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Artemy Biryukov
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Louis Price Heart Devotion

The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (Latin: Cor Jesu Sacratissimum) is one of the most widely practised and well-known Catholic devotions, wherein the heart of Jesus is viewed as a symbol of "God's boundless and passionate love for mankind".[1] This devotion to Christ is predominantly used in the Catholic Church, followed by high-church Anglicans, Lutherans[citation needed] and some Western Rite Orthodox. In the Latin Church, the liturgical Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is celebrated the third Friday after Pentecost.[2] The 12 promises of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus are also extremely popular.

Louis Price Heart Devotion

The devotion is especially concerned with what the church deems to be the long-suffering love and compassion of the heart of Christ towards humanity. The popularization of this devotion in its modern form is derived from a Roman Catholic nun from France, Margaret Mary Alacoque, who said she learned the devotion from Jesus during a series of apparitions to her between 1673 and 1675,[3] and later, in the 19th century, from the mystical revelations of another Catholic nun in Portugal, Mary of the Divine Heart, a religious sister of the congregation of the Good Shepherd, who requested in the name of Christ that Pope Leo XIII consecrate the entire world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Predecessors to the modern devotion arose unmistakably in the Middle Ages in various facets of Catholic mysticism, particularly with Gertrude the Great.[4]

From the 13th to the 16th centuries, the devotion was propagated but it did not seem to have been embellished. It was everywhere practised by individuals and by different religious congregations, such as the Franciscans, Dominicans, and Carthusians. Among the Franciscans the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has its champions in Bonaventure (d. 1274) in his Vitis Mystica ("Mystic Vine") and John de la Verna.[11] Bonaventure wrote: "Who is there who would not love this wounded heart? Who would not love in return Him, who loves so much?"[12] It was, nevertheless, a private, individual devotion of the mystical order. Nothing of a general movement had been inaugurated, except for similarities found in the devotion to the Five Holy Wounds by the Franciscans, in which the wound in Jesus's heart figured most prominently.

Take thought now, redeemed man, and consider how great and worthy is he who hangs on the cross for you. His death brings the dead to life, but at his passing heaven and earth are plunged into mourning and hard rocks are split asunder. It was a divine decree that permitted one of the soldiers to open his sacred side with a lance. This was done so that the Church might be formed from the side of Christ as he slept the sleep of death on the cross, and so that the Scripture might be fulfilled: 'They shall look on him whom they pierced'. The blood and water, which poured out at that moment, were the price of our salvation. Flowing from the secret abyss of our Lord's heart as from a fountain, this stream gave the sacraments of the Church the power to confer the life of grace, while for those already living in Christ it became a spring of living water welling up to life everlasting.[13]

According to Thomas Merton, Lutgarde (d. 1246), a Cistercian mystic of Aywieres, Belgium, was one of the great precursors of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A contemporary of Francis of Assisi, she "entered upon the mystical life with a vision of the pierced Heart of the Saviour, and had concluded her mystical espousals with the Incarnate Word by an exchange of hearts with Him."[14] Sources say that Christ came in a visitation to Lutgarde, offering her whatever gift of grace she should desire; she asked for a better grasp of Latin, that she might better understand the word of God and sing God's praise. Christ granted her request and Lutgarde's mind was flooded with the riches of psalms, antiphons, readings, and responsories. However, a painful emptiness persisted. She returned to Christ, asking to return his gift, and wondering if she might, just possibly, exchange it for another. "And for what would you exchange it?" Christ asked. "Lord, said Lutgarde, I would exchange it for your Heart." Christ then reached into Lutgarde and, removing her heart, replaced it with his own, at the same time hiding her heart within his breast.[15]

Mechtilde of Helfta (d. 1298) became an ardent devotee and promoter of Jesus' heart after it was the subject of many of her visions. The idea of hearing the heartbeat of God was very important to medieval saints who nurtured devotion to the Sacred Heart.[16] Mechtilde reported that Jesus appeared to her in a vision and commanded her to love him ardently, and to honor his sacred heart in the Blessed Sacrament as much as possible. He gave her his heart as a pledge of his love, as a place of refuge during her life and as her consolation at the hour of her death. From this time Mechtilde had an extraordinary devotion for the Sacred Heart, and said that if she had to write down all the favors and all the blessings which she had received by means of this devotion, a large book would not contain them.[17]

The Enthronement of the Sacred Heart is a Roman Catholic ceremony in which a priest or head of a household consecrates the members of the household to the Sacred Heart. An image of the Sacred Heart that has been blessed, either a statue or a picture, is then placed in the home as a reminder. The practice of the Enthronement is based upon Pius XII's declaration that devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is "the foundation on which to build the kingdom of God in the hearts of individuals, families, and nations."[28]

