Sacred Heart Month: Christ-Centeredness Solves These 10 Problems

It is June, the month of the Sacred Heart, a devotion all about centering our lives on Christ, just as his heart is at the center of the unity of God and man in one person.

Mother Teresa said that Christ-centeredness is the goal of every Christian life, and that the Sacred Heart teaches us how. “You have to learn from the Sacred Heart of Jesus. That is why Jesus said: ‘Learn of me’ — not from books,’” she said.

Here are some of the problems Christ-centeredness answers.

Christ-centeredness gives our life purpose.

1. Are you lonely? Jesus is a true friend who connects you to more friends. 

Other friends have limitations: They are often absent, distracted, uncomprehending or not fully committed. Jesus, being God and man, is none of these things. Jesus said “I have called you friends,” meaning each of us and the rest of his “friend group” who we can connect with at church, in Bible studies, and fellowship groups.

2. Is it hard to find hope? Jesus has the future in his hands.

Nations rise and fall, friends come and go, hard times keep coming, and even family love is fickle. But “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” As St. John Paul II said: “We do not know what the new millennium has in store for us, but we are certain that it is safe in the hands of Christ.” For more hope, daily thank Jesus in detail for what he has done for you.

3. Does life often seem meaningless? Jesus makes every moment count.

Life often seems like drudgery, like one thing after another. But in Christ, even small actions done in His will take on an eternal meaning. “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me,” Jesus said. We can fill our lives with meaning by helping others, or simply offering things up for them, as Pope Benedict XVI suggested.

Christ-centeredness answers the problems we see in institutions.

4. Are you worried about the Church? Jesus is the Head of the Church.

Jesus promised that the gates of hell would never prevail against the Church, but that’s not the most consoling thing he said. He also said “Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst.” He identifies himself with the Church so closely that when we are persecuted, he is persecuted. So whatever flaws we can find, Christ is there, until the end of time.

5. Are  you worried about politics? Jesus is our true king.

Jesus knows politics distresses us. He says “Fear not little flock, for your Father has seen fit to give you the kingdom.” In the world we will have trouble, he says, but “I have overcome the world.” The world hated him, and will hate us also. Our job is to “render unto Caesar’s” what is Caesar’s,  submitting to proper authority, and to “render unto God what is God’s”  — submitting our whole heart, soul and mind to God.

Christ-centeredness addresses our personal issues.

6. Are you addicted? Christ sets you free.

Successful paths toward freedom from addiction such as Alcoholics Anonymous turn us toward him, because “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

7. Is your family divided? So was his.

Mark describes how Jesus’ own family said “He is out of his mind.” Mary knew just what to do: She brought them to Christ. Eventually, they were won over. We may see the same result — and if not, we can find solace in a new family in him.

8. Is money hard to come by? Jesus makes it bearable.

Jesus himself became poor and said “Blessed are you who are poor” and “Woe to you who are rich.” Treasure on earth corrupts, he said; centering our lives on him fills us with peace.

9. Are you sick? Jesus seeks the sick.

Jesus has many ways of dealing with the sick: He heals us, he reassures us that even a terminal illness “does not end in death,” and he joins our sufferings to his own.

Christ-centeredness is hard. The Eucharist makes it easier.

10. Does Christ seem far away? Go to where he is close by.

Jesus showed us how he intends to stay close to us: in the Eucharist. If you feel like he is missing from your life, do what Mary and Joseph did: Go to Him in the tabernacle. There you will find all you need: Jesus Christ himself.

This appeared at Aleteia.

Tom Hoopes

Tom Hoopes

Tom Hoopes, author of The Rosary of Saint John Paul II and The Fatima Family Handbook, is writer in residence at Benedictine College in Kansas and hosts The Extraordinary Story podcast about the life of Christ. His book What Pope Francis Really Said is now available on Audible. A former reporter in the Washington, D.C., area, Hoopes served as press secretary of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee Chairman and spent 10 years as executive editor of the National Catholic Register newspaper and Faith & Family magazine. His work frequently appears in Catholic publications such as Aleteia.org and the Register. He and his wife, April, have nine children and live in Atchison, Kansas.