Meditation to the Feast of the Sacred Hearts
M. Clara gave our Congregation the inspiring coexistence of Franciscan life and the heart spirituality, in which she called us "Franciscan Sisters, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary". This connection is familiar to us, but at the same time it is unusual. On the Feast of the Sacred Hearts, let us trace our charism and fill it anew with life.
For Saint Francis, discipleship meant living the Gospel of Jesus Christ concretely. He met Jesus in the texts of the Scriptures, and he was touched by Jesus’ example. Francis oriented himself on Jesus, who presented how a person looks like after the heart of God - a person who follows the movements of her inner being and thus responds to the concrete reality of everyday life. Francis did not choose a doctrine that distanced him from real life. No, he met a divine man of flesh and blood, Jesus, who showed him how a life based on a relationship with God, with others, with creation and with himself could succeed. "Love God with all your heart and with all your soul, with all your thinking and with all your strength, and your neighbor as yourself. (Mk 12:30-31)
As a cloth merchant in his father's shop, Francis met people of different types. He became acquainted with their circumstances and needs, from the flattering fabrics of luxury to the coarse materials of everyday and work clothing. On the one hand, he experienced pampering and on the other hand protection from cold, wetness or the heat of the sun. Then there came a different kind of “buyer” to purchase another precious gift for the Lady of the Heart, and there begged someone for the last shirt on the naked body. Nothing remained alien to Francis on his way of conversion. He meditated on the life of Jesus and approached him in prayer and again encountered all these realities of human life. The poor and the rich, the learned and the simple came to Jesus. All were hungry. Hungry for the bread of the body but also hungry for acceptance, healing and guidance. Jesus saw into their hearts. He recognized their many needs, but he also realized their longing to receive love and the strength of their desire to give love.
Since the beginning of human history, the hearts of God and men and women have been in an indissoluble relationship.
God received each one of us into his heart, and he placed in our hearts the desire of likeness for HIM. This mutual attraction of love can only grow and be lived in freedom. For this God accepts the possibility of rejection, profound injury and ultimately the death of His Son. Not only did God open his heart through the lance thrust on the cross, but he let himself be touched by love and human need; he does not close himself off despite egoism, denial and betrayal. God created us in his image. Humans who are free to follow the divine impulses.
In Jesus it became visible for Francis. Here he experienced a longing for God and felt a desire for God that urged him to surrender his life. He experienced the interplay of a hidden and at the same time present God. A God who hides himself in the everyday form of life; who meets us in the people and circumstances that shape our way of life; in the desires of our soul that make up the energy of our life; in creation, to which we are fraternally connected as creatures and for which we bear responsibility. Francis did not deny the movements of his heart but purified them in prayer in order to live with their vitality, the fulfilment of life at the service of God and humankind. If we put these thoughts into prayer, we will be surprised at the prayer text we encounter. It says from the early time of the Congregation: "Divine Heart of Jesus, make me love you more and more. Heart of Jesus, burning with love for us, kindle our hearts with love for you. Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, form our hearts according to your heart".
Together, in this spirit and with our open hearts, let us "Go forth to the people of our days in their many needs, concerned for our common home and working for a more just and peaceful world, so that we may be a blessing in the heart of the world".