Reflection on the Litany of the Sacred Heart from the Catechism pt. 20

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 twenty-first of the thirty-three invocations: Heart of Jesus, fountain of life and holiness.
When the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus invokes the Lord as “fountain of life” it is a loaded statement. Zechariah 13:1 prepares for Good Friday when the Sacred Heart was pierced and blood and water flowed: “on that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity” (cf. John 19:34). When we listen to the Lord Jesus and His sacred doctrine we receive His wise teaching which is a “fountain of life” turning us “from the snares of death” (Proverbs 13:14). When our hearts are one with the Sacred Heart of Jesus the fountain of life is within us, turning us from the snares of death (cf. Proverbs 14:27). The Sacred Heart of the Lord Jesus, model of all the virtues, is the incarnation of prudence, fountain of life (cf. Proverbs 16:22). The Sacred Heart of Jesus is fountain of life spoken of in Psalm 36:9.
It is no less a loaded statement when the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus invokes the Lord as fountain of holiness. The Hebrew words kadosh / kidesh and the Greek word hagios translates as holy, holiness. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia highlights holiness as meaning purity, cleanness, and those places, seasons, things and human beings associated with God Himself, as well as that which is separated or cut off from what is common or profane. The Oxford Dictionary highlights holiness as what is dedicated to God, religious purpose, and whatever is morally and spiritually excellent and to be revered. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the Heart of the Sovereign Lord who is holy in Himself (cf. Amos 4:2). The Sacred Heart of Jesus is “majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working in wonders” (cf. Exodus 15:11). The holiness of the Lord and His Sacred Heart adorn Mother Church, His house for endless days (cf. Psalm 93:5).
God bless you!
Father John Arthur Orr


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