The Ordinariness of Sainthood

Don’t call me a saint – I don’t want to be dismissed that easily.

Dorothy Day

A painting by Nicholas Brian Tsai.

A painting by Nicholas Brian Tsai.

One of Dorothy Day’s better known quotes, some interpret it to mean that she didn’t think much of the saints and of sainthood in general. Indeed, there are those in the Catholic Worker Movement that she co-founded with Peter Maurin who do not support her cause for canonization, claiming she would not want it, and that the money spent on the process should be given to the poor.

Yet, her attitude toward sainthood is exactly what makes her so relevant for us today in the post-Vatican II church. Her remark is directed at those who see sainthood as something extraordinary that can then be dismissed by the average person as something out of reach. They are happy to call her a saint for serving the poor, because then they don’t have to, since they would never presume themselves to be that holy.

But Dorothy didn’t want her work with the poor to be dismissed as something extraordinary. She understood it as simply her duty as a Christian to care for the needs of her brothers and sisters. And she wondered why all Christians didn’t feel the same way, why they all didn’t love their neighbor as themselves, and why they did not act on those feelings. Wasn’t that the message of the Gospel?

“You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 5:43-48

To be perfect, then, is to be like God. It is to love perfectly, as God loves. Only God is holy. All holiness comes from God, and it is given to humanity as a gift. A saint is one who is made holy, or sanctified. Saints are not holy by their own efforts. They are made holy by God as a gift, and their efforts are their acceptance of, appreciation of, and cooperation in this gift.

Holiness depends on one’s relationship with God. People are holy to the degree that they are united to God. By perfectly holy, then, we mean intimately united to the Trinitarian God (the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit) so much so that there is a oneness of heart, mind and will. In this intimate union, we are able to love perfectly as God loves. Pope Francis tells us of the need for a relationship with God on this road to holiness.

Being holy is not a privilege for the few, as if someone had a large inheritance; in Baptism we all have an inheritance to be able to become saints. Holiness is a vocation for everyone. Thus we are all called to walk on the path of holiness, and this path has a name and a face: the face of Jesus Christ. He teaches us to become saints.

Pope Francis, Angelus,  November 1, 2013

One who is sanctified possesses a yearning for God, an intimacy with God, perseverance in prayer, humility of heart, and a love for others. All of us are called to this holiness. Each of us is called to this intimate relationship with God. This is the beauty of relationship – each one is unique. God communicates with us uniquely. His message is the same – God will not contradict himself. He only speaks the truth. But his communication with us is so personal, so “meant just for us”.

We must strive to unite our heart, mind, and will to that of Christ – to love as Christ loves, to think as Christ thinks, and to desire as Christ desires. This seems rather extraordinary (as those who dismissed Dorothy Day as such), but it is, in fact, what is expected of every baptized person. The grace of our baptism empowers us to be like Christ. We need only to cooperate in it.

We are all called to be great saints, don’t miss the opportunity.

Mother Angelica

Carmina Chapp is Associate Director of Online Theology Programs at Saint Joseph’s College.

Movie Review: Me Before You

Spoiler Alert – This post contains specific details about the film, including the ending.  

It’s the classic love story: Boy meets Girl. Boy and Girl fall in love. Boy asks Girl to be at his side while a doctor enables his suicide? This is the premise of the romantic drama Me Before You, a film based on Jojo Moyes 2012 novel. If the 1970’s taught us that “love means never having to say you’re sorry,” (a statement with its own problems), in the 2000’s love is, evidently, actively supporting and assisting in the suicide of one’s beloved. MBY1This understanding of love asserts that not all lives – or “qualities” of life – are equal, or good, or worthwhile. This kind of love says it’s noble and brave to end a life that is challenging (and, admittedly, sometimes overwhelmingly painful). This love embraces a kind of “generosity” that relieves of any burden or obligation anyone who freely chooses to be present to the one who is challenged, suffering, and in pain.  Of all of the distortions of love that have manifested since the Fall into Sin, this latest (that physician-assisted suicide is not only a right, but a truly human act) is particularly insidious because it’s entering our consciousness through art, entertainment and media. More than 400 years ago Shakespeare deliberately termed Romeo and Juliet (whose titular characters unwittingly fall into suicide), a tragedy. Me Before You portrays a love presumably so powerful that it embraces death as its highest means of expression. The tragedy here lies in a deeply flawed understanding of love and the unconditional good of the human person.

