I was taught how to pray in front of an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. My aunt, a devout Catholic, had such an image in her home, and many a time she used to explain to me the symbolism of that Sacred Heart. His heart is always open for us, to surround us with his love. The thorns symbolise his patience, though we surround his heart with the thorns of our darkness, he still holds it out for all. Though we surround his heart with our selfishness, his heart is always victorious, light always wins over darkness. The heart of Jesus gives us light and warmth especially when life is cold and dark; that is why on top of it is a flame of fire crowned by the cross, the utmost symbol of love and generosity.
It was easy to be intimate with the ever patient Jesus in my aunt’s house. It was and still is easy to picture that image in my mind as I seek that ever present love. It is easy to say to him, make our hearts like unto thine. It is not easy for us to keep steady when the tempests of life rage; it is easy, however, to look with the eye of the mind on that hallowed image and rest awhile.
What we celebrate today is the Divine and Merciful love of our God that shines and is known in the heart of Jesus. What we hear today is that eternal call to turn to him and abide in his love. That love so patient and sure that when we make a dog’s breakfast of our Christian calling creates new opportunities and avenues for us to start afresh. What we celebrate today is a day of thanksgiving for that infinite ocean of love, human and divine, which we are called to share with him and with those around us.
There are many devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus which you can find all over the web or in devotional books. Use them. And if you do not have already place an image of the Sacred Heart in your home, in pride of place; it is amazing how much a sacred image can impress a human soul.