Friday after Ash Wednesday

Today is the first Friday of Lent as well as the First Friday of the month. Among those of us “of a certain age” there is a recollection of going to Mass on this day in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A brief consideration of this feast may help us rekindle its importance. Although the insight for the devotion to the Sacred heart received its formation by St. Margaret Mary during the years 1673-1675, the devotion received its fullest expressions in the second half the 19th and into the 20th century. It really is no surprise that in the midst of the burgeoning industrial revolution, when human labor was cheaply bought and sold and consumerism as well as all the other “isms” which degraded the human person seemed to be in the ascendancy, that the church would respond with an expression which reiterated God’s great love for us. Holy cards and other images from this period illustrate a heart pierced for the love of humanity, an attempt to demonstrate God’s great love for each and everyone one of us. The portrayal and the devotion of the Sacred heart attempted to shake humanity loose from its snares of false values and reorient men and women back to their original dignity as created in the image and likeness of God. Reorientation, regaining our bearings, is of course what Lent is all about, a time when we look at where we are going and what keeps us from achieving these spiritual goals. Reorientation implies a goal and perhaps there is no better goal to keep in mind this Lent then the Sacred Heart of Christ.

March 3rd, 2017