The Sacred Heart and God’s metaphor

“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock” ( Matthew 7:24). And Jesus expands the metaphor. He gives us Peter – “And upon this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18).

Jesus described those who hear his words and follow them. The floods shall never destroy that house! God has forever longed for our hearts to follow his. 

In the 1300’s God revealed his continued invitation to us through the inspired writings of Catherine of Sienna, a great saint and mystic.

In The Dialogue God the Father describes the ways of the world as a raging torrent, and His Son Jesus as the bridge on which we must climb if we wish to avoid destruction. By using this bridge we can safely cross from one shore, earthly life, to the other shore, eternal life.

Do not be deceived by the devil. Many are swept along by the waters of perdition, holding on to the illusion of being on firm ground. Pleasures, things of this world, even people sweep us downstream because this world is exciting.

In the 1600’s God again intervened through St Margaret Mary Alacoque. He complained to her that “hearts had grown cold,” and, as a remedy, He revealed to her His burning heart.

He spoke to her of His great desire to be loved by mankind and of diverting souls from the path of ruin into which Satan hurls entire crowds. It was this wish which led Him to reveal His Heart, with all its treasures of love, and grace. (The Sacred Heart of Jesus – Bridge and Refuge, by Michelle Taylor)

Jesus revealed to her twelve promises to those who show devotion to His Sacred Heart:

I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life. I will establish peace in their families. I will comfort them in their trials. I will be their secure refuge during life, and, above all, in death. I will shed abundant blessings on all their undertakings. Sinners will find in My Heart an infinite ocean of mercy. Lukewarm souls will become fervent. Fervent souls will rapidly grow in holiness and perfection.

I will bless every place where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts. The names of those who promote this devotion will be written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.

The twelfth promise is for those who receive Holy Communion worthily on nine consecutive First Fridays of the month, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.
Father Stefano Penna asks us to imagine that Sacred Heart pumping the precious blood out to the distant capillaries. The systolic action sends out the blood to nourish us. This is the blood shed for our sins, the blood that washes us white as snow. 

The diastolic action of the Sacred Heart contracting, draws us, a sluggish waste, back through the veins to be cleansed and refreshed, once again to be sent out refreshed and re-oxygenated. As we go forth from our encounter with Christ’s love we are literally and figuratively “pumped”.

(565 words)

By Ken Rolheiser