Why Devotion to the Sacred Heart Matters

This article provides the grounds for this devotion and the value of this devotion.
see www.integratedcatholiclife.org/2011/07/bickerstaffwhy-devotion-to-the-sacred-heart-matters/

I read this thread and I thought I’d share some quotes from the Encyclical Haurietis Aquas of Ven. Pope Pius XII.

“Is not a summary of all our religion and, moreover, a guide to a more perfect life contained in this one devotion? Indeed, it more easily leads our minds to know Christ the Lord intimately and more effectively turns our hearts to love Him more ardently and to imitate Him more perfectly.” (Paragraph 15)

We do not hesitate to declare that devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the most effective school of the love of God; the love of God, We say, which must be the foundation on which to build the kingdom of God in the hearts of individuals, families, and nations, as that same predecessor of pious memory wisely reminds us: “The reign of Jesus Christ takes its strength and form from divine love: to love with holiness and order is its foundation and its perfection. From it these must flow: to perform duties without blame; to take away nothing of another’s right; to guide the lower human affairs by heavenly principles; to give the love of God precedence over all other creatures.” Paragraph 123

  1. 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. Particularly was this so after our Lord Himself had privately revealed this divine secret to some of His children to whom He had granted an abundance of heavenly gifts, and whom He had chosen as His special messengers and heralds of this devotion.
  1. For these reasons, the Heart of the Incarnate Word is deservedly and rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that threefold love with which the divine Redeemer unceasingly loves His eternal Father and all mankind.
  1. It is a symbol of that divine love which He shares with the Father and the Holy Spirit but which He, the Word made flesh, alone manifests through a weak and perishable body, since “in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”(52)
  1. It is, besides, the symbol of that burning love which, infused into His soul, enriches the human will of Christ and enlightens and governs its acts by the most perfect knowledge derived both from the beatific vision and that which is directly infused.(53)
  1. And finally - and this in a more natural and direct way - it is the symbol also of sensible love, since the body of Jesus Christ, formed by the Holy Spirit, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, possesses full powers of feelings and perception, in fact, more so than any other human body.(54)
  1. And so we can easily understand that the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, of its very nature, is a worship of the love with which God, through Jesus, loved us, and at the same time, an exercise of our own love by which we are related to God and to other men.

It must not be said that this devotion has taken its origin from some private revelation of God and has suddenly appeared in the Church; rather, it has blossomed forth of its own accord as a result of that lively faith and burning devotion of men who were endowed with heavenly gifts, and who were drawn towards the adorable Redeemer and His glorious wounds which they saw as irresistible proofs of that unbounded love.

“There is in the Sacred Heart,” as Our predecessor of immortal memory, Leo XIII, pointed out, “the symbol and express image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ which moves us to love in return.”

  1. And so the Heart of our Savior reflects in some way the image of the divine Person of the Word and, at the same time, of His twofold nature, the human and the divine; in it we can consider not only the symbol but, in a sense, the summary of the whole mystery of our redemption. When we adore the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, we adore in it and through it both the uncreated love of the divine Word and also its human love and its other emotions and virtues, since both loves moved our Redeemer to sacrifice Himself for us and for His Spouse, the Universal Church, as the Apostle declares: “Christ loved the Church, and delivered Himself up for it, that He might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life, that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.”(87)
  1. Concerning the meaning of this symbol, which was known even to the earliest Fathers and ecclesiastical writers, St. Thomas Aquinas, echoing something of their words, writes as follows: “From the side of Christ, there flowed water for cleansing, blood for redeeming. Hence blood is associated with the sacrament of the Eucharist, water with the sacrament of Baptism, which has its cleansing power by virtue of the blood of Christ.”(81)
  1. We therefore urge all Our children in Christ, both those who are already accustomed to drink the saving waters flowing from the Heart of the Redeemer and, more especially those who look on from a distance like hesitant spectators, to eagerly embrace this devotion. Let them carefully consider, as We have said, that it is a question of a devotion which has long been powerful in the Church and is solidly founded on the Gospel narrative. It received clear support from tradition and the sacred liturgy and has been frequently and generously praised by the Roman Pontiffs themselves.

The devotion to the Sacred Heart used to be very popular. I have read that the devotion declined in the years after Vatican II. It is strange that this devotion would suddenly decline given the fact that it was so highly praised by countless Popes and Saints. Why did the Sacred Heart devotion lose popularity?

When I was in elementary school, we went to First Friday Mass as a class from September through June. My daughter attends Catholic school and they do not attend Mass on First Friday. I spoke to the principal (twice) and the pastor about bringing this devotion back. I was shot down. I still cannot believe I was shot down. Apparently, the “powers that be” don’t take the devotion as seriously as the laity. How do they become so jaded that they completely miss the big picture? So now, I bring my daughter to First Friday Mass every month at 6:30 am before school. Ironically, the principal is always there! :mad:

When I was in elementary school, we went to First Friday Mass as a class from September through June. My daughter attends Catholic school and they do not attend Mass on First Friday. I spoke to the principal (twice) and the pastor about bringing this devotion back. I was shot down. I still cannot believe I was shot down. Apparently, the “powers that be” don’t take the devotion as seriously as the laity. How do they become so jaded that they completely miss the big picture? So now, I bring my daughter to First Friday Mass every month at 6:30 am before school. Ironically, the principal is always there!

It is a pity that the school does not promote this devotion because they could use it as an opportunity to teach the faith to the children. Teachers could use the Sacred Heart as an aid to help teach the children about Jesus and the love he has for all of us. I also think the First Friday Masses would help the school forge an authentic Catholic spirituality.

Why did they shoot you down? What did the principal say when you suggested this?

The principal and pastor both said that since the children go to Mass during other times of the year, that First Friday Mass wouldn’t fit into their schedule. They already go apx. once a month for the celebration of certain feasts, but no First Fridays.

I also wrote to the Superintendent of Schools for our Diocese suggesting that this might be a good mandate for all the schools in our diocese and she reiterated the same sentiment. Sacred Heard devotion is not necessary, especially if the kids like to go on other feast days (such as the patron of their parish).

I was really disappointed that no one thought it was important enough. I hate to see this devotion fall by the wayside, especially in light of the graces received from a devotion to the Sacred Heart. It’s a pity.

You are correct - they missed an excellent teaching opportunity!

The principal and pastor both said that since the children go to Mass during other times of the year, that First Friday Mass wouldn’t fit into their schedule. They already go apx. once a month for the celebration of certain feasts, but no First Fridays.

That’s a poor response. Something is seriously wrong when a Catholic school can’t fit an extra Mass once a month into their schedule. I think it’s great that you take your daughter to the First Friday Mass though.

I was really disappointed that no one thought it was important enough. I hate to see this devotion fall by the wayside, especially in light of the graces received from a devotion to the Sacred Heart. It’s a pity.

I agree. I don’t understand why the pastor did not stand in your corner. I’m surprised that he didn’t see this as a great opportunity to hand down a great Catholic tradition to the children.

I agree 100%. Maybe I can be principal :smiley:

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