Today is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Devotion to the Sacred Heart is one of the most identifiably Catholic devotions, second only to the Rosary.
It is almost as old. Jesus gave St. Gertrude the Great interior locutions on the 13th Century telling her about the depths of His love for us. Earlier in that same century Our Lady gave St. Dominic the basics of what is the Rosary.
I can’t go into great detail regarding the revelations to St. Gertrude, as I am only beginning to read a classic book on that. Many of us are more familiar with His revelations to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in the 17 Century which established the modern devotional practices.
The point of this post is simple: Since the beginning of June I’ve been really getting interested in the Sacred Heart Devotion. I’ve been ‘into it’ for years, I’ve done the Nine First Fridays and I am really devoted to visiting Him in the Blessed Sacrament. I’ve meditated using devotional books on it; and I ‘get’ the basic fundamental gist of the devotion: that is the Sacred Heart is Jesus’ intense, sacrificial love for us, and our response to that love by loving Him in return with a love that sets our own hearts and souls aflame; including loving Him on behalf of those who don’t. But for but for some reason the fundamental aspect didn’t really resonate; that may not make all that much sense but the only way I can explain it is that the ‘feeling’ of the Devotion didn’t go too deep. It didn’t move me like the Rosary does and Marian feast days do, or the Divine Mercy Devotion and Divine Mercy Sunday.
But this year is different: I saw that June was coming up and I’m like all excited, “It’s the Sacred Heart Month! It’s the Sacred Heart Month!!” I’m finally reading this book: Love, Peace And Joy: Devotion To The Sacred Heart Of Jesus According To St. Gertrude The Great which is a boon to me; it’s really opened up my heart and mind to the essence of the devotion and its spiritual impact and effects.
Jesus’ love for us is so intense that it supplies what is lacking in our prayers and desires. It ‘fixes our past,’ not by a manner of temporal engineering and changing that past, but by burying our sinful past in His Heart (“Let go, and let God.”) we can find redemption in a tangible manner. The Sacred Heart Devotion, when combined with reception of the Eucharist and visits to the Blessed Sacrament make Jesus feel less like an abstraction and more of a real live entity. No wonder that the Sacred Heart Devotion has been popular amongst those who are more ‘traditional’ and who practice true holy piety (that sense of affectionate respect and love for God and His Church.)
It’s weird, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)