Author Topic: Devotion to the Sacred Heart  (Read 1297 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Regnare

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 433
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: OCA
Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« on: October 03, 2013, 05:29:55 PM »
Over in the threads discussing Western Orthodoxy and how much of post-schism liturgical development should be kept, I saw it generally agreed that devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (and, I assume, the Immaculate Heart of Mary by implication) is entirely a Roman Catholic innovation which can't be kept by Orthodox Christians. Is this just because it originates in the visions of a post-schism Roman Catholic saint, or for some disagreement with the theology of the devotion itself?

Offline primuspilus

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,750
  • Inserting personal quote here.
    • Holy Trinity Orthodox Church
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2013, 05:34:09 PM »
IIRC it is the theology in the devotion itself. As I said in the other thread, WR should not be participating in the Sacred Heart to my knowledge.

PP
"I confidently affirm that whoever calls himself Universal Bishop is the precursor of Antichrist"
Gregory the Great

"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern." St. John Maximovitch, The Wonderworker

Offline ialmisry

  • There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 38,391
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2013, 05:35:51 PM »
Over in the threads discussing Western Orthodoxy and how much of post-schism liturgical development should be kept, I saw it generally agreed that devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (and, I assume, the Immaculate Heart of Mary by implication) is entirely a Roman Catholic innovation which can't be kept by Orthodox Christians. Is this just because it originates in the visions of a post-schism Roman Catholic saint, or for some disagreement with the theology of the devotion itself?
Yes, and yes.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,381
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2013, 05:46:15 PM »
Both the post-Schism Saints and the theology bit.
"If only a man desired it for a single day from morning till night, he would be able to come to the measure of God." (Abba Alonius)

Offline Didyma

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 341
  • St. Lawrence of Canterbury, pray for us!
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2013, 05:58:16 PM »
At the risk of sounding stupid, what exactly is the Sacred Heart, and why is it against Orthodox theology?
.- -. -.. / --. --- -.. / ... .... .- .-.. .-.. / .-- .. .--. . / .- .-- .- -.-- / .- .-.. .-.. / - . .- .-. ... / ..-. .-. --- -- / - .... . .. .-. / . -.-- . ...

Offline ialmisry

  • There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 38,391
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2013, 06:35:23 PM »
At the risk of sounding stupid, what exactly is the Sacred Heart, and why is it against Orthodox theology?
here's a start
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_heart
As to Orthodoxy, we don't seek visions, nor promote cults demanded by them.

Christ is whole, not a collection of parts.   He is a person, not an abstraction.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Santagranddad

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,198
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2013, 06:39:04 PM »
At the risk of sounding stupid, what exactly is the Sacred Heart, and why is it against Orthodox theology?
here's a start
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_heart
As to Orthodoxy, we don't seek visions, nor promote cults demanded by them.

Christ is whole, not a collection of parts.   He is a person, not an abstraction.

+ 1

Reminds me of the Anglican Church in Walsingham, Norfolk, which even has a chapel with a pair of feet protruding from the ceiling! Weird or what.

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • The Fourteenth Apostle and Judge of the Interwebs
  • Section Moderator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 20,018
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2013, 06:49:37 PM »
Is this just because it originates in the visions of a post-schism Roman Catholic saint, or for some disagreement with the theology of the devotion itself?

It is both, though I suppose a devotion originating from or popularised by some post-schism saint's mystical experiences, if sufficiently purged, could survive (e.g., the Rosary). 

This article describes some of the theology behind the Sacred Heart devotion, and any reasonably catechised Orthodox would raise an eyebrow at some of the claims.  I don't think it is just "internet-Orthodox-and-their-problems".  :P

And yes, the Immaculate Heart devotion would also be rejected.  If devotion to the Sacred Heart is predicated on that organ being the physical heart of the Incarnate Son of God, what is the basis of a devotion to Mary's heart? 
"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

Mor no longer posts on OCNet.  He follows threads, posts his responses daily, occasionally starts threads, and responds to private messages when and as he wants.  But he really isn't around anymore.

Offline dzheremi

  • No longer posting here.
  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,383
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2013, 07:00:31 PM »
"We do not worship a created thing, but the Master of created things, the Word of God made flesh. Although the flesh itself, considered separately, is a part of created things, yet it has become the body of
God. We do not worship this body after having separated it from the Word. Likewise, we do not separate the Word from the body when we wish to worship Him. But knowing that "the Word was made flesh," we recognise the Word existing in the flesh as God." - St. Athanasius the Apostolic (Ep. ad Adelph., par. 3)

Causa finita est.

