The month of June, in the Catholic Tradition, is the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. On June 8th we celebrated the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Remembering and reflecting on the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus means reflecting on the love of God. Yes, in the burning and wounded Sacred Heart, we see that God’s heart is consumed with love for us, so much so that he was willing to suffer and die for us in the most gruesome manner. The deeper we grow in reflecting on God’s love, the more we realize that it is not our love for God but God’s passionate love for us that has been precious and very valuable. He has revealed His love for us in many ways. Hence a month is dedicated to remind us of the depth of God’s love for us.
Pope Pius XII said, “Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, of its very nature, is a worship of the love with which God, through Jesus, loved us, and at the same time, an exercise of our own love by which we are related to God and to other men”.
Many of us are not able to understand the value of love, because our culture has confused us with mistaken definitions of love, referring love to mean passing infatuation or sexual attraction. It is not the true definition of love. Rather, true love is sacrificial and self-giving, so as to lay down one’s life for the good of another.
I would like to suggest some ways, in which we can thankfully honor the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus:
Consecration: The image of Jesus exposing His Heart reveals to us the depth of God’s sacrificial love for us. He proved His love by sacrificing Himself on the Cross. He continues to show the same love, every time when we participate in the Holy Mass and receive the Eucharist. One of the ways we could show our love for Him is to consecrate ourselves. The prayer of consecration can be found in most of the prayer-booklets.
Enthronement: An important way of our devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is to recognize the authority of Jesus Christ over the family, as the King of the family. Enthronement of the Sacred Heart is an excellent way to acknowledge the Kingship of Christ. A blessed image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is placed prominently in our home, reminding the members of the family that Jesus is our King and that all in the family should love and serve Him with our whole hearts.
Reparation: On several occasion and several times the name of Jesus is abused in the media or in literature or in conversation. Each time, His name is so dishonored, the loving heart of Jesus is wounded. Hence, one way to show our love and repair the dishonor is to make reparation by reciting a prayer of reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
First Friday Devotion: When Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, he asked her to foster the practice of the First Friday devotion by participating in the Mass, going to make a confession, receiving Him in the Holy Eucharist and if possible by participating also in the Eucharistic Adoration. The First Friday devotion is to remember the Passion and death with which Jesus manifested His immense love for the humankind. This devotion is a reminder of His love and a reminder to imitate His love.
Prayers for enthronement and reparation can be found in Catholic prayer books or online. When the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is fading, it would be a very good practice of our faith to grow in acknowledging the love of the heart of Jesus.
May God bless you,
Fr. Arul Joseph V