The Sacred Heart of the World: Restoring Mystical Devotion to Our Spiritual Life

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This is why it is crucially important that our spirituality must not be seen as a separate compartment marked sacred whereas real life is lived in all the other compartments marked secular. To do this is to set limits and put boundaries on God.

Or worse is the thinking that if God speaks only through the Bible — then all we have to do is shut the Bible and this effectively shuts out God. Worship is all that we are and all that we do, both inside and outside the structures of the church. All of our lives is a search for God so that everything we are and everything we do is an offering of worship to God.

Spirituality is the whole of our lives because it is not about doing but about being. This is our being — the same person going to work, cooking a meal, reading the Bible, mowing the lawn, shouting at the kids, saying our prayers, watching the TV, laughing, crying, bored, excited, angry, sad whatever — spirituality touches and influences every part of our lives and every part of our lives touches and influences our spirituality — the life of the whole person in relationship with God. Hebrews So although we freely acknowledge that spirituality takes many forms, has many streams, we are connected by a common spirituality to the desert, Celtic, Monastic, Contemplative stream.

This is where we are rooted, where we belong and where we are most comfortable.

We do! All that we are saying and very tentatively at that is that some of those biblical and ethical emphases that were central to the lifestyle and teaching of desert and Celtic monasticism have real similarities to the emphases that God has laid on our own hearts. The discovery of some of their emphases in our search for a Northumbrian spirituality, gave us a language to understand ourselves, and helped us to tell our story. A southern flank of these peoples had come South of the Black Sea and had settled in that part of modern Turkey known as Galatia in biblical times.

The Sacred Heart of the World: Restoring Mystical Devotion to Our Spiritual Life

The Celtic peoples and languages were also to be found in much of Europe including Brittany, Gaul and the British Isles. So from the earliest times almost all of Britain and Ireland was, culturally at least, Celtic. So that the word Celtic covers a whole culture which included pagan and pre-Christian elements as well as the so called Celtic church. The Roman church was unsure how to respond to these people as they were relational rather than rational, inspirational rather than institutional.

Ireland unlike Britain and Gaul was untouched by the Roman Empire, thus it was from Ireland that Celtic spirituality had its roots and passion and expansion. The primary missionary movement across Britain which became a hinge in history as much of Europe was evangelised e. Columbanus to France, Italy and so it goes on.

So then we want to learn from history not live in it. We are not out to replicate a period of time as many do in their expression of faith. So that we have17 th century language, 18 th century hymns, 19 th century morality, and 20 th century middle class values, rather than a contemporary 21 st century expression of life in God.

So although there is no doubt at all that we have been and are greatly informed and greatly inspired by aspects of Celtic spirituality, we are not a Celtic Community. So when we talk about the Celtic church it is synonymous with the monastery, with people living in Community. This is a celebration of ordinariness and an earthed humanity. They believed that nothing was secular because everything was sacred.

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Should a soul enter heaven before the total remission of its sins, it could not remain there and it would cast itself into purgatory to be purified. To the contrary, the people acclaimed Jesus of Nazareth enthusiastically, sensing His royal grandeur without the prompts of pageantry. It allows us first to experience what is presented to us, and then to discover within it, much more meaning than the basic phenomena would allow. In accordance with advice from various groups, we have eliminated from this exposition discussions to which it is no longer necessary to return. Sanctifying grace, the seed of glory, introduces us into this higher order of truth and life. If a man is fundamentally egotistical, his intimate conversation with himself is inspired by sensuality or pride.

They saw God in and through things rather than direct visions. There was no false divide between the sacred and secular. Where an integrated life, of body and soul, work and worship, wonder and ordinariness; prayer and life are the norm. An everyday spirituality of ordinariness accessible to all. Never anti —intellectual it was an earthed spirituality that met people where they were. In everyday happenings and ordinary ways, so that we have prayers for getting up, lighting the fire, getting dressed, milking the cow etc.

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For the Community it is engaging in mission out of a context of being in the monastery. It is freedom to be, to embrace intentional uselessness and waste time with God. This is exemplified by the Ebb and Flow of the tides of Holy Island.

Aidan chose Lindisfarne because it reminded him of Iona but also because it reminded him of the need for the cell and the coracle, being and doing, monastery fuelling mission, seeking God in the heart in order to better serve God in the world. The Nether Springs spoke of the tide coming in, enclosure, seeking God and facing self in the cell.

