08 October 2008

The Door of God's Love Poured Out to the World

The Sacred Heart of Jesus, "the door through which the eternal love of the Father is poured out on the world" (Pope John Paul II, Homily, Solemn Eucharistic Celebration, America's Center, St. Louis, Jan. 27, 1999, n. 1c).
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has been known since the earliest ages of the Church though our understanding of this devotion has grown and developed since then. In his encyclical on devotion to the Sacred Heart Pope Pius XII commented on this development.

"We are convinced, then, that the devotion which we are fostering to the love of God and Jesus Christ for the human race by means of the revered symbol of the Pierced Heart of the crucified Redeemer has never been altogether unknown to the piety of the faithful, although it has become more clearly known and has spread in a remarkable manner throughout the Church in quite recent times. ...

"But if men have always been deeply moved by the Pierced Heart of the Savior to a worship of that infinite love with which He embraces mankind ... it must yet be admitted that it was only by a very gradual advance that the honors of a special devotion were offered to that Heart as depicting the love, human and divine, which exists in the Incarnate Word" (Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Haurietas Aquas [May 25, 1956], nn. 90 and 93).

Devotion to the Sacred Heart becomes increasingly necessary in those times like our own when we see love of God growing cold and indifferent, if not openly hostile, as evidenced by numerous recent acts of desecration of the Blessed Eucharist to which this devotion is intimately united.

When Garcia Moreno of Ecuador became president he sought to save his country by consecrating it to the Sacred Heart and what blessings from Heaven were showered upon that little country. During this election year we see our country divided more than ever in so many ways. And the cause of this division is primarily a result of the moral breakdown that has been building for generations. Pray that more of our Catholic politicians follow the examples of St. Thomas More, Blessed Charles of Austria, and Garcia Moreno rather than compromising and equivocating with the world.

As the family is the basic unit of society and consequently the focus of the attack by our enemies it is necessary then that the renewal of our social life begin with the the family. We need a renewed devotion to the Sacred Heart which we can begin by enthroning the Sacred Heart in our homes. Father Mateo Crawley, the Apostle of the Sacred Heart, wrote and preached endlessly on this devotion and gave us the practical means to accomplish it. There is much wonderful information on this devotion and for an introduction I would suggest reading Archbishop Burke's four articles that were published in the diocesan newspaper of St. Louis and can be found posted at the Women for Faith and Family website.

Fr. Mateo was a priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart and they continue to be responsible for spreading this devotion and providing materials for the Enthronement and Night Adoration in the Home. You can find more information here.

I can provide no further incentive for this devotion than the words of Fr. Mateo himself,

“As the family is the necessary foundation and the original source of Christian and social vitality, I am convinced that there is no apostolate which can bring about more effectively the reign of the Lord over individuals and collectivity's than that which enthrones Him precisely as King of the Family.”

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