Friday, October 16, 2009
Oct. 16: St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
Frequently Americans who travel to the so-called Third World for the first time are moved by the suffering and brokenness they find there. The experience can shatter the tidy, neat world they have constructed for themselves within the confines of the luxuries of American life. Yet, if we are attentive, we need not travel to Zimbabwe or Haiti to realize something is desperately wrong with our world: focus on the next stubbed toe or paper cut you get and you realize the world is not as it should be.
Indeed, when we open our eyes to see and our hearts to feel, we discover that we live in a world marked by suffering. What is humanity's response? We often try to ignore our pain, numbing our senses in frivolities and distractions. Or we try to conquer suffering: If only we could come up with a better political system or better medicine or better technology, we could eliminate suffering. Or so we think. But if we wake up from our utopian dreams, we realize how wrong we are: the 20th century was the bloodiest in history, despite its technological advances and once-believed-to-be-perfect political systems.
God's answer to suffering was different: to descend into the darkness of this world and mount the Cross, whereupon he opened his most Sacred Heart to all of the seething evils of this world and drown them in the infinite abyss of his love. The saint whom the Church remembers today, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, was the privileged recipient of a series of visions wherein the Lord revealed to her the mystery of the infinite love of his Sacred Heart. In this Heart alone is our hope and refuge. With grace, we are brought to see that it is in this Heart-and not in anything made by man-that our true salvation lies. Seeing that, we can then pray the beautiful simple prayer so dear to saints and sinners alike: Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee!
By Mr. Vincent Strand, S.J.
More on St Margaret Alacoque: New Advent