The Upper Springs spoke of the tide going out, encounter, the initiatives of the Spirit in the coracle. Life was seen as a pilgrimage. Moving into the unknown as well as the known, wandering for the love of Christ wondering for the love of Christ too aware that our God is a God of surprises. Mission is a mixture of going, staying, moving on, doing, being, excitement, mundane in the home and market place.

Finding God at work in the everyday ordinariness of life as it is.

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Hospitality of Heart. Welcoming God into their hearts each day but also welcoming others because that person could be Christ. When Cuthbert went to his Inner Farne solitude he built a guest room for God. Hospitality was seen in care for the poor. King Oswald gave many gifts to Aidan but he in turn shared them with the ordinary people, including a horse given away and a silver plate melted down, broken up and distributed. If they were heathen, he invited them to embrace the mystery of faith and be baptised.

If they were already believers, he strengthened their faith. It was seen in an all embracing welcome of people as people, not seeing labels or sex or denominations as we often see today. Women were truly equal and were often valued leaders e. Hild, Brigid, Ebba.


A further example is that in this period inheritance law came through the maternal line. Love of nature.

by David Richo

An awareness of the unity of creation. They were aware of the Cross over Creation. That God was to redeem the whole created order. This was seen in the quiet care of all living things and a special affinity with animals that preceded Francis of Assissi. They had a strong sense of place and knew the importance of the Land, of roots and identity. The Sacred Heart is thus a revelation of how God is love, i. The goal in what follows is threefold: to show how devotion fits into spirituality, to upgrade the traditional devotion to the heart of Jesus, and make this devotion understandable to Catholics and Protestants alike, as well as to anyone open to it.

I am hoping to address three questions:. Our first question leads us to ask: What is devotion? The Latin word vovere means to vow, promise, or dedicate oneself.

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Devovere is the Latin word for dedicating oneself by a vow. The plural word devotions referred to practices that fostered this experience. Mature devotion is heart connection, how spirituality becomes heartfelt personal relationship, how it enters mystical consciousness. We lose all this when we disregard devotion as an integral part of our spirituality.

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This is a handbook for designing a spirituality of heart with the Sacred Heart of Jesus as metaphor. Personal devotion does not cancel the sense of social consciousness that is so important in spirituality; it enriches it as we shall see. Some Catholics today are indifferent to or even repelled by devotion.

  1. Devotion to the Sacred Heart in non-Roman Catholic Traditions.
  2. The Sacred Heart and the Three Loves of Jesus;
  3. The World’s Soul is a Woman – The Gnostic Myth of Sophia?

Since devotion is a feature of spirituality, this is a great loss. Devotion to the Sacred Heart has disappeared in many areas of Catholic worship. This is also a loss since it can mean less personal responsiveness to the love of Jesus for us and of us for him. We would lose so much if we let this devotion go rather than rediscover it in the light of Vatican II and all we now know about religious symbolism. We can reclaim the riches in the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus with an intelligent, scriptural, and mystical faith.

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The popular depiction of the Sacred Heart may appear as sentimental and saccharine. But, as we look symbolically, the image of a divine open and grace-giving heart shows what our own inmost core looks like. It is a spiritual portrait not only of our own hearts but of the heart of the universe: strongly aglow with divine fire, beaming light in every direction, and at the same time opened because it is wounded.

It is ironic that a symbol of generous love became somehow focused on our need to make reparation, that a powerful divine presence became associated with a saccharine image, that a liberating message became moralistic, that a call to universal compassion became a Jesus-and-I devotion. It is time to remove the past from the Sacred Heart and restore it to the meaning it had for the mystics and can have for us today.

This is the challenge: to find in what may have become tired, irrelevant, and familiar a new and thrilling possibility for spiritual growth. Our second question is about how devotion fits into contemporary realizations about the cosmos, spirituality and our evolving moral consciousness. There are at least four phases of religious consciousness in the Hebrew Bible. At first the accent was on the hand of God and how God acts in human history, as in the exodus from Egypt.

Then prominence was given to the voice of God and how God instructs us about moral living as, for example, in the Ten Commandments. The emphasis then moves to the mind of God and what the divine plan is for humanity and the universe as expressed by the prophets and wisdom writers. Finally, we focus on the heart of God and what love is.