The head is the highest and noblest part of man

The following was the reply by Teresa Higginson (1844-1905) to a question of Father Powell’s of the Alexander’s Church in Boottle, Liverpool, given November 11, 1880.

The Venerable Teresa Helena Higginson is the wellknown apostle of the Devotion to the Sacred Head of Our Lord as the Seat of His Divine Wisdom: « In honour of the Sacred Head as Seat of divine Wisdom and Shrine of the powers of the holy Soul and intellectual faculties and centre of the senses of the body, I write dear rev. Father in obedience to your wish. (…) The question you asked me was – I think – why our dear Beloved Lord wished His sacred Head to be honoured as the ‘Shrine of the powers of His holy Soul’, when the soul was certainly all over the body and the head was not considered the acting seat of all the powers of the soul. And this is what I understand – that as the Reason or Intellect in us is that part of the soul that is nearest to God – is in a special manner the image of God, nay, is the very light of God in the soul, in which we see God as He is, and ourselves as we are, and are capable of judging right from wrong. And as the head is the seat of the reasoning powers, and the faculties of the mind repose there in, so from the sacred Head shine forth in a blaze of resplendent light all knowledge, wisdom, understanding and aguiding power to direct and govern the Will and Affections of the sacred Heart; and in this is seen the con-nection of the desired Devotion – the ruling powers of the sacred Heart are seated in the sacred Head. I will not enter further into detail for I think what you wish to know is clear. The soul pervades every part of the body, but as the reasoning powers are the highest faculties of the soul, and as the head is said to contain or be the Shrine of these faculties in a special way and the memory is said to exist in the brain, so the reason guides and directs the will and love or affections of the human heart. The head is the highest and noblest part of man but I do not mean that the soul is divided, no, these three powers though really distinct cannot be separated no more than the Persons of the adorable Trinity could be separated – they form together but one soul, which is immortal and perfect in its powers when filled with sanctifying Grace as is the Holy Soul of Jesus. And our dear Beloved Lord gave me to understand that though He was much offended by the sins committed through the weakness of the will and misled affections, yet the sins of the intellect far exceed those in number and in magnitude. »

From: Ascent of Science – From Plato to Newton, Hubert Luns, CH-01,, pagina 4.