The Suffering of the Heart of Sacred Humanity

 

Sacred Heart

Traditional French iconography of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

 

Today, we will just feature some small extracts adapted from the manuscript of my upcoming book in regards to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

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The Divine Heart was presented to me in a throne of flames, more resplendent than a sun, transparent as crystal, with this adorable wound.

And it was surrounded with a crown of thorns, signifying the punctures made in it by our sins, and a cross above signifying that from the first instant of His Incarnation, that is, as soon as the Sacred Heart was formed, the cross was implanted into it and from the first moment it was filled with all the sorrow to be inflicted on it …

Here is how St. Margaret Mary Alacoque reports one of her Great Visions of the Sacred Heart in Paray-le-Monial.

And elsewhere she has recorded this:

One day on the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, 1674, after having received from my Divine Saviour a favour almost similar to that bestowed upon the beloved Disciple on the evening of the Last Supper, the Divine Heart was represented to me as on a throne of fire and flames, shedding rays on every side brighter than the sun …

The Wound which He received upon the Cross appeared there visibly; a crown of thorns encircled the Divine Heart, and It was surmounted by a cross.

These instruments of His Passion signified, as my Divine Master gave me to understand, that it was the unbounded love which He had for men that had been the source of all His sufferings …

The Sacred Heart presents itself to the Saint – ‘more resplendent than a sun’: blazing with an infinite fire of love. Yet this is not all; there is still more to the symbol. The Cross is there, as well as the wound and the Crown of Thorns and St. Margaret Mary comprehends something of the suffering these entail …

God becomes human and as a human he suffers with us and for us. He suffers: not simply on the Cross, but ‘from the first moment of His Incarnation.’

For is this not the nature of an ‘unbounded love … for men’ that it should become – inevitably –  ‘the source of all … sufferings’?

For what else could be the consequence of Infinite Identification with the suffering of each and every human being who has ever lived, lives or who will ever live – in all their fallen cries for Redemption?

What is Infinite Love to feel when it Identifies so completely with the full extent of the tragedy of every fallen creature, past, present and future?

And what is Infinite Love to feel respecting the full freedom of such creatures to reject that Love, which pours Itself out unceasingly?

Such cosmic questions are unanswerable by any tiny human heart like yours or mine, dear Reader. We cannot conceive in the slightest of a love that would so identify with such immensity as this!

Now, St. Margaret Mary speaks of the Sacred Heart being punctured by our sin. However, this is no doubt but faltering testimony to all that is implicated here.

Because what is implicated here can never be expressed in human words. All that one can do is contemplate – contemplate for a lifetime – what reveals Itself in this Symbol beyond human words: His Infinite Love which blazes forth – and the immensity of suffering which that Infinite Love must needs bear …

But let us note how different all this is from the new paganism which began to re-emerge with the Enlightenment in Europe. For the Enlightenment exaltation of Rationalism – reason alone, isolated from faith –  necessarily spurned the revealed religion of the personal saviour.

And so naturally and inevitably, Enlightenment Rationalism fostered neo-paganism: it led to Deism, an impersonal God, just as New Age neo-paganism today favours impersonal talk of ‘the Universe’ and forces and energies of  light …

For it is the Personal God that is the Revelation of Christianity and all who spurn Christianity, whether they are ‘Enlightened’ or ‘New Age’ inevitably turn away from a God who becomes so personal that he incarnates, suffers and dies at our hands

Yes, modernity has been inundated by new tidal waves of paganism, which refuse the revelation of the personal, human love of God. But the Sacred Heart of Jesus had revealed Itself to Saint Margaret Mary at the cusp of modernity, at that very point that the world began to be deluged in de-personalised spirituality …

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