In this Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we especially contemplate Jesus’s great Love for us, which is symbolized by His Heart, opened for us as He slept the death of the Cross. We are moved by His Love for us. We are struck by this beautiful surprise in this dark world, that our God is Love, that He cares for us! We can even say that He thirsts for us, as He says on the Cross, “I thirst.”
Jesus’s thirst for us is His desire for our souls. It is a spiritual thirst for our love, as He says, “My son, give me your heart.” Jesus’s thirst for us creates in us a thirst for Him, a hunger for Him. This hunger and thirst can be satisfied only in the Eucharist, in which He feeds us with His very self, answering all our needs, as the Scriptures say. Jesus hungers for me, which creates in me a hunger for Him, which can only be fulfilled in the charity-filled reception of the Holy Eucharist. Thus, our devotion to the Sacred Heart leads us to hunger and thirst for Him, for His Love, for His Hunger and Thirst.
The main temptation of our lives is to try to fulfill our hunger for Jesus by turning to creatures. This disorder in our souls is what leads to addictions and the like. The cure for this malady is to cease committing mortal sins. There is another temptation, more subtle, which is to lose the increasing intensity of our hunger for Jesus. We make our life of religion a routine and a matter of thoughtless habit rather than a matter of the loving heart. Eventually this leads to a loss of our connection to our hunger for Him. The cure for this malady is to cease to commit venial sins.
Venial sins are the great enemy of spiritual hunger, especially hunger for the Eucharist. Love casts out venial sins with force and passion. There is no room in the heart of the Christian disciple for love for creatures! The more we lose our hunger for creatures, the more we will hunger intensely for the Creator. Let us focus on praying for an increase in hunger for the Eucharist. Jesus desires us with great desire. He wants to give us hearts opened like His. Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in You!
Fr. Joseph Previtali