As summer begins to make itself known through the long days, an uptick in vacation-seekers, and 90-degree weather, I want to offer you a reflection that encompasses three aspects: The Heart of the Shepherd, the simplicity of child-like faith, and a Christian reclaiming of the month of June.
Firstly, I want to highlight an entry from a catechist’s diary, found on page 118 of The Religious Potential of the Child by Sofia Cavalletti. The catechist is in conversation with a child, and this conversation led to the presentation on Pentecost.
Catechist: The Holy Spirit is in church…in the tabernacle….We already know that in the tabernacle there is…?
Child: Jesus! Jesus and the Holy Spirit are never apart. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are in our hearts…you don’t see them.
Catechist: Who finds them?
Child: The person who pays attention.
Catechist: How does one pay attention?
Child: With the heart…with our life too…thinking and listening to the Holy Spirit’s words. If a little girl stays in her place really quiet she hears Him.
This passage is 1. so striking to me, 2. wonderfully simple, and 3. a beautiful lesson on the Heart of our Lord. The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are never apart and they dwell within our hearts! One pays attention with the heart! This is how our risen Lord cares for us- with his heart- with the heart of the Good Shepherd that he is. Children understand, even if they are unable to articulate their understanding in lofty theological terms.
The month of June is devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. While it may be difficult to see this tangibly in our world today, the fact remains. This June, we celebrated both Corpus Christi and the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. If we have not devoted ourselves to honoring the Heart of the Shepherd this month, now is the time.
There are many ways to honor the Sacred Heart of our Lord and we as catechists should be ever-deepening our devotion to loving and honoring the heart of our Incarnate Lord. As we are transformed by the love of the Shepherd’s heart, let’s pray that we may conform our lives to the desires of the Sacred Heart. In turn, He promises twelve very special graces to those who are devoted to His Sacred Heart. One of these graces is that He will “pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.” We must conclude that the lives of our Atria, CGS programs, relationships with parents and parish/school staff and pastors, and our own formation as catechists are not an exception to these blessings.
In these last weeks of June, I encourage each of us to take an active step in reclaiming the month for the Sacred Heart. Pray the Litany of the Sacred Heart, consecrate yourself and your family to the Sacred Heart, have a celebration, and enthrone the Sacred Heart within your home. Let’s take the time to reflect, with child-like faith, on him who is “meek and humble of heart” (Mt. 11:29).