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First Friday reflections

Through the centuries, the Christian community has consistently tried to capture its developing understanding of Jesus Christ in word and image. This is a never ending challenge – to portray the Mystery of the love of God made visible in the man, Jesus of Nazareth, who went about doing good and eventually laid down his life for us. Each First Friday of the month, the Society of the Sacred Heart sends an email prepared by an RSCJ, colleague or friend of the Society, with a reflection on the meaning of the Sacred Heart in our lives today. To sign up to receive the First Friday emails, Sign up for e-news here or at the bottom of any page on this site.

During our bicentennial celebration between 2017 and 2018, First Friday emails suspended in place of our Year of Prayer weekly reflections. Click here to access the entire Year of Prayer

First Friday Reflection for May 2015

My experience has taught me that God takes great delight in showing us ways to receive his love, ways to live in it and ways to give it away. There seem to be no end to these pathways God puts in front of us to lead us to his heart.

When I was an adolescent at (the Academy of the Sacred Heart) Lake Forest, I began to discover this love. I so looked forward to First Fridays. They were days set apart from ordinary days by what we wore, what we did and what we ate. What I looked forward to with great eagerness was Mass and the proclamation of Ephesians 3:

First Friday Reflection for April 2015

Good Friday

This image certainly disquiets me. Nearly disturbs. But I keep sliding my eyes back to look ... and then slowly I see it. This image is alive with the suffering of the world.

Also, the colors, tilt of the head, and glow, they remind me of a line from Muriel Barbery's book, The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I now know what you have to experience before you die: let me tell you. What you have to experience before you die is a driving rain transformed into light.

First Friday Reflection, January 2015

This powerful image – Listening to the Heartbeat of God – speaks to me of the line: “Each morning you wake me to hear, to listen like a disciple” (Isaiah 50:4). Serving poor elderly in New Orleans as a pastoral care coordinator for Christopher Homes, Inc., I am given many opportunities to listen to God’s heartbeat.

Whenever I visit a particular Central American couple, the husband loves to read from Scripture. We end with prayer. The wife’s eyes always fill with tears when she calls upon Jesus. They are filled with joy even though their situation is precarious.

First Friday Reflection, December 2014

This bronze statue of Christ and the child is located in a narrow courtyard on the campus of Saint Louis University, not far from the United States-Canada Provincial House. The sculptor, James Michael Maher, wrote about it:

I wanted a piece that would embody the idea of the Sacred Heart and convey the essence of the mission to bring Christ’s love and compassion to all. I think it has a lot to do with seeing the parent/child relationship from both sides, and relating that to being a child of God.

First Friday Reflection, October, 2014

According to Mark’s Gospel (6:34) Jesus was moved with compassion for those who were like sheep without a shepherd. He invited people to look to God, to live with joy, hope and integrity. He promised he would always be with us and give us his spirit. The spirituality of the Sacred Heart began on Calvary when the centurion pierced Christ's side with a lance. His heart was open for all.  

First Friday Reflection, September 2014

This lovely image calls more on the ear than the eye. How can that be? The first two or three times I engaged it, I saw only the cross, and hardly noticed the small androgynous figure in the bottom right corner; my eye was engaged by the swirl of the cross and heart, and the sweep of Love in the whole of the painting. But as I engaged the image more deeply, it grew on me, and I began to hear it more strongly than see it.

First Friday Reflection, August 2014

In 2006 Marianist Brother Melvin Meyer was commissioned to create a piece of sculpture for Barat Academy, a school outside St. Louis which would open a year later. Because of his great devotion to the Sacred Heart, Brother Mel was inspired to create a metal sculpture of the Sacred Heart which would “intersect the usual with the unusual.” That he did.