Offline Nephi

  • Monster Tamer
  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,762
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2013, 08:23:35 PM »
At the risk of sounding stupid, what exactly is the Sacred Heart, and why is it against Orthodox theology?
here's a start
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_heart
As to Orthodoxy, we don't seek visions, nor promote cults demanded by them.

Christ is whole, not a collection of parts.   He is a person, not an abstraction.

+ 1

Reminds me of the Anglican Church in Walsingham, Norfolk, which even has a chapel with a pair of feet protruding from the ceiling! Weird or what.

I think Walsingham is pre-schism, IIRC. But even so, there's a load of similar Marian apparitions with heavy devotions, icons, and other material traditions about them. This month celebrates the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God, which is entirely derived from an apparition of Mary in Constantinople. Etc.

I think the main difference is that Catholic visions establish a different sort of devotion from non-Catholics.

Offline ialmisry

  • There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 38,391
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2013, 10:09:04 PM »
At the risk of sounding stupid, what exactly is the Sacred Heart, and why is it against Orthodox theology?
here's a start
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_heart
As to Orthodoxy, we don't seek visions, nor promote cults demanded by them.

Christ is whole, not a collection of parts.   He is a person, not an abstraction.

+ 1

Reminds me of the Anglican Church in Walsingham, Norfolk, which even has a chapel with a pair of feet protruding from the ceiling! Weird or what.

I think Walsingham is pre-schism, IIRC. But even so, there's a load of similar Marian apparitions with heavy devotions, icons, and other material traditions about them. This month celebrates the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God, which is entirely derived from an apparition of Mary in Constantinople. Etc.
Not exactly: the barbarians retreating from the walls were not an apparition.

And all she did was pray.  Nothing more.

I think the main difference is that Catholic visions establish a different sort of devotion from non-Catholics.
no Catholic visions do not.  The Vatican's visions not only separate it from the devotions of the Catholics in the East, but their own forebears in the West.  No such cults existed in the first thousand years of the Church of Rome.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Hawkeye

  • Διονύσιος ὁ Όμηρίτης
  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 713
  • Venerable Gregory (Ivan Neronov)
  • Faith: More Neronov than Avvakum
  • Jurisdiction: Old Rite Chapelist
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2013, 10:27:11 PM »
Ruminating on Christ's divine philanthropy is great and all but why the specific devotion to His physical heart?

There are other ways to celebrate His love of mankind in Orthodoxy. There is no reason to retain this particularly odd practice.
Quote from: The Life of Ivan Neronov
[Ecclesiastics] conspired against him because they hated his teaching for its zealous emphasis on proper Christian conduct: with great courage he denounced all whom he saw behaving in an ungodly fashion... [As such] he was deprived of his priestly rank, bound in iron chains, and broken down in jails.

Offline Nephi

  • Monster Tamer
  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,762
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2013, 11:00:15 PM »
Not exactly: the barbarians retreating from the walls were not an apparition.

And all she did was pray.  Nothing more.

My point was just that a EO Church-wide Feast was established because of Mary appearing. I was reminding Santagranddad that we Orthodox do have some strong devotions to Orthodox Marian apparitions, sometimes seemingly strange (isn't there some apparition where there's a footprint of hers?). Anyway, I do know that sometimes she requests monasteries, churches, etc. to be built which is reminiscent of Guadalupe, but of course still very unlike Lourdes or Fatima. So in short, I'm not disagreeing that Catholic apparitions are usually vastly different from Orthodox ones, especially in content.

Quote
no Catholic visions do not.  The Vatican's visions not only separate it from the devotions of the Catholics in the East, but their own forebears in the West.  No such cults existed in the first thousand years of the Church of Rome.

They do establish a devotion of sorts else we wouldn't have icons, an akathist, etc. to the Pokrov. The devotions that arise from Catholic visions do however, as you say, differ from the East and pre-schism West. I'm just stressing kind of devotion here; i.e. Orthodox devotions to visions are (generally) of the proper kind.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2013, 11:00:44 PM by Nephi »

Offline Santagranddad

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,198
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2013, 01:28:42 AM »
The Walsingham tradition as a centre of pilgrimage was indeed pre-Schism. Some of the devotions, such as the Sacred Heart, are post-Schism. The feet poking from the ceiling were simply one of a numbers of features in the Anglican shrine (there is also an RC shrine) which had me scratching my head.


