June 12, 2010
Meeting the Sacred Heart
Yesterday was the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a traditional feast that goes back centuries. As a private devotion, it was commonplace by the sixteenth century and grew even more popular after a series of visions experienced by French visitation nun, Mary Margaret of Alacoque.
Pope Pius IX made the devotion a feast in the universal Church in 1856 and then in 1899, Pope Leo XIII consecrated the world to the Sacred Heart. A number of encyclicals have been written on the devotion over the years.
This feast can be a little strange to new or non-Catholics who haven’t quite developed the stomach for devotions that are seemingly focused on body parts. In reality, the feast is really a meditation on the profound love that Jesus Christ has for each and every person.
For the modern Christian who wants to contemplate the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I recommend a new book: A Heart Like His: Meditations on the Sacred Heart of Jesus, by IC friend, Fr. Thomas D. Williams.
Fr. Williams’ meditations are short and accessible — each focused on the basic prayer that the Lord make our hearts more like His own. The book has a padded cover and a ribbon to mark your place — perfect for nighttime reading. And it also includes a separate chapter and prayer for the sister feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which is today.
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