Monday, June 15, 2009

Sacred Heart of Jesus Part III

I thought I would devote today to some background on where the devotion to the Sacred Heart came from. If you know of some info that might be interesting to others that I have left off, please feel free to comment.

According to Pius XII, the main promoter of the devotion to the Sacred Heart is St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, who was a Visitation sister from Lyon, France. She lived from 1647-1690, with the main revelations from Jesus occurring between 1673 and 1675. We received a newsletter from Miles Christi with this information:

"Jesus Christ appeared to her with His Heart enthroned in flames, bearing a wound and surrounded with a crown of thorns signifying the wounds our sins made in it and a cross above signifying that from the first instant of the was filled with all the sorrow to be inflicted on it by the humiliations, poverty, pain and scorn that he was to endure throughout His life and Passion.

St. Margaret Mary continued, "Jesus made me see that he intensely desired to be loved by men and to snatch them from the path of perdition onto which satan was driving them in throngs. It was this that made Him decide to manifest His Heart to men - with all the treasures of love, mercy, graces, sanctification and salvation it contained...and that this devotion is the
final effort of His love. He wanted to bestow upon men during these last centuries such a loving redemption."
That part about this being Jeus' "final effort of His love" really hit me. What patience our God has. These revelations occurred over 300 years ago and we still haven't gotten it right, yet He still continues to love us and to bestow His mercy on us.

St. Margaret Mary goes on to tell us that Jesus said:

"Behold this heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to the point of spending itself and being consumed to prove its love to them. And in return, I receive from most men only ingratitude...coldness and contempt. I feel this more than all that I suffered during My Passion. If only they would make Me some return for My Love, I should think but little of all I have done for them."
I think that last line is very important. Maybe we can take this month of June, at this time in history when Jesus is more and more being spat upon by the world, to show Him some love by spreading devotion to His Sacred Heart. "But what can we do?," you ask? Well, according to the Miles Christi newsletter, St. Margaret Mary insisted on:

1. Consecration, that is, a surrender that implies abandonment into His hands with full trust.
2. Reparation to the Sacred Heart, paying honor to this Heart, suffering in expiation for sins and consoling His Heart.
3. Valuing the cross, as demanded by love, to unite ourselves with the Heart of Jesus and to reach exquisite holiness.
4. Charity toward our neighbor, to pray to Him for our neighbor as we would for ourselves, for one of the special goals of this devotion is to unite hearts divided.

Besides implementing these in our own lives, let us try to find a way to tell others about them, too.