As Catholic grammar school student I was introduced to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by the Nazareth sisters. Everyday we said a prayer to the Sacred Heart and we did the Litany to the Sacred Heart yearly in church. To me it was normal; the image of the heart outside the body was at first weird but in became indicative. Over time I realized that others had no idea of God’s unconditional love. My devotion to the Sacred Heart grew as time went on; my religious practice was helped by reading a bit of history and my friend Dom Ambrose who wrote his license thesis on St Gertrude’s teaching of the Sacred Heart. Also, that first Friday devotion of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, like many, would relish in observing the First Friday with Mass, and hopefully confession if I could find a priest. The organizers of the World Youth Day captured part of Spanish religious and civil history by making a connection with proposing an Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to all the participants. What a great idea!!! This is a yet another concrete way to be “planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith.” What follows is merely an interesting paragraph from the catechesis prepared for the WYD; you can read the preparatory Catechesis here. Today, and certainly during the WYD, make an offering of yourself to your Lord and Savior.
This search of man’s heart ends when one discovers God’s Heart. On this topic, St. Augustine says: “You made us for yourself, Oh God, and our heart is restless until it rests in you”. The concern to which St. Augustine refers is the difficulty we all have in attaining true Love as a consequence of our condition of creatures; we are finite; moreover, we are sinners. Over and over again we run into the difficulty of our selfishness, the chaos of our passions, that throws away this true Love. Man’s heart “needs” a heart at his same level, a heart that can enter into his history, and, on the other hand, an “all-powerful” heart that can take him out of his limitations and sins. We can say that In Jesus Christ, God has met mankind and has loved us with a “human heart”. In the encounter of man’s heart with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the mystery of salvation becomes real. “In fact, from the infinite horizon of his love, God wished to enter into the limits of human history and the human condition. He took on a body and a heart. Thus, we can contemplate and encounter the infinite in the finite, the invisible and ineffable Mystery in the human Heart of Jesus, the Nazarene” (Benedict XVI, Angelus, 1/VI/2008)