‘We strive for unity in diversity and to act as one body, dynamic, interconnected, linked with other bodies, in the world and as Church, in order to share, collaborate, and be in solidarity among ourselves and with others.’ General Chapter 2016
The vocation of Religious of the Sacred Heart is to go to the heart of life with the attitudes and feelings of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. – when you hear the expression ‘to be the Heart of God on earth’ what does it mean to you? – what would you say are the attitudes and feelings of the Heart of Jesus? – how do you express the attitudes and feelings of the Heart of Jesus in your life?
God calls us by name. We are able to recognize this call when we have entered into the deepest part of our selves. – How does it feel to be called by your own name? – What helps you to enter into the deepest part of yourself? – Have you experienced knowing and being known by someone else intimately as a privileged place?
Earthen vessels are simple and vulnerable. Nonetheless they are what God chooses to carry God’s faithful love. – does this quote reassure you about your own capacity to carry God’s love to others? – do you have a strong sense of God’s faithful love present in you? – when have you encountered God’s faithful love through an unlikely source?
We cannot easily convince people to believe in God through logic or empirical evidence. In fact, faith is a gift and a mystery, which draws us into the Mystery. – how do you respond when people dismiss your belief in God as nonsense? – is faith an experience of surrender for you? – can you think of a time when you felt comfortable in the presence of Mystery?
We are sure to see plenty of focus on hearts today – it is Valentine’s Day! The attitudes and feelings of the Heart of Christ call us to a whole way of being in the world. This movement of the heart is much broader than romantic love. – how do you take the attitudes and feelings of Jesus into the heart of life? – who manifests the Heart of God on earth to you? – do you feel more comfortable with the idea of being God’s hands and feet than with the idea of being God’s Heart on earth?
The Feast of the Sacred Heart invites us to contemplate God’s love, to be drawn into it. It is not a matter of grasping and understanding God’s love, but rather experiencing its mystery and endlessness. – how will you celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart? – are you comfortable with Mystery or would you prefer to ‘solve’ it? – what is your experience of God’s love?
Mercy is a disposition of the Heart of God. When we reveal the love of the Heart of God, we are instruments of mercy. And closeness to the Heart of God draws us close to those for whom God has a special love – the forgotten and excluded. – when have you experienced God’s mercy? – in what ways might you act as an instrument of mercy? – who are the forgotten and the excluded in your local community?
The revelation of God’s love is not a thing that happened in the past and is completed. God’s love for us has been revealed, is being revealed, and will continue to be revealed. – we know the feeling of longing in our hearts, but can we imagine God longing to show love for us? – what might cause God to wait on us? – are we in tune with the deepest desires of our hearts?
God’s reign has been unfolding in history, and it continues to unfold in our own times. This is a different way of seeing the world from that of the news media. This way of seeing the world also leads us to see different things. – how, and to whom, did Jesus announce the Kingdom of God? – when we look at the world through the eyes of those who are poor or marginalised, how do we see the behaviour of kings, rulers, and others in governance roles? – to whom do our ministries reveal Jesus as the love of God?