Friday, June 15, 2007

Sacred Heart of Jesus

Adoration tonight, 7-8 pm, SAA Church. All are welcome!!
Today is the solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Following is an article from about devotion to the Sacred Heart:

"This devotion, promoted especially by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (d. 1690), was and is a way of softening the image of God as primarily lawgiver, judge and punisher.The Scriptures use those images of God, but they also give ones less threatening. Devotion to the Sacred Heart says two things at the same time: Jesus is indeed fully human (people regard the heart as the seat of human emotions) and God forgives those who repent.

This devotion does not suggest that God is indifferent to good and evil. Jesus' description of the Last Judgment (Matthew 25:31-46) and the story of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:19-31) remind us that God takes our choices very seriously. Heaven is full of people who cooperated with God's grace, using their freedom wisely.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart started to become popular in the late 1600s in France, perhaps as God's answer to Jansenism, which had begun there earlier in that century. In A Concise Dictionary of Theology, Gerald O'Collins, S.J., and Edward Farrugia, S.J., describe Jansenism as "a theological and spiritual movement, characterized by moral rigidity and pessimism about the human condition" (Paulist, rev. ed., 2000).

Devotion to the Sacred Heart can foster repentance and hope among people who might otherwise despair of ever pleasing God.Like all popular devotions, this one is optional. You could be saved without ever saying a prayer to the Sacred Heart or even believing that Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque*.

Private devotions approved by the Church, however, can help us recall fundamental gospel messages—in this case, God's unquenchable love and willingness to forgive.Devotion to the Sacred Heart reminds us that repentance, not despair, is the proper response to sin. No one can commit a sin exceeding God's ability to forgive."
*These are some of the revelations given to St Margaret Mary by our Lord:

"And He showed me that it was His great desire of being loved by men and of withdrawing them from the path of ruin into which Satan hurls such crowds of them, that made Him form the design of manifesting His Heart to men, with all the treasures of love, of mercy, of grace, of sanctification and salvation which it contains, in order that those who desire to render Him and procure for Him all the honor and love possible, might themselves be abundantly enriched with those divine treasures of which this Heart is the source.He should be honored under the figure of this Heart of flesh, and its image should be exposed...

He promised me that wherever this image should be exposed with a view to showing it special honor, He would pour forth His blessings and graces. This devotion was the last effort of His love that He would grant to men in these latter ages, in order to withdraw them from the empire of Satan which He desired to destroy, and thus to introduce them into the sweet liberty of the rule of His love, which He wished to restore in the hearts of all those who should embrace this devotion."....."The devotion is so pleasing to Him that He can refuse nothing to those who practice it."

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