Saturday, December 10, 2005


Last year Jim Loney, who is currently a hostage in Iraq, wrote a piece in Catholic New Times on the Sacred Heart [full text here, thanks to my father-in-law, Willard Roth], something he once saw as "saccharine-soaked images of Jesus staring into the blue with puppy-dog eyes." Then he re-visioned the icon of Mary and Jesus through the lens of those torn apart by the lesions of the world, and especially a scratched version of the image at Auschwitz. On seeing that, he writes:

"I fell in love with the Sacred Heart that day. I see it now as a profound meditation on human freedom, on the disarming power of the disarmed life. When we know who we are, a no-matter-what loved child of God, then we cannot but love in that same no-matter-what way, without condition or limit or fear. When we lay down our weapons (whatever they be - the desire to punish, or an inter-continental nuclear missile) and open wide our hearts, we become truly free, a Sacred Heart ready to embrace anyone, do anything, go anywhere.

"Perhaps old Leo XIII was on to something after all when he "solemnly consecrated" all humankind to the Sacred Heart on June 11, 1899. He called it "the great act" of his pontificate. Perhaps history would be a little different if we all took the Sacred Heart to heart. "

More articles by Jim Loney are registered here.

**Latest on Iraq: Embattled Hezbollah backs Iraq 'doves of peace' 09/12/05. See also: Bishop challenges religious zealots over Jerusalem 10/12/05 **

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