Today Jesuits celebrate the feast of St. Claude La Colombiere, one of our brothers in the Company of Jesus. I would like to share with you a story about him which makes my spine tingle. As a young priest, Fr. Claude was assigned as chaplain to the cloistered Sisters of the Visitation at Paray la Monial, near Lyons in France. The mother superior told him that one of the sisters reported that Jesus was appearing to the sister in the chapel, and showing her his pierced heart, which was on fire. The mother superior asked Claude, as we would say today, “to check it out.”

Skeptically he listened to Sister Margaret Mary, and later told her to ask Jesus about his (Claude’s) last confession. When the sister came for her next visit she said: “Jesus told me to tell you that he can’t remember.” Claude then knew that the apparitions were authentic. This was the beginning of the Sacred Heart devotion in the Church.

How is Jesus working in my heart this winter? What might Jesus ask or invite as I pray today? And what is my response?

—Fr. Bob Braunreuther, S.J., a New England Jesuit, assists in pastoral ministry at Loyola University Chicago, and is minister of the Arrupe House Jesuit Community.