With our Christology discussion under our belt (CLICK HERE to read previous posts in this blog series), we do still want to ask the question of what this Christology has to do with the Sacred Heart of Jesus? So let’s bring it back to that!
What does this Christology has to do with the Sacred Heart of Jesus…everything! Because Jesus Christ is a true man, Jesus Christ therefore truly has a human heart. A human heart that is united to His Divine Person, 2nd Person of the Most Holy Trinity. Consider how the Church speaks of the Sacred Heart – as Pope Pius XII wrote in Haurietis Aquas, for example, “It is therefore essential, at this point, in a doctrine of such importance and requiring such prudence that each one constantly hold that the truth of the natural symbol by which the physical heart of Jesus is related to the Person of the Word, entirely depends upon the fundamental truth of the hypostatic union. Should anyone declare this to be untrue he would be reviving false opinions, more than once condemned by the Church, for they are opposed to the oneness of the Person of Christ even though the two natures are each complete and distinct. Once this essential truth has been established we understand that the heart of Jesus is the heart of a Divine Person, the Word Incarnate, and by it is represented and, as it were, placed before our gaze all the love with which He has embraced and even now embraces us. Consequently, the honor to be paid to the Sacred Heart is such as to raise it to the rank – so far as external practice is concerned – of the highest expression of Christian piety. For this is the religion of Jesus which is centered on the Mediator who is man and God, and in such a way that we cannot reach the heart of God save through the heart of Christ, as He Himself says: ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one cometh to the Father save by Me.’” (¶ 105-106) When the Church speaks of the Sacred Heart, She speaks in terms of hypostatic union, Incarnation, Divine and human nature, one person possessing two natures. In other words, you can’t understand the Sacred Heart of Jesus, you can’t be devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, without really being rooted in this Christology!
The same Pius XII writes elsewhere, “That all may understand more exactly the teachings which the selected texts of the Old and New Testament furnish concerning this devotion, they must clearly understand the reasons why the Church gives the highest form of worship to the heart of the Divine Redeemer. As you well know, venerable brethren, the reasons are two in number. The first, which applies also to the other sacred members of the Body of Jesus Christ, rests on that principle whereby we recognize that His heart, the noblest part of human nature, is hypostatically united to the Person of the Divine Word. Consequently, there must be paid to it that worship of adoration with which the Church honors the Person of the Incarnate Son of God Himself.” (Haurietis Aquas, ¶ 21) We must give the worship of adoration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the same worship of adoration we pay the Person of Jesus Christ Himself! Jesus’ heart is a heart of love that is, by virtue of the hypostatic union, worthy of the worship of adoration, because it is the heart of a Divine Person become man. This is certainly not how we talk about other devotions. That is, we’re not giving the worship of adoration to our Guardian Angels, or Saint Michael the Archangel, or our patron saints we took at Confirmation, or Our Lady of Lourdes or Fatima. Those are all great, those are all wonderful, because they do lead us to the Person and love of Jesus Christ. But we don’t give those devotions the worship of adoration because they are not the actual Person and love of Jesus Christ, which the Sacred Heart is.
We can’t understand the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we can’t be devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, without really grasping this Christology. Jesus Christ is a Divine Person, Who is true God and true man. Therefore His heart is a heart of love that is, by virtue of the hypostatic union, worthy of the worship of adoration, same worship given to the Person of Jesus Christ, 2nd Person of the Most Holy Trinity, because this heart is the heart of a Divine Person become man. Again from Pius XII, “It was our wish, venerable brethren, by this general outline, to set before you and the faithful the inner nature of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ and the endless riches which spring from it as they are made clear by the primary source of doctrine, Divine revelation. We think that our comments, which are guided by the light of the Gospel, have proved that this devotion, summarily expressed, is nothing else than devotion to the Divine and human love of the Incarnate Word and to the love by which the heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit exercise their care over sinful men. For, as the Angelic Doctor teaches, the love of the most Holy Trinity is the origin of man’s redemption; it overflowed into the human will of Jesus Christ and into His adorable Heart with full efficacy and led Him, under the impulse of that love, to pour forth His blood to redeem us from the captivity of sin: ‘I have a baptism wherewith I am to be baptized, and how am I straitened until it be accomplished?’” (Haurietis Aquas, ¶ 89). Divine love, human love, Incarnate Word, human will of Jesus…this is how the Church speaks of the Sacred Heart – in terms of Christology!
If you would like to learn more about the Sacred Heart of Jesus, then check out Daniel’s audio course on the Sacred Heart – 13 audio tracks with over 11 hours of content! CLICK HERE to learn more and purchase.