Pius XII: He Shows His Living Heart Wednesday, Jun 29 2011 

Nothing…prevents our adoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ as having a part in and being the natural and expressive symbol of the abiding love with which the divine Redeemer is still on fire for mankind.

Though it is no longer subject to the varying emotions of this mortal life, yet it lives and beats and is united inseparably with the Person of the divine Word and, in Him and through Him, with the divine Will.

Since then the Heart of Christ is overflowing with love both human and divine and rich with the treasure of all graces which our Redeemer acquired by His life, sufferings and death, it is therefore the enduring source of that charity which His Spirit pours forth on all the members of His Mystical Body.

And so the Heart of our Savior reflects in some way the image of the divine Person of the Word and, at the same time, of His twofold nature, the human and the divine; in it we can consider not only the symbol but, in a sense, the summary of the whole mystery of our redemption.

When we adore the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, we adore in it and through it both the uncreated love of the divine Word and also its human love and its other emotions and virtues, since both loves moved our Redeemer to sacrifice Himself for us and for His Spouse, the Universal Church.

[…] Just as Christ loved the Church, so He still loves it most intensely with that threefold love of which We spoke, which moved Him as our Advocate “always living to make intercession for us” to win grace and mercy for us from His Father.

The prayers which are drawn from that unfailing love, and are directed to the Father, never cease.

As “in the days of His flesh,” so now victorious in heaven, He makes His petition to His heavenly Father with equal efficacy, to Him “Who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him may not perish, but may have life everlasting.”

He shows His living Heart, wounded as it were, and throbbing with a love yet more intense than when it was wounded in death by the Roman soldier’s lance: “Thy Heart has been wounded so that through the visible wound we may behold the invisible wound of love” (St Bonaventure).

It is beyond doubt, then, that His heavenly Father “Who spared not even His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all,” when appealed to with such loving urgency by so powerful an Advocate, will, through Him, send down on all men an abundance of divine graces.

Pius XII (1876-1958): Haurietis Aquas, 85-88.

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Pius XII: Our Hearts are Fashioned and Expanded as though by Christ Wednesday, Jan 6 2010 

The Church re-establishes between the Creator and His creatures that unity and harmony to which the Apostle of the Gentiles alludes in these words:

“Now, therefore, you are no more strangers and foreigners; but you are fellow citizens with the saints and domestics of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner-stone; in whom all the building, being framed together, groweth up into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are built together in a habitation of God in the Spirit” (Eph. 2:19-22).

[…] This result is, in fact, achieved when Christ lives and thrives, as it were, in the hearts of men, and when men’s hearts in turn are fashioned and expanded as though by Christ.

This makes it possible for the sacred temple, where the Divine Majesty receives the acceptable worship which His law prescribes, to increase and prosper day by day in this land of exile of earth.

Along with the Church, therefore, her Divine Founder is present at every liturgical function: Christ is present at the august sacrifice of the altar both in the person of His minister and above all under the eucharistic species.

He is present in the sacraments, infusing into them the power which makes them ready instruments of sanctification.

He is present, finally, in prayer of praise and petition we direct to God, as it is written: “Where there are two or three gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20).

The sacred liturgy is, consequently, the public worship which our Redeemer as Head of the Church renders to the Father, as well as the worship which the community of the faithful renders to its Founder, and through Him to the heavenly Father.

It is, in short, the worship rendered by the Mystical Body of Christ in the entirety of its Head and members.

Pius XII (1876-1958): Mediator Dei, 19-20.


Pius XII: The Heart of a Divine Person Tuesday, Oct 27 2009 

Thus, from something corporeal such as the Heart of Jesus Christ with its natural meaning, it is both lawful and fitting for us, supported by Christian faith, to mount not only to its love as perceived by the senses but also higher, to a consideration and adoration of the infused heavenly love; and finally, by a movement of the soul at once sweet and sublime, to reflection on, and adoration of, the divine love of the Word Incarnate.

We do so since, in accordance with the faith by which we believe that both natures – the human and the divine – are united in the Person of Christ, we can grasp in our minds those most intimate ties which unite the love of feeling of the physical Heart of Jesus with that twofold spiritual love, namely, the human and the divine love.

