Friday, June 10, 2005
Devotion to the Sacred Heart: Conversion and Reparation  

As the month of June, which is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, continues, I am adding the last in the installment of sections from Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy regarding devotion to the Sacred Heart:
Devotion to the Sacred Heart is a wonderful historical expression of the Church's piety for Christ, her Spouse and Lord: it calls for a fundamental attitude of conversion and reparation, of love and gratitude, apostolic commitment and dedication to Christ and his saving work. For these reasons, the devotion is recommended and its renewal encouraged by the Holy See and by the Bishops. Such renewal touches on the devotion's linguistic and iconographic expressions; on consciousness of its biblical origins and its connection with the great mysteries of the faith; on affirming the primacy of the love of God and neighbour as the essential content of the devotion itself. Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, 172
This section makes the point of how devotion to the Sacred Heart should impact what our fundamental attitude is. It should be one of conversion and reparation. In other words our devotion to the Sacred Heart of Christ should move us to recognize how we have wounded the Heart of Jesus. In realizing what we have done to bring sorrow to His Heart, we ought to be moved to change and make reparation for our sins.

Part of the Biblical basis for devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is found in St. John's Gospel where the Evangelist records that when the soldier found that Jesus had already died on the cross, he pierced His side with a spear (Jn 19:33-37). From the side of Christ flowed blood and water. St. John goes to great pains to indicate that he witnessed this event. The Church has always recognized that the blood and water represent the sacraments of the Eucharist and Baptism. Note, how these flow from the Heart of Christ. What is Baptism but a conversion. Jesus' Heart longs for the conversion of sinners which includes sins being absolved. Baptism is the Sacrament that absolves sin and brings the sinner into the Church.

Also, from the Heart of the Crucified Lord flows the Eucharist. Jesus' gift of Himself in the Eucharist flows from His Sacred Heart. The reparation of sin is fueled by the grace of Christ's holy sacrifice for our sins. Being absolved of sin, we are able to receive our Lord in the Eucharist. Through the Eucharist, we are moved to perform acts of reparation for our sins. We are sent out from Mass to serve. We are also sent out to make reparation for sin--our own and the sins of others. If we truly receive our Lord when we receive communion, than we must out of love for him be willing to make small sacrifices for Him. My lack of willingness to make these small sacrifices must be overcome by a greater devotion to the Heart from which comes such love. Love that longs to bring us into the fold of His Church which is His Bride. This is also the love that longs for us to remain with Him by receiving Him in Holy Communion. These sacraments of initiation are sources of grace from which we must draw during our entire life in order that we may persevere until the end.

Posted by David at 2:00 AM  |  Comments (0)  | Link


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