Sunday, 30 January 2011

Tea and talk.

Today Ian and I had our first meeting – in the National Gallery over a nice cup of tea - to discuss the Sacred Heart project. In a short time we covered a good deal of ground. I explained that my interest and devotion to the Sacred Heart was the result of a spiritual experience, but that this also had considerable intellectual consequences in enabling me to formulate ideas which I have on public policy and the relationship between faith and reason in the public square. This will all have to be unpacked in due course. But one thing which became apparent as we talked was that during a recent illness I came to realize that God does not stand outside our pain looking in: he is inside with us and sharing our pain. This is why the Sacred Heart is such a powerful visible symbol of the invisible power of the energy of divine love. As a result of my illness I finally got the whole point of the cross. By pointing to His heart Jesus is reminding us that he suffered for us and suffers with us. The image of the Sacred Heart is therefore the complete embodiment of the love of God: it is about light and love but it is also about dark and pain. It is an image which is asking us to respond to God’s love : it is an image which is supposed to challenge us to live by placing our trust completely in that love. We agreed that this was a good starting point for the project.

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