Teaching on the Sacred Heart

given 6/12/03 at Holly Oaks by Child

 

Monsignor gave for our topic this week, the Sacred Heart of Jesus because this month is dedicated to the Sacred Heart.The Feast of the Sacred Heart is on June 27 and the Feast of the Immaculate Heart is June 28 this year.

When I asked Jesus how to present this, He said ĎPresent My Heart as Loveí.The devotion of the Sacred Heart is an old devotion.Actually the first hearts they found were in the catacombs.We all knew about the symbol of the fish; thatís how they recognized one another.We talked at Easter time about how the Easter egg is a Christian symbol.Especially in the Eastern Empire, on Easter the people would decorate the egg and as they passed on the street they would exchange them with other Christians.Thatís how the Easter egg came to be.The Sacred Heart devotion goes back to the very earliest times.As we know, St. John the Evangelist is called the beloved in Scripture several times and several times he describes himself as the one who lays his head on the Heart of Jesus.The first teachings of this devotion began with St. Gertrude the Great.It was St. John the Evangelist who came to talk to her about the Heart of Jesus.This teaching was in St. Gertrudeís private writings and it didnít spread widely until St. Margaret Mary Aloquoqe, who lived 1647 to 1690 that it began to spread.

Jesus came to her to make known this devotion to the Sacred Heart.There were four apparitions of the Sacred Heart and it was the first time that Jesus presented His Heart outside where He was holding His Heart to the world.†† All the pictures you will see of the Sacred Heart come from that time with St. Margaret Mary.The devotion did spread quickly.She was a Visitation nun and her Spiritual Director, St. Claude de la Colombiere, kept the material that she was being given.He went to London and was imprisoned during the Reformation.The Catholic priests were being imprisoned in London and when he had gone there on missionary work to try to convert the English people, he was imprisoned.He was sent back to France and he began to work with St. Margaret Mary.He had the picture of the Sacred Heart printed.St. Margaret Mary was head of the novices and she began the devotion there very quietly.When her Spiritual Director came back, he printed in book form the devotion to the Sacred Heart and the promises which the Lord gave, and it began to spread in France.All he put down was what was given to the little nun, but the book became very popular.One day in the refrectory the nuns were reading religious readings during the supper hour.The nun who was supposed to do the reading that day was reading from Fatherís book because he had also been Confessor and Spiritual Director to the whole convent.She got towards the end of the book and he describes what Jesus should look like and they all looked at each other and knew the nun that Father was referring to was in the convent because that picture was in the hallway and one of their own was promoting this picture.St. Margaret Mary died shortly after that at a very young age.The devotion spread very quickly throughout Europe and three Popes had great devotion to the Sacred Heart.Our own Holy Father, right after Vatican II, began promoting devotion to the Sacred Heart at the same time he began promoting Divine Mercy.Since then there has again been great interest in the Consecration to the Sacred Heart.

One of the things the Lord asked St. Margaret Mary to promote was the consecration of the family to the Sacred Heart because the family is the center of the Christian community.It is in the family that the children learn the Catechism and, most of all, by the example of their parents.If there is devotion in the house, if there is prayer in the house, children grow with it.In our previous parish in Independence, those in prayer groups consecrated their houses to the Sacred Heart and it spread widely throughout the parish.This is something you can ask the priest in your parish to help you with if you desire to consecrate your house and family to the Sacred Heart.It is a beautiful and blessed ceremony that you can invite your friends and relatives to.