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Be the Heart of my heart

Be the Heart of my heart

Spirituality grounds us and informs our daily experience of acting and reacting in relation to people, circumstances and things.

For spirituality pervades the whole of life, affecting all life’s stages of development, and so is to be regarded rather as an inner energy than as a set of formalised practices.  Nor can true spirituality be imposed from without.  Rather it grows out of the deepest convictions of the heart. An authentic spirituality integrates all aspects of one’s life-experience, giving cohesion and meaning in view of the ultimate goal.  (Raphael Consedine, pbvm).

What we know of the lifestyle of Nano Nagle is that it was the authentic expression of her vocation, charism and spirituality.  Her over-riding concern was reaching people with the Good News, through word and action, relieving the suffering and need of others. Hers was a direct apostolic involvement with people.  For her the divine call was heard in the daily struggle of people to manage their lives amidst the complex realities of their time.  Nano Nagle’s way of entering into the mystery of God was by way of the realities of human life, by way of the human person.  This deeply apostolic spirituality that Nano lived, dictated the rhythms of her daily life.

It is possible to say that ‘women with such listening hearts’ have shaped our Presentation story.

The Feast of the Sacred Heart

June is the month of the Sacred Heart and the Feast day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is on 16th June.  It is this Heart from which Nano fed her heart.

A well-documented aspect of Nano Nagle’s spirituality is her devotion to the ‘Heart of Jesus’.  Her habitual way of acting and reacting flowered out of this devotion.

Looking on the heart of Jesus, Nano learned the meaning of compassion as suffering with another … entering into their lives. (From ‘Fire on the Earth’, Raphael Consedine, pbvm, P61).

Nano did more than pity the poor in their situation, she acted to redress it.  “In doing so she questioned long unquestioned social and religious assumptions of her time: that poverty was inevitable in the social structure, that it was part of the divine plan for the human family, and that to educate the poor was to strike against this proper order”.

Her heart knew no fear, only how to Love.

During this Feast Day and this month of the Sacred Heart we can pray for this capacity to extend our hearts to be capable of this dimension of Love for all humanity, and to be able to act in practical ways without fear, to ease and redress suffering as a result of unjust practices, and to advocate for change, inspiring others to do likewise.

Let Us Pray

O Heart all loveable and all loving of my Saviour,
be the Heart of my heart,
the Soul of my soul,
the Spirit of my spirit,
the Life of my life
and the sole principle of all my thoughts,
words and actions,
of all the faculties of my soul
and of all my senses,
both interior and exterior.


Sacred Heart of Jesus, and Ven. Nano Nagle we place our trust in you!

Note: The Sacred Heart of Jesus is not a reference to the actual muscle tissue of His physical heart but it is a reference to Christ Himself. The heart is synonymous with the totality of the person. Christ is offering you an intimate view of the interior reality of his life, which is all love.

His Heart is exposed, not hidden, meaning that His life is exposed to us to live with Him. The Sacred Heart of Jesus has the crown of thorns wrapped around it. This is a reminder that His life, not his head, was crowned with these thorns.

The Friday that follows the Second Sunday in Time After Pentecost is the Feast of the Sacred Heart (16th June 2023). General devotion arose first in Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries of that time, especially in response to the devotion of St. Gertrude the Great, but specific devotions became popularised when St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), a Visitation nun, had a personal revelation involving a series of visions of Christ as she prayed before the Blessed Sacrament. She wrote, “He disclosed to me the marvels of his Love and the inexplicable secrets of his Sacred Heart.” Christ emphasised to her His love — and His woundedness caused by Man’s indifference to this love.


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