Today is the feast of the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I wasn't raised Catholic, so devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is new to me, and I must admit, a bit odd. It always seemed rather strange that Catholics would adore a "body part" of Christ.
When Baz Luhrmann's film Romeo and Juliet came out in the theaters (the one with Leonardo DiCaprio), I thought the film's imagery of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary was especially interesting - but I didn't know what it signified. It simply "looked cool".
I also remember a Rolling Stones song that mentioned the "Heart of Jesus" (does anyone remember which song it is? I apologize if it's blasphemous - i don't remember the words). So a Leonard DiCaprio movie and a Rolling Stones song basically sum up my pre-Catholic exposure to the Sacred Heart of our Lord.
This morning in Holy Mass I came to realize that the Heart of Christ is both a vivid sign of our Lord's sacrifice and also reminder of His resurrection. It is also very Eucharistic devotion. At Holy Mass I realized that the heart belongs to the body, but it is the bodily organ most proper to the substance of blood. The heart pumps the blood. The heart is the intersection of the body and blood. It is truly the "core" of the human body (from the Latin: cor meaning heart) with respect to the blood.
When Christ died, his Sacred Heart pumped out all of His Precious Blood...and then it stopped. When Christ rose again, His Blood was reunited to His Body and His Heart began to beat once again. Today, for the first time, I realized that devotion to the Sacred Heart isn't simply a sentimental "syrupy" devotion but an intimate appreciation for the intersection of the Body and Blood of Christ is as it relates to His death and resurrection. Moreover, the Holy Eucharist signifies the union of the resurrected Body and Blood of Christ, and thus the Sacred Heart is Eucharistic, as well.
I apologize for rambling and realize that this is probably old-hat for most of you. Anyway, for a fellow behind the curve, I've realized once again how beautifully rich our Catholic faith is!