Will Traynor is young, handsome and filthy rich. Though he comes from money (he literally grew up in a castle in the English countryside) he’s doing fine on his own. A successful businessman, Will lives in a luxurious flat with his beautiful girlfriend. He’s charming and athletic, with a magnetic personality. Will has it all. Until…he doesn’t. No more than five minutes into the film we watch in horror as Will is struck by a motorbike on his way to close a deal. In an instant, his life has ended; or so it seems.

Enter Louisa Clark – Lou – the quirky, cute girl with a heart of gold. Lou is kind and warm, and all the more endearing for her funky thrift-store-chic fashion sense. When she’s let go from her job at a local bakeshop it’s a blow to her working-class family, with whom she still lives. Lou’s dad is unemployed and diligently seeking work. Everyone must pitch in to keep the family (Lou’s parents, her grandad, and her sister and young son) afloat. They are hard-working, salt-of-the-earth, and demonstrative in their affection for each other.

Lou answers an ad to care for a man living not far from her home. She’s not qualified for the position, yet the man’s mother – who is doing the hiring – sees in Lou precisely what her quadriplegic son needs. It’s a short-term position (6 months) but the money is good, and her “office” is a castle. She doesn’t have to provide medical care (Nathan, the friendly and capable nurse provides for those needs and other activities of daily living). She’s there to be a companion and cheerful presence. Lou has never taken care of anyone sick or infirm; but caring for the heart comes naturally to her.

Lou greets Will Traynor for the first time with her signature sweetness and affability. Will, on the other hand, is sarcastic and brusque. With every day she spends at the castle, Lou becomes more convinced that the once vibrant – yet still handsome and witty – Will may well be “trapped” in his wheelchair, but he moves about with ease in resentment and bitterness. Will can’t walk or even turn his head, and the horrific accident apparently robbed him of the ability to smile. Just ten days in Lou is ready to quit, but not before she lets Will have it with as good as he’s given her. Her willingness to challenge him – to treat him as a person rather than a victim or object of pity – breaks the ice, and Will begins to feel like a person again. As they begin to appreciate each other as more than “wheelchair-bound,” or (as Will calls Lou) “chatty,” Will and Lou develop a friendship that is beautiful to watch. The hours they spend talking, watching movies, and just being with each other nourishes an intimacy that allows for the possibility of being moved by another. And not just moved, but changed. Will’s icy exterior slowly melts, exposing a heart that’s been closed to the outside world for too long. The audience member is also moved as Will realizes Lou wants nothing from him. Money, magnetism and physical prowess neither impress nor attract her. It is Will, precisely as he is, with whom Lou enjoys spending time. Lou’s presence isn’t magic, and it remains difficult for him to rely on her (and others) for his needs. Yet the scene in which Will attends Lou’s birthday dinner is among the most touching in the film. As the conversation buzzes around the table, Lou quite matter-of-factly feeds Will. The scene doesn’t play as “compassionate caregiver helping poor young man who used to have potential.” Nor is it the focus of the scene. Rather it’s the most honest and true moment between them. As hard as it is for him to be “dependent,” in the rare moments in which he lacks any self-consciousness Will simply receives her assistance without complaint over needing it. When he allows himself to abandon cold analysis and self-pity, Will’s dependence on Lou is as natural as taking a breath. When he lets go of himself Will receives not the assistance of a caregiver, but Lou herself. For her part, Lou embraces her role as neither a burden nor an extraordinary sacrifice. She simply does for Will what he can’t do for himself, much as a mother helps her child, spouse supports spouse, or friend helps friend. In moments like this one, where Will lets himself be cared for, he teaches Lou what it means to care. More than caring (in a strictly emotional sense), Lou acknowledges Will as a person, rather than the burden he believes he’s become. Precisely because of Will, Lou experiences love as she never has before: to be with and be for another. Lou knows Will; and in brief flashes of vulnerability, Will lets himself be known.

