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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anthony Lilles

The Heart of the Church

Much attention is rightfully rendered to the Head of the Church - Christ. But we need to ask, is the Head really the most important member of the Church? Indeed, the only devotion to "the Head" we have as Catholics is that "Sacred Head surrounded by crown of piercing thorns." What makes this devotion so beautiful is that the thorn-pierced Head suffered humiliation for no other reason than to keep the Heart of the Church above reproach. Christ sees His Bride as more important than life itself, and the Head oversees only that the Heart might thrive. The Heart, this gives life to the whole mystical Body - it is the place of encounter between God and man, the deep center from which spring all that is good and noble in holy humanity. The Heart is the place of contemplation - where the love gaze of Christ is sketched into the very substance of humanity. It is the place from which alone acceptable sacrifice is offered to the Father. Every time we make the sign of the Cross, the heart is at its center as a reminder of this truth. Likewise, it is for the Heart that anyone who exercises authority as Head of the Church must act - or betray Him who bestowed the authority and power he has. For it was to make her holy and immaculate that Christ offered Himself on the Cross - and any power and authority he permits others to share must only serve this same purpose. For this reason, those great women mystics who help us hear the deep things of the heart of the Church may well be more worthwhile to heed than those who blather about their own importance with reckless regard for why they have been granted such a treasure.

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