Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Heart Like His

Last year for my birthday I received an excellent book:  A Heart Like His, Meditations on the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Father Thomas D. Williams.  Father Williams takes his reader through thirty expressions of the Sacred Heart as found in scripture, particularly the Gospels.   From these I have selected nine to create a series of reflections on the Sacred Heart in the form of a novena, and I am indebted to Father Williams as the source of the quotes and scriptural references as well.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart often linked only to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, but it goes back further to the mystics like St. Mechtild (d. 1298) and St. Gertrude the Great (d. 1302).  St. Jean Eudes (1602-1680) honored it with an Office and established a feast for it.
In a letter to the Most Rev. Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach on May 15, 2006, Pope Benedict XV writes:  devotion to the Sacred Heart “has an irreplaceable importance for our faith and for our life in love.”  He goes on further:  it is by deepening our relationship with the Heart of Jesus that “we will be able to understand better what it means to know God’s love in Jesus Christ, to experience him, keeping our gaze fixed on him to the point that we live entirely in the experience of his love, so that we can witness it to others.”
John Paul II tells us that when we speak of the heart, we refer to "our whole being, all that is within each one of us." The heart represents "all that forms us from within, in the depths of our being. All that makes up our entire humanity, our whole person in its spiritual and physical dimension."
With that said, tomorrow we will begin our Novena.

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