Scripture and the Life of the Church Scripture and Tradition

Thomas Aquinas on the Scriptures as the “Heart of Christ”: A Thought for Today’s Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Today Catholics around the world celebrate the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. What many people do not realize is that there is a venerable tradition of associating the heart of Jesus with the Scriptures.

In his commentary on the Psalms, Thomas Aquinas writes,

The phrase “heart of Christ” can refer to Sacred Scripture, which makes known his heart, closed before the Passion, as the Scripture was obscure. But the Scripture has been opened since the Passion; since those who from then on have understood it, consider and discern in what way the prophecies must be interpreted.

Thomas Aquinas, Expos. in Ps 21, 11; cf. Ps 22:15.

This passage from Thomas has been cited by various sources in Catholic tradition. It is also quoted by the Catechism of the Catholic Church in its explanation of the Catholic understanding of Scripture (§112).

I think it appropriate, then, to consider today’s Solemnity a special day for biblical study.

1 comment

  1. Dr. Barber,

    Thanks for sharing that quote, what a rich reminder of the value of Sacred Scripture. It reminds me of a quote from St. Jerome’s commentary on Ps 147, “And when he says, ‘he who does not eat my flesh’…although this can be understood as referring to the sacrament, nevertheless more truly the body of Christ and his blood are the words of the Scriptures, the teaching of God”

    God Bless

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