Lighting the Fire of His Love in the Hearts of All
Before this fire can be re-lit in anyone else's heart, you, the devoted people of God, members of your parishes, Christian followers of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, young and old alike, have a major (but not insurmountable) hurdle to overcome. That hurdle is to gain the support of your parish priests in re-establishing the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, fully and completely, where it does not exist or has not for many years.
Where it is non-existent, it is because it has not been preached to the people, nor taught in most schools or CCD classes and, as a result, there are two whole generations who are unfamiliar with the Devotion's graces and benefits.
This support is READILY obtainable, however, if it is approached respectfully and in the right way. By right way, we mean in an organized and coherent fashion. Pastors WILL listen to the requests of their parishioners, (especially their spiritual requests) and will grant their requests, IF they are convinced that there are a sufficiently large number of people who want and will support the Devotion's establishment.
A Pastor Appeal
To provide you with a vehicle around which you, and all parish groups and organizations, may organize a respectful appeal to your Pastor, which will gain his support, we supply below, (next page), a form, which you can, and should down load, print and distribute to all like-minded individuals and organizations in the parish to get the maximum number of signatures for presentation to him at an appropriate time. He cannot, we believe, refuse a spiritual request of such magnitude by so many members of his flock.
Click here - Parish Enthronement Ministry for an organization already successful in Parish enthronements.
He has said: "Those who promote this devotion shall have their names written in my Heart, never to be effaced.…….I will give priests who are animated by a tender devotion to my Divine Heart the gift of touching the most hardened hearts."
Our goal is to have ALL Catholics practicing the devotion; yet, we can only reach you, the people and priests who visit this site, and, to a financially limited extent, parishes to whom we can write and suggest renewal, offering our Booklet as the vehicle. We rely on you to help us to extend this reach into your parishes, both laity and priests. Both are mutually interdependent for success.
Only if it becomes top of mind by ALL, priests and laity alike, not only on First Fridays and the Feast of the Sacred Heart, but DAILY, throughout the year, can this goal be accomplished. This is especially true of ANY entity, be it Church, School or Hospital that has "Sacred Heart" in its name. These should be the spearhead, in the forefront of the renewal.
Ways Priests and Parishioners Can Practice and Help Spread the Practice of the Devotion:
Lay ministers and Outreach personnel: Distribute Devotion Booklets to Catholic shut-in communicants, nursing home occupants, hospital patients and chaplains, prison chaplains, indigent Catholics and homeless shelters. Utilize members of Women's Guilds, Altar and Rosary Society, St. Vincent De Paul Society, Men's Clubs, Youth Organizations etc. to aid in distribution to these groups to maximize total distribution.
Pass out Devotion Booklets on the Sunday before First Friday and the Feast of the Sacred Heart.
Make as many visits to Church, to honor Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, as possible during the week, hopefully at least one of one half hour duration. Recite the Booklet Act of Reparation to make up for the neglect, indifference and ingratitude of the majority that results in His being left alone, abandoned and forgotten on our altars. (A Plenary Indulgence is granted by the Church for each half hour visit for the purpose of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, applicable to ones self or a deceased family member, or a soul in Purgatory, under the usual conditions of Confession, Communion and a prayer for the intention of the Holy Father i.e. Our Father, Hail Mary.)
If your Pastor limits the hours the church is open, due to concerns about vandalism, as many are, advise him that this problem has been solved with a new inexpensive solution proven by, for example, parishes in Florida: St. Jude's, Tequesta and St. Joseph, Stuart, both of whom have had electronic key pad locks installed on the doors to their churches' Adoration chapels and, in the case of St. Jude, also on the door to the church. The cost has approximated $700.00 for the installation. To get the code for admittance, the parishioner goes to the parish offices and requests it. Obviously, the same solution could work equally well for the doors to the church or to a side entrance to the church. There is no longer any excuse NOT to have the church open 24 hours a day through the key pad access for visits by the faithful. Our Lord can then rejoice in their efforts to show Him the love and honor due Him in the Blessed Sacrament.
Members of Any/All Church Organizations Listed Above:
- Make a respectful, collective appeal to the Pastor to establish, on a permanent basis, a Holy Hour Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on First Friday Evening and the Feast of the Sacred Heart. (Canon 212 -2: "Christ's faithful are at liberty to make known their needs, especially their spiritual needs, and their wishes to the Pastors of the Church.")
- Have Votive Masses of the Sacred Heart said for the intentions of the Sacred Heart, for ones self, deceased loved ones and the Poor Souls in Purgatory, for whom St. Margaret Mary had great devotion.
