Thursday, 14 March 2013

Pope Francis and the the Sacred Heart

The news of the election of a new Holy Father has generated a real sense of hope and anticipation that the Church can now move ahead.  It is clear that Francis intended that the way ahead must be walked humbly with our God.  This theme of humility, which seems to have come ever more to the surface in reading this icon, is evidently to be the central theme of the new Papacy, and we have to thank God for this.  Now, more than ever the Church must seek to become humble of heart in the face of the sins committed in the Catholic Church at all levels.  Will Francis be a Pope of the Sacred Heart- like his predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict XVI?  My guess is that he will be a Pope who will direct our attention to the importance of the devotion for the renewal of the Church.  As a Jesuit he will, of course, have a special love of the Sacred Heart.  But he has also chosen the name of Francis - and St Francis of Assisi and the Franciscan spiritual tradition has also played a very important role in the history of the devotion. Indeed, there can be little doubt that the Jesuits and the Franciscans have done more than most religious orders to promote the devotion.  So, a Jesuit pope, with the name of Francis must surely be someone with a great love of the Sacred Heart.  I have yet to get to grips with what Francis has had to say about the Sacred Heart, but it will be interesting to find out.  So, the Seraphim in the top left hand corner has yet another layer of meaning now!

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