Devotion to the Sacred Heart:
Devotion to the Sacred Heart has been for many years a favourite devotion for individual Catholics and their families. The image of Jesus manifesting his thorn encircled heart recalls a picture people have often seen in their own homes or a statue in a local church. God has from time to time raised up women and men whose mission it is to make His love for us more apparent, one such person was Saint Mary Margaret Alacoque, who recieved the gift of fomenting devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
It is common for us to speak of the heart as the symbol for love and, just as symbolically, we speak of people as breaking one’s heart; through selfishness, lack of manners, inattention and lack of tact. Jesus spoke to Saint Margaret Mary of the ‘coldness of heart’ of people who had turned away from Him, ignoring Him, and He urged her to stir up in the hearts of all a greater desire to know Him through devotion to His Sacred Heart and therefore come to love God, the Father of all people.
When we meditate on the Heart of Jesus we unite ourselves with His Divine Compassion and Mercy which knows no bounds, therefore becoming a light of mercy to all we meet. Jesus gave 12 promises to those who follow this devotion:
Promises of the Sacred Heart:
1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will establish peace in their families.
3. I will bless every home in which an image of my heart shall be exposed and honoured.
4. I will console them in all their difficulties.
5. I will be their refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
6. I will shed abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.
7. Sinners shall find my Heart a fountain and boundless ocean of mercy.
8. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
9. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
10. I will give Priests the power of touching the hardest hearts.
11. Those propagate this devotion shall have their names written in my Heart, never to be blotted out.
12. In the excessive mercy of my Heart I will grant the grace of final penitence to those who communicate on the first Friday of nine consecutive months; they shall not die in my displeasure or without the sacraments. My Divine Heart will be their safe refuge in this last moment.
Prayer to the Sacred Heart:
O aimable Heart of mhy Saviour, I adore you! O gracious Heart of Jesus, I love you! O compassionate Heart, I give you my heart, and am deeply moved by all you hav e done and suffered for me. I give you my heart completely; affix it to your Heart eternally; inflame itwith your love; inspire it with your sentiments; make it know your will andpractice your virtues.