Friday, June 7, 2013

My Deepest Devotion- What the Sacred Heart Means to Me

Last October, I went to a Secular Carmelite retreat at Our Lady of Peace Retreat Center in Beaverton, Oregon. Each guest room at the retreat house is named after a saint and mine was called the, “St. Mary Margaret Alacoque room.” Since I had no idea who that was, I looked up her story in my Ipod and found out she had a critical role in spreading the devotion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I had been intrigued by that earlier in the day when I had picked up a Sacred Heart prayer card at the gift shop, so the meaning of my room seemed to be an odd coincidence. I started to meditate on the idea of what the “Sacred Heart of Jesus” really means. 

Of course, perfect love is a meaning of it, but it is not simply the abstract concept of love- It is embodied. I attended a Bible study last year and Father Bryce taught us about the concept of “heart” in the gospels. “Heart” was considered to be a place where mind and “gut” meet. In other words, the logic in our minds merges with the emotional, gut instinct and the resulting conviction is experienced in the heart. The sacred heart is the center of the circulatory system of his precious blood, all of which was shed for us, so the heart is also a symbol of core and total sacrifice. 

For the “Sacred Heart of Jesus” to be embodied also speaks of its deeply intimate nature with Christ. The devotion to the Sacred Heart started when the early Christians contemplated the Last Supper and how John laid his head on the chest of Jesus. As I contemplate those moments of the last supper, I remember what might have been my earliest memory, which was of my father holding me close to his heart when I was just a baby. I remember the deep peace I felt as I lay close to his heart. I realize that peace and close love is what Jesus wants for us to carry through each moment of our lives. 

In a world where people and families are so broken, they need the Sacred Heart of Jesus more than anything. Only His Sacred Heart offers what we need to feed us, sustain us and help us grow. Nothing else can do that. No one else loves as purely and deeply as Jesus did. Without merging our hearts with His sacred heart, our hearts will only love weakly and feebly. 

 In the year 700 in Luciano Italy, a Eucharistic miracle occurred. A consecrated communion host mysteriously turned into flesh. Twelve centuries later, the flesh is still free of decay. When technology advanced to the point it could be scientifically examined, the flesh was found to be a piece of human heart muscle. Why the heart? Jesus wanted us to know through this miracle how He loves us with all His heart. 

Why is my business called Carmel Heart Media? This is why- 

Sacred Heart of Jesus, on this day and every day, I consecrate everything I am, think, feel and do only to your Sacred Heart. Help me to be ever faithful. Amen. 

Luciano Miracle
Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus


  1. Now I know the meaning of the name of the first Catholic Church I walked into. In Tampa Florida that is the name of the church in the center of town. It seemed cathedral like to me as a child and impressed me as very beautiful. I can see that the Catholic Church aims to appeal to all of the senses and incorporates elements that originated in numerous culture. Is it really true though that a bit of human heart tissue has been inexplicable preserved all these years, without being frozen? I intend to google it and find out because I'm curious.

  2. Thanks PolWilder. That's one thing I love about the Church- I am a visual and sensory person who likes to fully experience the beauty of scripture and make it personal. That is something the Church does very well! I put the link to the Luciano Miracle under the blog post, so you could check that out if you like. And I'm not even sure when refrigeration started- had to be way after 700 AD! There are too many miracles to count of incorruptible bodies of saints. Some of them have not decayed in 1500 years.