Pope says devotion to Sacred Heart helps focus on love

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus helps Catholics focus on the reality of God's love and their obligation to love others, Benedict XVI said.

In the Sacred Heart, "we can recognise in an ever clearer way the limitless love God has for us," the pope wrote in a letter addressed to the Superior General of the Society of Jesus.

Catholic News Service reports that the papal letter to Fr Peter-Hans Kolvenbach was in recognition of the Jesuits' efforts to promote the devotion throughout the church over the past 150 years.

In 2006, the church celebrates the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus on 23 June. Pope Benedict said the devotion acquires its deepest meaning only when people express their awareness of God's love by dedicating their lives to his service.

"The experience of the love of God is lived as a 'call' to which one must respond," the Pope said.

Gazing upon Jesus' "pierced heart" is a reminder that he took on the sufferings and sins of all humanity, which "helps us become more attentive to the suffering and needs of others," Pope Benedict said.

"It makes us able to entrust ourselves to his saving and merciful love and, at the same time, reinforces our desire to participate in his work of salvation by becoming his instruments," the Pope said.

Pope says devotion to Sacred Heart helps Catholics focus on love (Catholic News Service 23/5/06)

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24 May 2006