I suppose, therefore, that this icon may be read as an image which is prompting the viewer to reflect on the Heart of Jesus in this ‘higher sense’ which Rahner is talking about. It calls the viewer to focus not on the physical heart as in the ‘standard’ image, but as ‘that place in which the mystery of man opens into the mystery of God’ and to read it less as a symbol of reparation but of the the love ‘that is unthinkable and selfless, the love that conquers in utter failure, that triumphs when it is powerless, that gives life when it is killed: the love that is God.’
That is a powerful meditation and a powerful way of reading the icon. The icon prompts us to reflect on what reply can we give to these questions:
Do you love me?
Do you love me in such a way that this love generates a blessed eternity, that it truly, powerfully and invincibly generates my everlasting life?
+ See, for example his essay' 'Ignatian Spirituality and the Devotion to the Heart of Jesus' inin Mission and Grace, Volume III, Sheed and Ward/ Stagbooks, London 1966. pp176-210.