Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – On the first Sunday and first day of the month of June, the Holy Father Benedict XVI dedicated his address prior to the recitation of the Angelus with the faithful gathered in Saint Peter’s Square, to the devotion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, normally celebrated with special dedication during the month of June. The Heart of Christ, the Pope said, is “a symbol of the Christian faith that is dear to the faithful, to the mystics and to theologians because it expresses in a simple and authentic way the ‘glad tidings’ of love, summarizing the mystery of the Incarnation and the Redemption in itself.” After recalling the liturgical feasts that have followed Easter, Benedict XVI pointed out that “this succession of feasts brings to mind a movement toward the center: a movement of the Spirit that is guided by God himself. From the infinite horizon of his love, in fact, God desired to enter into the limits of history and the human condition, he took on a body and a heart; thus we can contemplate and meet the infinite in the finite, the mystery of the invisible and ineffable human heart of Jesus, the Nazarene.” The “center of the faith” is Christ’s pierced side, which is “also the font of the hope in which we have been saved”: these two themes were both addressed in depth in Benedict XVI’s two encyclicals.
The Pope continued, “Every person needs a ‘center’ in his life, a source of truth and goodness to draw from in the flux of the different situations of everyday life and its toil. Everyone of us, when he pauses for a moment of silence, needs to feel not only the beating of his own heart, but more deeply, the beating of a trustworthy presence, perceptible to the senses of faith and yet more real: the presence of Christ, heart of the world. And so I invite everyone to renew his devotion to the Sacred Heart of Christ in the month of June, making use of the traditional prayer of the offering of the day and keeping in mind the intentions that I have proposed to the whole Church.” Before reciting the Angelus, the Pope once again invoked the Virgin Mary’s maternal intercession for “the people of China and Myanmar, stricken by natural disasters, and for those who are dealing with the many situations of suffering, of sickness and material and spiritual misery that mark the journey of humanity.” (SL) (Agenzia Fides 2/6/2008)