Paul VI spoke and wrote on many occasions about the Sacred Heart. Back on January 25, 1978, I received the book, La Devozione al Sacro Cuore nei Discorsi di Papa Montini, (The Devotion to the Sacred Heart in the discourses of Pope Paul VI), published by the Libreria Editrice Vaticana. There are pages on pages of talks that Paul VI gave before and after he became pope on this devotion.
For any of you who can read Italian, it is worth your time to study.
One quote from a discourse given on June 8, 1956 (my translation of the Italian original):
“The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus speaks to the faithful a double invitation. First, to profoundly know Christ, to know him in his interior reality. Many times the name Christian has become a common name, almost an emblem of things far from Christianity. One gives this name to many things, doings, manifestations, arts, literature, etc. that have, I would say, only a resemblance of some Christian sign. There stops in large part our modern culture’s attention. We may unfortunately say, a very superficial religiosity.
“The Heart of Jesus says, ‘Do not stop here, go farther into the deep, know Christ in his reality, approach him, go deeply into his mysteries’……
“From this first invitation comes another: A religion of exterior cult no longeris enough, nor are purely practical, numerable, hurried prayers measurable by time and hour. It requires an interior religion, even for the beginner, for he who accepts the invitation of the Heart of Christ. It requires we enter with measured steps, with attentive spirits, with collected meditation, with a profundity ready to receive the echo of this immensity that comes little by little to he who dares to explore the psychology of the Heart of Christ.”
This solemnity calls us to depth, to explore, as Paul VI said, the immensity of Christ’s love. It is not simple pious devotion, as some would have it. It is real contemplation!