Jesus’, the love and kindness of the unseen God, his passion for all creation, and his chosen capacity to share in and ultimately redeem the suffering in the world.
The significance of heart symbolism to Frances cannot be overestimated. The motivation and the energy welling up within her came from a passionate love for God and a deep compassion for those in great distress – something which led her to profound self-sacrifice. Above everything else, she was motivated by love and inspired by a vision of loving that knew no bounds. Seeing herself as a sacred offering in the service of others, she felt called to make up for, in some small way, the heartlessness of the world.
Mother Cabrini came to recognize, in the person of Jesus Christ what could only be described as ‘Love itself’. She had known from the very beginning that this would be the most important relationship of her life. She recognized that within the heart was the foundation of all meaningful activity and the place of ultimate decision about the orientation of a person’s life. ~ Mark Davis, A Passionate Life
The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a most hallowed and celebratory day for the Missionary Sisters and the Cabrini Lay Missionaries (CLMs). It is on this day that the Sisters renew their vows and the CLMs renew their commitment. Let us ask God’s blessing upon them, that they may be strengthened in their dedication to be “bearers of Christ’s love in the world.”