The devotion to the Sacred Heart is a historical reaction to the heresy against the teachings of the Church called Jansenism. Jansen was a priest and in all his preaching and lectures, he always said that man is so corrupt, so weak, so incapable, and so unworthy. He claimed that man cannot do anything good by himself. A sense of unworthiness is important to our Christianity but a sense of unworthiness without joy, or hope, or the experience of God’s mercy and love is wrong.
That is why in reaction to Jansenism, the devotion to the Sacred Heart was instituted. What is the message of the Sacred Heart? Basically, it is that we are all unworthy, yes, but as St. Paul says, Christ died for us when we were yet sinners, and because Christ died for us, we are saved. Because Christ died for us, we have risen to hope.
Nowadays, we are witnesses to two extreme realities happening within our Christian communities. The first is an excessive sense of unworthiness. You feel like you’re a devil. You feel like you’re so unworthy. You feel that one more step and you will go to hell. This is wrong.
On the other hand, you come across Christians who do not have any sense of unworthiness. There are Christians who feel so worthy and so self-righteous that they feel they deserve everything. They feel they deserve every attention they can possibly get because they are perfectly good. This way of thinking is also wrong.
The Feast of the Sacred Heart says: you are unworthy. The Feast of the Sacred Heart says: You are weak, yes. But there is reason to hope, there is reason to give thanks, because you are loved.
Jesus In My Heart