Category Archives: Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sacred HeartGod’s heart, as the expression of his will, is spoken of twenty-six times in the Old Testament. Before God’s heart men and women stand judged. […]

Yet another passage of the Old Testament speaks of God’s heart with absolute clarity: it is in the eleventh chapter of the book of the Prophet Hosea, whose opening lines portray the Lord’s love for Israel at the dawn of its history: “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son” (Hos 11:1). Israel, however, responds to God’s constant offer of love with indifference and even outright ingratitude. “The more I called them”, the Lord is forced to admit, “the more they went from me” (v. 2). Even so, he never abandons Israel to the power of its enemies, because “my heart”—the the Creator of the universe observes—“recoils within me, my compassion grows warm and tender” (v. 8).

The heart of God burns with compassion! On today’s solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus the Church presents us this mystery for our contemplation: the mystery of the heart of a God who feels compassion and who bestows all his love upon humanity. A mysterious love, which in the texts of the New Testament is revealed to us as God’s boundless and passionate love for mankind. God does not lose heart in the face of ingratitude or rejection by the people he has chosen; rather, with infinite mercy he sends his only-begotten Son into the world to take upon himself the fate of a shattered love, so that by defeating the power of evil and death he could restore to human beings enslaved by sin their dignity as sons and daughters. But this took place at great cost—the only-begotten Son of the Father was sacrificed on the Cross: “Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (cf. Jn 13:1). The symbol of this love which transcends death is his side, pierced by a spear. The Apostle John, an eyewitness, tells us: “one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water” (cf. Jn 19:34). […]

To be “in” Jesus Christ is already to be seated in heaven. The very core of Christianity is expressed in the heart of Jesus; in Christ the revolutionary “newness” of the Gospel is completely revealed and given to us: the Love that saves us and even now makes us live in the eternity of God.

Benedict XVI
Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
19 June 2009

Sacred Heart of Jesus as personal encounter

Ignatius Sacred HeartThere are a number of things which distinguish Catholic piety and the is celebrated each year by the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is one of those marks. Let me be quite clear:  one’s devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is not one devotion among many. The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the center, the source and summit, of our Catholic faith. It is what distinguishes us from non-believers but most importantly it proclaims from the rooftops what it means to be a person fully alive in God and seeking life with God in heaven.

What does our devotion to the Sacred Heart teach us? This devotion is about the intimacy between Jesus and us as an intimate union of the heart.

What hear revealed in sacred Scripture is that the work of the Lord is effect a change in our heart opening in us the capacity to love Him as He loves, by loving world with the Eucharistic heart of Jesus.

In 2014, the Church honor the Lord’s Love for Humanity 19 days after Pentecost Sunday on June 27.

As you know, each month of the calendar year is dedicated to some aspect of the Paschal Mystery: June is dedicated to the Heart of Jesus. Over the two millennia of the Church’s existence some aspect of the Sacred Heart’s devotion is made known, often through private revelations: we can thing of Saint Gertrude, Saint Margaret Mary Alocoque, Saint John Vianney, Saint Faustina, Blessed Francisco de los Hoyos, among others. One ought not forget that Father Karl Rahner and the Servant of God Father Pedro Arrupe had keen devotions to the Heart of Jesus. All these people call out for us to reconcile out life with that of the Lord’s promises.

Probably the most known devotee to the Heart of Jesus is Saint Margaret Mary –with her spiritual father the Jesuit Saint Claude la Colombiere– in Paray-le-Monial, France, 1673.

Prayer to Jesus the Christ has a particular character because He is the Son of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity: the Good Shepherd, brother, friend, the God-man totally in love with each one of us, our Lord and Savior, our King, etc. So, Jesus is not as good as Buddha. The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is about the person of Jesus Himself.

Our meeting the Sacred Heart of Jesus in prayer is an encounter with the divine-man who heals, teaches, and conquers evil in his essential being as the person who, first and foremost, loves. Jesus does all these things because of His love. In art we see this portrayed in the image of the heart pierced with Love pouring out all kinds of grace from His Heart we call Sacred.

The object of devotion of the Sacred Heart is the real, physical heart of Jesus, which is sacramentally present, really and truly, in the Holy Eucharist. The Eucharist is Christ’s body and blood given for us on the cross, the body that contained His Sacred Heart.

The Heart of Jesus is about the Lord’s Presence, and not a project, a particular work, no matter how good it is. This is something the head of Communion and Liberation, Father Julián Carrón has been teaching us with great force. The Presence of Jesus is in our total life– our joys and sufferings, our work and leisure, our heart and mind, with our friends, family and enemies: absolutely nothing is left out.

