For Love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 2019

 

Today, we have a new post to honor the most Sacred Heart of Jesus on this, His feast day.

 

True Devotion and the Image of the Sacred Heart

Our Lord gave us the image of His Sacred Heart in order to awaken in us the realization of His immense love and to arouse our love for Him in return. This became even more urgent as the errors of Protestantism began to drag so many souls to perdition. In Our Lord’s revelations to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, we see that veneration of the image of His Sacred Heart was an essential portion of His revelations.

Today, we will consider briefly the components of this veneration of the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

From Saint Margaret Mary herself:

“One day, on the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, after having received from my Divine Saviour a favor similar to that bestowed upon the Beloved Disciple, of reposing on the bosom of Our Lord, the Divine Heart was represented to me on a throne of fire and flames, shedding on every side rays brighter than the sun and transparent as crystal. The Wound which He had received upon the Cross appeared there visibly; a crown of thorns encircled the adorable Heart, and It was surmounted by a cross. “These instruments of His Passion signified, as my Divine Master gave me to understand, that it was His unbounded love for man which had been the source of all His sufferings.

From the first moment of His Incarnation all these torments had been planted in His Heart. From that moment He accepted all the pains and humiliations which His Sacred Humanity was to suffer during the whole course of His mortal life, and even the outrages to which His love for man would expose Him till the end of time in the Blessed Sacrament.

He revealed to me afterwards that it was the great desire of disclosing to mankind His Heart, and of giving them in these ‘latter times’ this last proof of His love, that induced Him to propose to them an object and a means so calculated to win their love. He opens to them His Sacred Heart with all the treasures of love, mercy and graces of sanctification and salvation which It contains.”

Promises to those who venerate the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

There is a widely circulated list of promises of Our Lord for those who venerate the image of His Sacred Heart. Since it is easily found, I will not copy it, but prefer to limit my words to that which I discern in the saint’s own writings.

According to St. Margaret Mary, “He promised to pour into the hearts of all who would venerate His image the fullness of gifts with which His Sacred Heart abounds, saying that wherever this image would be exposed for special veneration, it would draw down upon the place every kind of blessing.” Furthermore, He promised that all who would contribute to afford Him this joy would be blessed with graces of sanctification and salvation in superabundant measure. St. Margaret Mary wrote to a superior who caused the first picture of the Sacred Heart to be drawn: “For this service Our Lord will engrave your name in His Heart ineffaceably; the other rewards I am not permitted to reveal to you.”

The sentiments which a picture of the Sacred Heart should incite in our souls may easily be inferred from the symbols with which our blessed Lord Himself wished to surround this image.

Flames Issuing from the Heart of Jesus

First, the flames bursting forth and enveloping It show the vehement love with which It loves us. “Behold this Heart that has loved men so much!”  In order to conquer our indifference and to leave no excuse for ignorance, He discloses to us His Divine Heart, His strong desire being to inflame us with a grateful return of love. “Son, give Me thy heart!” He pleads to all. The love He demands is a practical, sacrificial love of complete devotion to Him. This burning love of His desires no less than to kindle fire of the same love in our own hearts.

When we see an image of the Sacred Heart, it beckons us to respond with an act of love,  “O my Jesus, I love Thee, I give Thee my heart; give me Thy holy love!” Just a simple act of love like this is of immense merit and gives our loving Savior so much consolation in this great Passion of the Church.

St. Aloysius Gonzaga, by interior acts of love, rose in a short time to an astonishing degree of sanctity. Nothing dispels Satan more quickly when he tempts us than an efficacious act of love. Hence, St. Francis de Sales advises us to make acts of love in time of temptation.

The Heart of Jesus Encircled With the Crown of Thorns

The crown of thorns encircling the Heart of Jesus typifies the injuries inflicted upon It by the ingratitude Our Lord receives in return for His love. Today, even so-called faithful Catholics are largely indifferent to the suffering of Jesus Christ in this Passion. They are far more concerned, often, for the humiliation they suffer at the hands of the apostates who have become the visible facade of the faith. There is no shortage of scandal and outrage over the auto-demolition of the church. But there is a great danger that we overlook whose Church this really is — we must not forget that this Church is the beautiful and pure Bride of Our Lord Jesus Christ! let us not lose sight of that! Let us promise that we, at least, will not place the thorns of indifference in Our Lord’s most Sacred Heart!

