I would like to thank all of those who made the Mass at the Cathedral of Atlanta possible yesterday. A great thank to Richard Morris, our organist and choir director, who did a great job!
We have just heard from Saint Paul that the Charity of Christ surpasses all knowledge. (Eph.3:19) It surpasses all knowledge so much that even the highest and noblest of them, Faith, is nothing without Charity.
Charity is a kind of love; it is the most eminent love that we can find, because it has God for its object and origin. It is the summary and the achievement of our religion. The single word Charity expresses what the life of the disciples of Jesus is. I mean, what being true disciples is all about.
They draw their charity from its source: the Heart of Jesus. And charity never comes alone in a soul. It is accompanied with the Divine gifts, fruits of the greatest liberality of God toward us. As Pius XII says, It is altogether impossible to enumerate the heavenly gifts which devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has poured out on the souls of the faithful, purifying them, offering them heavenly strength, rousing them to the attainment of all virtues.
The fact is that one cannot have a real devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus without seeing his life change. The reason is that this devotion makes our hearts similar to the Heart of Jesus. By devotion, we do not mean the mere multiplication of the prayers, incantations and songs to the Sacred Heart. Unfortunately, the facts also show us that our churches are full of faithful ones doing devotions regularly and yet without any scruples regarding the sins of the tongue. Perhaps their devotions are more the result of a morbid deception, a lack of temperance yielded to the inclination to always be speaking. They cannot refrain their tongue from speaking and always have something to say whether to God or to men. If only they could take a little bit more time to listen, they could understand the dispositions of Christ’s Heart, His law of love which is higher than the human mind. Saint Bonaventure says, There is nothing higher than the human mind except Him who made it. Then instead of sins of the tongue, sound judgment would reach upward remembering that Not every one that says to Jesus, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that does the will of our Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.(Matt.7:21)
Now, what we mean, by devotion, is being really and totally devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The devoted person understands, as much as it is possible for a creature, what is the breadth, and length, and height, and depth of the love of God. (Eph. 3:18) Those persons, like Saint John, have seen the Heart of Jesus pierced by love. Those persons have truly something interesting to tell us, but they are not those who speak more. There are other ways to speak than the use of the tongue. There are other ways to serve God than activism. In fact, there is a royal way, which is the way of contemplation and pure love.
Fortunately, we also have persons engaged on this way in our churches, but often we just don’t know who they are. And after all, do we have to know? Jesus knows them and this is what matters. Good does not make noise, but Jesus hears it. And when He hears someone doing good, then He establishes a relation from His Heart to this blessed heart and brings with Him peace and joy.
Dear brethren, we honor tonight the Sacred Heart of Jesus and we would like to express our gratitude for so many benefits obtained from it. The Heart of Jesus is our hope and our comfort in this world. It makes our lives sweeter and soothes our pains and sadnesses.
The devotion to the Sacred Heart does not remove the cross from our souls but it gives us more strength to carry it. The devotion to the Sacred Heart does not suppress temptations in our lives but it gives us more courage to overcome them. This devotion forms us and makes our hearts conform to the Heart of Jesus. Thus it brings humility and sweetness. A heart totally devoted to the Heart of Jesus is meek, humble and sweet. When you go to a place where the Sacred Heart is honored, you can really taste the peace of God, the sweetness of the place, the silence of prayer and you think: It is good to stay here.
I know a place where people say: It is good to stay here. It is even so good that once you are in this place, you cannot leave it. I have never been there, but I know that this place is the place where the Sacred Heart sits enthroned now and forever. We call it heaven.
Let us pray tonight to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and ask her to lead us toward the Heart of her Son. May she make us true devoted persons to the Sacred Heart. It would be the royal way which leads us toward heaven. Let us take it!