The Greatest Human Expression of Love

The month of June in the Catholic Liturgical Calendar is traditionally dedicated to the greatest human expression of love … the Sacred Heart of Jesus…the ultimate symbol of God’s divine love and mercy.  Along with dedicating the month to the Sacred Heart, The Feast day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus  is celebrated nineteen days after Pentecost. This makes the Feast day a movable Feast and this year in 2019 it happens to fall on June 28!   The significance of June 28 for 2019 is very prophetic to the meaning of the Feast Day itself.  I’ll address that later.

Catholic theology states Jesus’ human and divine heart is burning with love for humanity.  The Catechism, quotes Pope Pius XII’s encyclical Haurietis Aquas (1956) on the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, “[Jesus] has loved us all with a human heart.  For this reason, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation, ‘is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that… love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings’ without exception (#478).  Although pierced by our sins, the Sacred Heart never fails to pour out unto us his mercy and forgiveness.  So many times we fail to accept this love and outpouring.  God humbled himself and became man to free us from sin, restore our relationship with God and raise humanity into his divinity.

The private devotion to this love, symbolized by Christ’s fiery, pierced heart, grew over many centuries. In 1675, after witnessing one of her many prophetic visions, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-90) wrote, “Jesus asked that the modern Feast of the Sacred Heart be celebrated each year on the Friday following Corpus Christi, in reparation for the ingratitude of men for the sacrifice which Christ had made for them.”  Her many visions helped increase the popularity and acceptance of this devotion and Feast Day.

Jesus wants his mercy known!  This is the basis of the Gospel.  He wants his mercy accepted, before the day of his judgement.  He wants reparations  made for the ingratitude of those rejecting his love. We all have rejected that love at some point in our sinful lives. Jesus’ Heart burns for us to love.   Not with “Pride”.  Not with disordered sexuality.  Not with apathy towards him and one another, but with the way he first loved us, in friendship, fidelity, chastity, and sacrifice (John 15:9-17).  In denying ourselves, in the humble lifting of our cross in obedience to God the Father (Matthew16:24-26) and in service to one another we follow Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life (John14:6)  In making “reparations for the ingratitude of men” we are fulfilling 1 Timothy 2:1, “First of all, then, I urge that petitions,prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered on behalf of all men.”

Now, back to the significance of June 28 according to the world.  This is the date the “Stonewall Riots” are remembered by the LGBT community with national “Gay Pride” parades.  The Stonewall Riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the Gay community against a police raid that began in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. They are widely considered to constitute the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States[wikipedia].  June is considered “Pride” month among those both in and outside the LGBT community.  Possibly, within the same communities “Pride Parades” could very well pass by processions of the Eucharist as we Honor Christ during the “Corpus Christi” processions during June.  It should not be considered coincidental that these dates and celebrations fall together.

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You.  ~ Fatima Pardon Prayer

Sacred Heart of Jesus make my heart like unto thine“As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the son of man.” (Matthew 24:37) God is pouring out his mercy upon a people rejecting his grace.  In the days of Noah, the book of Genesis describes people going about their daily lives unconcerned about the offenses towards God.  The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.   In 2 Timothy 3:1-4  scripture gives us a description of the state of the world when Jesus returns and most likely “in the days of Noah, “ “There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”  In the powerful prayer I have included at the end of this article, “An Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus”, we confess that “we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, and declare our readiness to “atone for our sins and those of the whole world.”

Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Jesus offers mercy to those who are humbled and contrite.  He offers forgiveness and reconciliation to those seeking mercy and He offers life to those desiring to do the will of God. The Greatest expression of human love awaits.

 

An Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Most sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before you, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which your loving Heart is everywhere subject.

Mindful, alas! that we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, which we now deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask your pardon and declare our readiness to atone by voluntary expiation, not only for our own personal offenses, but also for the sins of those, who, straying far from the path of salvation, refuse in their obstinate infidelity to follow you, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the promises of their baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of your law.

We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against you; we are now determined to make amends for the manifold offenses against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behavior, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violations of Sundays and holy-days, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against you and your Saints. We wish also to make amends for the insults to which your Vicar on earth and your priests are subjected, for the profanation, by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very Sacrament of your divine love, and lastly for the public crimes of nations who resist the rights and teaching authority of the Church which you have founded.

Would that we were able to wash away such abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of your divine honor, the satisfaction you once made to your Eternal Father on the cross and which you continue to renew daily on our altars; we offer it in union with the acts of atonement of your Virgin Mother and all the Saints and of the pious faithful on earth; and we sincerely promise to make recompense, as far as we can with the help of your grace, for all neglect of your great love and for the sins we and others have committed in the past. Henceforth, we will live a life of unswerving faith, of purity of conduct, of perfect observance of the precepts of the Gospel and especially that of charity. We promise to the best of our power to prevent others from offending you and to bring as many as possible to follow you.

O loving Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mother, our model in reparation, deign to receive the voluntary offering we make of this act of expiation; and by the crowning gift of perseverance keep us faithful unto death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to you, so that we may all one day come to that happy home, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, God, forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer Source: Enchiridion of Indulgences , June 29, 1968

A plenary indulgence is granted if it is publicly recited on the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, who piously recite the act of reparation

“Oh Jesus, meek and humble of heart make my heart like unto thine” +

 

 

Blaine Williams

Husband, father, Practicing Catholic, 3rd Degree Knight of Columbus, Member United Steelworkers, shadetree theologian, blogger, songwriter, content creator, outdoorsy type with a love for the indoors, loves fishing, hiking, camping, Double Dog Dares

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