Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
The devotion to the Sacred Heart was developed in a time and place which was very much centered on the head. The “life of the mind” was very much the way in which Europe had developed, and in France, above all, that life of the mind had tended to push everything else out of the range of human life. This imbalance has plagued Europe for recent centuries. But the Spirit of God sent a remedy, reminding the Church – through a holy, mystical nun and her Jesuit spiritual director – that in the things of God, it is the heart that is the center, not the mind. The Sacred Heart.
Theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, noting this, has written that “there is no devotion to the ‘sacred head’ in Christianity – unless it is the head of Christ, bloodied and crowned with thorns.” No: the central devotion is to the heart of Christ, a heart on fire with love for God and for man.
The readings of this solemnity focus on Christ the Good Shepherd. All good pastors imitate Him, in seeing the heart above all, in serving the heart above all, in seeing with the heart above all. It is in the heart that we find the opening to God, in the heart that we are centered, and open ourselves to the life of God. May we find our own center in the heart of Jesus, and invite Him to take up His abode in our hearts – so that in an exchange of hearts, we might be lifted up into that circulation of love which is the heart of the Blessed Trinity, open to us in the heart of Jesus. May our minds be always at the obedient service of this loving, and most tender, heart.