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."


At 12:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My granny always said, "I can tell who you are by who you choose to befriend." I always keep this in mind when choosing who to surround myself with....and people who always want to "beat the system" are at the bottom of my list.

At 2:02 PM, Anonymous mindy said...

I think I like your Granny! Choosing friends wisely is something that has become really important to me. I have learned to be thoughtful about the people I choose to call "friends". Sometimes it hasn't been easy, for it can be pretty seductive to be friends with someone to momentarily feel good about myself, or to feel like I belong or to have safety in numbers. But, when I am committed to having goodness in my life, chosing friends who live a "good" life is important to me. I'm finally at the point in my life (maybe maturity- just a bit of it!) where I want to be told truth rather than be stroked- only true friends do that.

Good friends feed our souls. Their joys and sorrows become ours, and ours theirs. Good days are made better and bad days are improved by a friend. Friends listen. Friends accept who we are but refuse to accept that it's all that we are are. Friends cry. Friends rejoice. Friends disagree. Friends agree. Friends talk. Friends listen. Friends do not support our bad behavior but help us to improve it. Those are the kinds of friendships I look to cultivate.

I may not have 50 of those kinds of friends, but for the handful of them I do have, I am really blessed!


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