Friday, May 30, 2008
The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

"Look at this Heart which has loved men so much, and yet men do not want to love Me in return. Through you My divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth."

Double of the II Class (1954 Calendar): Friday after the Octave Day of Corpus Christi

While the entire month of June is devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Today is a day to honor the mercy and love of God while making reparation for the serious sins committed against Our Blessed Lord. Traditionally up until 1955, yesterday was the Octave Day of Corpus Christi. After having celebrated 8 days devoted to the Blessed Sacrament, we now immediately turn to the Sacred Heart, which also traditionally had its own octave as well.

The Sacred Heart is the salvation of the world and lasting peace. This same Heart was pierced on the Cross by a lance, bringing forth blood and water (John 19:34), symbolic of the founding of the Church for our salvation. Many heresies have tried to deny God's complete love such as Arianism, Gnosticism, and Calvinism. Calvinists believe part of society is damned to hell. And that is a lie! Jesus Christ died for every last soul on the Cross. By living in His Heart we find lasting peace and true love. He died for every last soul so that everyone would have the choice to accept Him and follow His teachings. Unfortunately, because people refuse to follow Our Lord in obedience to His righteous commands, souls do go to hell - many souls. We live in His Heart by keeping the Commandments of the Church and God while also loving our Lord and others.

History of the Feast:

The Institution for the Feast of the Sacred Heart was a result of the appearances of our Lord to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1675. St. Margaret Mary suffered contempt from many people who refused to believe the authenticity of the visions. In these appearances, Our Lord told her twelve graces that He would give to anyone devoted to His Sacred Heart. Our Lord said to her, “I ask thee that the first Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi be set apart as a special feast to honor My Heart.” 

Yet, it was not until 1856 that the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was placed officially on the Universal Calendar by Pope Pius XI. In fact, the Mass and Office in Honor of the Sacred Heart were not approved for any use until 1765 by Pope Clement XIII - 100 years after the request was made by our Lord. Established in 1856, the Feast of the Sacred Heart was extended with an octave in 1928, which remained until its removal in 1954.

However, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus dates back even to the Middle Ages. On the December 27th feast day of St. John the Evangelist in 1256 AD, St. Gertrude the Great had a profound vision in which she laid her head near the wound in the side of Jesus and heard the beating of the Sacred Heart. This is especially profound since St. John the Evangelist reclined his head to the heart of the Divine Savior at the Last Supper. When Our Lord later appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in the 1600s, He appeared to her on the feast day of St. John the Evangelist.

Our Lord requested three things: Frequently receiving Holy Communion, receiving Holy Communion, especially on the first Friday of each month, and observing a Holy Hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

Promises of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary:
  1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
  2. I will establish peace in their families.
  3. I will console them in all their troubles.
  4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of their death.
  5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
  6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
  7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
  8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
  9. I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.
  10. I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.
  11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be effaced.
  12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.
If you can, please attend Mass and Confession today as we remember Our Savior's lasting and true love for each of us! No one is beyond hope! Today please say prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus including an Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Pope Pius XI, when he, in 1928, raised the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus to the rank of Double of the First Class and assigned an octave to it, asked that this prayer of Reparation be said in every church on this feastday every year.

For night and day, the Heart of Jesus remains in the Sacrament of the Eucharist as a prisoner of love. Not only did Jesus say, "I am the Bread of Life" (John 6:35), but also "Amen, amen I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life"(John 6:53-54).

Each and every time we receive Him in the Eucharist, let us excite in our heart indescribable joy and receive Our Lord always on our tongue from the hands of the priest. Since the Eucharist is the Lord (Matthew 26:26), we should always receive Our Lord in great love. On the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, let us receive Him in reparation for those who offend Him in the Sacrament of the Eucharist by receiving Him in mortal sin (1 Cor 27-32).

Please also say an Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart for today. If you can not attend Mass, please at least give a moment of thought to Our Lord's boundless love. For more prayers and papal encyclicals, please see my post Devotion to the Sacred Heart.

We should especially pray more devotions in honor of the Sacred Heart throughout the entire Octave of the Sacred Heart, kept in the pre-1954 Liturgy.

Prayer to Saint Margaret Mary:

O Holy Visitandine, to hear your name is to recall the Sacred Heart Devotion, especially as practiced on First Fridays and in making reparation for sins. From early youth, you dedicated yourself to Jesus and you exhibited fervent love for him in the Eucharist. You became his chosen vessel to spread the devotion to the Sacred Heart which has done wonders in modern times. Make all of us realize ever more Christ's words: "Behold this Heart that has so greatly loved people." Amen.

6 comment(s):

del_button June 15, 2007 at 8:04 AM
Anonymous said...

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del_button June 15, 2007 at 10:29 AM
Anonymous said...

Lovely meditation..& pictures..we had a wonderful Mass..& another high Mass later..

del_button June 15, 2007 at 3:59 PM
Matthew said...

I am glad that you enjoyed the meditation. God Bless.

del_button May 30, 2008 at 10:50 PM
Jean Heimann said...

What a beautiful meditation! Thank You!

del_button June 8, 2010 at 11:13 PM
Anonymous said...

wonderful thanks for your ispirations.
and giving us more information for oue faith.

del_button June 8, 2010 at 11:14 PM
Anonymous said...

i love to know about Jesus, this feast is more than anything else. thanks for your service.

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