Are Pride Month and Sacred Heart Devotion Complementary? Two Authors Say “Yes”

Each year, Catholic publications are publishing more articles and reflections for Pride Month. Today’s post features some of these pieces from this June, two of which address the connection between Pride and the Sacred Heart devotion.

Alex Gruber, a lay minister, wrote in U.S. Catholic about what the Sacred Heart of Jesus has meant for him as a gay Catholic. Often wondering “Is there room for me here?” as he grew up, an experience common for LGBTQ people. Gruber responds:

“For me, at least, the answer comes directly from the Sacrum Cor, the Sacred Core itself, the heart of Jesus that sat in the middle of that rose window I stared at as a child. This heart beats at the center of my being, of this church, and of our universe. It beats for all, including LGBTQ people like me. The Sacred Heart and devotion to it are not inaccessible to queer Catholics. In fact, our experience of marginalization in the church and society may allow us a distinct and valuable insight into how Christ’s heart beats, into who God is. . .

“Our sexuality and gender are part and parcel of who we are at our core. The better we understand and integrate them into our lives (and give our neighbors the space and love to do the same), the more deeply we will enter into the mystery of the Sacred Heart.”

To read the full reflection, click here.

Fr. James Martin also took up the Sacred Heart devotion in relation to Pride on Outreach. He notes that when he mentions the Sacred Heart, people ask him to talk about Pride, and when he mentions Pride, people ask why he is not focusing on the Sacred Heart. But Martin argues “it is providential that both are marked in June.” He continues:

“The Sacred Heart reminds us how Jesus loved: fully, openly, radically, to the point of his death. In the countless images of the Sacred Heart, his own heart is always exposed: bloody, vulnerable, close to us.

“Pride is about love too.  Not simply the love that LGBTQ people have for one another, but the love that the society has for them, and the love that God has for them. . .

“Where would the Sacred Heart be today?  It would be poured out in love on these people who seek love and acceptance.  So in the end I find the two celebrations—the Month of the Sacred Heart and Pride Month—not only not in conflict, but deeply complementary.  One shows us shows us how Jesus loved. The other shows us whom Jesus calls us to love.”

To read the full reflection, click here.

Finally, queer theologian Flora Tang wrote in the National Catholic Reporter about her recommended books for Pride. The books include histories of the Stonewall Uprising that inspired modern Pride, works by LGBTQ poets, Michael O’Loughlin’s Hidden Mercy, Yunuen Trujillo’s new book on LGBTQ ministry, and a book on LGBTQ activism among Kenyan Christians. Tang comments towards the end:

“These and many other books remind us of the many faces of queer joy, sorrow, resistance and hope in our churches and in our world — and the many imageries of God that transcend our imagination. It is my hope that this Pride Month, the question that we ask is not only ‘How can we, as Catholics, be a more welcoming presence to queer people?’ but also ‘How can we allow queer individuals and their deep faith and spirituality to transform us all?’

“Through reading and listening deeply to the poems, prayers and stories in these books (and to the queer people in our own lives) this Pride Month, may we ourselves see and pray to a God whose radical love also transcends the boundaries of convention to reach each and every one of us.”

To read the full essay, click here.

Robert Shine (he/him), New Ways Ministry, June 27, 2022

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