Blessings to St. Margaret Mary Parish in Louisville, as today we celebrate the parish patroness: St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. On two occasions I have visited the small chapel in the French village of Paray-le-Monial. There St. Margaret Mary experienced the mystical revelations in which the great love of Jesus in His Sacred Heart overwhelmed her heart. The love of Jesus in his Sacred Heart, of course, is rooted in the Gospel account of the crucifixion. Blood and water flowed from his side as the lance pierced the heart of Jesus, and in His love the Church was born.
This theme of the outpouring of love from the heart of Jesus is in sharp contrast to a theme of the Synod – the inward movement of secular society. Sadly, our secular culture at its worst is a far cry from the outpouring of love, but instead has become a culture turned in on itself. One bishop delegate told me of an advertisement around Christmastime that said: “Happy holidays. Do something special for yourself.” This is a perfect example of how Jesus’ love outpoured has turned inward!
Despite these tendencies in our culture, the conviction that has come through the sessions of the Synod is the reality that love conquers all. Let us pray that the Synod sessions will serve to announce with greater fervor the great love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus revealed in the 17th century to St. Margaret Mary, which continues to be ever-accessible and ever-needed in our age.
On a personal note, I had a late meal with Father Joe Graffis, Father Joe Merkt, and Deacon Lucio Caruso. They ended their course of study in Rome yesterday and are preparing to return to the United States. It was a treat for me to visit with them and share experiences.