Saturday, May 28, 2005
Be Who You are Called to Be: Devotion to the Sacred Heart  

In this second installment on devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I again include a quote from the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy
In the modern period devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus underwent new developments. At a time when Jansenism proclaimed the rigours of divine justice, the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus served as a useful antidote and aroused in the faithful a love for Our Lord and a trust in his infinite mercy symbolized by his Heart. St. Francis de Sales (+ 1622) adopted humility, gentleness (cf. Mt 11, 29) and tender loving mercy, all aspects of the Sacred Heart, as a model for his life and apostolate. The Lord frequently manifested the abundant mercy of his Heart to St. Margaret Mary (+ 1690); St. John Eudes (+ 1680) promoted the liturgical cult of the Sacred Heart, while St. Claude de la Colombere (+ 1682) and St. John Bosco (+ 1888) and other saints were avid promoters of devotion to the Sacred Heart. Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, 170

It is easy to see the direct connection between devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the devotion to Divine Mercy which was revealed to St. Faustina Kowalska in Poland in the early decades of the last century. Both proclaim the infinite love that our Lord has for us and His desire to shower us with mercy because God does not desire the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way, and live. (Ez. 33:11)

Although today there is no equivalent to Jansenism, there is a need to understand true mercy. Often the problem is not harsh judgment, but a complete ignoring of the situation. God does not ignore our sins. If He did, then the cross does not make any sense. Instead, He takes our sins so seriously that He sent His Son to die for the expiation of our sins. This shows the magnitude of His mercy. It is infinite in that He, the Infinite God, became man and laid down His life in order that we might be forgiven our sins.

God's mercy is not letting us do what we want. His mercy enables us to be who we are called to be. If a judge shows mercy to a defendant, it is because the judge wants the defendant to be who is called to be--a integral, productive member of society rather than a person alienated from his community and himself because of crimes against others.

His mercy longs for us to return to Him. When we return to Him, we find what we really desire--the love of our Creator. Through devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we can begin to understand His heart which loves us and the essence of true mercy.

Posted by David at 8:45 AM  |  Comments (0)  | 


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