Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Alliance of the Sacred Heart of Jesus & The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

This is Part 2 of a multi-part series on the Alliance of the Sacred Heart of Jesus & the Immaculate Heart of Mary as a Spiritual Devotion. Part 3 will post soon.

by James Lannan, Theology II - Saint Paul Seminary


What is the spiritual Alliance about?

Let's begin by looking at a passage from the Gospel of John:

Since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross on the sabbath (for that sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him; but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness -- his testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth -- that you also may believe. For these things took place that the scripture might be fulfilled, "Not a bone of him shall be broken." And again another scripture says, "They shall look on him whom they have pierced." (John 19:31-37)

Try to imagine yourself standing at the scene of Christ’s crucifixion, perhaps as one of the members of the crowd looking on as each event unfolded. This particular passage refers to the events after Christ took his last breath and spoke, “It is finished [accomplished]” (John 19:30).

One of the soldiers took a spear and lunged it into Christ’s side, we imagine near where his heart was located. Water and blood poured out of the wound. There are several meanings that theologians take from this passage. The blood and water is often used as a symbol for the origination of Christ’s Church. In particular, many find significance in the water -- life-flowing water -- that points to a theological importance for the Sacraments. Yet, important for this spiritual devotion, Catholic theologians teach that this was the moment when Christ’s and Mary’s hearts became most fully aligned with each other. As Christ’s heart was physically pierced, Mary’s heart was harmoniously pierced in spirit. Only two dolors of Mary’s heart remain in taking her Son down from the cross and burying him in the tomb.

The piercing of their hearts fulfills the Prophecy of Simeon in Luke, stating,

And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. (Luke 2:34-25)

Christ’s paschal mystery certainly did accomplish His fall and certainly did raise Israel. Furthermore, the significance of their hearts' piercing is most certainly so that our hearts may know the Truth of revelation. This was part of the Father’s plan from the beginning -- an ineffably beautiful mystical union of the Sacred Heart of Jesus & the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

God’s plan for this spiritual alignment was made perfect when both their hearts were wounded for the salvation of the world. By the power of the Holy Spirit, their conjoined hearts continue to pour out unconditional love, flaming with passion, and beaming the Divine Light of Truth for us to follow.

Yet, how did their hearts' mystical union get to this point, with Christ on the cross? While the sacred mysteries of their interior spiritual lives are, in a word, ineffable; the Word of God gives us a Scripturally-based crescendo to this moment of perfection. The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, followed by Simeon’s Propehecy is just one of several passages that found this spiritual devotion.

To be continued...

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