By Fr. Michel Esparza
The crucifix, a symbol at the heart of our Catholic worship, is a prominent, visual reminder of the suffering of Christ. But do we understand the encompassing reality of Christ’s suffering? Many Christians are unaware that Jesus suffers even now, today—that his suffering is ongoing, not a single event two thousand years ago. This book seeks to shed light on Christ’s continual suffering. Through this understanding, we can be further attuned to Christ’s sacred humanity—his joys and sorrows—and recognize the urgency to console his Heart. This understanding of our responsibility to not only love but also console the heart of Christ, will act as an epiphanic turning point in our Christian lives. The author first focuses on friendship with Christ in our spiritual lives, outlining the most helpful means of getting to know him through revelation, the Gospel, and prayer. The second part addresses the two motivations to respond to Christ’s love: gratitude and compassion for his sorrowful Heart. This compassion includes a co-redemptive desire to relieve his wounds, which in turn spurs our generosity. Thus, the perennial relevance of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is revealed.
Fr. Michel Esparza received his medical degree from the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium). In 1997 he received his doctorate in philosophy from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. He was ordained a priest in 1986 and exercises his ministry in Antwerp, Belgium, where he gives spiritual guidance to persons of all ages and walks of life. His publications include books and articles on Christian spirituality, the life and thought of Edith Stein, and the relationship between humility and self-esteem.