Church

Why Devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary?

From Canterbury Tales by Taylor Taylor Marshall:

Why do Catholics have devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary? I call this “cordial devotion” (from the Latin cor, cordis meaning “heart”). English words such as “cordially” mean “heartfelt,” and our word “core” meaning “center” also comes from this Latin word.

What Does the Heart Signify?

The human heart is considered to be the symbolic center of the person and as such is signifies the will. When we are excited or scared our heartbeat rises. In times of stress or sorrow, we can feel a pain in our chest.

In the Old Testament and in Hebrew idiom, the “heart” (Hebrew: leb) is often used as a synonym for the “soul.” For example:

“My heart is troubled, my strength hath left me, and the light of my eyes itself is not with me.” (Psalm 37:11, D-R)

In fact, most languages parallel this usage. Now don’t think that ancient people were entirely ignorant of human anatomy. They new full well that the heart was a vital organ responsible for human animation. For example:

“But early in the morning, when Nabal had digested his wine, his wife told him these words, and his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.” (1 Samuel 25:37, D-R)

In Hebrew, the heart also signifies the human conscience. For example, the heart “smites” David (2 Sam 24:5). Likewise in the New Testament, as in 1 Jn 3:20, where the Apostle speaks about “whenever our hearts condemn us.” Thus, the heart functions as the seat of the moral life. This is why the Bible is so fond of the phrase “pure of heart” (Hebrew: bar lebab). Moreover, the natural law is “written on our hearts” (Rom 2:15).

Is “Heart Devotion” Biblical?

The answer here.

Advertisements
Culture

Immodest Dress in Church

FR Z

Matt Abbott’s recent column at Renew America starts like this:

‘This post consists of excerpts from a letter I wrote to the pastor of a  Catholic parish about a certain incident that occurred at his church. I  have omitted all references as to the church’s location. The church is  semi-circular in design, and we were sitting in the last pew near the  center isle, which afforded us a clear view of almost the entire  congregation. I started my letter with a compliment as to how nice the  newly-remodeled church looked. I then ask the pastor to please consider  the following hypothetical situation.

‘A priest enters the confessional for the usual Saturday morning or  afternoon confession time. During this time a young man enters the  confessional. ‘Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.’ From the sound of  the voice on the other side of the screen, the priest surmises that the  person is a teenager or young adult. The confession continues: ‘It was a  week since my last confession. I’m guilty of many lustful thoughts, and  I looked at some very immodestly dressed women more times than I should  have.’

‘The priest asks, ‘Were these impure thoughts related to these women you looked at’?

”Yes,’ replies the young man.

‘The priest: ‘Why did you continue to look at them? Why didn’t you go someplace else, away from them?’

”I couldn’t,’ said the young man. ‘They were in front of me and I was kind of hemmed in by the crowd.’

‘The priest: ‘Why were you in such a place to begin with? Do you  remember that we are to avoid places that may be an occasion of sin?’

‘The young man answers, “Yes, Father, I know that, but I had to be there.’

‘The priest, somewhat puzzled, then asks: ‘Why did you have to be there, and where were you: at the beach; at a sporting event?’

”No, Father,’ said the young man, ‘I was at your noon Mass last Sunday,  and two scantily-dressed girls were sitting in the pew right in front  of me, along with their parents. I couldn’t move because my parents were  on either side of me.’

‘While I said that the above story was hypothetical, in reality it is  not. The Mass in question took place this past July at a prominent  Catholic parish in a town my wife and I were visiting. It was the main  Mass of the day and the church was quite full.

[…]

Read the rest there.

Lack of decorum is a serious problem.  Between corrosive informality and the more and more prevalent immodesty, it is getting more difficult to want to go to any public place…

How very true!