Posted by: fvbcdm | June 1, 2013

Feast of Saint Justin Martyr (1 June 2013)

Today brings us to the beginning of the month of June, dedicated as it is to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. On June 7, we will celebrate the solemnity of the Sacred Heart, in which we adore our Divine Lord as a human being who loves.  He loves God the Father and God the Holy Spirit; he loves the angels, and he loves us, his fellow human beings. And because we think of the heart as the seat of love, we constantly speak of the heart in connection with love, devotion, affection, commitment, and human unity and deep friendship.

Thus it was only logical that in the 17th century, when Our Lord appeared to Saint Margaret Mary, a French nun in the city of Paray-le-Monial, he appeared with his heart visible before his body, glowing with love. “Behold this heart which has loved humanity so much,” he told her, “and has been so little loved in return.”  The two great commandments of Christ’s new law are love of God and love of neighbor.  Therefore it is only logical that our Redeemer, the perfect man, the exemplary human being, is one who loves to the extent of his power—that is to say, infinitely.

In today’s newspaper, the priest who has renounced his Catholic priesthood and membership in the Church because of his involvement with a woman, is quoted as saying that Christianity is all about forgiveness.  There is much truth in that statement, of course, but forgiveness presupposes offense.  If there is no offense, there is nothing to forgive.  And offense against God and neighbor means the violation of God’s law.  So it is not true to say that Christianity is ALL about forgiveness.  It also contains the elements of law, of good and evil, right and wrong, obedience and disobedience, the need for repentance and reparation.

The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, propagated by Jesus Himself, leads us to know and love the goodness, kindness, and mercy of Our Savior. But we open ourselves to that goodness, kindness, and mercy only by repentance, contrition, and turning away from sin back to the friendship with Our Lord.  The one who continues to sin seriously and refuses to come back to a life of loving obedience to God is not eligible for divine mercy, forgiveness, and reconciliation.  Christ is a loving redeemer; he is not a pushover.  His sufferings and death on the cross were too painful for him to simply say, about sin, “Oh, well; it doesn’t matter. I love all; I forgive all, even when they continue offending me.”  Rather, he says to us: “I love you; come back to me. Sin no more. Be my friend in time and in eternity.” Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  Father Brown composed this message some years ago.

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