Devotion to the Sacred Heart, response to love through love

For the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Brother Jean-Thomas de Beauregard op introduced us to the devotion of the Sacred Heart, which is often misunderstood. Responding to love with love is what mystics teach us, but first of all Scripture through direct human contact with the heart of Jesus.

In his Dialogues, St. Catherine of Siena relates these words addressed to her by God: “I want the side of my only-begotten Son to be opened, to reveal to you the secret of the heart. I have arranged it as a always open asylum, where you can know and taste the unfathomable Love that is in me, by seeking and meditating on my divine Nature united with your human nature. This revelation made to Catherine of Siena culminated in the mysterious experience of the exchange of hearts, Jesus one day taking from the breast of Catherine of Siena his own heart to place himself there: “My son, said her celestial husband, I take your heart. from you; now I give you mine to live forever. »

You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts will not rest until they rest in you.

But beyond this unique experience that some may have provided in terms of its amazing materiality, everyone is called to live from the love of the heart of Jesus offered on the Cross. At Catherine’s school in Siena, the solemnity of the Sacred Heart invites us to meditate on a triple mystery: that of Jesus, the true God and the true man, the divine and human love of Christ, and that of the Trinity. flowed over all men from the apparent part of Christ on the Cross when he handed over the spirit: “The love of God is poured out in our hearts by the Spirit” (Rom 5: 5).

Live the love of the heart of Jesus

Devotion to the Sacred Heart seems extremely sentimental, even in the theme of restoration that has been associated with it since Paray-le-Monial’s appearance to Marguerite-Marie Alacoque: the sacrifice of personal sufferings in response to the terrible observation that “Love is not loved”, the Heart of Jesus is despised and neglected.By attracting sensitivity in all its forms, but forgetting other people’s and spiritual dimensions, devotion to the Sacred Heart can discourage many It is to forget that the heart, in biblical anthropology, focuses not only on the seat of feeling or sensitivity but also on the will or even memory, with these divine rules written “on the tablet of the heart” ( Pr 7: 3).). Counter-intuitive for Western and modern thought, though the intellect is often pointed out when Scripture awakens the heart: “In God will give them a heart of understanding ”(Si 17, 6). When it is said of Solomon that he had “a heart as the sand of the sea shore” (1 Kings 5: 9), it was because of the greatness of his knowledge described in the following verses. This is what Solomon asked for and received from God at the very beginning of his reign: “an understanding heart” (1 Kgs 3, 9).

In other words, all the spiritual nerves of man are connected with the biblical idea of ​​the heart, and with all this wealth in different senses the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus must be considered. St. Augustine wrote in confessions “My heart, where I am is what I am. What is true of man taken in all dimensions of his being is also true of Christ: the heart is the whole of man, in his truth. Hence the devotion to the Sacred Heart a dialogue between all in man and all in Christ, down to the closest part of the Trinity.

The vocation of man par excellence

It is a question of answering the divine-human love of Christ on the Cross and throughout the Trinity through our human supernatural love of grace, that is for sure! But what is this response of love if it is not struck by the light of our intellect, sustained by the effort of our will, which is grasped by our memory? It is a love that has nothing, no consistency, and no history, which means very little. And it becomes even more dramatic because this heart-to-heart with God is the human vocation par excellence, according to Augustine’s famous words: “You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts cannot rest. he does not rest on you.So devotion to the Sacred Heart requires that we use all our human nerves to respond to love with love.

sacred heart of jesus

The Scriptures teach us in this regard. For really, who or what was closest to Jesus ’heart during his Passover? Jean’s head, Legionnaire Longin’s spear, Thomas’s finger. Each of these contacts in Jesus ’heart provides a lesson.

The three contacts of the heart of Jesus during the Passion

The first contact of Jesus ’heart during the Christmas mystery was the head of John laid on the breast of Christ at the Last Supper. There is an unbreakable union of intellect and feeling, overflowing with will since John was able to unite the flips of his own heart to those of the Savior’s heart. So the whole person of John, all his energy, united with the whole person of Jesus by this contact with his Heart. The Gospel of John and his epistles, which bring together the most dazzling light and the demands of love, are the result of this contact with the heart of Jesus. Not the least of the contradictions is that the apparent most external contact (John’s head against Jesus ’chest in material less close to the heart than Longinus’ spear or Thomas ’finger) is actually the most piercing.

Because he made himself so close to us, Jesus offered himself to pierce our sins.

The second contact with Jesus ’heart during the Christmas mystery was Longinus’ spear that pierced Jesus ’side to reach his heart from which blood and water flowed. It teaches us that our closeness to the Heart of Jesus is also a capacity to injure it. Because he made himself so close to us, Jesus offered himself to pierce our sins. But the same soldier who, perhaps, stabbed Jesus in the open side, then confessed his faith: “Truly this man was a son of God! (Mk 15:39). Longin is the prelude to the devotion of the Sacred Heart to its dimension of restoration, for perhaps no greater restoration is possible for sins against divine love than true confession of faith. We also learn that even in the very act of our sin and our terrifying power to wound it that Jesus offers his mercy and grace of conversion.

point to Thomas

The third and final contact of Jesus ’heart during the Christmas mystery was the finger of Thomas dipping deep into the glorious wounds of the risen Christ, in the heart, in order to be able to proclaim his faith:“ My Lord. and my God ”(Jn 20:28). His claim to faith was more than what he had experienced, because he saw the resurrected man and confessed his God. So his sensitivity and intellect are combined and elevated by grace to produce works of faith in the person of Jesus, true God and true man, one of the Trinity, who died and rose again to save us from sin and death. We also understand on this occasion that the heart of Jesus is able to overcome all opposition and all doubt, even if it sometimes takes time.

So the devotion of the Sacred Heart unites all of man so that he may become a saint according to the heart of God. Perhaps Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity best summarizes this:

“O my beloved Christ, crucified in love, I want to be the bride for Your Heart. I want to cover you with glory, I will love you until my death. But I feel my helplessness and I ask you to clothe me with yourself, to know my soul in all the movements of your soul, to overcome me, to attack me, to replace me so that my life is not, which is a light in your life. Come to me as a Worshiper, as a Healer and as a Savior. »


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