Heart, hope and Cor Unum

Today we celebrate the feast of the Sacred Heart, that space wide and deep enough for all the anguish, brokenness and pain being poured into it, alongside all the beauty and joy. We celebrate as a global community, separated by time zones and miles, but united in a common spirituality, mission and desire. And this year in particular we celebrate in a world filled with chaos and cruelty, darkness and so much which breaks our hearts on a daily basis, be it maltreated migrants, bombed Yemenis or so many instances of injustice and inequality - to say nothing of our own wounds, struggles and losses. But we can celebrate precisely because, however much pain is poured into Jesus' Heart, it cannot drown out the unmeasured streams of tenderness, compassion and deep, deep love which already fill it and, overflowing, pour out.

And in here lies the source of the hope we need, to sustain us in these despairing times: a hope centred in the death and resurrection of Christ, which believes that redemption, new life and transformation are always possible, even in the face of evil. A hope which can be our gift to each other, and to the people and places where we live and serve.

And so today, in union with my sisters all around the world, I whole-heartedly renew my vows, and re-commit myself to our mission of manifesting the love of Jesus' Heart, in whatever ways I can. And it occurs to me that when we make our vows, alone or as part of a large group, we profess them singly, individually - but when we renew them we stand side by side, proclaiming the words together, in unison. Thus in a world becoming increasingly fragmented and divided, filled with barriers and exclusion, this global act of Cor Unum unites and brings us together, across generations, races and cultures, in a single, world-embracing act of commitment, in and for the world.

Happy feast of love to you all! And in the words of our Superior General's letter, may we all pay attention to God’s call to live hope deeply in our lives, to strengthen our commitment in our journey forward as a community, to speak the truth with love as we work together to fulfill the dream of God for all God’s people. [And]... let us ask to see the world with God’s compassion and love and seek new ways for Being Artisans of Hope in our blessed and broken world...