The Nature of this Question is Complex, and frequently becomes more Complicated because of the Difficulties arising
The Word Heart awakens, first of all, the Idea of a Material Heart, of the Vital Organ that throbs within our Bosom, and
which we vaguely realize as Intimately Connected, not only with our own Physical, but with our Emotional and Moral Life.
Now, this Heart of Flesh is currently accepted as the Emblem of the Emotion and Moral Life with which we associate it, and hence the
Place assigned to the Word Heart in Symbolic Language, as also the use of the same word to designate those things Symbolized by the
Devotion to the Sacred Heart may be defined as Devotion to the Adorable Heart of Jesus Christ in so far as this Heart
Represents and Recalls His Love; or, what amounts to the same thing, Devotion to the Love of Jesus Christ in so far as this Love is
Recalled and Symbolically Represented to us by His Heart of Flesh.
Hence the Devotion is based entirely upon the Symbolism of the Heart. It is this Symbolism that imparts to its Meaning and
its Unity, and this Symbolism is admirably completed by the Representation of the Heart as Wounded. Since the Heart of Jesus appears
to us as the Sensible Sign of His Love, the Visible Wound in the Heart will Naturally Recall the Invisible Wound of this Love.
The Heart is, above all, the Emblem of Love, and by this Characteristic, the Devotion to the Sacred Heart is Naturally
Defined. When we designate Jesus as the Sacred Heart, we mean Jesus manifesting His Heart, Jesus all Loving and Amiable. Jesus
entire is thus Recapitulated in the Sacred Heart as all is Recapitulated in Jesus.
In thus Devoting oneself to Jesus, all Loving and Lovable, one cannot fail to observe that His Love is Rejected. God is
Constantly Lamenting that in Holy Writ, and the Saints have always Heard within their Hearts the Plaint of Unrequited Love. Indeed
one of the Essential Phases of the Devotion is that it considers the Love of Jesus for us as a Despised, Ignored love. He Himself
revealed this when He Complained so Bitterly to Saint Margaret Mary.
This Love is everywhere Manifest in Jesus and in His Life, and it alone can explain Him, together with His Words and His
Acts. Nevertheless, it Shines Forth more Resplendently in certain Mysteries from which Great Good Accrues to us, and in which Jesus
is more Lavish of His Loving Benefactions and more Complete in His Gift of Self, namely, in the Incarnation, in the Passion, and in
the Eucharist. Moreover, these Mysteries have a place apart in the Devotion which, everywhere seeking Jesus and the Signs of His
Love and Favors, finds them here to an even Greater Extent than in Particular Acts.
We have already seen that Devotion to the Sacred Heart, being Directed to the Heart of Jesus as the Emblem of Love, has
mainly in view His Love for Men. This is obviously not that it excludes His Love for God, for this included in His Love for Men,
but it is above all the devotion to "the Heart that has so loved men", according to the Words Quoted by Saint Margaret Mary.
Finally, the Question arises as to whether the Love which we Honor in this Devotion is that with which Jesus Loves us as
Man or that with which He Loves us as God; whether it is Created or Uncreated, His Human or His Divine Love. Undoubtedly it is the
Love of God made Man, the Love of the Incarnate Word.