(Mat 11:28-30) Come to me, all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: And you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light.
VIA NIGERIA: The Feast Of The Most Sacred Heart Of Jesus by Rev. Fr. John Damian AdizIE
THE Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Today is another special day in the history of salvation. The Catholics all over the world and some orthodox Christians are celebrating the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is the feast that highlights the importance of the Heart, as the symbol of love. It is on a day like this that we reflect on the nature of the heart of Jesus as the most sacred, the most affectionate, the most wounded and most caring heart. The heart of Jesus is so large that it accommodates all. It is a heart that feels what we feel, a heart that is meek and humble.
The human heart is the central or innermost part of the body. It is an amazing organ that pumps oxygen and blood throughout the body to sustain life. It is an indispensable organ in the body. It is the heart that sustains the human body. The human body ceases to exist whenever the heart seizes to pump. Whatever affects the heart affects the entire human body. The heart represents a person’s will or desire. It reveals one’s true nature and mortification.
The bible describes the heart as the seat of faith. Authentic faith comes from the heart. The writer of the book of Hebrew states clearly that “If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
Salvation comes through faith in Christ Jesus. Faith comes through the heart. The heart is therefore the center of human belief. Without the heart there will be no faith, and without faith there will be no salvation.
Generally, the heart is often depicted as the symbol of love. It is the root of true and authentic love. True love comes directly from the heart. The Lord says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5). Our love for God is incomplete without the heart. Our love for God must come directly from the heart.
The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus: is one of the most widely practiced and well-known Roman Catholic devotions. This devotion takes the physical heart of Jesus as the representation of his divine love for humanity. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “The prayer of the Church venerates and honors the Heart of Jesus just as it invokes his most holy name. It adores the incarnate Word and his Heart which, out of love for men, he allowed to be pierced by our sins (CCC 2669). We Adore the Heart of Jesus because it is the most sacred and most caring heart. It is a heart that is wounded by love.
The heart of Jesus was physically pierced with a lance. After his crucifixion on the Cross, the Soldier broke the legs of the two thieves that were crucified with him, but “When they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water” (John 19:32-34). The lance pierced through the heart of Jesus. His heart was wounded because of our sins.
The prophet Isaiah gave a spiritual interpretation of this wounded heart of Jesus. The Prophet wrote concerning Jesus, “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5). The heart of Jesus was wounded not because he committed any sin; he was wounded because of our transgression. Each time we commit sin we are wounding the heart of Jesus a second time.
Our Lord Jesus Christ possesses the most humble, the most caring and most affectionate heart. Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls; for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29).
Jesus is not as heartless as most leaders. He is compassionate and love. When people are hungry Jesus is hungry with them; when they are sick he is sick with them. When Jesus saw the hungry crowd, he was moved with pity, for they were like sheep without a shepherd (Mark 6:34). Out of compassion, He took his time to teach them. He even fed five thousand men with uncountable women and children.
|Italiano: Cortemilia. Chiesa Parrocchiale di San Michele. Rodolfo Morgari: Santa Margherita Maria Alacoque e la devozione al Sacro Cuore. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
In one of such apparitions, Our Lord appeared to Mary and revealed devotions to His Sacred Heart. Jesus said to her: “Look at this Heart which has loved people so much, and yet they do not want to love Me in return. Through you My divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth.” Jesus made some promises to her telling her how he would help those who honor His Sacred Heart. The following promises were made by our Lord Jesus Christ to those who are devoted to his sacred heart:
1). I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life. 2). I will give peace in their families. 3). I will console them in all their troubles. 4). Hey shall find in my heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death. 5). I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings. 6). Sinners shall find in my heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy. 7). Tepid souls shall become fervent. 8). Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection. 9). I will bless the homes in which the image of my sacred heart shall be exposed and honored. 10). I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts. 11). Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in my heart, and it shall never be effaced. 12) The all-powerful love of my heart will grant to all those who shall receive communion on the first Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; my heart shall be their assured refuge at the last hour.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus consists in attending Holy Mass and receiving Holy Communion in reparation for those who do not receive Our Lord, who do not love Him and who wound Him by their sinful lives. The Feast of the Sacred Heart has been in the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar since 1856, and is celebrated on the 19th day after Pentecost. As Pentecost is always celebrated on Sunday, the Feast of the Sacred Heart always falls on a Friday. Besides, First Fridays of the month is also set aside for special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Child of God, you don’t necessarily have to go through all the rigorous devotions to the Sacred Heart for you to be devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A journey of many miles begins with a step. You can start with the invocation of the Sacred Heart as revealed to Mary: “O Heart of love, I put all my trust in Thee; for I fear all things from my own weakness, but I hope for all things from Thy Goodness.”
You can as well start with a short ejaculatory prayer, such as: “Most Sacred Heart of Jesus – Have mercy on us!” Immaculate Heart of Mary – Pray for us! The more you say this prayer in your heart the more your heart is purified and transformed into the temple of God. Repeat this prayer wherever you find yourself. Say it when you are in examination hall. Say it while you are cooking, or when you are walking along the way and even when you are driving or travelling. As you are about to sleep let this prayer be on your lips. If you form the habit of saying this prayer, you will never experience bad dreams again. You will start experiencing inner peace. Your heart will be filled with love and joy. You will never be separated from the presence of God. You will succeed in all your endeavors and it shall be well with you, in Jesus name – Amen!
ASIANEWS.IT: Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in China
VATICAN RADIO: Hymns in honor of the Sacred Heart
NCR: Open Your Home to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Nothing Done For Show
24. A hermit said, 'When you flee from the company of other people, or when you despise the world and worldlings, take care to do so as if it were you who was being idiotic.'
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