The Feast of the Sacred Heart is a solemnity in the liturgical calendar of the Latin Church. It falls 19 days after Pentecost, on a Friday.[29] Therefore, it is the last feast day of the year that is dependent on the date of Easter. The earliest possible date is 29 May, as in 1818 and 2285. The latest possible date is 2 July, as in 1943 and 2038. The devotion to the Sacred Heart is one of the most widely practiced and well-known Catholic devotions, taking Jesus Christ's physical heart as the representation of his divine love for humanity.[citation needed]

The Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary is based on the historical, theological, and spiritual links in Catholic devotions between the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.[30][31][32] The joint devotion to the hearts was first formalized in the seventeenth century by John Eudes who organized the scriptural, theological, and liturgical sources relating to the devotions and obtained the approbation of the church, prior to the visions of Margaret Mary Alacoque.[33][34][35]

Popes supported the individual and joint devotions to the hearts through the centuries. In the 1956 encyclical Haurietis aquas, Pope Pius XII encouraged the joint devotion to the hearts. In the 1979 encyclical Redemptor hominis, Pope John Paul II explained the theme of unity of Mary's Immaculate Heart with the Sacred Heart.[41] In his Angelus address on 15 September 1985, John Paul II coined the term The Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and in 1986 addressed the international conference on that topic held at Fátima, Portugal.[42][43][44][45]

We hear them sometimes speak of devotion to Thy holy Mother, notfor the purpose of establishing it and persuading men to it, but todestroy the abuses which are made of it, while all the time theseteachers are without piety or tender devotion towards Thyself, simplybecause they have none for Mary. They regard the Rosary, theScapular, and the Chaplet as devotions proper for weak and ignorantminds, and without which men can save themselves; and if there fallsinto their hands any poor client of our Lady, who says his Rosary, orhas any other practice of devotion towards her, they soon change hisspirit and his heart. Instead of the Rosary, they counsel him theseven Penitential Psalms. Instead of devotion to the holy Virgin,they counsel him devotion to Jesus Christ.

1.True devotion to our Lady is interior;that is to say, it comes from the spirit and the heart.It flows from the esteem we have of her, the high idea we haveformed of her greatness, and the love which we have for her.

Moreover, this devotion is a practice of great humility,which God loves above all the other virtues. A soul which exaltsitself abases God; a soul which abases itself exalts God. Godresists the proud, and gives His grace to the humble. If you abaseyourself, thinking yourself unworthy to appear before Him and todraw nigh to Him, He descends, and lowers Himself to come to you, totake pleasure in you, and to exalt you in spite of yourself. On thecontrary, when you are hardy enough to approach God without amediator, God flies from you, and you cannot reach Him. Oh, how Heloves humility of heart! It is to this humility that our peculiardevotion engages us, because it teaches us never to draw nigh ofourselves to our Lord, however sweet and merciful He may be, butalways to avail ourselves of the intercession of our Blessed Lady,whether it be to appear before God, or to speak to Him, or to drawnear to Him, or to offer Him anything, or to unite and consecrateourselves to Him.

It would be well also that on that day they should pay sometribute to Jesus Christ and our Blessed Lady, either as a penancefor their past unfaithfulness to the vows of their Baptism, or intestimony of their dependence and allegiance to the domain of Jesusand Mary. This tribute ought to be according to the devotion andcapacity of every one, as a fast, a mortification, an alms, or acandle. If they had but a pin to give in homage, yet gave it with agood heart, it would be enough for Jesus, who looks only at thegood-will.

THOSE who adopt this slavery ought also to have a greatdevotion to saying the Hail Mary (the Angelical Salutation). FewChristians, however enlightened, know the real price, merit,excellence, and necessity of the Hail Mary. It was necessary for theBlessed Virgin to appear several times to great and enlightenedSaints, to show them the merit of it. She did so to St. Dominic, St.John Capistran, and the Blessed Alan de la Roche. They have composedentire works on the wonders and efficacy of that prayer forconverting souls. They have loudly published and openly preachedthat, salvation having begun with the Hail Mary, the salvation ofeach one of us in particular is attached to that prayer. They tellus that it is that prayer which made the dry and barren earth bringforth the fruit of life; and that it is that prayer well said whichmakes the Word of God germinate in our souls, and bring forth JesusChrist, the Fruit of life. They tell us that the Hail Mary is aheavenly dew for watering the earth, which is the soul, to make itbring forth its fruit in season; and that a soul which is notwatered by that prayer bears no fruit, and brings forth only thornsand brambles, and is ready to be cursed. 041b061a72

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