The human heart has long been a symbol of love. At one time, it was viewed as the source of all human activity—intellectual and emotional. It has also metaphorically symbolized the center of things, such as the heart of a relationship or the heart of a city. It could also represent the character of a person, such as describing someone as having a good heart.
Jesus’ heart carries many varied meanings—all pointing to his very human condition through which his divine love flows. He possessed the complete range of human feelings and powers, and a heart that beat until his death on the cross; a heart that was then at one with his glorified body risen from the tomb which is still full of love for us.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart is devotion to Jesus and His love.
It is a sign or a symbol of both the divine and human love that Jesus has for his Father and for us. It also symbolizes the interior life of Jesus which led to his willingness to lay down His life for us. It is a symbol based on our belief in the Incarnation—a firm belief that the second person of the Blessed Trinity became human with all the feelings, emotions, and desires we usually associate with the human heart. It is that human heart—directly united to the divine person—which expresses God’s love in a human way perfectly and purely since Jesus is free from sin.
The heart is an apt symbol, but there is something more than a symbol at work here. There is the very real love of Jesus for the world, a love that wells up from both the divine as well as the human natures of Jesus.
Thank you Lord for drawing me in devotion to Your Sacred Heart, grounded not just in symbol, but in real love.