St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Today’s readings | Today’s saint

margaretmary“I need nothing but God, and to lose myself in the heart of Jesus.” St. Margaret Mary spoke these as her dying words, while being anointed at the age of 43. Margaret was a simple woman and a Visitation nun. She worked as an assistant in the convent infirmary, but God had other plans for her. After being a nun for just three years, she began to receive revelations in which Christ called her to make his love for all humanity known. His human heart was to become the symbol for this divine and human love for all of us. He called her to frequent Holy Communion, especially on First Fridays, and to spend Thursday evenings in an hour’s meditation on the agony at Gethsemane. This devotion eventually spread to the entire Church under the name of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

I have two Margaret Marys in my own life: my sister and my grandmother on my father’s side. My grandmother was one who was a great model of faith for me. She and I would often sit together and talk about her childhood in Ireland, and all the problems of the world. She was one of my best friends until her death shortly after I graduated from college. She too had a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and her love for Christ and the Church helped stimulate my vocation throughout my life.

St. Paul says to the Romans today, “Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made.” If we were simpler in our faith, like St. Margaret Mary, maybe we too could catch the holy from what is out there in creation. Maybe we would be more able to see the love of Christ in our brothers and sisters and become devoted once again to his Sacred Heart. We tend to be a people so focused on the task at hand, that at times we might be really able to get through an entire day, even a day of service, without ever once thinking about God in a significant way. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s not supposed to be that way. With St. Margaret Mary, we need to say, “I need nothing but God, and to lose myself in the heart of Jesus.”