The Sacred Heart: the Warmth of God

06-11-2023Weekly ReflectionBlessed Rupert Mayer S.J., Apostle of Munich

And they looked on Him Whom they have pierced. John 19:37 Warmth must come from us, which puts people at ease in our presence, and they must sense that the reason for this lies in our union with God.
Christ the center of our lives, there can be no half-measures.

Blessed Rupert Mayer S.J., Apostle of Munich

June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the feast of the Sacred Heart is the Friday after the feast of His Body and Blood, Corpus Christi. The heart in the Scriptures means the center of one’s personality, who the person really is. Looking upon the pierced Heart of Christ shows us who Christ is and it can be said with Blessed Rupert Mayer that Christ’s open Heart is a sign of the love and warmth of God seeking us out to be the center of our lives. We draw near to the Heart of Christ so that we can be warmed by God’s love and radiate that love to others. We cannot give what we do not have. We become witnesses to the love of Christ which surpasses all knowledge. St Paul says: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. II Corinthians 1:3-4

Warmth, comfort, flow from the open Heart of Christ as He says in the Scriptures: Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. ”Catholics should become familiar with a landmark encyclical, Haurietis Aquas, On Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The mystery of the cross is the mystery of the redemptive Incarnation and the Incarnation, God made flesh, is par excellence the mystery of love. Devotion to the Sacred Heart is dedication to the divine and human love consuming the Heart of Christ. Some bullet-points:

  • According to Pope Pius XII the devotion is to the actual, physical Heart of Christ, formed in the womb of the Virgin, pierced by a lance, shining forth in the glorified body of Jesus in Heaven.
  • No one can deny the symbolic role of the heart in the affective side of human experience, the noble emotions of love, joy, and courage.
  • For by faith, through which we believe that the human and divine natures were united in the Person of Christ, (the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity), we can see the closest bonds between the sensible love of the physical Heart of Jesus and twofold spiritual love, namely human and divine.
  • God, Who is infinite Wisdom, willed to use the humanity of Christ, as an instrument, in causing grace. The infinite love of God communicates the power of raising human beings to divine life, to the infused love of Christ. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
  • Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1:10-13
  • In devotion to the Sacred Heart we adore the physical Heart of Jesus as a symbol of that threefold love divine, infused, and sensible, which consumed the Heart of Christ and which brought about our salvation.
  • Wherefore the wound of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, which had now completed the course of this mortal life, is down through the ages the living image of that love, freely bestowed by which God gave His only begotten Son for the redemption of man.

And This Just In…..

At the time of this writing, a priest made the claim in social media that gay-pride is compatible with devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus because both teach us about love. June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart. The priest goes on to ask “Where would the Sacred Heart be today?” “It would be poured out in love on these people who seek love and acceptance.” What kind of love? What kind of acceptance? He does not specify. The priest in question is Fr. James Martin S.J. known for promoting “building bridges” with the LGBT-movement. A point must be made immediately: the LGBTmovement does not speak for all people who experience same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria, for that matter; just as radical feminists did not and do not speak for all women.

Cardinal Gerhard Muller’s recent comments about blessing samesex unions can also apply to a claim that Sacred-Heart devotion is compatible with gay pride. Cardinal Muller wrote in the magazine First Things: Moreover… (W)hat we are witnessing is the heretical denial of the Catholic faith in the sacrament of marriage and the denial of the anthropological truth that the difference between men and women expresses God's will in creation. The Cardinal went on to say: This staging of pseudo-blessings of homosexually active male or female couples is, theologically speaking, blasphemy (emphasis added)—a cynical contradiction of God's holiness. St. Paul wrote to the church of Thessalonica that God wants nothing other than “your sanctification: that you abstain from unchastity; that each of you know how to take a wife for himself in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like heathen who do not know God” (1 Thess. 4: 3–5).

The legitimate and sacred place for the bodily union of man and woman is the natural or sacramental marriage of husband and wife. Any freely chosen sexual activity outside of marriage is a grave violation of God's holy will (Heb. 13:4). The sin against chastity is still greater if the body of a person of the same sex is instrumentalized to stimulate sexual desire. “Every other sin which a man commits is outside the body; but the immoral man sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit?” (1 Cor. 6:18).

A crucial principle, uttered by moral theologian Msgr. William B Smith is that all social engineering is preceded by verbal engineering. The terms LGBTQ-Catholic, LGBTQ-person are terms of verbal engineering. Belonging to a political movement does not create a different type of Catholic or a new species of humanity. There is the Catholic Fatih handed over by Christ and His Church and there is the human person created by God male and female. Cardinal Chaput was quoted on social media: In 2018, Archbishop Charles Chaput called Father Martin out for speaking of “LGBTQ Catholics,” as if people’s sexual proclivities determine their identity as persons. “There is no such thing as an ‘LGBTQ Catholic’ or a ‘transgender Catholic’ or a ‘heterosexual Catholic,’ as if our sexual appetites defined who we are,” Chaput said, “as if these designations described discrete communities of differing but equal integrity within the real ecclesial community, the body of Jesus Christ.”

Again with respect to terminology Fr. Martin clashed with Fr. Paul Mankowski S.J. in the pages of the magazine First Things. In a review of Fr. Martin’s book, Building Bridges, Fr Mankowski points out: It is noteworthy that Fr. Martin voices his wish that his readers understand the LGBT acronym expansively as LGBTQA—that is, to include “questioning or queer, and allies.” The word “ally,” designating not sexual appetite but political allegiance, gives the game away. The game being the claim that LGBTQA is a community, which Fr. Mankowski denied, instead of a political allegiance or caucus. He also remarks: The Church is right to teach that all such people (people with same-sex attraction) are deserving of respect, compassion, and sensitivity, which are their due simply as human persons,(emphasis added) not as those who have achieved a given standard of probity or of psychological health. It can certainly be added: and not because they have adopted a particular brand of politics at odds with Catholic teaching. Fr. Mankowski rightly said: I deny the name of Catholic to persons who associate with the Church with the understanding that her doctrine-any doctrine- will be repudiated. The whole exchange between Fr. Martin and Fr. Mankowski can be found at

Fr Martin maintains: What the LGBT Catholic community desires most is not any political outcome but something more essential: God. They want to experience God’s love, they want to serve Jesus, and they want to feel at home in their own Church. Fr Martin cannot know what all Catholics choosing this contradictory political identity desire. Contra Fr. Martin, the movement itself, being inherently political, does desire political outcomes, for example, so-called homosexual marriage established in law. It’s an inherent yearning in the human being to want God and His love but on His terms not ours, because He is love. Serving Jesus, means keeping the Commandments and that includes the order of sexuality and identity established by the Creator, without claiming the ability, as human beings, to establish alternate sexualities identities and genders by mere willfulness and/or political power. However this claim is inherent in the LGBTQA movement which can be called dystopian, nihilist, revolutionary. Dystopia, in fact, needs to impose a direction based on the deviation from the nature of things, to create a distortion of reality that makes man (created in the image and likeness of God) a being incapable of distinguishing and recognizing the true, the beautiful and the good, a man, wounded and unable to adhere to what corresponds to his heart's yearning. This would lead him to desire and accept only what complies exhaustively with his questioning of meaning. The master of dystopia is the Evil One. Jesus showed warmth and love to the woman caught in adultery but told her to sin no more. That is compatible with devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus: forgiveness, conversion from sin, reparation for sin.