June is traditionally associated with the Sacred Heart, celebrated on the Friday after Corpus Christi. This is an image of Jesus that has spoken to generations of people – though others find it more difficult to engage with. This reminds us that the Lord speaks to different people in different ways. One thing that it does speak of, though, is the importance of the heart in the life of faith. The Sacred Heart depicts Jesus’ heart on fire with love for the whole of humanity – the whole of Creation in fact.
It is this heart we take on as catechists – our lives become like a heartbeat of taking in the love of God – and letting it flow back out into the world – into others.
As Pope Francis said to catechists during the Year of Faith:
The heart of a catechist always beats with this systolic and diastolic movement: union with Christ – encounter with others. Both of these: I am one with Jesus and I go forth to encounter others. If one of these movements is missing, the heart no longer beats, it can no longer live… love attracts us and sends us; it draws us in and gives us to others. This tension marks the beating of the heart of the Christian, especially the heart of the catechist. Let us all ask ourselves: Is this what causes my heart to beat as a catechist, union with Christ and encounter with others? With this movement of “systole and diastole”? Are we being fed by our relationship with the Lord, so that we can bring him to others, and not to keep it for ourselves?
(You can read the whole speech here: https://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2013/september/documents/papa-francesco_20130927_pellegrinaggio-catechisti.html )
Feed your heart –Why not use the summer months to feed yourself spiritually – remembering the piece above – whatever you receive from the Lord will soon enough be being shared with others!
- Over recent months, how has the Lord fed you? In the Word – in the Eucharist – through other people? Give thanks…
- Over recent months, how have you completed the heartbeat cycle – of “going forth” and encountering others and sharing what you have received? Again give thanks.
- Many people see Jesus’ heart as a place for refuge and rest. If this is helpful to you, spend time resting in the warmth of Christ’s love for you – inviting it to embrace and fill you (with a nod in the direction of “so that I can share it with others” – but mainly, for just a little while, to enjoy it for yourself).