Jesus gave us the Sacrament of His love to be the food of our soul. But in this Blessed Sacrament, the most painful wounds are inflicted on His Sacred Heart! “Behold the Heart that has loved men so much that It has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, in order to testify to them Its love. But in return I receive from the greater part of mankind only ingratitude, by reason of the contempt, irreverence, sacrilege and coldness shown Me in this Sacrament of Love. And what I feel still more painfully is that hearts consecrated to Me treat Me thus!”

Our Lord revealed the devotion to His Sacred Heart especially to obtain reparation and atonement. For this reason He appeared in the Sacred Host to St. Margaret Mary and united this devotion most intimately with devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Those who venerate the Sacred Heart of Jesus should have great devotion to the Holy Eucharist. Our Lord desires especially the Communion of Reparation. Without reparation, devotion to His Sacred Heart would not be complete.

The Heart of Jesus Surmounted by a Cross

The Cross surmounting the Heart of Jesus is a further testimony of Our Lord’s love for us; it reminds us particularly of His bitter Passion and Death. Today, in this Passion of the Church, reverence for the Cross is essential as the token of His Passion. This cross, planted in His Sacred Heart beckons to us to come and do likewise: and so we take up our crosses allowing our hearts to be consumed with love for Him. Many saints are represented holding a crucifix in their hands as a sign of their special devotion to the sufferings of Christ. Holy Church numbers among her saints more than 60 persons who bore the sacred stigmata in their body.

Countless are the revelations of saints regarding the precious graces connected with devotion to the Passion of our Saviour. Our Lord once said to Blessed Angela of Foligno: “Those who seriously meditate on My Passion are in truth My children; the others are so in name only.” St. Augustine declares: “A single tear shed in remembrance of the sufferings of Christ is of more value than a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, or a year’s fasting on bread and water, if it be not performed with the same love.” On this account our Divine Saviour wishes the devotion to His Sacred Heart to be practiced especially on Fridays. On that day He gave the highest proof of His love, and we should make Him a return of love by patience in our sufferings. Love for the Cross is the fruit of true devotion to the Sacred Heart. The perfection of love consists in pure suffering for the Beloved.

The Wound in the Heart of Jesus

Devotion to the Heart of Jesus originated the moment when that Divine Heart was pierced with the lance. In this adorable Heart, sacred mysteries lie hidden, and in contemplating them, we grow in grace and devotion.

St. Margaret Mary understood this well, for when she drew the first little image of the Sacred Heart, she represented It with a gaping wound, in which she inscribed the word: “Caritas.” St. Frances of Rome relates that once she beheld the Wound of the Heart of Jesus, from which gushed forth a stream of living water. At the same time she heard these words: “I am Love crying aloud: ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.’ I will satiate those who follow My invitation; it is just for this reason that I permitted My Heart to be pierced, that I might be able to receive all therein as in a place of refuge.”

A remarkable passage of the Apocalypse which has been quoted as applicable to our times is “Behold, I have caused a door to be opened before thee, which no one can shut.” (Apoc. 3:8). The Wound of the Heart of Jesus is this wide-open door of salvation for the whole world, this secure place of refuge for repentant sinners.

This Wound is a fountain of immeasurable grace and consolation. To those who venerate His Sacred Heart, our Divine Saviour imparts the Precious Blood and water which issued from His side, that they may offer It unceasingly to the Heavenly Father in expiation for their sins and those of the whole world. Through this offering we can obtain numberless graces for ourselves and others. We should, every morning, place our sufferings, prayers and labors in the pierced Heart of Jesus; there everything will be purified and perfected. The Heart of Jesus Surrounded by Rays of Light Rays of light always envelop representations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. These rays, which dart in every direction, signify the great graces and blessings which emanate from devotion to the Sacred Heart. Most liberal are the promises made by Our Lord to those who venerate His Divine Heart. “Announce it, and let it be announced to the whole world,” He revealed to St. Margaret Mary, “that I set neither limit nor measure to My gifts of grace for those who seek them in My Heart!” This Divine Heart is a superabundant treasure house of all graces necessary for true conversion and He opens up this Heart to all who seek conversion in humility and confidence in Him.

St. Margaret Mary writes: “I know of no devotion better suited to lead a soul in a short time to the summit of perfection.” The Heart of Jesus is the mine and treasure house of graces. However, Our Lord promised not only spiritual favors to those who venerate His Heart, but also aid and comfort in all sufferings. No soul, howsoever abandoned, will fail to find peace and consolation in the Divine Heart. No misfortune is so bitter and hopeless but that the Sacred Heart can change and direct it all for the best.

