So, about the Sacred Heart.
On the Devotion to the Sacred Heart--
The heart has always been seen as the "center" or essence a person ("the heart of the matter," "you are my heart," "take it to heart," etc.) and the wellspring of our emotional lives and love ("you break my heart," "my heart sings," etc.) Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is devotion to Jesus Christ Himself, but in the particular ways of meditating on his interior life and on His threefold love -- His divine love, His burning love that fed His human will, and His sensible love that affects His interior life.The history of the devotion to the Sacred Heart--
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus first developed in the late Middle Ages. This was a time when Christ was most often depicted as the Divine Judge, ready to pour out wrath and retribution on the unrepentant sinner. It was the great women mystics, like St. Hildegard of Bingen and St. Gertrude the Great, who were among the first to imagine a new way of understanding who and what Christ is and could be for us. (Source)also,
The Church has a long tradition of loving Jesus and his Sacred Heart but it was not a very common thing among the people. In 1673, he appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and showed her His Sacred Heart and the great love He has for all of us. The following year He asked her that she make it known that He would like us to honour Him as the Sacred Heart. She said He appeared "radiant with love". (Source.)
The Promises found in the writings of St. Margaret Mary--
- I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
- I will give peace in their families.
- I will console them in all their troubles.
- I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.
- I will abundantly bless all their undertakings.
- Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
- Tepid souls shall become fervent.
- Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
- I will bless those places wherein the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.
- I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
- Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names eternally written in my Heart.
- In the excess of the mercy of my Heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.
The Devotions attached to the Promises--
- Receiving Communion frequently
- First Fridays: going to Confession and receiving the Eucharist on the first Friday of each month for nine consecutive months. Many parishes will offer public First Friday devotions; if they do, you must perform First Fridays publicly. If it isn't so offered in your parish, you can do this privately, going to Confession, receiving the Eucharist, and offering your prayers for the intention of the Holy Father.
- Holy Hour: Eucharistic Adoration for one hour on Thursdays ("Could you not watch one hour with me?"). Holy Hour can be made alone or as part of a group with formal prayers.
- Celebrating of the Feast of the Sacred Heart
For the kids-- this one (here) has nice printables-- tracking chart and a completion certificate- to inspire devotion to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts.
This is what we did yesterday to prepare for the feast of the Sacred Heart--
We did some heart-shaped tie dyed shirts.
I prepared the Sacred Heart outline with black glue and she painted it in.
Marco wanted to join us so he scribbled also. :-)