I LOVE this image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It has all the elements of the more traditional pictures of the Sacred Heart, the crown of thorns, the cross, and fire, but, rather than just showing us His heart, Jesus is reaching out to give us His heart, and the saints who have known Him tell us that that’s exactly what He does. He shares His own heart with us!

The truth of this reality has been remarkably documented through scientific investigation of Eucharistic miracles, like the one that occurred in Buenos Aires in 1996. The full story can be found here or below, but the gist is that a consecrated host (Which Catholics believe to be the real body of Jesus Christ based on Jesus’s words in Holy Scripture.), turned into a bloody piece of tissue, which was sent to be analyzed without letting the scientific team know where the tissue came from. A famous cardiac pathologist said the sample was:  

Real flesh and blood containing human DNS. As he looked down at his microscope he said, “I can tell you exactly what this is. This flesh is part of the muscle of the heart found in the wall of the left ventricle. It’s the muscle that gives the heart its beat and the body its life. I can see infiltrated through this tissue, white blood cells, and that tells me two things. That this heart was alive at the moment that this sample was taken, because white blood cells die outside of a living organism. And also, these white blood cells go to address injury, so this heart has suffered. This is the sort of thing I see in patients who have been beaten about the chest.”

WOW!

Jesus is God! He knew how much opposition His Church would face as time went on and how science would be used to deny the existence of God. So, as He seems to enjoy doing, He uses science to prove the realities of the faith He taught. I love how one of the scientists on the team (who was an atheist), joined the Catholic Church after this experience!

I also like how the heart really looks to be “on fire” in this image because it brings Jesus’ words to mind, “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” (Luke 12:49) This is the fire of divine love, a love that cannot help but give itself away. It is love that changes hearts and minds, and turns souls toward the source of this love, which is God, who is love.

Look closely at the expression on Jesus’ face in this image - it is all tenderness and compassion. As someone who has not experienced much tenderness or compassion in her life, this image allowed me to hope that if I took that leap of faith and gave my life over to God, I would find all the love and tender care that I longed for…and I have.

Those who pray the Liturgy of the Hours will recognize this excerpt from the Canticle (song) of Zechariah, taken from Luke 1:78-79:

In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high (Jesus) shall break upon us.

To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,

and to guide our feet into the way of peace.