Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fr. John Croiset, SJ and Devotion to the Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart of Jesus

Fr. John Croiset, SJ was spiritual director to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, the great apostle and visionary of devotion to the Sacred Heart.   St. Margaret Mary told Fr. Croiset that it was Jesus's ardent wish that he assist her in making devotion to the Sacred Heart, until then a private devotion of chosen souls, generally known to all of the faithful.  After St. Margaret Mary's death, Fr. Croiset duly compiled an account of her revelations concerning the Sacred Heart, together with her prayers concerning this devotion, into a volume entitled The Devotion to the Sacred Heart which was  published in 1691 AD.  In 1704, due to Fr. Croiset's failure to observe certain formalities, the book was placed on the Index of Forbidden Books, where it remained for two centuries.    During this time Fr. Croiset's book was nearly forgotten.  However, a certain bishop, wishing to call attention to devotion to the Sacred Heart within his diocese, came upon the text, and finding that it had been placed upon the Index, called for the Sacred Congregation of the Index to re-examine the book.  The Sacred Congregation determined that no error could be found in the work, and so it was at last removed from the Index.   The following is taken from a meditation for the Feast of the Sacred Heart found it Fr. Croiset's "The Devotion to the Sacred Heart:"

The ardent desire of Jesus Christ to unite Himself to us.

Consider that union of hearts is the ultimate effect towards which love tends.  This union of hearts was the object which Jesus Christ had in mind when he instituted the Eucharist.  In this adorable Mystery, He acts like one passionately inflamed with love for men, since in It love makes Him in a manner go out of Himself in order to live only in the object of His love.  "At this holy Table," said St. Augustine, "Christ has consecrated the Mystery of union with us. . . ."
"I will love Thee, O most Sacred Heart of Jesus that was wounded for me, wounded on the Cross for my sins, wounded in the Blessed Sacrament with love for me.  I will honor Thee for the rest of my life, I will consecrate Thee the days that remain; Thou shalt be my place of repose, my dwelling place and my place of refuge.  "This is my place of rest, here will I dwell."

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