‘this deep love for suffering’

That phrase from Leseur — how foreign does that seem most days? What could we desire less?

The late Fr. John Hardon, who promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart, reminds us:

God became man out of love for the sinful human race. He became a mortal man to die to prove how much He loves us. He assumed a human will that He might freely suffer. Do all humans suffer? Yes. Do all humans suffer willingly? No. The essence of love is to suffer willingly for the one you claim to love. God became man to suffer with a human will.

We have that devotion via Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque. She is worth getting to know her. If only to encounter the exotic. She wrote:

On one occasion, whilst the Blessed Sacrament was exposed, feeling wholly withdrawn within myself by an extraordinary recollection of all my senses and powers, Jesus Christ, my sweet Master, presented Himself to me, all resplendent with glory, His Five Wounds shining like so many suns. Flames issued from every part of His Sacred Humanity, especially from His Adorable Bosom, which resembled an open furnace and disclosed to me His most loving and most amiable Heart, which was the living source of these flames. It was then that He made known to me the ineffable marvels of His pure [love] and showed me to what an excess he had loved men, from whom He received only ingratitude and contempt. “I feel this more,” He said, “than all that I suffered during My Passion. If only they would make Me some return for My love, I should think but little of all I have done for them and would wish, were it possible, to suffer still more. But the sole return they make for all My eagerness to do them good is to reject Me and treat me with coldness. Do thou at least console me by supplying for their ingratitude, as far as thou art able.

The Cross is not just something we are in the presence of for an hour on Sundays, wear as a piece of jewelry … and otherwise avoid. It comes to us sooner or later, in ways big and small. Individually and culturally.

What do we choose to do when we encounter ours?

His Heart bleeds for us to remember His Love. Sunday is always a good day to remember again …


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