Offline JoeS2

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,260
  • St. Mark Defender of the true Faith (old CAF guy)
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2013, 12:35:36 PM »
Over in the threads discussing Western Orthodoxy and how much of post-schism liturgical development should be kept, I saw it generally agreed that devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (and, I assume, the Immaculate Heart of Mary by implication) is entirely a Roman Catholic innovation which can't be kept by Orthodox Christians. Is this just because it originates in the visions of a post-schism Roman Catholic saint, or for some disagreement with the theology of the devotion itself?

This is strictly a western innovation although some in countries that have had moving borders eg some Balkans states, western Ukraine, Eastern Poland still to some extent follow this tradition.  But, it remains a western thing.

Offline Sleeper

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,276
  • On hiatus for the foreseeable future.
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2013, 09:36:43 PM »
Any devotion to the Sacred Heart in Western Orthodoxy is definitely not aimed at the physical heart of Christ, but is aimed at the heart as the symbol of mercy and love, etc. The same way the Scriptures themselves often use "heart."

It is also not a result of any visions of post-Schism saints, but is rather a discovery of the Sacred Heart within the liturgy.

That being said, I don't believe it's that common anymore, at least not liturgically as a feast. There may be some who practice it as a private devotion. Fr. Pat Reardon told the AWRV Assistant Vicar General, Fr. John Fenton at the AWRV meeting a few years ago that he invokes the Sacred Heart between decades of the Rosary. So it's not unheard of, but seems to be dying out.

Best to let these kinds of issues sort themselves out over time, in an organic way.

Offline Shiny

  • Site Supporter
  • Toumarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,267
  • Paint It Red
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2013, 10:07:11 PM »
Any devotion to the Sacred Heart in Western Orthodoxy is definitely not aimed at the physical heart of Christ, but is aimed at the heart as the symbol of mercy and love, etc. The same way the Scriptures themselves often use "heart."
You'd think after saying this about 100 times people would get it...
“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan

Offline Nephi

  • Monster Tamer
  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,762
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2013, 10:33:55 PM »
It is also not a result of any visions of post-Schism saints, but is rather a discovery of the Sacred Heart within the liturgy.

Can you expand on this?

Offline podkarpatska

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9,153
  • Pokrov
    • ACROD (home)
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2013, 11:06:51 PM »
Any devotion to the Sacred Heart in Western Orthodoxy is definitely not aimed at the physical heart of Christ, but is aimed at the heart as the symbol of mercy and love, etc. The same way the Scriptures themselves often use "heart."

It is also not a result of any visions of post-Schism saints, but is rather a discovery of the Sacred Heart within the liturgy.

That being said, I don't believe it's that common anymore, at least not liturgically as a feast. There may be some who practice it as a private devotion. Fr. Pat Reardon told the AWRV Assistant Vicar General, Fr. John Fenton at the AWRV meeting a few years ago that he invokes the Sacred Heart between decades of the Rosary. So it's not unheard of, but seems to be dying out.

Best to let these kinds of issues sort themselves out over time, in an organic way.

As they will. When I was a boy in the late fifties some twenty years after the parishes which formulated the ACROD entered Orthodoxy "en masse" it was not uncommon for the older women to pray the Rosary. As they died off, so did the practice. Other leftover Latin influences in OCA and ACROD  from their common Eastern Catholic past have faded away over time Same thing here.




Offline podkarpatska

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9,153
  • Pokrov
    • ACROD (home)
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2013, 11:08:06 PM »
Any devotion to the Sacred Heart in Western Orthodoxy is definitely not aimed at the physical heart of Christ, but is aimed at the heart as the symbol of mercy and love, etc. The same way the Scriptures themselves often use "heart."
You'd think after saying this about 100 times people would get it...

Take heart, this too shall pass. (That was lame, I know....)

Offline Sleeper

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,276
  • On hiatus for the foreseeable future.
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2013, 10:32:08 AM »
It is also not a result of any visions of post-Schism saints, but is rather a discovery of the Sacred Heart within the liturgy.

Can you expand on this?

Perhaps the best place to start is to see what texts from the Divine Office were selected for the Feast of the Sacred Heart. These texts show the Sacred Heart is focused on the sacrificial love of God in Christ. The Introit sets the tone:

The thoughts of His Heart are from generation to generation: that he may deliver their souls from death, and feed them in famine. Ps. 32: 11, 195

The Epistle is Eph. 3: 8-12, 14-19, which ends with:

That you and all the saints may understand and know the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ, which surpasses human understanding; and that you may be filled with the fullness of God's being.

The Gradual is taken from Matt. 11: 29:

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

The Gospel is St. John's account of the piercing of Christ's side.

The Offertory is Ps. 68: 21:

My heart is broken with insults and sadness, and I looked for one who would share my grief, and there was no one: for one who would comfort me, and I found no one?