In another scene Lou arranges to take Will to a piano concert. She’s never been herself, she’s willing to go if it means getting Will out of his room and back into the world. Handsome in his tuxedo, Will is overwhelmed at the sight of Lou in her red evening dress. MBY2As they listen to the music, Lou is moved by its beauty – and Will is moved by Lou’s experience of being moved. He can’t turn his head toward her, but his sidelong looks assure him that Lou has entered a new and beautiful world – and in this time they inhabit it together. Arriving back at the castle, Lou begins to exit the van. Will stops her. “I just want to be a man who’s been to a concert with a girl in a red dress. Just a few minutes more.” Lou closes the door and they sit quietly, drinking in the night and each other’s presence.

As their relationship blossoms, and each lets down his/her guard, the possibility for the patient/companion paradigm to open into love grows. Will’s brusqueness is softened and more often replaced with playful teasing. He offers Lou new experiences (including films with subtitles!), and challenges her to consider her own hopes and dreams, too. Lou loses none of the innocent charm that is so endearing, but becomes more confident and self-assured. In this context of receptivity, this openness to the other (however fragile it may be in Will) lies the seed of love. There is great potential here for authentic love to flourish between them. Unfortunately, Moyes (both in her novel and screenplay) has planted this seed in bad soil, and the root begins to rot before it has a chance to produce fruit. Will’s death is imminent – but it’s not necessary.

Having promised his parents 6 months to “reconsider,” as the deadline approaches Will vows to travel to Switzerland to commit suicide – with the help of a physician and the activist group Dignitas. (Dignitas is at the forefront of the phenomenon of “suicide tourism.” Yes, that’s a real thing.) When Lou overhears Will’s parents talking about his plan – and his mother’s desperate desire to convince him otherwise – she does her best to offer Will as many joyful and fun experiences as possible in an effort to show him that life is worth living. Will is determined to end a life he finds unbearable – despite describing the six months spent with Lou as his happiest. Unable to stop or support him, Lou says goodbye and seeks comfort in her family. Will is constantly in her thoughts, and she winds up at his side in the Dignitas clinic to share a last kiss. She is with him in his final moments – but the audience is not. Our “goodbye” comes as Lou sits outside a Paris café reading a final letter from Will (who has financed the trip and provided enough money for her to start a new life on her own). Lou smiles as she reads Will’s final testament, and his admonishment that she “live boldly.”

How sad I felt as I listened to these words. Will and Lou were already beginning to live boldly – to love boldly. In an unexpected twist, the very thing Will believed had destroyed him (the accident that caused him to the lose the life he once lived and made him forever dependent on others) actually made him more fully – and boldly – human. Lou understood this transformation in Will, and she was different too. Sadly, the author herself misses this point entirely. I’m not suggesting we “put a halo” on Will, or any person with a disability, simply by virtue of their circumstances. Living with a disability, (or chronic illness, depression, infertility, or any number and degree of difficulties) is a legitimate challenge – and sometimes a burden we find hard to bear. But acknowledging challenges, suffering and pain doesn’t justify putting a halo on suicide either. Life is hard, often unfair, sometimes overwhelmingly burdensome. Even so, life is good! Not because it is perfect, or we’re perfect – but because each one of us is a gift, simply because we exist. It is reductive of an individual person to assert that he/she is simply too pitiful to live. It is unfair to the one who loves a person with a disability to suggest it isn’t “real love”, but only pity. Will needed Lou, but she needed him too. Will wasn’t Lou’s “good deed.” He was a man who generously, if tentatively, allowed a woman into his heart. This is the “human condition.” This is living boldly enough to give of oneself, and to be received.

