The Meaning of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

I wonder how many Catholics upon seeing the “Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus” on the calendar will have any idea what it means. I had spent years studying theology and never understood its meaning or purpose.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart

In fact, about a year ago I sat in on a meeting at work (Ave Maria Press) discussing a book we were considering for publication. It was about the Sacred Heart of Jesus, an old Catholic devotion that for some people brought up memories of Old Church from their childhood while for others it was a fascinating idea they hadn’t been exposed to yet.

I was one of those who were fascinated by this (new to me) devotion.

I had heard about the Sacred Heart for years but never really understood what it meant and why I should have a devotion to it. It kept coming up in prayers I was exploring: a novena to St. Jude and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. But what did it mean? Why was it important?

I love Jesus, but why should I get worked up about a heart wrapped in a crown of thorns?

A Book about the Meaning of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

A Heart on Fire: Finding the Meaning of the Sacred Heart of JesusA Heart On Fire isn’t a how-to book for developing a personal devotion to the Sacred Heart. That is for another book. This book will help you (it helped me) understand why there is a devotion to the Sacred Heart in the first place.

What I love about the book is that Fr. James Kubicki, the National Director of the Apostleship of Prayer, centers the devotion to the Sacred Heart around the source and summit of the Christian life: the Eucharist.

The Eucharist, since Vatican II, has been at the core of all Catholic theology. It is Christ’s real presence. With a renewed focus on the sacraments, devotions like the Sacred Heart have lost many of its devotees.

Kubicki shows how the Sacred Heart fits in with a Eucharistic spirituality. He explains what the heart is and why Jesus’ heart is important. He provides a concise history of the development of the Sacred Heart of Jesus over the life of the Church. And he ends each chapter with spiritual practices and prayers to further a devotion to the Sacred Heart like Lectio Divina and a family consecration to the Sacred Heart.

Another important point he makes is that historically the heart is the place that we find the deepest part of ourselves. It is often referred to in connection with the human person. A connection with the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a connection with the person of Jesus Christ in a most intimate way.

Video Explanation of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Fr. Kubicki presented a webinar for Ave Maria Press about his book. It provides a nice summary for potential readers.

Sacred Heart Devotion Today on Vimeo.

Get the Book

With the obvious full disclosure, I do work for the company that publishes this book. But this website is my own and what I write here, I share because I want to help people become better at prayer. The Sacred Heart is one way we can become better at prayer.

If you are interested, you can buy the book at Ave Maria Press, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.

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  1. Anna Marie says

    I was wondering if you know of any Apps for Religion on a I-Pad. Also, are there any activities that students can do on a website in class fro Religion. We already do prayer activities. I’m looking for activities that will add to the curriculum for the Life of Christ and Church History. This would be for 7th & 8th graders. Most of what I have seen can be done in 5-10 minutes by my students, too watered down. Are there any web quests available that students can do.
    Thank you for any assistance.
    Anna Marie

    • says

      Hi Anna Marie, I did some searching yesterday on the iPad and I found a number of apps that will cover your bases with all of the most common Catholic prayers. They will also point you to the daily readings and prayers for the liturgy of the hours. Even prayers related to the Sacred Heart can be found in them. Just search for “catholic” in the iTunes store and start downloading some free apps.

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