You can also get a sense of the focus from the hymn of first vespers which focuses on our sins which were responsible for Christ's suffering, a recurring theme in the Christian West:

Look how the proud cruel multitude of our sins has wounded the sinless Heart of God, undeserving of such treatment. It was this that put direction and vigor into the soldier's hesitation; it was man's sin that sharpened the spear's point. The Church, bride of Christ, is born of His pierced Heart; this is the gate in the side of the ark, put there for man's salvation. Seven streams of never-failing grace flow from this Heart that we may wash our soiled robes in the blood of the Lamb. How shameful it would be to return to sins which would this sacred Heart; how much better to try to reproduce in the burning love of our hearts the flames that are signs of the love of His Heart. Glory be to You, Jesus; from Your Heart You pour out grace; and glory be to the Father and the loving Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.

All of those interpretations of the symbolism of Christ's Heart can be found in the Fathers. St. Ambrose, if I recall correctly, was pretty explicit in the piercing of the Heart, and the water and blood that issued forth, were the founding of the Church.

This is all a very far cry from the unfortunate visions of St. Margaret Mary that popularized the devotion and took it in a new direction.

Offline podkarpatska

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9,153
  • Pokrov
    • ACROD (home)
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2013, 10:35:37 AM »
^^RCC friends, I was wondering if the emotionalism present in some modern Sacred Heart quarters was an overreaction to Protestantism as the outward expressions grew further from earlier sources? 

Offline LBK

  • No Reporting Allowed
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,247
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!
  • Faith: Orthodox
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2013, 10:47:58 AM »
Quote
St. Ambrose, if I recall correctly, was pretty explicit in the piercing of the Heart, and the water and blood that issued forth, were the founding of the Church.

Any Orthodox hymnography which mentions the issuing forth of Christ's life-giving blood and water consistently gives the source as His pierced side, never His heart.
No longer posting here. Anyone is welcome to email me at the address in my profile.

Offline Deacon Lance

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 3,133
  • Faith: Byzantine Catholic
  • Jurisdiction: Archeparchy of Pittsburgh
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2013, 11:20:37 AM »
^^RCC friends, I was wondering if the emotionalism present in some modern Sacred Heart quarters was an overreaction to Protestantism as the outward expressions grew further from earlier sources? 

It was primarily a reaction to Jansenism, which was Calvinist leaning.  Jansenism flourished in France so it is no surprise that the Sacred Heart devotion flourished there, promoted by the Jansenists foes the Jesuits. Whether the modern emotionalism can be contributed to reaction to Protestantism or simply devotionalism run wild without reference to outside factors is hard to determine.  Probably a bit of both.
My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.

Offline Sleeper

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,276
  • On hiatus for the foreseeable future.
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2013, 11:21:52 AM »
Quote
St. Ambrose, if I recall correctly, was pretty explicit in the piercing of the Heart, and the water and blood that issued forth, were the founding of the Church.

Any Orthodox hymnography which mentions the issuing forth of Christ's life-giving blood and water consistently gives the source as His pierced side, never His heart.

Ok, then perhaps I didn't recall correctly :)

Offline Deacon Lance

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 3,133
  • Faith: Byzantine Catholic
  • Jurisdiction: Archeparchy of Pittsburgh
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2013, 11:35:46 AM »
Any devotion to the Sacred Heart in Western Orthodoxy is definitely not aimed at the physical heart of Christ, but is aimed at the heart as the symbol of mercy and love, etc. The same way the Scriptures themselves often use "heart."
You'd think after saying this about 100 times people would get it...
And be denied another strawman to knock down? ::)
My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.

Offline gueranger

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 320
  • Lord Jesus, have mercy on me.
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #26 on: October 08, 2013, 06:12:58 PM »
Is it legitimate for a Western Orthodox prayer book, such as the St. Ambrose Prayer Book, to refer to the Sacred Heart, not because they are worshiping his physical heart, but as a way of referring figuratively to His love?

As a Catholic I never considered devotion to the Sacred Heart as if I was literally worshiping the organ. However I can see how people would get that idea, as there are some devotions I always found bizarre, such as devotion to "The Shoulder Wound."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_to_the_shoulder_wound_of_Jesus

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • The Fourteenth Apostle and Judge of the Interwebs
  • Section Moderator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 20,018
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
Re: Devotion to the Sacred Heart
« Reply #27 on: October 08, 2013, 06:30:29 PM »
I replied in the other thread. 
"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

Mor no longer posts on OCNet.  He follows threads, posts his responses daily, occasionally starts threads, and responds to private messages when and as he wants.  But he really isn't around anymore.