On the Sacred Heart as Antidote to Pride
Interview with Jesuit Cardinal Albert Vanhoye
ROME, JULY 18, 2006 (Zenit) - Devotion to the Heart of Jesus is a lesson in humility, complete renunciation to violence and generous love which speaks to the men of today, says Jesuit Cardinal Albert Vanhoye.
In this interview with the Apostleship of Prayer, the new cardinal, 82, professor and rector emeritus of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, explains why Benedict XVI has re-launched this "essential" devotion for Christians.
Q: You have placed in your cardinal's emblem the motto "Cordi tuo unitus" (United to your Heart). Is there a special reason?
Cardinal Vanhoye: There are two reasons: one personal and one apostolic. The personal goes back to my childhood. I was educated in a Sacred Heart institute from 4 to 11 years of age, and later in the minor seminary of the diocese of Lille, in northern France, where they did the daily offering of the Apostleship of Prayer. Precisely in this period began my devotion to the Heart of Jesus which later was reinforced with the vocation to be a Jesuit.
When I studied philosophy I was part of a small group that reflected on the different aspects of the same and at the end of the formation this orientation was further consolidated. Then there is an apostolic reason in the choice of motto: to suggest the same spiritual attitude to all who read it.
"United to your Heart" expresses at the same time an intention and a prayer. The intention to live united to the Heart of Jesus in thought, action, affection and word and at the same time a humble and confident invocation because we can't give ourselves this union, but it is a very desirable grace.
Q: After a great dissemination between the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th, devotion to the Sacred Heart has been considered by many to be surpassed. Does this objection have a biblical foundation?
Cardinal Vanhoye: The objections refer above all to a certain sentimental devoutness, but I don't think they are founded, especially if one speaks of true worship which is stimulation for the spiritual and apostolic life. However, in a certain sense it isn't mistaken to say that this devotion does not have sufficient biblical foundation, though deep down it is false. It is correct to affirm that the New Testament does not speak much of the Heart of Jesus. It is mentioned only once, in Matthew 11, when Jesus says: "learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart."
The phrase, however, is very important because it is the only moment in which Jesus describes the very qualities that we find in numerous episodes of his life, and because it is in relation with a verb of the Gospels, used only by Jesus, derived from the Greek word which means "core" and that we can translate as "my heart is troubled." It is an important allusion to human compassion and to Jesus' great sensitivity.
John the evangelist does not speak of the pierced heart but of the pierced side, though it is quite evident that through the side the heart is reached. On the other hand, if we take the whole of Sacred Scripture into consideration, the foundation of devotion to the Sacred Heart is very wide. The Old Testament highlights the importance of the heart for the relationship with God, that is, of the human person's interiority: memory, understanding, affectivity and will.
Q: Of what importance is this devotion at present?
Cardinal Vanhoye: Precisely in the union with the Heart of Jesus. It is not a surpassed devotion; on the contrary, it is timely and also essential if it is well done. Without this union we cannot live fully the love that comes from God or succeed in being humble. On the contrary, we run the risk of fuelling our pride and arrogance.
On the other hand, it is the Gospel itself that presents to us a religion of the heart, far from exteriority. It must be said that devotion to the Heart of Jesus has a popular form that does not always correspond to this orientation, but I think that much can be done to make it even more significant.
Q: Benedict XVI's message to Father Kolvenbach, general director of the Society of Jesus, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Pius XII's encyclical Haurietis Acquas on the Sacred Heart, has re-launched this subject.
Cardinal Vanhoye: The Pope wished to underline the anniversary forcefully precisely with a message because the Society of Jesus was always active in promoting this fundamental devotion, above all thanks to the Apostleship of Prayer and to its proposal of spirituality not at all sentimental but which involves the whole of human existence.
Now in the encyclical Deus Caritas Est, Benedict XVI speaks several times of the pierced side and of the Heart of Jesus, true source of love. It is clear also in the Pope's words that the devotion to the Sacred Heart cannot stay only with the humanity of Jesus, precisely because the latter is expression of the love of God for the world that can be experienced and therefore witnessed only by looking at that pierced side.
In this connection, in France, Jesuit Father Glotin has finished a profound and extensive study on devotion to the Heart of Jesus that will come out next year, to confirm the importance of calling people's attention to this spirituality.
One cannot do without a relationship with the Heart of Jesus.
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Vanhoye, Sacred Heart, Jesus, Love, Men, Humility
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- How bad is religious freedom in the U.S.? Supreme Court Justice Alito ...
- Daily Reading for Thursday, May 25th, 2017 HD Video
- Which unique characteristic lies within Pope Francis' new cardinals?
- Bomb explodes during Ariana Grande concert full of young fans HD Video
- Daily Readings for Wednesday, May 24, 2017
- A message from Heaven: God is the only way to peace
- St. David I of Scotland: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, May 24, 2017
- holy spirit
- morning prayer
- Saint Elizabeth
- St. Augustine
- Saint Anne
- st agnes
- saint monica
- saint catherine
- Saint Lucy
- saint clare
- saint rose
- st rose of lima
- immaculate conception
- st augustine
- st monica
- saint of the day
- St. Elizabeth
- john bosco
- st catherine
- st. cecilia
- St. John Baptist de Rossi HD
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 HD
- Fatima apparitions to be featured in dramatic new film HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 HD
Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.