The task of the heart is self-preservation, holding together what is its own. The pierced Heart of Jesus has also truly “overturned” (cf. Hos. 11:8) this definition. This Heart is not concerned with self-preservation but with self-surrender. It saves the world by opening to itself. The collapse of the opened Heart is the content of the Easter mystery. The Heart saves, indeed, but it saves by giving itself away. Thus in the Heart of Jesus, the center of Christianity is set before us. It expresses everything, all that is genuinely new and revolutionary in the New Covenant. This Heart calls to our heart. It invites us to step forth out of the futile attempt of self-preservation and, by joining in the task of love, by handing overselves over to him and with him, to discover the fulness of love which alone is eternity and which alone sustains the world.
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
“The Mystery of Easter: Substance & Foundation of Devotion to the Sacred Heart”
Behold the Pierced One (Ignatius Press, 1986).