Section Ten

A Developing Vision of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart

The Church, the Eucharist and the other sacraments, but also people taking care of the poor and the sick, people striving for peace and unity, and forgiving one another – Chevalier sees all these events as gifts of Jesus, the Sacred Heart, to us.

Remarkable also is Chevalier’s vision of a new world emerging from the Heart of Jesus, pierced on Calvary. The broken and wounded Heart of Christ, seen by St. John the Evangelist? as a source of blood and water, the birth of new life, is for Chevalier a great sign of hope that God is at work in our broken world, to restore our wounded society into a new society, and to change this old world into a new world.

He sees this new world foreshadowed by the Church, not only in its liturgical celebrations but also in people caring for the poor, the sick and the handicapped, as well as in people who continue to love others, even if they themselves are wounded by a broken relationship or a broken heart.

Through his continuous meditation on the meaning of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart, Chevalier renewed his image of God. Till the end of his life he sought how to reconcile the belief in a God who loves humankind unconditionally, with God’s justice; how to square God’s love revealed in the Heart of Jesus with the biblical accounts of God’s anger towards sinners.

He never totally resolved this tension, but he was finally able to write: “God is love, God is love itself. God looks with immense love on the smallest, the least of the beings created by Him.” (Fr. Hans Kwakman MSC)

A Reflective Moment

“God is love itself.

This infinite love…

has enclosed itself in a human heart,

The Heart of Jesus…

his living sacrament .”

“The Heart of Jesus is the Heart of God,

the centre of divine love;”

“the image of the Heart of God.”

“It is through the Heart of Christ

that the love of God, God himself,

pours himself out on the world

and on the human race”

(Jules Chevalier, 1900)