Reflection on the Litany of the Sacred Heart from the Catechism pt. 14

My dear parishioners,
Peace! The Catechism of the Catholic Church mentions the Heart of Jesus variously. “Scripture is a unity by reason of the unity of God’s plan, of which Christ Jesus is the center and heart, open since His Passover. The phrase ‘heart of Christ’ can refer to Sacred Scripture, which makes known His heart, closed before the Passion, as the Scripture was obscure” (CCC, 112; cf. Luke 24:25-27, 44-46; Psalm 22:14). how in view of the incarnation He loves with a human heart, and “the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation ‘is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that … love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings’ without exception” (cf. CCC, 470, 478; John 19:34; Pius XII Encyclical Haurietis aquas). One form of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Here we consider the fifteenth of the thirty-three invocations: Heart of Jesus, in whom dwells the fullness of divinity.
What does it mean to say that the fullness of divinity dwells in the Sacred Heart of Jesus? Without an understanding of “divinity” this invocation of the litany will make no sense. Our friends at the Oxford English Dictionary give four senses of the term “divinity”, the first three of which apply here explicitly: the state or quality of being divine; a divine being; God; the study of religion, theology. The Lord Jesus is not just some “divine being” but God Himself, and His Sacred Heart is the Heart of God. In that the Lord Jesus is God, that is to say divine, so too His Sacred Heart. In that one of the divine attributes is omniscience, even that body of knowledge (theological science, divinity) is also present in the Heart of Jesus. The Douay-Rheims version of Sacred Scripture has twelve verses which use “divine” all referring to a sort of necromancy. Our devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in whom dwells the fullness of divinity has nothing to do with witchcraft or sorcery. The Catholic Encyclopedia (1910) highlights the divinity of the Lord Jesus, and thereby His Sacred Heart, as fulfillment of prophecies found in the Old Testament and evidenced by His miracles. In His preaching the Lord Jesus insists on His divinity: “The Father and I are One” (John 10:30); “If you have seen Me you have seen the Father” (John 14:9).
Jesus is God the incarnate Son, consubstantial with the Father and the Holy Spirit and His Sacred Heart is the very Heart of God. The Church’s Eucharistic doctrine is helpful here. When we receive Christ Jesus in Holy Communion, we receive Him entirely, body, blood, soul and divinity. We receive His sacred flesh, body, Heart included, in Holy Communion. His grace, at work in us through the sacraments, including the Eucharist, divinizes us, that is, makes us holy. May it be so!
God bless you!
Father John Arthur Orr


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