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X: Some Practical Suggestions for Devotion to the Sacred Heart


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Many spiritually fruitful elements of the modern devotion to the Sacred Heart come from the mystical visions of Jesus which Saint Margaret Mary (1647-1690) experienced between 1673 and 1675, in which he spoke to her of the Sacred Heart. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Make a Holy Hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. This was emphasized in the private revelation to Saint Margaret Mary. As Bishop Sheen remarks, spending an hour with Jesus is the only thing relating to himself that he specifically asked of us, when he said in the Garden of Gethsemane: “So, could you not watch with me one hour?” (Matthew 26:40) One can make this Holy Hour with any frequency; Bishop Sheen urges priests to do so every day.

  2. Read a portion of one of the Gospels every day. It might perhaps be the Gospel reading for the Mass of the day, or it might simply be a chapter a day. The Gospel of Matthew has 28 chapters, the Gospel of Mark has 16, the Gospel of Luke has 24, and the Gospel of John has 21: a total of 89 chapters, so that at a chapter a day the whole Gospel can be read about four times a year. Each chapter takes only a few minutes to read prayerfully, so as to encounter Jesus, and to experience the love of his Sacred Heart.

  3. It is spiritually valuable to participate in Mass at any time, but to do so on consecutive First Fridays is a custom associated with devotion to the Sacred Heart.

  4. Place an image of the Sacred Heart in your home, and consecrate your family to the Sacred Heart. As it has been said, the family that prays together stays together, and both devotion to the love of the Sacred Heart and the praying of the Rosary can strengthen the love at the heart of each family. For a service of consecration of the family, see A Heart on Fire, by Father James Kubicki, pp. 164-168.

  5. Give prominence to an image of the Sacred Heart in your parish Church. Parishes are encouraged to specially emphasize the Sacred Heart on the first Friday of every month, and throughout the month of June.

  6. Catholic schools have a responsibility to help their students, and all in the school community, to encounter Jesus, who will inspire and challenge them, and change their lives, as they enter deeply into the prayerful study of the Gospels, and the rest of sacred Scripture, and draw guidance from the living faith of the Church upon which the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost. Promotion of devotion to the Sacred Heart is a way to do that.

  7. Personally, carry an image of the Sacred Heart, and use it as a constant reminder of the generous love of Jesus which it symbolizes. Then put that love into practice throughout the day.


For Reflection:

  1. What are some ways to practice the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus? What can the parish do to encourage this devotion in a practical way?
  2. “The family that prays together stays together.” How can I introduce prayer into the daily routine of those living with me? How can I propose the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to those around me? What can the parish do to introduce the devotion to its families?
  3. How has the parish encouraged the Sacred Heart of Jesus devotion in its Catholic schools? Are the teachers and students aware of this devotion? If not, how can the parish work to encourage this devotion for those attending Catholic schools?
  4. What does the image/icon of the Sacred Heart of Jesus mean to me? Does it speak to me or touch me in a particular way? What does it remind me of and how does this reminder affect my daily life?