Many Christians and advocates for persons with disabilities have called for a boycott of Me Before You. Others have spoken out and written eloquently in defense of the intrinsic worth and goodness of persons with disabilities. While I can’t recommend the film as an example of Christian values or the proper understanding of personhood, I wouldn’t go as far as a boycott. Instead, I think it’s a necessary conversation for people of faith to have together. I went alone to a matinee, but my experience of the film was not in isolation. I talked about it at length with my friend Laura, who is a recent law school grad, pro-life advocate for persons with disabilities, and a woman who is blind. Laura –one of the smartest, funniest and fiercely independent women I know – said people have actually asked her how she gets up in the morning (because she’s blind), or said they’d kill themselves if they were her. If someone could think an accomplished woman like Laura isn’t “fully alive,” why would they look any differently at Will? Yet Laura isn’t more worthy of life because she’s so accomplished. Her being – like each one of us – is a gift. This is one of the things Will taught Lou, but he refused to learn himself.

Maybe I’m naïve, or just a sucker for romance, but I was moved by Will and Lou. I became invested in them. Unlike the other (mostly women) around me who sniffled and sobbed in MBY3the dark, I wasn’t so much sad as reflective. I thought about Will and Lou the rest of the day, and wondered how many people on that day decided the world would be better off without them. I can’t save everyone, or convince those, like Will, who are determined to commit suicide to reconsider. And I certainly can’t step into a movie and rewrite its script. And neither can you. But we can “boldly” acknowledge and defend human dignity in our families, parishes and communities. We can be people of encounter – like Lou – even when it’s uncomfortable or scary. We can choose to love when it is messy and hard and really hurts. We can be with and for each other – right where we are.

Ann Koshute teaches theology for Saint Joseph’s College Online Theology Program.

St. Anthony and Theology

One of my goals when teaching the lives and writings of the saints to an undergraduate audience is to take these figures “out of stained glass.” That is to say, I endeavor to teach this material in such a way that brings these authors to life. An image of a saint piously kneeling before the Virgin and Child can leave a somewhat one-dimensional impression upon the viewer. This impression is then reinforced as one becomes accustomed to it and does not probe its theological meaning.

Today the Church celebrates the memorial of St. Anthony of Padua, O.F.M. (1195-1231). St. Anthony’s feast day is particularly special to me as it is my onomastico or “name day,” and the imagery of St. Anthony with which we are most familiar has him holding the Child Jesus. This artistic motif is derived from an apparition that St. Anthony received of the Child Jesus, and it became part of his standard artistic depiction during the 17th century. Prior to that time, he was often portrayed with a lily (a symbol of purity) and a book (a symbol of the preaching for which he was renowned even in his own lifetime).

Alvise Vivarini, Sacra Conversazione (1480) (l-r, Ss. Louis, Anthony, Anna, the Virgin and Child, Joachim, Francis and Bernardino)

Alvise Vivarini, Sacra Conversazione (1480)
(l-r, Ss. Louis, Anthony, Anna, the Virgin and Child, Joachim, Francis and Bernardino)Further, though we may think of St. Anthony as the “finder of lost things” or identify his popularity with Italian and Portuguese Catholics, St. Anthony reminds me most of the goal of theology.

 

Further, though we may think of St. Anthony as the “finder of lost things” or identify his popularity with Italian and Portuguese Catholics, St. Anthony reminds me most of the goal of theology.

While theology is the diligent study of sacred realities, we can often stress the activity (diligent study) over the object (sacred realities). As a mentor of mine is fond of saying: theology is about transformation, not information. Few religious orders have incorporated this belief into their spiritual legacy as profoundly as the Franciscans and, in particular, St. Anthony was acutely aware that the goal of theology is eternal beatitude – not the accumulation of facts and certainly not an academic degree.

St. Anthony joined the Franciscans, after first becoming an Augustinian, while they were still in their infancy. He was the Order’s first reader of theology, or “official theology teacher,” and yet no manuals or scholastic disputations have survived from his work. What we possess from St. Anthony’s writings are a collection of sermons. Like many Patristic Fathers before him, St. Anthony was most concerned with living the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and his homilies are rich examples of a probative explication of Scripture at the service of the conversion of souls.