How can we remind ourselves of this Presence? A few good options: daily prayer (uniquely in the Litany of the Sacred Heart), a weekly hour hour in front of the Eucharistic Lord (in the Sacrament); making the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the home, observing the Nine Consecutive First Friday Masses, making a personal Consecration to the Sacred Heart, and reception of Holy Communion in with the intention of making reparation for those who do not love Him, especially priests. But you can adopt very simply the Little Flower’s approach: do all things with love.

In these blog pages I speak of the sacrament of the Church as the Lord’s way of being present to the world today. This idea follows, among many reasons, from the thought of Saint Leo the Great who reminded us that what was seen in the Savior is now seen His Church. The sacramentality offered to us in the 7 sacraments is about a certainty in the Lord’s desire for intimacy with us. But his intimacy requires us to cooperate with the sacramental graces to remain united to His Sacred Heart. My dear friend French Jesuit Father Bertrand de Margerie (+2003) always emphasized that the intimacy we ought to have with the Lord is brought about through one’s frequent confession and reverent reception of Holy Communion which he bases his teaching on Pauline theology.

In the end, one’s devotion is about answering who Jesus is. Other questions: do you expect to meet Christ? Do you believe that Jesus is the Sole Mediator? Do you personally embody of the virtue (holiness) of the Sacred Heart? Do you attend to the words of consecration prayed by the priest at Mass? Do you really, substantially believe that Jesus saves souls with his love, having mercy on each and every sinner? Do you believe that we are meant to be with God the Father in heaven?

Pledge to the Sacred Heart, assisting the break with addiction to alcohol

Pioneer AssociationIf you are one who experiences difficulty with alcohol, the month of June might be the perfect month in which to make the Pledge to the Sacred Heart, and Join the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, after the example of Venerable Servant of God Matt Talbot.

The Venerable Matt Talbot (1856 – 1925) was in his early teens until age 28 had been a life devoted to liquor. Because of a priest, when Matt went to confession, he “took the Pledge” against drinking for three months. Tempted to drink many times, but with God’s grace and the support of others, he renewed the pledge for life, never touching alcohol again. He was sober for 41 more years.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

 

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

Today is the liturgical memorial of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque. The Church proposes yet another fine example of love for our spiritual life. With the help of her confessor Saint Claude, Saint Margaret Mary sparked a renewal of dedicating Fridays to the Lord’s Crucifixion and a devotion to the Sacred Heart.

As we know, Jesus revealed to St Margaret Mary how deep and intense his love for the human race is. How shall we respond to his love?

A prayer of consecration to the Sacred Heart is found here.

This poetic text by J. Michael Thompson gives perspective to the relationship Saint Margaret Mary points to:

Both blood and water came flowing in streams
from the opened side of the Redeemer:
   blood, which bought back all creation;
   water, gushing forth to endless life!
Let the righteous hasten, let not the sinner be fearful;
the fountain of the Savior’s heart stands open endlessly:
   blood, which bought back all creation;
   water, gushing forth to endless life!
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
   blood, which bought back all creation;
   water, gushing forth to endless life!

The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Fray Miguel de Herrera.jpg

With the Church we pray…


Grant, we pray, almighty God, that we, who glory in the Heart of your beloved Son and recall the wonders of his love for us, may be made worthy to receive an overflowing measure of grace from that fount of heavenly gifts.




At the period of Jesus’ coming upon this earth, man had forgotten how to love, for he had forgotten what true beauty was. His heart of flesh seemed to him as a sort of excuse for his false love of false goods: his heart was but an outlet, whereby his soul could stray from heavenly things to the husks of earth, there to waste his power and his substance. To this material world, which the soul of man was to render subservient to its Maker’s glory–to this world, which, by a sad perversion, kept man’s soul a slave to his senses and passions–the Holy Ghost sent a marvelous power, which, like a resistless lever, would replace the world in its right position: it was the sacred Heart of Jesus; a Heart of flesh, like that of other human beings, from whose created throbbings there would ascend to the eternal Father an expression of love, which would be a homage infinitely pleasing to the infinite Majesty, because of the union of the Word with that human Heart. It is a harp of sweetest melody, that is ever vibrating under the touch of the Spirit of love; it gathers up into its own music the music of all creation, whose imperfections it corrects, whose deficiencies it supplies, tuning all discordant voices into unity, and so offering to the glorious Trinity a hymn of perfect praise. The Trinity finds its delight in this Heart. It is the one only organum, as St. Gertrude calls it, the one only instrument which finds acceptance with the Most High. Through it must pass all the inflamed praises of the burning Seraphim, just as must the humble homage paid to its God by inanimate creation. By it alone are to come upon this world the favors of heaven. It is the mystic ladder between man and God, the channel of all graces, the way whereby man ascends to God, and God descends to man.

Dom Prosper Guéranger, OSB

The Liturgical Year

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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