BEFORE THE CROSS | The heart’s emotions and passions are a path to union with God

In the heart of Jesus, the center of Christianity is set before us." So wrote Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI). It's a fitting point as we celebrate the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 23.

Why should the feast of the Sacred Heart matter? One reason is because of the 12 promises made by Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque regarding those who practice devotion to the Sacred Heart. The promises are listed in the accompanying box.

Finding heart and home in Resurrection Park

Father Jim Cormack, CM, pastor of St. Catherine Laboure in Sappington, blessed the builders of a home under construction in East St. Louis, Ill. The house is the 21st to be built in a community called Resurrection Park, started by members of the East Side Heart and Home Family Center in East St. Louis. Catholics in the Archdiocese of St. Louis have been helping with the effort.

From the front porch of her house, Dorothy Gasper has a stunning view of the Gateway Arch.

Gasper has lived in East St. Louis, Ill., since 1966. In 1997, she moved from the John Robinson Projects and became the first person to rent and eventually own a home constructed by East Side Heart and Home Housing.

"It's quiet — not a lot of noise," she said. "It's nice. I like it here."

Pope: Closed hearts unable to be surprised by the Resurrection

Pope Francis greeted a young choir member at his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on April 19.

VATICAN CITY — Christian faith is a grace and can be perceived only in the hearts of those willing to be surprised by the joy of the Resurrection, Pope Francis said.

"A closed heart, a rationalistic heart" is incapable of understanding the Christian message which has God's love — manifested in Christ's victory over death — at its center, the pope said at his weekly general audience April 19.

GUEST COLUMNIST | Sharing of the heart and forgiviness

After Fontbonne President Michael Pressimone opened the "Take Your Summer Seriously: gathering June 29, Margaret-Mary Moore played guitar and offered a musical rendition of "Open the eyes of my heart," and I followed with a prayer of thanksgiving for allowing this gathering for sharing of the hearts and minds.

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