Thursday, June 23, 2011

Devotion to the Sacred Heart (Part 6)

                   How Jesus Christ chose the day for the feast of the Sacred Heart

Since June is specially dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus we have been paying particular attention to this devotion throughout the month.  The feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a moveable feast, and will actually take place this year  in July (July 1). 

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

We also saw here the seven means suggested by Fr. Croiset for acquiring perfect love of Jesus Christ and a tender devotion to His Sacred Heart. 

In addition, we have considered here what Fr. Croiset tells us are proper motives and sentiments with which Devotion to the Sacred Heart ought to be practiced. 
Next, we will see how, according to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and Fr. Croiset, Our Lord chose the day for the feast of the Sacred Heart.

"When one day during the octave of Corpus Christi, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, under the inspiration of a very special grace, was filled with the desire to make some return to our loving Saviour by giving love for love, the Son of God Himself appeared to her and said:  "You cannot give Me a greater return of love than by doing what I have so often demanded."  Then He revealed to her His Sacred Heart and said: "Behold this Heart which has so loved men even to exhausting and consuming Itself to testify to them Its love; and in return, I receive from the generality of men nothing but ingratitude through the contempt, irreverence, sacrileges and coldness which they show Me in the Sacrament of My love; but what is still more painful to Me, is that there are hearts consecrated to me that treat Me thus.  For that reason I demand that the First Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi be set apart for a special feast to honor My Heart; that, on this day, reparation be made to It with special solemnity, that the faithful receive Holy Communion in reparation for the indignities which It has received on the altars; and I promise that My Heart will expand to pour out in abundance the treasures of Divine love on those who render It this honor."

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