Rather than provide a quotation from one of his homilies which demonstrates this point, I would instead like to share a letter which was written to St. Anthony by St. Francis. The occasion for this correspondence was the instillation of St. Anthony as the Order’s first reader of theology. The entire letter is the following:

“Brother Francis [sends his] wishes of health to Brother Anthony, my overseer. It pleases me that you teach sacred theology to the brothers, as long as – in the words of the [Franciscan] Rule – you ‘do not extinguish the Spirit of prayer and devotion’ with study of this kind.”

Coleman 6 14 2

El Greco, St. Anthony of Padua (1577)

St. Anthony reminds us that theology is an activity which serves the Church, seeks the conversion of souls, and aims at our eternal communion with God. Without these goals, theology is just another collection of facts and figures like any other academic discipline. And if theology remains the latter, it can more easily “‘extinguish the Spirit of prayer and devotion’” than inspire it.

A painting of St. Anthony which communicates this well is by the artist known as El Greco (a.k.a., Domenikos Theotokopoulos). El Greco combines the more traditional imagery of St. Anthony with that which will soon become standard. In doing so the artist reminds us that, for St. Anthony, theology is a lived activity; an activity of mind (book), heart (Child Jesus), and body (lily). The integration of these elements can be seen in St. Anthony’s posture, as he looks serenely upon a book which upholds the Child Jesus and holds a lily as if it were a pen. The senses gaze upon the sacred mysteries, which are then communicated through intellectual and physical acts. St. Anthony reminds us that the goal of theology is a living relationship with Christ which embraces every dimension of the human person, not simply an intellectual activity.

Anthony Coleman teaches theology for the Saint Joseph’s College Online Theology Program. This post originally appeared on June 14, 2015.

Enthronement Reflection and Re-Consecration – What a Month!

This past Friday we celebrated the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which happens to be a very special day for my husband and me. About six years ago, we had our home enthroned to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. When you enthrone your home, you acknowledge Jesus as the Head of your household. You place a prominent picture of Him in your home for all to see. On the day of Enthronement, you invite your family and friends to participate in a short series of prayers, and in our case, we also had our home blessed that day.

When you enthrone your home, Jesus makes a series of twelve promises to you:

  1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
  2. I will establish peace in their families.
  3. I will console them in all their troubles.
  4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of their death.
  5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
  6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
  7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
  8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
  9. I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.
  10. I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.
  11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be effaced.
  12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.

Source: Sacred Heart Apostolate

It never ceases to amaze me when, both strangers and friends alike enter our home, we always hear them say, “It is so peaceful in here.” They say it with their eyes peeled on the portrait of Jesus that hangs on our mantle, with statues of St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary, anchored on each end of the mantle.

In the past six years Jesus has poured out many blessings to my husband and me. He has set my heart on fire to evangelize in His name. Yet it is promise #11 that I treasure the most; to have my name written on Jesus’ heart forever!

It has been stated many times that if you want to get closer to Jesus, seek out Mary, for she will lead you to Him. Yet for me, it was the other way around! With the Enthronement of our Home to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, it was Jesus who brought me closer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

About four years ago, I was inspired to read Father Michael Gaitley’s book, 33 Days to Morning Glory. It is a modern day version of Consecration to Jesus through Mary, initially established by St. Louis de Montfort. I started the “retreat” on the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua (my favorite saint) and concluded the retreat 33 days later on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Every year since, I re-consecrate my heart to Jesus through Mary, beginning on June 13th, by re-reading 33 Days to Morning Glory. Every year, due to my growth in faith, and with the eyes of faith, I learn something new about my spiritual mother, Mary by re-reading this book. If you are looking for a way to grow closer to Christ and His mother, I highly recommend both enthroning your home and consecrating your heart to Jesus through Mary.

For information about enthroning your home: www.sacredheartapostolate.com

For information about consecrating your heart to Jesus through Mary, you have two options to consider:

  1. 33 Days to Morning Glory, by Michael Gaitley, MIC
  2. Consecration to Mary by St. Louis De Montfort

Virginia Lieto teaches theology for Saint Joseph’s College Online. Her new children’s book Finding Patience was recently published. She blogs at www.virginialieto.com.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have Mercy on Us

Worth Revisiting Wednesday -This post originally appeared on June 1, 2014.

