June is the month of the Sacred Heart, the perfect symbol of the love of Christ. Jesus Christ, the God-Man, was perfect in His Sacred Humanity, although His human nature was not infinite, since it was a created nature. Only God in His divine nature is infinite. Jesus Christ, however, is both God and Man, possessing two natures, the human and the divine.
Although His human nature was created, and therefore not infinite, we cannot speak of imperfection when we talk about the Sacred Humanity of the Son of God. The human nature of Jesus Christ was perfect, although it was not by the power of His human nature that He performed His miracles. It was by the power of His Divinity that the winds and the sea obeyed Him, water was changed into wine, the dead were raised, and He Himself rose gloriously from the tomb. His power was infinite, because He was God.
The love of Christ is symbolized by His Sacred Heart. When we speak of the love of Christ, we speak of two kinds of love - human and divine. One love, though perfect in itself, is limited, because it is created; the other love is infinite, because it is divine. Christ loves us with the perfect love of His Sacred Humanity, but also with the infinite love of His Divinity.
The Sacred Heart also symbolizes the suffering of the Lord, for His Heart was wounded for our offenses: "Surely He hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows: and we have thought Him as it were a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our iniquities: He was bruised for our sins. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him: and by His bruises we are healed" (Isaias 53:4,5).
God has always patiently endured the disobedience of His creatures. The Israelites were the Chosen People of God, but most of them did not believe. They fell away already at Sinai. Most of the Jewish nation fell away when they encountered the Stumbling Block - Jesus Christ. Only a remnant recognized Him as the Messiah and obeyed Him.
The Chosen People of God today are those who believe in Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God and Savior of the world - Jews or Greeks, black or white, rich or poor, of all nations and peoples. We read in the Apocalypse: "After this I saw a great multitude which no man could number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and with palms in their hands. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, 'Salvation belongs to our God Who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb'" (Apocalypse 7: 9,10).
Today the Sacred Heart is wounded by the apostasy of the greater part of His Church. Where now are the orthodox bishops, the zealous priests, the heroic missionaries, the faithful laity, and the pious youth? Where now are the great popes and defenders of the faith like Popes Pius IX, Leo XIII, St. Pius X, and Pius XII, who kept the wolves of modernism at bay and protected the flock of Christ from heresy? Today the flock of Christ is sick unto death with the heretical doctrines of the conciliar popes and theologians. Fr. Frederick Faber speaks of the horror of heresy:
"The crowning disloyalty to God is heresy. It is the sin of sins, the very loathsomest of things which God looks down upon in this malignant world. Yet how little do we understand of its excessive hatefulness! It is the polluting of God's truth, which is the worst of all impurities. Yet how light we make of it! We look at it, and are calm. We touch it and do not shudder. We mix with it, and have no fear. We see it touch holy things, and we have no sense of sacrilege. We breathe its odor, and show no signs of detestation or disgust. Some of us affect its friendship; and some even extenuate its guilt. We do not love God enough to be angry for His glory. We do not love men enough to be charitably truthful for their souls."
Sometimes it is difficult to be "charitably truthful." But among those who strive to keep the ancient faith of the Church, many also fall away because they cannot accept the challenge of the Gospel. Our hatred, our anger, our lust, our ambition, our pride - these become our stumbling block - and we fall from grace. Our "golden calf" is our desire for sinful pleasure, wealth, worldly power and fame. What's the good of being right, if indeed we are, if by our hatred, anger and vengefulness we lose Heaven in the end? Our Lord put it this way, "For what does it profit a man if he gain the whole world, but suffer the loss of his own soul?" (Mark 8:36).
"Strive for peace with all men," says St. Paul, "and for that holiness without which no man will see God. Take heed lest anyone be wanting in the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble and by it the many be defiledů" (Hebrews 12:14,15).
St. Peter encourages us in today's Epistle: "Be all like-minded, compassionate, lovers of the brethren, merciful, humble; not rendering evil for evil, or abuse for abuse, but contrariwise, blessing; for unto this were you called that you might inherit a blessing" (1 Peter 3:8,9).
Our Lord Himself offers us these sobering words: "Unless your justice exceeds that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 5:20). "If you are offering your gift at the altar," He says, "and there remember that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift at the altar, and go first to be reconciled with your brother; and then come and offer your gift" (Matthew 5:23,24).
What gift shall we offer? What will God now accept in atonement for the sins of the world? "For the Law appoints as priests men who are weak; but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son who is forever perfect" (Hebrews 7:28). There is now only one perfect offering, one acceptable sacrifice - the sacrifice of the Son of God Himself upon the Cross - which He Himself renews for us daily in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The God of Justice and of Mercy accepts ONLY THIS in atonement for our sins and the sins of the world. To be united with Jesus Christ, Who is both Priest and Victim in this one, acceptable Sacrifice, is our only hope, and the only hope of the world.
"In a humble spirit and with a contrite heart, may we be accepted by You, O Lord, and may our Sacrifice so be offered in Your sight this day as to please You, O Lord God" (Offertory Prayer).