The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

The heart is the part of the body that is responsible for spreading life to every other part. Without the heart pumping blood, no other part can survive. It is also the part of the body the soul is personified as. "Heart" implies totality, the core of essense, and so much more. It is the life and love giving portion of the body. If one offers his heart to a person, he is offering everything to that person - his love, his emotions, his sufferings, his joys, his weaknesses, his strengths, and the promise that as long as that heart still beats, he will be true to that person.

Every beat of our Lord's Sacred Heart was for us. He only took a physical heart for us, and from the moment in started beating, every beat was for us. The heart beating in the body of the infant Lord is the same heart that beat in the chest of our crucified Lord. It beat for one reason and one purpose - a love for us so deep that he would cover us all with his blood.

This love consumed his heart, which is why his heart is always depicted on fire. This flame is what sustained his heart when it should have given out when faced with his death and loneliness in the garden, when his heart had almost no more blood to pump after his scourging, and when he struggled to get enough oxygen to his body as he struggled to climb to Calvary. Even when his precious heart stopped beating and the very last bits of precious blood was shed as a lance pierced that Sacred Heart, the fire never diminished. Rather than being put out by the water that collected in his heart, the water was sanctified by this fire, and it joined with the blood of the new covenant, washing our souls with the only thing that can save. This fire continued burning even while Jesus went down to Sheol. And, with great joy, that fire of divine love started Christ's heart beating again.

But that beautiful heart that, even when conceived and fashioned in the womb of Mary, burned with love for us, that heart which beat only out of a fierce, burning, sacrificial love for us, collected thorns which pierced his heart and eventually wrapped into a wreath of thorns that mirrored the one he wore upon his brow at his death.

Where only the fire of love should have been is also the thorns shoved into the tender, exposed flesh. When we spit upon his mercy, when we turn away from his love, when we sit in the pews at church and are neither hor nor cold but distracted, bored, and lukewarm, when we walk through life never taking the time to meditate on the beautiful mystery of our Lord's Heart, we drive more thorns into his heart.

But when we take the time to look into His wounds and see through his pierced side, the beating of this most adorable of all hearts, when we spend time meditating on the burning fire of his love, when we offer prayers for the forgiveness of souls who have hurt us or others, when we simply sit and love him, we help pull those thorns our and kiss the tender flesh.

Those of us who are Catholic have the added gift of being able to adore the physical heart of Jesus in each of our churches and receive him daily.  Christ gives us his sacred heart - not his toe, his finger, his thigh, but his heart - the font of of his love, to us in Holy Communion. As Catholics, we can take the heart of our Lord into our hands and kiss it, then take it into ourselves and become a living tabernacle, a living temple in the truest sense of the word. Jesus gives us the blood and water which poured out from his pierced side in the chalice we receive. We can go into our churches, our chapels, and we can gaze with love upon the vulnerable heart of our Lord, hidden behind the appearance of bread and wine, but truly, physically present. He offers to us his heart - daily if we will take it - and he offers to replace our frail, stony hearts with his perfect heart. He gives us his blood and offers to replace ours with his so that we pump not our own blood but his precious blood through his sacred heart. He gives us the chance to truly be tabernacles for his body, his blood, his soul, and his divinity.

When we go to communion without "discerning the body" (1 Cor), when we just got back to our prews and plan our day or sneak out to get to lunch early, we are spitting upon the enormity of the heart Christ is offering to us. But when we treasure the gift, spend time loving and thanking the Lord after receiving him, we are adoring, soothing, and glorifying the most Holy and Sacred Heart of our Lord.

The more we go to him, the more we rush into his arms, the more we seek our sustenence from the only thing which saves, the more we honor him. Spending time just adoring Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar is one of the most beautiful things we can do to help ease the sorrow of the thorns in his heart. Shall we not respond to his words to his apostles: "Could you not even spend one hour with me?"


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