Our Lord made a very consoling promiser those who promote devotion to His Sacred Heart: “Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out. “  This is the promise of the grace of final perseverance, the grace of predilection. It promises to those who promote devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus eternal happiness.

The above thoughts are paraphrased from a very old brochure of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was issued anonymously as True Devotion to the Image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Dear Readers, if we wish to model our own hearts on this most generous and loving heart of our dear Jesus, we cannot set limits, but must open our own hearts up to a total oblation of love for His most Sacred Heart. And how is this done? We return to the words of Our Lord Himself: “Learn of Me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen explains that it is only thus, by removing the self-love and pride from our heart that we open up our hearts.

By meekness, we understand the importance of conquering anger — now, this anger is all-pervasive in our culture at this time. This world fairly scintillates and shimmers with the diabolical flames of anger It is by meekness that we overcome the petty irritations that arise from the abrasive wounds to our “ego”. You see here, the close connection between meekness and humility.

It takes only a bit of pride, self-love or attachment to our own opinion to make us unable to withstand opposition. This is perfectly evident in others. We see it quite clearly! But in ourselves, it is a struggle to see, and a valuable gift we must beg Our Lord to help us attain. This is where the Immaculata helps us. We ask her for this grace especially, so that we may not be a burden on Our Dear Lord who suffers so greatly now, but may, by imitating her meek and humble love, offer Him a pleasing repose with us, Great Sacred Heart to little heart!

In closing, please never forget this: We can only lose by quitting! Let us resolve never to surrender, never to stop trying to offer all our heart, all our love to the Sacred heart of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Most Sacred heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come , Thy will be done!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

Pray the Rosary!

The Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

 

For love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we offer this essay of Solange Hertz, from her book (highly recommended!), The Thought of Their Heart, on Devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Holy Rosary”.

The Open Heart

by Solange Strong Hertz

“I will reveal My love to them more and more …”

The history of devotion to the Sacred Heart is in a very real sense a gradual revelation of the secret life of the Church. Its prologue, written in the heart of St. John as he reclined against the Lord’s breast at the Last Supper, broadcasts its first rhythms to the world, setting the tempo for the dramatic rending on Calvary. Veneration for the wound inflicted there seems to have been the initial form of the cult among the faithful. From this wound, the “door in the ark,” there gradually issued the proliferation of grace we now know as Sacred Heart devotion, ramifying and increasing through time, space and circumstance to fit all the needs and conditions of worshippers truly seeking intimacy with their Lord.

It elicited tears of repentance, prompted praise, encouraged confident petition and proffered earth’s reparation to heaven for its sins against Love. For centuries the movement developed quietly in the privacy of religious houses and the souls of gifted individuals until it permeated the whole Church in ranks both clerical and lay. In addition to the saints already mentioned, among its devotees must be numbered St. Anselm, St. Frances of Rome, St. Lawrence Justinian, St. Bernardine of Siena, St. Joan of Valois, St. Peter of Alcantara, St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, St. Antoninus, St. Peter Canisius, St. Francis de Sales— to list but a few of those canonized. Others who spread its benefits are legion. Carthusians, Franciscans, Benedictines, Dominicans, each produced its particular “school” of spirituality based on affection for the wounded Heart of the Savior. The wealth of art, literature, and liturgy both canonical and popular which has come down to us on the subject attests to its vigor and sanctifying power.

Not surprisingly, it was St. John Eudes, the apostle of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who was instrumental in directing modern piety towards the Heart of her Son. Called by Pope St. Pius X “initiator, teacher and apostle of the liturgical cult of the Sacred Heart,” he had begun by drawing heavily on the writings of the old Cologne Carthusians so as to establish the cult on solid theological ground. By 1672 he had succeeded in obtaining ecclesiastical approval for a Mass of the Sacred Heart to be celebrated in the communities of his own Order, the Congregation of Jesus and Mary.

The very next year, on the feast of St. John the Apostle, December 27, 1673, the torrents of private revelations converged explosively in the Visitation convent at Paray-le-Monial in France. It was there that our Lord, appearing to the humble young nun, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, chose to set the seal of divine approval on what had until then been a most salutary practice in the Church, but which nevertheless remained a private affair— a kind of “inside track” for fleeter spirits. Our Lord had once told St. Gertrude:

“Whenever you desire to obtain anything from Me, offer Me My Heart, which I have so often given you as a token of our mutual friendship, in union with the love which made Me become man for the salvation of men; and I give you this special mark of friendship, … “

After four great apparitions in Paray from 1673 to 1675, … devotion to the Sacred Heart was soon to be enjoined upon all. If we are to believe the words of St. John the Apostle and the ancient prophets concerning the Heart of God, we who are living three hundred years later must be about to witness nothing less than the last moments of the world. “In the latter days you shall understand these things,” promised Jeremiah. “The THOUGHTS of HIS HEART to all generations: to deliver their souls from death and feed them in famine” (Introit, Mass of the Sacred Heart).

