... insofar as it honors Christ as the source and substance of our redemption, is no ordinary devotion. It is truly latreutical--a devotion which is rendered to God alone. For the Heart of Christ occupies a central position, as the focal point through which everything passes to the ultimate center in the Father--per Christum ad Patrem. It is a devotion of tremendous theological richness, containing a complete synthesis of faith, or, as Pius XI put it "summa totius religionis." The devotion is at once theocentric and anthropocentric, Trinitarian and Christocentric; it emphasizes love of God and calls eloquently to the fraternal apostolate. It may also lead to that sound eucharistic piety so greatly desired by the Second Vatican Council. This is especially true since the Eucharist, as Pope Paul VI observed, is the "outstanding gift" of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
I firmly believe that the spirituality fostered by this devotion can best meet the spiritual needs of our age. It is a practical form of spirituality which emphasizes famlliaritas cum Christo and therefore is marvelously suited to aid priest, religious and laity alike in their journey of growth in holiness. If practiced in the family, devotion to the Heart of Jesus may greatly help to counter those pagan elements of culture which all too often work their way into the sanctuary of the home.
The devotion should be made available to all. Unfortunately, the widespread ignorance throughout the Church of the devotion's rich theological foundations has greatly hindered its full appreciation and practice. It is only by returning to these sources as found in Sacred Scripture, tradition and the teaching of the Church's magisterium that we can hope to renew the devotion and thereby allow it to play a central role in the larger effort to renew the Church.
Our Lord, in his apparition to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, communicated to her that the revelation of his Heart was "a final effort" to enkindle the fire of love in a world in which "charity had grown cold." Such is the age in which we live. William Butler Yeats foresaw the crisis of our era in a prophetic poem written at the turn of the century:
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Coldness and hatred can be melted and overcome only by the fire of love. Certainly, in an age which is characterized by an increasingly hostile secularization, a spirituality which centers on love and aims at setting the world on fire is precisely what is needed to instaurare omnia in Christo.
That is from the Introduction to Heart of the Redeemer, by Timothy T. O'Donnell, S.T.D. Read the entire piece: