Friday, June 24, 2011

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Part 7)

Since June is specially dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus we have been paying particular attention to this devotion throughout the month.  The feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a moveable feast, and will actually take place this year  in July (July 1). 

In "The Devotion to the Sacred Heart," by Fr. John Croiset, SJ, which was commissioned by Our Lord Himself, through St. Margaret Mary, Fr. Croiset tells us that the obstacles to devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus may be reduced to four: "great tepidity in the service of God, self-love, secret pride, and certain passions which people have not taken care to mortify from the beginning of their conversion."

We have also seen that, according to Fr. Croiset, there are two principal means of overcoming these obstacles.  The first is true mortification and the second is humility, which we discussed here and here

We also saw here the seven means suggested by Fr. Croiset for acquiring perfect love of Jesus Christ and a tender devotion to His Sacred Heart. 

In addition, we have considered here what Fr. Croiset tells us are proper motives and sentiments with which Devotion to the Sacred Heart ought to be practiced.   We also saw here how Our Lord chose the day for the feast of the Sacred Heart.

Now we will look more deeply into Devotion to the Sacred Heart.  In particular, we will consider daily practices of Devotion to the Sacred Heart recommended by Fr. Croiset.

Practice of the Devotion for morning:

"In the morning on rising, after the example of many saints, we should prostrate ourselves in the direction of the nearest church where the Blessed Sacrament is kept, and thus prostrated make an act of Faith."

Practice of the Devotion while attending Mass:

"Above all, everyone should endeavor to bring home to himself that the Sacrifice of the Mass is the same as that of Calvary and should assist at it with the most profound respect and reverence, like people who believe that the Sacrifice of Calvary is here renewed."

Practice of the Devotion for afternoon:

"The afternoon is a most suitable time for visiting Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament in order to honor His Sacred Heart by our love and homage.  As it is the time when people think least about Jesus Christ and when few people visit Him, those who visit Him at this time are sure of  being well received."

Practice of the Devotion for evening:

"St. Aloysius Gonzaga was accustomed before going to sleep to recite three Hail Marys, in order to put himself under the protection, and as it were, in the heart of the Blessed Virgin.  Then he made a profound bow in the direction of the church to adore the Blessed Sacrament, asking the Sacred Heart of Jesus to watch unceasingly over Holy Church, and especially over those who love Him tenderly, and begging to be preserved through His mercy from all the snares of the devil; protesting that it was in the Sacred Heart that he wished to take his rest and saying with the Psalmist: "In peace in the self same," that is, in the my supreme Good, "I will sleep and I will rest." (Ps 4:9)

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