Bishop: Only the Heart Propels us to Action
Only when we have a heart “can we change the misery of the world, because the heart propels us to action”, said the president of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
Addressing SACBC staff at a Mass, Bishop Sithembele Sipuka of Mthatha said that “we become God’s children not by knowledge but by believing”, noting that while we do not have “a feast of the sacred mind of Jesus”, we do have a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
When knowledge is the measure for valuing people, we may have an exaggerated sense of awe for those who are knowledgeable, and disregard others, the bishop said.
“God chose to have a heart to identify the young and the old, the poor and the rich, the intelligent and the simple, so that he can be present and accessible to all,” he said.
“So having a heart is the basis of respect for each and every person regardless of his or her status,” Bishop Sipuka stressed. Operating from the heart thus forms the basis for good relationships with others, while operating only from the mind easily leads to bad relationships because people are not valued as human and made in the image of God, he said.
This is why Pope Francis is calling the Church and the world to have a heart, “because only when we have a heart can we change the misery of the world, because the heart propels us to action”, the bishop said.
“Having a heart without the truth leads to sentimentalism, where we exist only to make people feel happy,” Bishop Sipuka added. “On the other hand, having truth without a heart leads to cruelty and callousness where we do not care about the pain of other people.”
The SACBC president called on staff of the institution to build “heart-to-heart relationships”.
And, he added, “Where there are neglects and negligence, let us correct each other in a human way and with a heart.”