|St. Albert the Great|
'On the cross his Heart burnt like a fire and a furnace from which the flame burst forth on all sides. So was he inflamed on the Cross by his fire of love for the whole world. '
|St Catherine exchanging hearts, Giovanni di Paolo|
Thus by the 14th century the Dominicans were able to draw upon an immensely rich tradition of heart spirituality. Out of this tradition was, of course, to emerge one of the most significant mystics associated with the Sacred Heart: St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380). The teachings of St. Albert the Great, Meister Eckhart, Blessed Henry Suso and others were to flower in the life of St Catherine who it is recorded as having exchanged hearts with Jesus and whose prayer distills so much of what Dominican heart spirituality is all about.
In your nature, eternal Godhead,
I shall come to know my nature.
And what is my nature, boundless love?
It is fire,
because you are nothing but a fire of love.
And you have given humankind
a share in this nature,
for by the fire of love you created us.
And so with all other people
and every created thing;
you made them out of love.
O ungrateful people!
What nature has your God given you?
His very own nature!
Are you not ashamed to cut yourself off from such a noble thing
through the guilt of deadly sin?
O eternal Trinity, my sweet love!
You, light, give us light.
You, wisdom, give us wisdom.
You, supreme strength, strengthen us.
Today, eternal God,
let our cloud be dissipated
so that we may perfectly know and follow your Truth in truth,
with a free and simple heart.
God, come to our assistance!
Lord, make haste to help us!
|Sacred Heart by Félix Villé,1895|
Thus far I have only come across one Sacred Heart painting by a Dominican artist - the lay Dominican, Félix Villé. His painting, I think, is a unique statement of a Dominican perspective on the Sacred Heart and seems to draw heavily on St. Catherine's prayer. You can read more about it HERE.