For these loves must be spoken of not only as existing side by side in the adorable Person of the divine Redeemer but also as being linked together by a natural bond insofar as the human love, including that of the feelings, is subject to the divine and, in due proportion, provides us with an image of the latter.

We do not pretend, however, that we must contemplate and adore in the Heart of Jesus what is called the formal image, that is to say, the perfect and absolute symbol of His divine love, for no created image is capable of adequately expressing the essence of this love.

But a Christian in paying honor along with the Church to the Heart of Jesus is adoring the symbol and, as it were, the visible sign of the divine charity which went so far as to love intensely, through the Heart of the Word made Flesh, the human race stained with so many sins.

It is therefore essential, at this point, in a doctrine of such importance and requiring such prudence that each one constantly hold that the truth of the natural symbol by which the physical Heart of Jesus is related to the Person of the Word, entirely depends upon the fundamental truth of the hypostatic union.

Should anyone declare this to be untrue he would be reviving false opinions, more than once condemned by the Church, for they are opposed to the oneness of the Person of Christ even though the two natures are each complete and distinct.

Once this essential truth has been established we understand that the Heart of Jesus is the heart of a divine Person, the Word Incarnate, and by it is represented and, as it were, placed before our gaze all the love with which He has embraced and even now embraces us.

Pius XII (1876-1958): Haurietis Aquas, 104-106.


Pius XII: This Perfect Quiet of the Mind Monday, Oct 19 2009 

Of this divine charity, possibly nobody has spoken more excellently, more profoundly, or more earnestly than Bernard….

…But when he touches upon that supreme and perfect love whereby he is united with God Himself in intimate wedlock, then he enjoys a happiness and a peace, than which none other can be greater;

“O place of true rest….For we do not here behold God either, as it were, excited with anger, or as though distracted with care; but His will is proved to be ‘good and acceptable and perfect.’

“This vision soothes. It does not frighten. It lulls to rest, instead of awakening our unquiet curiosity. It calms the mind instead of tiring it. Here is found perfect rest. God’s quiet quietens all about Him. To think of His rest is to give rest to the soul.”

However, this perfect quiet is not the death of the mind but its true life. “…Instead of bringing darkness and lethargy, the sleep of the Spouse is wakeful and life-giving; it enlightens the mind, expels the death of sin, and bestows immortality.

“Nevertheless, it is indeed a sleep, which transports rather than stupefies the faculties. It is a true death. This I affirm without the least hesitation, since the Apostle says, in commendation of some who were still living in the flesh, ‘You are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God’.”

This perfect quiet of the mind, in which we enjoy the loving God by returning His love, and by which we turn and direct ourselves and all we have to Him, does not make us lazy and slothful.

Rather it is a constant, effective and active zeal that spurs us on to look to our own salvation, and, with the help of God, to that of others also.

For this lofty contemplation and meditation, which is brought about by divine love, “regulates the affections, directs the actions, cuts away all excesses, forms the character, orders and ennobles the life, and lastly…endows the understanding with a knowledge of things divine and human.

“It…undoes what is tangled, unites what is divided, gathers what is scattered, uncovers what is hidden, searches out what is false and deceptive. It…lays down beforehand what we have to do, and passes in review what has been accomplished, so that nothing disordered may remain in the mind, nothing uncorrected.

“Finally…it makes provision for trouble, and thus endures misfortune, so to say, without feeling it, of which the former is the part of prudence, and the latter the function of fortitude.”

Pius XII (1876-1958): Doctor Mellifluus, 17-19 (on Bernard of Clairvaux, 1090-1163)


Pius XII: Bernard of Clairvaux on Learning and Love (2) Friday, Oct 16 2009 

From these words it is clear that in his study and his contemplation, under the influence of love rather than through the subtlety of human reasoning, Bernard’s sole aim was to focus on the supreme Truth all the ways of truth which he had gathered from many different sources.

From them he drew light for the mind, the fire of charity for the soul, and right standards of conduct. This is indeed true wisdom, which rides over all things human, and brings everything back to its source, that is, to God, in order to lead men to Him.

The “Doctor Mellifluus” makes his way with care deliberately through the uncertain and unsafe winding paths of reasoning, not trusting in the keenness of his own mind nor depending upon the tedious and artful syllogisms which many of the dialecticians of his time often abused. No! Like an eagle, longing to fix his eyes on the sun, he presses on in swift flight to the summit of truth.

