The Divine Image, by William Blake
For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity, a human face,
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.
Then every man of every clime
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.
These two stanzas from “Songs of Innocence” starkly contrast the later poem A Divine Image in “Songs of Experience,” where Blake expresses his disenchantment with humanity’s dark side.
It was the dark side that Christ came to redeem by taking on a human heart, becoming man, and revealing to all men their true image in himself — man being made in the image and likeness of God.
The Feast of the Sacred Heart was instituted precicely for this, for us to ponder on Christ’s humanity — Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace incarnate.
Meditating on this image, we are invited to transcend experience and return to innocence. Our call is not to be mired in the darkness of human cruelty, but to make reparation for it, unite ourselves to our Lord’s human sufferings, and put on the New Man in Christ. In the words of the Second Vatican Council:
The truth is that only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light. For Adam, the first man, was a figure of Him Who was to come,(20) namely Christ the Lord. Christ, the final Adam, by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear. It is not surprising, then, that in Him all the aforementioned truths find their root and attain their crown. (Gaudium et Spes, 22).
By reflecting on the Sacred Heart of Christ, we penetrate the depths of the human enigma and find our true vocation in Christ.