Friday, June 27, 2014

Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is a lovely celebration and observance. Many Catholics, when they think of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus probably think about all the kitschy depictions of it. Since I converted to Catholicism as a young adult and having been raised in the least Catholic of environments, I actually find a lot of Catholic kitsch attractive, if not attractive, then certainly intriguing, but I understand the sentimentality attached to a lot of it, which can have the effect diluting true devotion.

From Fr Peter Nguyen, SJ's blog Alfred Delp: A Self-surrender at the heart of the world, these words from Alfred Delp, SJ
Familiarity with God entails no lack of reverence. We are no longer familiar with the secret life of the devout. But the devout is the only true person. Only he is capable of the immense experiences and benefits of the human heart, of prayer and of love.

The kitschy nature, which annoys many a heart when it comes to the call of mercy in the message of the devotion to the Heart of Jesus obstructs the call of mercy and has ruined so many human echoes, stems from this lack of reverence
We honor the heart of your Son broken by man's cruelty,
yet symbol of love's triumph, pledge of all that man is called to be.
Teach us to see Christ in the lives we touch,
to offer him living worship by love-filled service to our brothers and sisters.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Our Friday traditio is "Sacred Heart" sung by The Civil Wars:

It's one of those songs the beauty of which depends on to whom you imagine yourself singing it.

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