In prayer we come to Him with everything that touches our life,
with the sufferings and hopes of humanity.
As apostolic contemplatives, Religious of the Sacred Heart root our lives in prayer. With a mission to discover and reveal the love of God, our spirituality and our mission are based in love. Our contemplative outlook is part of who we are, whether in prayer, in ministry or in our daily lives.
"The contemplative outlook on the world has been a call to be authentic apostles of Christ's love, to help bring to birth a more welcoming world, to make known a God who is great, bountiful and tender. It is a call to educate in such a way that God's plan, God's glory, may become a reality, so that all may grow as brothers and sisters in the inward freedom of the children of God, and have fullness of life." (Superior General Concepcion Camacho, RSCJ)
The pierced Heart of Jesus opens our being to the depths of God and to the anguish of humankind.
On these pages, we will share prayers, poems, reflections and artwork that reflect the spirituality of the Society of the Sacred Heart. We hope you will return here periodically for resources appropriate to the liturgical season and our Sacred Heart traditions.
On the Feast of the Sacred Heart, we invite you to reflect on words from our Superior General, Barbara Dawson, RSCJ: “All of us are called to pray deeply. We are called to deepen our love – within the Heart of Christ, for each other and for our world and its people. We are called to participate in whatever way is possible for us. No one is too old or too young to be co-creators of our future.”
One heart and one soul in the Heart of Jesus,
The Provincial Team
Happy Feast Day!
Today we celebrate the feast of our beloved foundress, Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat. Sophie was committed to a deep life of prayer and reflection, and she continually invited the members of the Society to see this as the basis for their inner lives and for whatever tasks they undertook. We invite you to pray and reflect today on the words of some of our RSCJs.
Feast of St. Madeleine Sophie
Helen Rosenthal, RSCJ
Imagine my surprise walking into the Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health and seeing this piece of art on display. Of course I was immediately drawn to the Sacred Heart, particularly this rendition showing both the strength of the flame resting on metal and the vulnerability of the vein-crossed heart formed from fragile glass (at least that’s how I interpret it). When you go to a research institution like NIH, either for yourself or with someone you love, you are embarking on an uncharted path, often as the pioneer for a new treatment that may or may not work.
The image of Christ crucified amid a bleak urban landscape reminds us that wherever there is any human suffering, God is also suffering. The smoke stacks poisoning the environment, the tall towers that depersonalize a sense of neighborhood, and the lack of any human presence save that of Jesus Himself are underscored by the color palate of deep russet, black, and gray. One is reminded of William Blake’s “Jerusalem” – one interpretation of which suggests that the mills and factories of the Industrial Revolution dehumanized society and enslaved millions.
Prior to the noviceship, I certainly did not anticipate that the interior work of the noviceship would bring me into such acutely vulnerable places of my heart. In no way did I ever surmise how visceral it would be to face my naked self in those places into which God draws me. The soreness of encountering my shadow, however, is not all that I did not know about the noviceship. I also did not imagine the impact of grace—how deeply it touches my heart and urges me to connect to God’s beauty in people.
At a particularly difficult moment in the noviceship, I found myself at the botanical garden in Encinitas, California, where I was surrounded by desert flora and could see the Pacific Ocean in the distance. The internal work of being a novice at that moment felt too big for me – whatever it was I had discovered in myself could no longer be contained by prayer in my room. It needed instead the openness of ocean and desert.
In Exodus 35:35 we read that God has filled artists with skill to do every kind of work done by an artisan, designer, or embroiderer in blue, purple and crimson yarns, and in fine linen. They are able to do work of all kinds and with such originality. This piece of Scripture reflects something of the skill of this fabric artist. I do not know the artist but the gift that this person offers is a talent, a light, offering compassion, hope and joy to a suffering world.