Sacred Heart of Jesus

What is the secret of the heart? It is the tender clement love of the Holy Spirit for every human person. The Holy Spirit, the “hidden” Person of the Trinity, caries on a delicate “love affair” with the soul from deep within the human heart. The spirit yearns to make the seed of faith implanted at baptism grow and blossom. The Spirit, the breath of love between the Father and the Son, whispers God’s loving desires into the depths of an open, docile heart.

— “The Secret of the Heart: A Theological Study of Catherine of Siena’s Teaching on the Heart of Jesus. Sr. Mary Jeremiah, 1995 Christendom Press, page 114”


Open to me now through his body’s wounds are his heart’s secret, the great mystery of love “the merciful heart of our God who has visited us from on high.” What kind of heart do the wounds reveal? A gentile, sweet and most merciful heart! Can anyone show greater mercy than to lay down his life for those condemned to death?

St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), Sermon 61 on the Song of Songs.

…when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. (John 19:33–34).

The heart is the core and most expressive element of a person. Although strictly speaking, the evangelist does not use the word heart when Jesus is pierced by the lance, the concept is the same. John wishes to to emphasize, not only through specific words, pleuran and koilia, but with his Scripture quotations, that the very core of the Person of Jesus Christ was opened in order to reveal the depths of his love. The opening of the body or side (even heart) of Jesus releases the life giving waters of the Holy Spirit.
— “The Secret of the Heart: A Theological Study of Catherine of Siena’s Teaching on the Heart of Jesus. Sr. Mary Jeremiah, 1995 Christendom Press, page 28”

In prayer, one comes to know one’s self, one’s creatureliness and misery, and at the same time God’s immense love. If one turns the eyes of the spirit to the Heart of Christ, the soul contemplates the Word incarnate, divinity united to humanity. In this Heart of mercy, one comes to the knowledge of God and his infinite love for humanity. The cell of self-knowledge is found within the heart: the human heart and the Heart of God as revealed in Jesus Christ.
“The Secret of the Heart: A Theological Study of Catherine of Siena’s Teaching on the Heart of Jesus.” Sr. Mary Jeremiah, 1995 Christendom Press, page 17

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on me a sinner.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, gift to me your grace,
Fill me with your love.
So that I may be a witness to the world,
Of the love that your Sacred Heart has for the world.

For the heart is an expression for the human (passions)—i.e., not only man’s passions but also the “passion” of being human. …the heart is the epitome of the passions, without which there could have been no Passion on the part of the Son. The encyclical cites Justin, Basil, Chrysostom, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, John Damascene, exhibiting different variations of the same theme, which it sees as common ground in patristic Christology: … passionum nostrarum particeps factus est (he has come to share in our “passions”).

Joseph Ratzinger, Behold The Pierced One: An Approach to a Spiritual Christology, trans. Graham Harrison (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1986), pages 56–57.

(My Notes: Pope Benedict is commenting on the papal encyclical Haurietis Aquas “You will draw water”. In a similar way that we may have a passion for a sports team or a specific movie or a particular wine, Jesus has a passion for us, His brothers and sisters. Jesus is passionately in love with us, His heart is on fire with love for us. His love is so great for us that he came to earth and was born as a child and lived among us, taught and healed us, and then even died a brutal death on the cross for us. A Roman solder pierced His Sacred Heart with a spear. Can we not return some measure of passionate love back to Jesus?

I have found this Heart in the adorable Eucharist,
the heart
of my King,
of my Friend,
of my Brother.

(St. Bernard of Clairvaux)
June 27, 2014 Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

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