The charity which moves him, knows no barriers and, so to speak, gives wings to the mind. For him, learning is not the final goal, but rather a path leading to God; it is not something cold upon which the mind dwells aimlessly, as though amusing itself under the spell of shifting, brilliant light. Rather, it is moved, impelled, and governed by love.

Wherefore, carried upwards by this wisdom and in meditation, contemplation, and love, Bernard climbs the peak of the mystical life and is joined to God Himself, so that at times he enjoyed almost infinite happiness even in this mortal life.

Pius XII (1876-1958): Doctor Mellifluus, 6-7 (on Bernard of Clairvaux, 1090-1163)

Pius XII: Bernard of Clairvaux on Learning and Love (1) Friday, Oct 16 2009 

“Do you see…” he wrote, “how St. Paul the Apostle (I Cor. viii, 2) makes the fruit and the utility of knowledge consist in the way we know? What is meant by ‘the way we know’? Is it not simply this, that you should recognize in what order, with what application, for what purpose and what things you should know?

“In what order – that you may first learn what is more conducive to salvation; with what zeal – that you may learn with deeper conviction what moves you to more ardent love; for what purpose – that you may not learn for vain glory, curiosity, or anything of the kind, but only for your own edification and that of your neighbor.

“For there are some who want knowledge for the sole purpose of knowing, and this is unseemly curiosity. And there are some who seek knowledge in order to be known themselves; and this is unseemly vanity…and there are also those who seek knowledge in order to sell their knowledge, for example, for money or for honors; and this is unseemly quest for gain. But there are also those who seek knowledge in order to edify, and this is charity. And there are those who seek knowledge in order to be edified, and this is prudence.”

In the following words, he describes most appropriately the doctrine, or rather the wisdom, which he follows and ardently loves: “It is the spirit of wisdom and understanding which, like a bee bearing both wax and honey, is able to kindle the light of knowledge and to pour in the savor of grace.

“Hence, let nobody think he has received a kiss, neither he who understands the truth but does not love it, nor he who loves the truth but does not understand it.” “What would be the good of learning without love? It would puff up. And love without learning? It would go astray.”

“Merely to shine is futile; merely to burn is not enough; to burn and to shine is perfect.” Then he explains the source of true and genuine doctrine, and how it must be united with charity: “God is Wisdom, and wants to be loved not only affectionately, but also wisely…

“Otherwise, if you neglect knowledge, the spirit of error will most easily lay snares for your zeal; nor has the wily enemy a more efficacious means of driving love from the heart, than if he can make a man walk carelessly and imprudently in the path of love.”

Pius XII (1876-1958): Doctor Mellifluus, 4-5 (on Bernard of Clairvaux, 1090-1163)

Pius XII: The Spiritual Meaning of Scripture Thursday, Oct 15 2009 

For what was said and done in the Old Testament was ordained and disposed by God with such consummate wisdom, that things past prefigured in a spiritual way those that were to come under the new dispensation of grace.

Wherefore the exegete, just as he must search out and expound the literal meaning of the words, intended and expressed by the sacred writer, so also must he do likewise for the spiritual sense, provided it is clearly intended by God. For God alone could have known this spiritual meaning and have revealed it to us.

Now Our Divine Savior Himself points out to us and teaches us this same sense in the Holy Gospel; the Apostles also, following the example of the Master, profess it in their spoken and written words; the unchanging tradition of the Church approves it; and finally the most ancient usage of the liturgy proclaims it, wherever may be rightly applied the well-known principle: “The rule of prayer is the rule of faith.”

…Nor does “the word of God, living and effectual and more piercing than any two-edged sword and reaching unto the division of the soul and the spirit, of the joints also and the marrow, and a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” need artificial devices and human adaptation to move and impress souls;

for the Sacred Pages, written under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, are of themselves rich in original meaning; endowed with a divine power, they have their own value; adorned with heavenly beauty, they radiate of themselves light and splendor, provided they are so fully and accurately explained by the interpreter, that all the treasures of wisdom and prudence, therein contained are brought to light.

Pius XII (1876-1958): Divino Afflante Spiritu, 26-27