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A few words from Fr Joseph Kelly O.C.D on the Feast of Sacred Heart of Jesus
23 June 2006
Today, the Feast of the Sacred Heart, reminds us that the entire month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The central truth of our faith is the mystery of the Incarnation. The second Person of the Blessed Trinity has become a member of the human race – God Incarnate, the Eternal Word made flesh. To put it in another way, Out Lord has two natures – divine and human.
The story goes, how a young boy was once asked by his teacher – what is the difference between Jesus and ourselves? There happened to be a statue of the Sacred Heart nearby. While looking at the statue, the young boy gave his reply – “Jesus is different from us because He wears His Heart on the outside”. A simple reply, but a very profound one. Our Lord is certainly the only person who wants us to think of Him as wearing His Heart on the outside. And why? The reason is, that in this way, He shows how much He loves us. In every language the “heart” is symbolic of love and affection.
In adoring the Sacred Heart, we adore the whole person of Christ, that is, the worship of the person of the Incarnate Word. Consequently, the devotion to the Sacred Heart is a treasure, a pearl of great price. While Sacred Scripture does not expressly mention veneration of the Sacred Heart, the love which is the object of thisdevotion, is proclaimed in the pages of the Old and New Testaments. Only gradually did it develop into the devotion we are familiar with today. A key figure in this development is undoubtedly St. Margaret Mary. She can be termed the herald of the devotion, as it is practiced today. In particular, she stressed that devotion to the Sacred Heart and devotion to the Holy Eucharist is one and the same thing.
However, the revelations made to St. Margaret Mary brought nothing new into Catholic doctrine. The devotion flows from the very foundation of Christian teaching.
Many recent Popes have written and spoken in praise of the devotion to the Sacred Heart. Pope Leo XIII consecrated the world to the Sacred Heart. Pope Pius XII wrote an important encyclical on the devotion. While Pope John Paul II highlighted the union of love and mission between the hearts of Jesus and Mary – as he put it – “the admirable alliance of the twin hearts”.
Pope Pius XII sums it up beautifully when he wrote – “Do not fear that this devotion will interfere with any other devotion. No, rather, will it give depth and solidity to all others. For this devotion, above all, fosters love, and without love, all the others are nothing”.
Feast of the
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Almighty God and Father,
we glory in the Sacred Heart of Jesus,
your beloved Son,
as we call to mind the great things
his love has done for us.
Fill us with the grace
that flows in abundance
from the heart of Jesus,
the source of heaven’s gifts
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,
we place our trust in You.
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