It is altogether impossible to enumerate the heavenly gifts which devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has poured out on the souls of the faithful, purifying them, offering them heavenly strength, rousing them to the attainment of all virtues.
Pius XII, ‘Haurietis Aquas’, May 15, 1956
“…Since there is in the Sacred Heart a symbol and a sensible image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ which moves us to love one another, therefore is it fit and proper that we should consecrate ourselves to His most Sacred Heart-an act which is nothing else than an offering and a binding of oneself to Jesus Christ, seeing that whatever honor, veneration and love is given to this divine Heart is really and truly given to Christ Himself.”
Leo XIII, ‘Annum Sacrum’, 25th day of May, 1899
“Is not the sum of all religion and therefore the pattern of more perfect life, contained in that most auspicious sign and in the form of piety that follows from it inasmuch as it more readily leads the minds of men to an intimate knowledge of Christ Our Lord, and more efficaciously moves their hearts to love Him more vehemently and to imitate Him more closely?”
Pius XI, ‘Miserentissimus Redemptor’ 8 May, 1928
Reproduced from the ‘Popes’ Quotes” free e-zine,
“Issue #61: The Sacred Heart”, only at www.KEYSofPETER.org
VATICAN CITY – True devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus can strengthen Christian communities against the onslaughts of unbelief, just as it did in 17th-century France. It can also counter the spreading of forms of meditation that “only mask a tragic spiritual emptiness,” said Pope John Paul II at the canonization of St. Claude La Colombiere, S.J.
La Colombiere, a 17th-century French Jesuit who was the spiritual adviser to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, and an Apostle of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was solemnly canonized on May 31st (1992) at a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.
In his homily, the Pope noted that France during St. Claude’s life had many of the characteristics of today. There was “high human culture” on one side, and “cruel conflict and human poverty” on the other. Also, “the clergy and religious orders were often decadent: As a result the people remained far from the light of faith, the benefits of the spiritual life and of ecclesial communion.”
Into this milieu came St. Claude, “a true companion of St. Ignatius,” who “resolutely took the way of holiness… rejecting all tepidness.”
In the course of his assignments, he met St. Margaret Mary, who entrusted Fr. La Colombiere with the mission of establishing devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a cause he took up with all his strength. In the years left to him, said the Pope, La Colombiere “interiorized these infinite riches.
“His spiritual life then developed in the perspective of the ‘reparation’ and ‘infinite mercy’ so underscored at Paray-le-Monial. He gave himself completely to the Sacred Heart ‘ever burning with love.’ Even in trials he practiced forgetfulness of self in order to attain purity of love and to raise the world to God…
“The past three centuries,” the Pope said, “allow us to evaluate the importance of the message which was entrusted to Claude La Colombiere. In a period of contrasts between the fervor of some and the indifference or impiety of many, here is a devotion centered on the humanity of Christ, on His presence, on His love of mercy, and on forgiveness.
“The call to reparation, characteristic of Paray-le-Monial, can be variously understood, but essentially it is a matter of sinners, which all human beings are, returning to the Lord, touched by His love, and offering a more intese fidelity in the future, a life aflame with charity. If there is a solidarity in sin, there is also a solidarity in salvation. The offering of each is made for the good of all…
“Devotion to the Heart of Christ would be a source of balance and spiritual strengthening for Christian communities so often faced with increasing unbelief over the coming centuries: an impersonal conception of God will spread; individuals, moving away from a personal encounter with Christ and the source of grace, will want to be the sole masters of their history and to become a law unto themselves, to the point of being ruthless in pursuing their own ambitions.
“The message of Paray, accessible to the humble as well as to the great of this world, answers such aberrations by clarifying the relationship of the person to God and with the world in the light which comes from the heart of God: in conformity with the Churchs Tradition, it turns his gaze toward the cross of the world’s Redeemer.”
The Pope further said that Catholics who are truly attached to the Sacred Heart will not “be seduced by forms of meditation which turn in on the self without welcoming the presence of the Lord… (and) conceptions of the sacred which only mask a tragic spiritual emptiness.”
Devotion to the Sacred Heart is also an essential component of the Holy Father’s hopes for the “new evangelization” called for by the Church.
“For evangelization today,” he said, “the Heart of Christ must be recognized as the heart of the Church: It is He Who calls us to conversion, to reconciliation. It is He Who leads pure hearts and those hungering for justice along the way of the Beatitudes. It is He Who achieves the warm communion of the members of the one Body. It is He Who enables us to adhere to the Good News and to accept the promise of eternal life. It is He Who sends us out on mission. The heart-to-heart with Jesus broadens the human heart on a global scale.”
Citing the works of three predecessors, Popes Leo XIII, Pius XI and Pius XII, Pope John Paul II encouraged Catholics to see in the true devotion to the Sacred Heart the “spiritual answer to the difficulties which the Faith and the Church are facing.”
This article re-printed from a newspaper cutting.
The Sacred Heart Institute respects all rights reserved to the original author.
“What is the object of this work? …
- “to set up in the place of honor in each household a representation of the Sacred Heart, in recognition of the supreme rights of Jesus Christ over the family as a whole, and over each of its members;
- “to recite family prayers each evening before it, and to renew each night, by the lips of the father or mother, the consecration made on the first day;
- “to be faithful in the practice of holy Communion and as far as possible, in that of the Holy Hour at the First Friday of the month;
- “to meditate upon the lessons and examples given to us by the Sacred Heart;
- “to have recourse to this fount of graces, in the family joys, as well as in its sorrows, in good as well as in evil days, in sufferings, in reverses, in partings, amid the tears shed at the grave-side, and amid the smiles bestowed upon the cradle; in a word, amid the all the events tht interrupt the normal and regular course of family life.”
Cardinal Billot, April 26, 1915
Taken from “Theology of the Enthronement”,
National Center of the Enthronement.
Enthronement Materials available here: http://sacredheartlegion.com/enthrone.htm