Continue reading “The Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus”

Dross into Gold, The Way of Divine Love

Today, December 29, we mark the 94th anniversary of the death of Sister Josefa Menendez, the humble nun who wrote “The Way of Divine Love”.  In paperback from TAN, or on Kindle. We’ve written about the beautiful Way of Divine Love before (here) and about Sister Josefa’s deep devotion to the Divine Infant (here). But now, we will focus on the most often overlooked or misunderstood concept in Josefa’s writings: true humility.

The writings of Sister Josefa echo in many ways the writings of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and one can discern a hint of them in Sister Lucia’s writings as well. I strongly suspect that the true writings of Sister Lucia would bear even more resemblance to both of them were we to have access to them. This is because Our Lord Jesus Christ has been telling us in no uncertain terms, what is necessary to counter-act the arrogant self-centeredness which prevails in the world today.

Tragically, this selfishness has so captivated the souls of mankind that today among the vast majority of people, there is a rigid resistance to Our Lord’s plea for humility of heart. Mankind has developed a resistance to the grace of God much as some disease bacteria develop a resistance to antibiotics, and now they despise the “poor in spirit” as lacking in self esteem, and care not a whit for the “Kingdom of Heaven”.

It is true that the Message of Divine Love is Christ’s plea for our love but it is also a valuable reminder that we must become truly as a little child, poor in spirit, meek and pure of heart in order to be able to receive His love,  Otherwise we risk becoming the darkness that cannot grasp the light. The worldly are unable to grasp Our Lord’s words to St. Margaret Mary:

“If I had been able to find a creature more miserable than you,” He said to Saint Margaret Mary, “I should have chosen her….”

And to Sister Josefa:

“If I could have found a more wretched creature, I should have chosen her for my special love, and through her revealed the longings of My Heart. But I have not found one, and so I have chosen you.” (June 7th, 1923).

Like the followers of Christ who rejected His teaching on the Eucharist, many today reject these “hard sayings”.  But to those very few who have kept His grace in their hearts, we share the truth of the Way of Divine Love with you.

Continue reading “Dross into Gold, The Way of Divine Love”

A Break in the Pattern

August 19, 1917

The six apparitions of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima all occurred on the 13th of each month, except for this one in August. This was because the Administrator of the district of Ourem, a Mason, kidnapped the children, as we discussed in our earlier post, “The Day the Masons Promoted the Message of Fatima.”

Even though the little shepherds were unable to keep their assignation with Our Lady, between 3 and 5 thousand people did come. Here is a brief account:

First, there was a thunderclap, “then came the flash of lightning, and then we began to see a little cloud, very delicate, very white, which stopped for a few moments over the tree and then rose in the air and disappeared. As we looked around us, we noticed the strange thing which we had seen before and were to see in the following months; our faces were reflecting all the colours of the rainbow, pink, red, blue… The trees seemed to be made not of leaves but of flowers; they seemed to be laden with flowers, each leaf seemed to be a flower. The ground came out in colours and so did our clothes. The lanterns fixed to the arch looked like gold.”

At Valinhos

On Sunday, August 19, in the early afternoon, the children brought their flocks to a pasture in Valinhos. Lucia began to get the premonition that Our lady was about to appear, and since Jacinta was not with them, she sent Jacinta’s older brother to fetch her. It is an especially touching detail that Our Lady waited until Jacinta arrived before appearing.

In this visit, Our Lady again reiterated that she wanted them to continue coming to the Cova da Iria on the 13th of the month, and continue to pray the Rosary every day. “In the last month, I will work a miracle so that all may believe. If you had not been taken away to the City, the miracle would have been even greater. Saint Joseph will come with the Child Jesus, to give peace to the world. Our Lord will come to bless the people. Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Sorrows will also come.”

Then looking sad, Our Lady said:

Continue reading “A Break in the Pattern”

K.I.S.S…

Keep It Simple is a good rule to help us stay on the true path in the post-Vatican II confusion and wreckage of the faith.

Much of the confusion results from faithful Catholics and even hierarchy not knowing the basics of their faith.  Readers ask about  various “apparitions”  which seem to them to be pious and helpful. There is also a steady drip of those who seek to promote false visions and false prophets; many of whom visited Medjugorje and decided to start their own cottage industry of pious frauds.