Sacred HeartThe Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is celebrated each year by the Universal Church 19 days after Pentecost Sunday. Since June is traditionally dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, let us take some time this month to reflect on this wonderful gift given to the Church through the private revelation of Saint Margaret Mary Alocoque in the small village of Paray-le-Monial, France in 1673.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus is not simply one devotion among many – it is the subject of all other devotions to Jesus Christ.

We know that private prayer is essential to growth in the spiritual life. Often, this includes particular devotions, whether to particular saints, to Our Lady in her many apparitions and with her many titles, or to the Persons of the Most Holy Trinity. When we pray to Jesus, we might do so with particular devotion to Him as the Healer, the Miracle Worker, the King, or the Good Shepherd. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is not simply one devotion among many – it is the subject of all other devotions to Jesus Christ. It is the person of Jesus Himself.

Many people came to Jesus during his earthly ministry, drawn to him by his immense love for them. He healed them, taught them, and showed his power over nature and over the evil that had entrapped them. When we encounter the Sacred Heart of Jesus in prayer, we encounter the person who heals, teaches, and conquers evil in his essential being as the person who, first and foremost, loves. He is able to heal, to teach, and to conquer only with the love that he willingly pours forth from His Sacred Heart. It is not a devotion to one aspect of Jesus’ ministry. The Sacred Heart is His very person.

Christ offers us an intimate union with his Sacred Heart through the sacramental life of the Church. By the grace of our baptism, we can love as Christ loves. We are capable of a love that is infinite, if only we cooperate with the sacramental graces to remain united to His Sacred Heart. Frequent confession and reverent reception of Holy Communion offer the most intimate of encounters with His Sacred Heart, which is truly the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.

The intimacy between Jesus and his priests is an intimate union of the heart.

Saint John Vianney, patron saint of priests, describes the priesthood as the “love of the heart of Jesus.” The object of devotion of the Sacred Heart is the real, physical heart of Jesus, which is sacramentally present, really and truly, in the Holy Eucharist. The Eucharist is Christ’s body and blood given for us on the cross, the body that contained His Sacred Heart.

For the priest, then, devotion to the Sacred Heart is a most certain meditation on his own identity, given to him on his ordination day. The intimacy between Jesus and his priest is an intimate union of the heart. The ontological change that occurs as a result of the sacrament is one of being – not of physical appearance or personality, but of the heart. This change in the heart gives it the capacity to love as Jesus loves, with an omnipotent love, because he is loving with the Eucharistic heart of Jesus.

The capacity for love and the way it manifests itself in ministry will reveal itself over and over again throughout a priest’s lifetime, and will often surprise him. The priest is called upon to minister in a wide variety of ways, but the one source of all these ministries is the heart. The priest teaches, heals, counsels, and absolves sin first and foremost as one who loves with the love of Jesus. He has a responsibility to be ever mindful of this heart he now has, and to be in constant and conscious relationship with this Sacred Heart of Jesus so he will remain aware of its capabilities and use them fully.

When people see a priest, they expect to meet Christ. If they don’t, they may move away from the Church, or feel justified that they already have. The priest must be an embodiment of the Sacred Heart. It is not by accident that the words of consecration and the words of absolution are in the first person. It is at these moments when the priest is most himself in his ontological being, in his heart. In these moments, he is Jesus saving souls with his omnipotent love, reuniting them to God the Father in heaven as the Sole Mediator.

We can bring this presence of Jesus into every aspect of our lives by being especially conscious of the presence of Jesus in His Sacred Heart and the means by which we encounter it. Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the home, the Nine Consecutive First Friday Masses, the Consecration to the Sacred Heart, and reception of Holy Communion in reparation for those who do not love Him, are but a few ways to show love to the Sacred Heart, who loves us so much, and whose love gives us life itself.

Carmina Chapp is Associate Director of Online Theology Programs for Saint Joseph’s College Online.