June Was Made For Love: The Fruit of the Sacred Heart

Story of the (Sacred) Heart

There are many experiences in life that can touch our hearts; some touch us so deeply that we remember them forever. While on a high school mission trip to Jamaica, my eyes were opened to truth, beauty, and goodness. The Jamaicans taught my classmates and me how to sing, to dance, and, more importantly, to love. I remember trying to swim through a waterfall. The Jamaicans saw that I could not make it through the waterfall, and although they had met me just a couple of days earlier, they formed a human chain and pulled me to safety! They risked their lives for me, and it left a profound impact.

But one experience changed my life forever. The Jamaicans took me to a colony for the abandoned. There I met a man with leprosy. I wanted to return the same love that was shown to me at the waterfall. The leper had lost part of his arm and some of his facial skin to the disease. Leprosy is a bacterial disease that rots away the skin, a disease that we hear about in the Bible. Leprosy can be treated today with antibiotics, though poorer countries often do not have access to these medicines. I spoke with this leper for ten minutes before our leader summoned me. Before leaving him, I told the man with leprosy, “Thank you for the wonderful time” and went to shake his hand. Tearing up, the man extended the nub that used to be his arm. I thought to myself, “What were you thinking? Here we had this great conversation, and you had to go and ruin it by offering to shake his hand—a hand that he doesn’t have. Way to make him feel bad!” I began to apologize profusely as my intention was to say thank you; instead, I thought I hurt his feelings. The man said, sniffling, “That’s the first time someone’s taken the time to talk to me in years!” Tears were shed, and lives were changed, mine included, because we were able to speak heart-to-heart.

Love Takes Work

This profound statement is also the foundational principle of our humanity. Why? Because if someone were to reverse this sentence, he would get at the very essence of God. God is a communion of Persons, a tri-unity of Persons who work together to do liturgy. Liturgy comes from the Greek word leitourgia, which means “work of the people.” What is the work of the three Persons of the Trinity, God’s liturgy, even before time began? It is love. The Father loves the Son, and the Son receives that love and returns it to the Father. That Love is not just a thing but is a Divine Person, the Holy Spirit.

So the love of God in theology (intrinsically within God) has five aspects: one God, two processions (begetting and spiration), three Persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), four relations (Father-Son: paternity; Son-Father: filiation, Father and Son–Holy Spirit: spiration, Holy Spirit–Father and Son: passive spiration and procession), five notions (five properties—things that allow us to note the relations—attributed to the Divine Persons: innascibility, paternity, filiation, spiration, and procession. Innascibility means the property of being a source without a source, which points out the Person of the Father. The other four notions involve the relations of one Person to the other Persons in the Trinity). So we see that the work of God is essentially love, a matter of the heart, so to say.

That matter of the heart, the love is God, is poured out from the Trinity to creation. This is at the heart of God’s making a covenant with mankind on the seventh day of Creation (Gen. 2:1-3). A covenant happens between persons saying in binding language, “I belong to you, and you belong to me.” This is exactly what the Persons in the Trinity have been doing for all eternity. God desires mankind to share in this covenantal liturgy of love. This is God’s misericordiae. The English word mercy comes from this Latin word: miser = to have pity or take compassion; cor = heart.

The Fabric of Life

History is part of the fabric of life. It helps us to remember who we are by recalling our roots and foundations, but it also draws us into the most important story of all time. History is His story: the story of Jesus Christ and His Mystical Body, the story of our salvation. Now, when I say “story,” I am not talking about fiction but about the most real and important event that ever happened: our salvation. Sadly, various teachings have gone against the ultimate goal of mankind: the unity of God and man in the heart of Jesus Christ through His Divine Mercy. These deceptive teachings deny the goodness of God’s tangible love and mercy. Hence, St. John tells us to be aware:

Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh; any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist! (2 John 1:7)

The one who denies the Father and the Son . . . is the antichrist (1 John 2:22)

Presented under clever disguises, false doctrines that deny God’s love and mercy sound convincing. St. Paul warned us of these false teachings in his Second Letter to Timothy :

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully. (4:1–5).

Hope is Found in Jesus

History is full of ideas that are rooted in the antichrist, lies that deny the Incarnation and the love of the Father and the Son (and the Holy Spirit). Unfortunately, fallen man’s notion that humanity could determine good and evil led to the rotten fruit of iconoclasm and Jansenism, and man’s lack of trust in God developed the poisonous fruit of modernism. These were uprooted by the Sacred Heart and Divine Mercy devotions. Let us look at these devotions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Divine Mercy and how they may bear good fruit in our lives.


This article on ‘June Was Made For Love: The Fruit of the Sacred Heart’ is adapted from the book Peaceful Hearts, Zealous Hearts by Deacon Gerard-Marie Anthony which is available from Sophia Institute Press. 

Art for this post on a reflection from “Peaceful Hearts, Zealous Hearts” by Deacon Gerard-Marie Anthony; cover used with permission; Photo ‘Sacred Heart of Jesus by Jose Maria Ibarraran y Ponce (1854-1910)’ used in accordance with Fair Use practices.

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