Friday, June 17, 2011

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Part 4)

Since June is specially dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus we will be paying particular attention to this devotion throughout the month.

In "The Devotion to the Sacred Heart," by Fr. John Croiset, SJ, which was commissioned by Our Lord Himself, through St. Margaret Mary, Fr. Croiset tells us that the obstacles to devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus may be reduced to four: "great tepidity in the service of God, self-love, secret pride, and certain passions which people have not taken care to mortify from the beginning of their conversion."

We have also seen that, according to Fr. Croiset, there are two principal means of overcoming these obstacles.  The first is true mortification and the second is humility, which we discussed here and here

Fr. Croiset suggests sevens means for acquiring perfect love of Jesus Christ and a tender devotion to His Sacred Heart.  These means are:

1) Prayer,
2) Frequent Holy Communion,
3) Visits to the Blessed Sacrament,
4) Fidelity in Acquitting Ourselves Exactly of the Practices of this Devotion,
5) A Tender Devotion to the Blessed Virgin,
6) Special Devotion to St. Aloysius Gonzaga, to St. Margaret Mary and to Blessed Claude de la Columbiere,
7) A day's retreat each month.

 Of prayer, Fr. Croiset writes the following:

"O my Saviour, Thou has said: "I am come to cast fire on the earth, and what will I, but that it be kindled?" (Lk. 12:49).  On whom does it depend that I be all inflamed by it?  O my Saviour, grant me Thy love, this will henceforth be my daily prayer.  I will make this prayer morning, noon and night, at rest and at work;  I will make it every hour, and I will never cease to say: "Give me Thy love, O Lord, and Thy grace and with these I am rich enough."

Of frequent Holy Communion, Fr. Croiset writes:

"Divine love has lit a great furnace on our altars in the adorable Sacrament of the Eucharist, and it is by approaching this Sacred Fire that all the saints have been inflamed by a most ardent and tender lover for Jesus Christ."

Of frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament, Fr. Croiset writes:

"there is nothing which gains the Heart of Jesus more than frequent visits and frequent acts of adoration in His presence."

Of fidelity to the practices of this Devotion, Fr. Croiset writes:

"This fidelity is usually what is most agreeable to God and most meritorious in these exercises of devotion, because it is always the surest mark of great love."

Of a tender devotion to the Blessed Virgin, Fr. Croiset writes:

"She is the Mother of perfect love, and it is to her that we should address ourselves in order to be inflamed with that love."

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