MORNING MEDITATION IN THE CHAPEL OF THE
The difficult science of
7 June 2013
(by L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly ed. in English, n.
24, 12 June 2013)
The “science of embrace” manifests the two pillars of love: closeness and
tenderness. And “Jesus knows this science well”. This was at the heart of Pope
Francis’ homily on Friday, 7 June, at the Mass of the Solemnity of the Most
Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Concelebrating
with the Pope, among others, were Archbishop Jean-Louis Brugučs, op, Archivist
and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church, and Bishop Sergio Pagano, Prefect of the
Vatican Secret Archives, who was accompanying a group of the Archives’ staff.
Drawing on the day’s readings from Ezekiel (34:11-16), the Letter of St Paul
to the Romans (5:5-11) and the Gospel of Luke (15:3-7), the Pope described the
Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart as the “feast of love”: “Jesus wanted to show
us his heart as the heart that loved so deeply. This is why we have this
commemoration today, especially of God’s love. God loved us, he loved us with
such great love. I am thinking of what St Ignatius told us.... He pointed out
two criteria on love. The first: love is expressed more clearly in actions than
in words. The second: there is greater love in giving than in receiving”.
“These two criteria are like the pillars of true love: deeds, and the gift of
self”. Explaining further, the Holy Father dwelt on the two aspects of God’s
love which the day’s liturgy unveils to us. The first was God’s love symbolized
by the shepherd: closeness. “The shepherd close to his flock, to his sheep that
he knows one by one”. With regard to tenderness, the second aspect of God’s love
for us, Pope Francis said: “the Lord loves us tenderly. The Lord knows the
beautiful science of caresses — God’s tenderness. He does not love us with
words. He approaches us, and in being close to us gives us his love with the
deepest possible tenderness”.
However, “more difficult than loving God is letting ourselves be loved by
him”, the Pope concluded. “Lord, I want to love you but teach me the difficult
science, the difficult habit of letting myself be loved by you...”. Perhaps this
is what we should pray for at Mass.