Heart of our hearts

In my last post, for the Sacred Heart, I quoted some words - Great heart of my own heart - from the end of the hymn Be thou my vision. They, in turn, reminded me of some words about the Sacred Heart in Karl Rahner SJ's The Eternal Year. These words are poetic, mystical, mysterious; simultaneously they gladden, comfort and open up new questions and insights. What they say is both simple and somehow ineffable, obvious and hard to grasp: that the Heart of God is at the heart of our world, and is at the same time the heart of each of our hearts.

And this is also the fundamental intuition which lies at the heart of being RSCJ. Even if I cannot fully explain them, I can understand Rahner's words, because I live and know their reality for myself - within myself. And it's a lovely conviction to have at one's very heart!

An edited extract is below. I hope it speaks to everyone of a God who delights to be present and active at the heart of our world, and also to be the heart of each of our hearts. At this time when our political debate is dominated by withdrawal and isolationism, remaining or leaving, we know at least that God will always remain, at the heart of all our lives. 

The centre of our hearts has to be God; the heart of the world has to be the heart of our hearts. He must send us his heart so that our hearts may be at rest. It has to be his heart... And he has done it. And the name of his heart is: Jesus Christ!

... Our heart becomes calm and rests in this heart, in his heart. When it loves us, then we know that the love of such a heart is only love and nothing else. In him the enigmatic mystery of the world's heart which is God becomes the crimson mystery of all things, the mystery that God has loved the world in its destitution.

In the heart of Christ our heart is all-knowing because it knows... that it is one with the heart of God. It knows that it is one with the heart of God in which even the thief and the murderer find pardon, one with the heart in which our deepest, darkest nights are transformed into days, because he has endured the nights with us. It knows that it is one with the heart in which everything is transformed into the one love.

If he is our heart, our diversity can enter into the apartness of God without being burned to nothing in it. In him our dispersion can be collected without being confined and constricted, our heart can gush forth into the expanse of the world without being lost. The heart of Jesus is God's heart in the world, in which alone the world finds its God as its blessed mystery, in which alone God becomes the heart of our hearts, in which our being finds its centre; at one and the same time unified and all-embracing.