At times, readers point out that a particular “apparition” has the approval of the local Bishop.  That happens as a result of the disorientation caused by the Church’s defiance of Our Lady’s Message of Fatima. Disobedience breeds confusion.  When you see disobedience and confusion, you are seeing the hand of satan in the Church.

The remedy is the same as always, return to the last point at which there was the certainty of the true faith: Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. If the proposed devotion contradicts or distracts from these vital devotions, turn away!

Today, the faithful are by turns confused, misled and eventually battered into indifference by the failure of the hierarchy to provide true guidance. It has helped me considerably to simply adhere to the rule of obeying the requests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. That little rule excludes all these diverting, even contradictory  apparitions and messages.

But since questions continue, here are a few particulars:

God is always the same, He is never going to command one thing today and then contradict Himself at a later date. This is the all-pervasive error of modernism, that God’s truth evolves to meet new situations.  Example: The Ten Commandments are as relevant today as they were in the time of Moses. By adhering to this simple rule, we avoid being misled by the false teachings of Pope Francis and his ilk on marriage and the Sacraments.

In the same vein, when God makes a demand on us, He does not withdraw it even if centuries go by without our obedience to His command. This means that Our Lord’s request to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque for public devotion to His Sacred Heart is just as imperative in 2018 as it was in 1689. The command of Our Lord Jesus Christ has not diminished in urgency in all this time; in fact, it weighs more heavily in the balance against us as time passes.

The Message of Fatima is organically coherent with that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In it Our Lord Himself requests that devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary be placed alongside of devotion to His most Sacred Heart.  There is absolutely no contradiction between these two devotions. They are united, complementary, that is, they complement, complete, and strengthen each other, even as the Hearts ofJesus and Mary are united. There is a beautiful theology there, which is totally consonant with all of the true faith, and an unending source of edification and grace.  There is no need or benefit from distracting apparitions, even if they at times may seem pious or at least innocuous.

After Fatima, the Catholic world was flooded with apparitions and today many even have the approval of the sorts of Bishops which have plagued the Church since the revolution of Vatican II. But if we simply use our common sense, (that is our Catholic sense!) we  readily discern that true devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary does not benefit from most of these new devotions.

For instance, we know that Jesus asked St. Margaret Mary Alacoque for public and private veneration for the image of His Most Sacred Heart. And we know that at Fatima, Our Lady told us that Our Lord wants the Church to establish devotion to her Immaculate Heart by means of her Rosary and First Saturdays of Reparation to her Immaculate Heart and for this devotion to be placed alonside of devotion to His Sacred Heart.

And yet, Sister Faustina’s Divine Mercy devotion would have us believe that within the same timeframe of the Fatima request,  that Jesus was also appearing to Faustina requesting a different devotion, this time to an image which omits His Sacred Heart and requires the use of Our Lady’s Rosary to recite prayers which supplant her own prayers, approved by countess popes, encyclicals, saints and centuries of thoroughly Catholic piety. Why would Jesus ask for this different devotion when the earlier requests for devotion to the Immaculate Heart and the even earlier request for the Sacred Heart devotion, were not fulfilled?

Ask yourself, does this new devotion further the propagation of the earlier devotion?

Applying the same rule to the apparitions of Akita and Our Lady of Nations, we see the difference in the two: Akita’s message simply points to the suppressed portion of the Message of Fatima, reinforcing it, while the false Lady of Nations diverts attention in another direction, leading the faithful to actions which do not fulfill the commands of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Once again, the requests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary must be our guiding rule.

Another way of expressing this rule is: the earlier approved devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary take precedence over any proposed new message of devotion. If the proposed new devotion does not help us to fulfill the commands of the earlier devotion, then turn away and refocus on the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. Obedience first, last and always.

At Return to Fatima, we urge all faithful to  Consecrate ourselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary and live our Consecrations in all the daily duties of our lives. There is no need for seeking after newer devotions, newer prophecies, more and more knowledge. We find our inspiration in Eucharistic Adoration (in a truly Catholic Church) in the sacraments and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in our Rosaries, offering all to Jesus through the Immaculata: “O Jesus it is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

It is such a practical, clear solution to the confusion: Look to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, heed their requests, devote ourselves to living as they have asked us to live. It is simple, even a child can do it, as Saints Jacinta and Francisco showed us one hundred years ago!

 

Please, Pray the Rosary and confound satan and those who serve him!

. Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
. St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
. St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

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