The Society of Jesus participates in the mission of
compassion of Jesus Christ
Very soon, on the occasion of the closing celebration
of the Ignatian Year, Father Arturo Sosa, Superior General, will consecrate the
Society of Jesus to the Heart of Jesus.
Why is this?
Today, 24 June, is the feast of the Sacred Heart. It
is linked to a devotion that may seem old-fashioned in some of its formulas,
its processions and hymns that emphasize the suffering aspect of Christ on the
However, this celebration has had a special place in
the spiritual tradition of the Society of Jesus, at least for the past 150 years.
Indeed, in 1872, the then-Father General, Fr. Jan Beckx, consecrated the
Society to the Sacred Heart for the first time. Fr Pedro Arrupe did the same 50
years ago. Therefore, 2022 is a jubilee year for this tradition as well. This
fact has been particularly highlighted at the shrine of Paray-le-Monial in
France, where the Jesuit missionary Claude de la Colombière and
Marguerite-Marie Alacoque invited the faithful to benefit from the graces of
goodness, mercy and tenderness that the heart of Jesus represents.
More recently, the director of the Pope’s Worldwide
Prayer Network, Fr. Frederic Fornos, after having outlined the history of the
devotion to the Sacred Heart in the Society of Jesus, concluded by stating that
one of the prayer paths proposed by the Network is called The Way of the Heart. This itinerary is an updating for today of
the devotion to the Heart of Christ. It is a coherent presentation of the
spiritual treasure of the Apostleship of Prayer in the light of the Spiritual
Exercises. It leads our hearts closer to the Heart of Christ, making us
available to his mission, a mission of compassion for the world.
To conclude, we suggest a prayer to the Sacred Heart,
proposed by Pope John Paul II during a visit to Delhi, India, in 1986.
Lord Jesus Christ, Redeemer of the human race,
to your most Sacred Heart we turn with humility and trust, with reverence and hope,
with a deep desire to give to you glory and honour and praise.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God,
we praise you for the love that you have revealed through your Sacred Heart,
which was pierced for us and which has become the fountain of our joy, the source of our eternal life.
Gathered together in your Name, which is above all other names,
we consecrate ourselves to your most Sacred Heart,
in which dwells the fullness of truth and charity.
Renew our desire to respond in love to the rich outpouring of your merciful love.