Reflection on the Litany of the Sacred Heart from the Catechism pt. 16

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 seventeenth of the thirty-three invocations: Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received.
How do we all receive the fullness of the Sacred Heart? We can consider reception of the fullness of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is two ways: the Passion, when the Lord’s love poured out from His pierced Heart and through the Sacraments which administer the saving graces won on Good Friday.
We receive the fullness of the Sacred Heart as a fruit of the Passion. In what has been called the “Kenosis Hymn” Saint Paul reminds us of how Christ Jesus the Lord “emptied Himself” by His humble and obedient “death on a Cross” (Philippians 2:7). In Greek, the word kenosis is the noun and is used as a technical term for the humiliation of the Son of God in the incarnation, while ekenosen is the verb. As the Lord empties Himself, we receive. Physiologically there was only so much blood and water which could flow from His pierced side (cf. John 19:34; 1 John 5:6). Theologically and spiritually, however, the Sacred Heart is an inexhaustible fount or source.
We receive the fullness of the Sacred Heart of Jesus by means of His Sacraments. Graces and redemption flow through the Sacraments, beginning in the waters of Baptism (cf. Joel 3:18; Ecclesiastes 1:7; Isaiah 48:21; John 7:38). The Sacrifice of the Mass makes present the one only Sacrifice of Calvary where the Lord’s Sacred Heart was pierced (cf. Romans 6:10; Hebrews 9:28; 10:10). When we receive the Holy Eucharist, the fruit of the tree of the Cross, we receive the whole Christ, body, blood, soul and divinity. We receive the fullness of Christ, His Sacred Heart included, in Holy Communion. When we live according to the graces we receive from the Sacraments, the Sacred Heart, then we are full of God Himself, His power at work in us. This is one reason why we love the Saints: they received and lived according to the fullness of God.
God bless you!
Father John Arthur Orr


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