This reflection is published today in FaithND from the University of Notre Dame. View on website here
The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
June 8, 2018
Father Ron Raab, CSC
In today’s Gospel, a soldier recognizes the death of Jesus and thrusts a sword into his side. Water and blood flows from Jesus’ body. This image began the centuries old devotion to the heart of Jesus, the divine love flowing toward all humanity to heal heartbreak and suffering. The Sacred Heart of Jesus sustains hope for many believers today.
My heart carries a deep devotion to the Sacred Heart. In high school, a widow handed me a Sacred Heart prayer card. She told me to offer that prayer daily. The prayer led me to my vocation, as I found my way to the priests of the Congregation of Holy Cross, who are dedicated to the Sacred Heart. I carried the mangled card in my wallet for more than 30 years.
Just before ordination, I asked a priest to teach me to pray. He told me to surrender and ask Jesus for an exchange of hearts. I could not comprehend such a command. Now, I understand in my years of priesthood and entering into the suffering of people’s lives the true gift of this exchange. Mercy and love flow abundantly when we surrender to love alone. I find my heart’s home in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the rich exchange of human and divine.
I am now pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Colorado Springs. In my longing for healing and integrity among our people, I pray daily for a heart of hope. I see the mystery of this devotion flow through our people when they first recognize the love of God. Only then are they willing to offer love to people who live in poverty or welcome people with disabilities or broken marriages. Together, we find consolation flowing through our lives from the Sacred Heart of Jesus.