28 October 2015

Pope Benedict XV on The Enthronement of the Sacred Heart

Nothing is more suitable to the needs of the present day than your enterprise. To pervert, both in private and in public life, the concept of morality engendered and fostered by the Church, and, after having almost effaced the last vestige of Christian wisdom and decency, to lead human society back to the miserable institutions of paganism, such as the plan too many are trying to realize today.   Would that their efforts were fruitless! Moreover, the attacks of the wicked are directed primarily against the family. For, containing within itself as it does the principles and, as it were, the germ of all human society, they clearly see that the change, or rather, the corruption,  which they are trying to bring about in human society, will necessarily follow, once the corruption of the family itself has been accomplished. Hence divorce laws are introduced to put an end to the stability of marriage; children are forced to follow an official teaching for the most part estranged from religion, thus eliminating the authority of parents in a matter of the highest importance;  moreover, countenance is given to the spread of a shameful course of selfish indulgence which contravenes the laws of nature, and striking a blow at the human race at it's a very source, stains the sanctity of marriage with impure practices.

You do well then, dear son, while taking up the cause of human society, to arouse and propagate above all things a Christian spirit in the home by setting up in each family the reign of the love of Jesus Christ. And in doing this you are but obeying the Divine Lord Himself, who promised to shower his blessings upon the homes wherein an image of His Heart should be exposed and devoutly honored.

It is assuredly, therefore, a holy and salutary work to secure for our beloved Redeemer such worship and honor. But that is not everything. It is of the upmost importance to know Christ, to know His Doctrine, His Life, His Passion, His Glory.  For to follow Him does not consist in allowing ourselves to be swayed by a superficial religious sentiment that easily moves weak and tender hearts to tears but leaves vices intact.  To follow Christ is to be permeated with a lively and constant faith, which not only acts upon the mind and heart, but likewise governs and directs our conduct. Moreover the real reason why Jesus is neglected by so many, and but little loved by others, is to be found in the fact that he is almost entirely unknown to the former and not sufficiently by the latter. Continue therefore, beloved son, in your efforts to enkindle in Catholic homes the flames of love for the most Sacred Heart of Jesus: but likewise and before all else, this is our wish, endeavor to make this love result from a knowledge of Christ The Lord, and from a greater and deeper understanding of the truths and the laws which He Himself has given us.

For our part, in order to encourage the piety of the faithful in this matter, we extend to all families of the Catholic world that consecrate themselves to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, all those special favors which our predecessor , Pius X, of happy memory, granted with pontifical liberality, in 1913, at the instance of the Bishops of Chile to the families of that Republic consecrated to the Sacred Heart.

Given at St. Peter's, Rome, this 27th day of April, 1915, in the first year of our Pontificate.

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