The first weeks of June here at the Beda are very full and busy as our top year pack up their rooms, ready for their return to their respective countries to prepare for their ordinations as priests. This year we have 10 priestly ordinations to look forward to at various stages over the next months; three in Scotland, four in England, one in India and two in Australia.
There is also the small-but-not-insignificant matter of end-of-year examinations, marking, and then the Board of Examiners so that we can get all the results forwarded to St Mary’s University in London for inclusion in the July graduation ceremony. On Wednesday 12 June we have the last full day of the college year which is marked by the ordination to the diaconate of two of our students, Norman Allred of Meath (Ireland) and Adrian Lowe of Brentwood (England). Please remember them and all our ordinands in your prayers that they may be ardent but gentle servants of the Gospel.
Ardent but gentle. In popular devotion, this month is often kept as the month of the Sacred Heart and indeed on the 28th, the Liturgy keeps the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For many generations a devotion and love of the heart of Jesus was presumed when you made the profession of faith: ‘He became incarnate of the Holy Spirit and was made man.’ To be human is not merely to have an organ which pumps the blood around the body but to have a seat of emotion, love, care and compassion.
It is not only on 14 February that the heart pierced with the arrow of love comes to the fore of our attention (at least beyond the card shops) – in our Christian spirituality the pierced heart of Jesus on the Cross, sometimes in iconography surrounded by the crown of thorns, becomes the source and the inspiration of all loving and serving in the Church and for the world.
‘For raised up high on the Cross,
He gave himself up for us with a wonderful love
and poured out blood and water from his pierced side,
the wellspring of the Church’s Sacraments,
so that, won over to the open heart of the Saviour,
all might draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.’
Preface of the Sacred Heart of Jesus