The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
by Monsignor Charles M. Mangan
©Catholic Online 2005
This month the Church is the scene for varied celebrations: ordinations, weddings, graduations. With so many festive occasions, it is easy to forget the traditional dedication of June to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Solemnity of which is commemorated during this Year of the Eucharist (October 2004--October 2005) on June 3, which is also the First Friday.
As is well known, the decades after the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council (1962-1965) witnessed the decline of long-standing devotional practices, including that to the Most Sacred Heart. What was once held dear was often considered expendable and unenlightened. From the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel to the nine First Fridays to the five First Saturdays, private devotions fell into disuse, and in some quarters were openly scorned.
Recently, however, Catholic devotional practices have begun to blossom. Parishes throughout the United States have blown the dust off monstrances and reinstated Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
The Litany of the Sacred Heart is recited after Holy Mass in an increasing number of churches. Personal devotions no longer seem to be considered "embarrassing" as they were not long ago.
Yet, much remains to be done to ensure that pious practices dedicated to the Sacred Heart, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Angels and the Saints continue to be fostered and respected. There still exists among priests, Religious and laity the unfortunate misunderstanding that personal devotions are in opposition to the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
It is as if one cannot truly love the Eucharistic Liturgy and at the same time be concerned about the Church-approved revelations of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary, the Church-sanctioned apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, and other private revelations which enjoy ecclesiastical approbation.
The Servant of God Pope Pius XII (1939-1958), in his 1956 encyclical entitled On Devotion to the Sacred Heart (Haurietis Aquas), reminded the Faithful that devotion to the Sacred Heart, far from being "optional," is necessary and rests on "solid foundations": Sacred Scripture, the Fathers of the Church and theologians. All three proclaim that the Heart of Christ "is the natural sign and symbol of His boundless love for the human race."
The Sovereign Pontiff quotes his predecessor Pope Leo XIII: "In the Sacred Heart there is the symbol and the express image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ which moves us to love in return."
Those who contend that private devotions detract from the centrality of the Mass would do well to meditate upon Pius' assertion: "One may affirm that the divine Eucharist, both as a sacrament and a sacrifice--the one He bestowed on men, the other He Himself continually offers 'from the rising of the sun even to the going down'--and the Priesthood, are really gifts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus."
The same Jesus who bestows His Sacred Body and Precious Blood upon His friends is the possessor of the Heart "which has loved so much but has been loved so little in return."
Perhaps one of the reasons for the current revival of private devotions is the realization that personal piety can enhance one's participation in the Mass. To reflect privately upon the riches of the Sacred Heart leads to a greater consciousness of the splendor of the Holy Eucharist. When one adores the Heart of Christ outside the celebration of the Eucharist, one will be better prepared to participate with deeper fervor and awareness within the Sacred Liturgy.
God's gifts to His people are many. The bestowal of the Lord's love upon His Church--as exemplified in the image of the Sacred Heart--is proof that Christ calls all to love as He Himself loved.
This June, as always, the Faithful look to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus because, as Pope Pius wrote quoting Pope Leo XIII, "in It man's salvation must be sought and looked for."
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we place our trust in Thee!
(This article, which has been edited slightly, originally appeared on page four in the June 16, 1991 issue of the National Catholic Register and is used with permission.)
http://www.catholic.org , VA
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan - Official, 390 66616-1125
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- President Trump to release Kennedy assassination files - will the ...
- EVIL EXPORT: American-inspired assisted suicide legislation advances ...
- Daily Readings for Monday, October 23, 2017
- Day 1 - Novena to the Saints in Heaven for the saints on earth HD Video
- Day 2 - Novena to the Saints in Heaven for the saints on earth HD Video
- St. John of Capistrano: Saint of the Day for Monday, October 23, 2017
- Pope Francis speaks about putting God first and reality
- Evil money - George Soros pays to start a revolution in America HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, October 24th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, October 23rd, 2017 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way