Newsletter of the District
- June 1999
SACRED HEART OF JESUS
by Fr. Mateo
of the Sacred Heart can be summed up in what I call “the Gospel
of the Heart of Jesus” in three chapters.
Chapter – because of His infinite, incomprehensible love, God
willed to redeem the guilty world. He might have done this in one
and a thousand ways, each one worthy of His divine Majesty. But
He chose the lowliest way of all, that of humiliation: “Et Verbum
caro factum est”.
If a simple
child or a learned theologian asks the why and the wherefore of
this mystery there is but one answer – the only one that is enlightening,
the only doctrinal one – the only answer given by God Himself: “Sic
Deus dilexit mundum” – love!
Let us now
turn the page for the Second Chapter. The Incarnation was
more than enough to save a thousand worlds, and yet God willed to
do more. He did not have to become incarnate, yet He was made man.
Having accomplished this stupendous miracle, being God, He did not
have to die, yet He willed to become a corpse: “Crucifixus, mortuus
et sepultus.” The astonished angels ask “why” and “wherefore”.
For them as well as for us, the answer is the same: “Sic Deus
dilexit mundum.” The “folly of the cross” can be explained
only by the excess and folly of divine love.
Chapter: before dying and returning to His Father, Christ determined
not to leave us orphans. And so, on Holy Thursday, the Man-God
of the Incarnation and of the Cross gave Himself to us until the
end of time in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and in the Blessed
ask the “why” and the “wherefore”, I forestall you and repeat the
words which gave us the key to this mystery: “Having loved His own
who were in the world, He loved them unto the end.” . . . “Sic
Deus dilexit mundum.” The infinite charity of God; the love
- and nothing but the infinite love - of Jesus Christ, is the only
adequate explanation of this supreme gift of God.
one of these three chapters contains the true doctrine of the Sacred
Heart? Is it the first, the Incarnation? Is it the second, the
Cross? Or is it the third, the Holy Eucharist? Obviously, we may
prefer to meditate on or preach about one or another of these three
marvelous mysteries, according to our personal devotion and attraction:
“The Spirit breathes where He wills.”
Thus in the
annals of the Church we have a great number of saints who have been
attracted especially by the Incarnation. An example would be St.
Thérèse of Lisieux. Many others have been fascinated by the beauty
of the Cross; for instance, St. Francis of Assisi and St. John of
the Cross. Still others have devoted their lives to loving the
Blessed Sacrament, towards which they felt a special attraction.
Among these we might mention St. Paschal Baylon, Father Eymard,
or St. Juliana Falconieri. In each instance these saints followed
the inspiration of the Holy Ghost according to their special vocation.
But from the
moment we speak of the doctrine of the Sacred Heart, and
not of personal devotion and attraction, there will be no longer
a question of one or another of the three chapters, but of all
three. Together they form the integral Gospel of the
love of God manifested by the Incarnation of the Word, by His Passion
and Death and by the incomparable gift of Himself in the Holy Eucharist.
Thus the Summa Theologica contained in these words of St. John,
“Deus caritas est”, is not to be found in one chapter more
than in another, but in the three fused into one.
Mateo speaks to priests