The photograph is of the large statue of the Sacred Heart at the Trinity Heights Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Hearts, Sacred and Immaculate
For a very long time, the Catholic Church has had special devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In fact, the first Friday of every month is set aside to honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus while the first Saturday of every month is set aside to honor the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I know of Catholic churches and schools in Nebraska and elsewhere that are named Sacred Heart Catholic School and Sacred Heart Catholic Church. And how many Catholic homes have a picture of Jesus with His Sacred Heart, and/or a picture of Mary with her immaculate heart, exposed for all to see? So why is special attention given to the hearts, calling one “sacred” and the other “immaculate?” As far as Mary is concerned, she called herself "the Immaculate Conception" at Fatima and then requested the First Saturday devotion at that time while asking that Russia be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart. She also had this to say: "My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God." The book “Catholicism for Dummies” explains it this way: “The focus of the heart is merely a romantic and metaphorical way of describing the love of Jesus and the love of Mary. It’s just like sending hearts to loved ones on Valentine’s Day even though you know that, biologically, the brain does the thinking and the heart merely does the pumping. Even in the 21st century, you hear the words ‘heartache’ and winning someone’s ‘heart. ‘ ” So it has to do with love, and I say why not have these devotions? The thought of God’s extraordinary love permeating our own hearts, minds, and souls gives me great hope and joy. And the thought of Mary, through her Immaculate Conception, interceding for us in heaven as an expression of her motherly love simply gives me goosebumps. Today I pray that all of us will recognize the love of Jesus and Mary for us and respond with prayer and thanksgiving, perhaps as an expression of our own love for God even if it can be but a small fraction of the love He has for us.