Toronto, Canada, Jun 3, 2021 / 03:00 am
The Archbishop of Toronto released a pastoral letter earlier this year offering meditations on and insights into the significance of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to which the month of June is dedicated.
“Especially in these tempestuous times we have a mission, received in Baptism and Confirmation, to move outward with compassionate love, in the imitation of Christ, to share his healing love,” Thomas Cardinal Collins of Toronto wrote in Heart Speaks to Heart, an April 28 pastoral letter.
“Devotion to the Sacred Heart leads us to ponder the sacred humanity of Jesus, God with us. Using the universally accepted symbol of the heart as the sign of the center of who we are, this devotion focuses on Jesus as the man for others, who showed humans how, in a human way, to love as God loves, and to act as God wants us to act.”
At the end of May, Cardinal Collins drew attention to his pastoral letter and noted that “each year the Church celebrates the whole month of June as the Month of the Sacred Heart. I am inviting everyone in the archdiocese to devote that month to meditating on the Sacred Heart and to deepening our commitment to imitate the compassionate love of Jesus, a love that reaches out to the lonely, to the isolated, to the sick and to all those who are rejected. Along with the cross, the symbol of the Sacred Heart is the Catholic Christian sign of that love.”
He urged that the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which is observed on the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi and this year falls on June 11, be celebrated “with renewed appreciation.”
The cardinal said in his pastoral letter that a world weary from over a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, battered by challenges to the faith, as well as a world that highly prizes autonomy, is greatly in need of a devotion like the Sacred Heart, which urges people to look outward and show love to others.
Beyond being an important visual sign of the love of Christ, the heart, both in Scripture and in literature throughout human history, “represents the innermost sanctuary of our human self.”
“For a Christian the love signified by the Sacred Heart is not a passing emotion, but the steady, reliable, faithful, life-giving love which we experience in Jesus as we encounter him in the Gospels, in the Sacraments, and in our life of faith. We are called to imitate that faithful love.”