Reflection on the Litany of the Sacred Heart from the Catechism pt. 19

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 twentieth of the thirty-three invocations: Heart of Jesus, enriching all who invoke Thee.
What does it mean to say that the Sacred Heart of Jesus enriches all who invoke Him? Our friends at the Oxford English Dictionary point out that enrichment is “the action of improving or enhancing the quality or value of something.” The Litany may have Proverbs 8:21 in mind, which reads: “That I may enrich them that love Me, and fill their treasures.” When Balthazar, Caspar and Melchior brought their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh they were, in a very real way, enriching the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (cf. Matthew 2:11). There are nearly 430 verses of Sacred Scripture which make mention of gold. Some of these are exhortations to not own or have any (cf. Matthew 10:9; 1 Timothy 2:9). Others compare the cleansing through fire as a refining (cf. Proverbs 17:3; Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:3).
The enrichment which the Sacred Heart realizes in our hearts is primarily by grace and faith. Being made an adopted child of God is an enrichment greater than silver or gold (cf. Matthew 10:29-31; 1 Peter 1:7). The communion of saints which we profess in the Creed is a consequence of the enrichment wrought by the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the redemption.
The enrichment of uranium realized at K-25 in the laboratories of Oak Ridge, during the years 1944-1964 was considerable if Hiroshima and Nagasaki are any indication. The enrichment which the Sacred Heart of Jesus realizes, however, is even greater. The material destruction of atomic weapons is overwhelming, but destroys buildings and bodies. The spiritual power of God’s grace redeems the soul and gives the possibility of risen life in Christ in Heaven. Once, when asked during a meeting in Chattanooga, TN, what it means to be poor, the Peruvian Dominican Gustavo Gutierrez (b. 1928) responded: “to be considered insignificant.” The grace of God, poured forth from the Sacred Heart, enriches all who humbly seek.
God bless you!
Father John Arthur Orr


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