Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The politics of the Sacred Heart

Rev. John Dear S.J. is a Jesuit Priest, Peace Activist, Organizer, Lecturer, Retreat leader, and author/editor of 20 books on peace and nonviolence. In his latest column for National Catholic Reporter, he writes:
The image of the Sacred Heart invites us to practice universal love, eternal forgiveness, infinite compassion, active nonviolence and perfect peace. That means, among other things, we can no longer support killing, injustice, war, or any kind of violence. It means further that we must live out a new ethic and create new nonviolent structures that institutionalize nonviolent love, dignity and peace for every human being on the planet.

Alas, for centuries, the Sacred Heart of Jesus has been coopted into a private piety disconnected from the world, politics, and war -- from the abyss of destruction. I have the impression that some uphold the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the one hand, and the flag on the other, as if Jesus' personal salvation for us individually has nothing to do with what our country does, or how the poor suffer and die; as if we can worship the Sacred Heart, yet remain racist, sexist, greedy, selfish, violent, and warlike, personally and as a church and a nation.

You can read more here.