Monday, May 30, 2005
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus  

Another excerpt from the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy about devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus are numerous. Some have been explicitly approved and frequently recommended by the Apostolic See. Among these, mention should be made of the following:

· personal consecration, described by Pius XI as "undoubtedly the principal devotional practice used in relation to the Sacred Heart"(185);

· family consecration to the Sacred Heart, in which the family, by virtue of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony already participating in the mystery of the unity and love of Christ for the Church, is dedicated to Christ so that he might reign in the hearts of all its members(186);

· the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, approved for the whole Church in 1891, which is evidently biblical in character and to which many indulgences have been attached;

· the act of reparation, a prayer with which the faithful, mindful of the infinite goodness of Christ, implore mercy for the offences committed in so many ways against his Sacred Heart(187);

· the pious practice of the first Fridays of the month which derives from the "great promises" made by Jesus to St. Margaret Mary. At a time when sacramental communion was very rare among the faithful, the first Friday devotion contributed significantly to a renewed use of the Sacraments of Penance and of the Holy Eucharist. In our own times, the devotion to the first Fridays, even if practised correctly, may not always lead to the desired spiritual fruits. Hence, the faithful require constant instruction so that any reduction of the practice to mere credulity, is avoided and an active faith encouraged so that the faithful may undertake their commitment to the Gospel correctly in their lives. They should also be reminded of the absolute preeminence of Sunday, the "primordial feast"(188), which should be marked by the full participation of the faithful at the celebration of the Holy Mass.
Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, 171

As the late Fr. John Hardon, S.J. pointed out, there is a direct connection between the Eucharist and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Eucharist and the abiding real presence of Christ means that Jesus is truly present body, blood, soul, and divinity after the words of consecration. It is no longer bread and wine. It is our Lord underappearancerence of bread and wine. Consequently, it is the historical Jesus because in the Incarnation He took on specific human flesh. (For all of those who are trying to find the historical Jesus, He can be found in every tabernacle in the world.) Our Lord is present in the Eucharist as the same person who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified died and was buried.
It is His glorified body because of His resurrection, but it His body with His Sacred Heart. Thus, in the Eucharist, we also have Christ's Sacred Heart. This is truly His human heart as part of His body, but it is, of course, the symbolic heart which represents His infinite love for us. By receiving Him in Holy Communion and praying before Him in the Eucharist, we are able to unite our hearts with His Sacred Heart, with His infinite love. In this uniting, we are caught up with Him and given the ability to love in ways that we cannot without His divine assistance. Through His Sacred Heart present in the Eucharist, we can be joined to Him in order to love Him and to love others with His love.

Posted by David at 7:15 AM  |  Comments (0)  | Link


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