Spirituality of the Heart
By Hedwig Lewis SJ
Ignatius never uses the expression ‘Heart of Jesus’ or ‘Sacred Heart’ in his writings, but he reveals the essence of these terms in his personal devotion to the humanity of Jesus, as is evident in his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The Spiritual Exercises contain key directions for the fundamental attitude needed to develop a spirituality of the heart subservient to Christ.
Ignatius speaks of acquiring “intimate knowledge” (SE 2; 104) of Christ, a “logic of the heart”. Ignatian “indifference” entails freedom of the heart that is brought about by an awareness of our sinfulness, by our total surrender to God’s will (Jesus at his Baptism), a personal attachment to Jesus poor and humble (SE 167). True and deep freedom of heart is to live united with Christ and like Christ, which includes renunciations and sharing in his sufferings. Through unconditional love, we offer our “undivided heart” to God in the service of the Eternal King (SE 97-98).
Fr Pedro Arrupe in “Rooted and Grounded in Love” (1981) reminded us of the perennial relevance of the Sacred Heart to Jesuit life, as “the centre of the Ignatian experience”.
Further reading: A. Pieris SJ, The Heart of Jesus Spirituality and the Prophetic Mission to the Poor: http://www.aopsl.org/doc/sh-pieris.htm