- Recite the Devotion Booklet Prayers daily, and, in the morning, offer all your daily activities for the intentions of His Sacred Heart, in reparation for sins and sinners who offend Him.
- Above all, trust Him in everything and recite the Padre Pio Novena to the Sacred Heart for any needed special graces (found elsewhere on this site under the button "NOVENA").
- Say Booklet Prayers for the Poor Souls in Purgatory daily. Saying such prayers is a spiritual Act of Charity, which all Catholics are to perform as often as possible as part of the Devotion
- On First Friday: Announce at Mass that it is First Friday. Say only the Votive Mass of the Sacred Heart with the regular weekday readings. At the end of Mass, lead the faithful in the recitation of the Act of Reparation and the Litany of the Sacred Heart from the Devotion Booklet.
- Preach the Devotion in your homilies! Sundays. Weekdays. Do not limit yourself to a homily reinterpretation of the meaning and message of the day's Gospel and believe that is all that you are allowed or required to do, or that it is sufficient. "…..The mysteries of faith and the rules of Christian living are to be expounded in the homily from the sacred text." (Canon 767.1)
There is also the opportunity "….To explain to the faithful the teaching of the magisterium of the Church concerning the dignity and freedom of the human person; the unity, stability and duties of the family; people's social obligations and the ordering of temporal affairs according to the plan established by God." (Canon 768.2) The Heart of Jesus Christ is Love. His message and the 12 Promises can be woven into all of the above.
As for the teaching of the magisterium on the subject of the Sacred Heart Devotion, we invite all to read the message of Pope John Paul II, Message for the Centenary of the Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, dated June 11, 1999, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. (We have copies available @ $1.00 each plus postage). It will give you material for a number of homilies; for more, order immediately The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Father John Croiset, S.J. available from Tan Books and Publishers, 1-800-328-9582. It is the book on the subject, written by the spiritual director of St. Margaret Mary, who told him, after it was completed, that Our Lord told her it was in complete accord with his wishes and nothing should be changed. The meditations for every Friday and First Friday and the Feast are, alone, worth the modest price!
- Establish a Holy Hour with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on every First Friday evening and on the Feast of the Sacred Heart as a regular devotion. After Benediction, recite the Litany of the Sacred Heart and the Act of Reparation in the Booklet.
- If your daily Masses are scheduled as late as 8:00 or 8:30 AM and are thus too late for working people to attend without being late for work, try, if at all possible, on First Friday, to either schedule an additional Mass at 6:30 or 7:00 AM for workers and/or a Mass in the evening at 6:30 PM so that both workers and families with children can attend. (We recognize that this is an additional sacrifice and burden on the priest's time, but how else can it be made a practical reality that all can benefit from the Lord's 12 Promises by making the 9 consecutive First Fridays or even the Plenary indulgence available for a half-hour visit?) Is it not about saving peoples souls that we are about?
- After Mass on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, lead the faithful in the public recitation of the Act of Reparation in the Booklet, so that all present can receive the Plenary Indulgence attached to the recitation under the usual conditions when recited on the Feast Day. (This can be a part of the Holy Father's Indulgence program, which he is establishing for the Millennium Celebration.)
- Distribute Devotion Booklets and Sacred Heart pictures (available for ordering on this site) as an on-going effort, at least once per year and more if possible, particularly in your Sunday bulletin the week of the Feast of the Sacred Heart. (Masters copies of the Booklet are available for parish reproduction on request, if financial considerations make it necessary.)
- Whether you have a parish school or a CCD program, have teachers distribute pictures of the Sacred Heart and the booklet at least once a year, and give an instruction(s) on the meaning of the Devotion and how to practice it to all appropriate grades.
To help the Devotion perpetuate itself in future generations, priests must help the Devotion to come alive within the family as a part of everyday family life. This can be done by pastoral leadership in establishing a formal program of Family Consecration and the Enthronement Ceremony, which recognizes The Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ as King of the Family. An "Enthronement Sunday" should be established so that, parents who wish it can hold the ceremonies in-home with, hopefully, the priest present to conduct it. The formulas are printed on our web site: see the buttons below.
Consider, also, the enormous spiritual benefit for all the faithful under your care if you establish a Perpetual Adoration program, where the faithful could honor Our Lord continually in the Blessed Sacrament and make reparation to Him on behalf of all sinners and thus show their love and adoration to His Sacred Heart!
The Sacred Heart Itself will be the reward of its apostles. "Happy are those", writes Saint Margaret Mary, "who the Sacred Heart of Jesus will employ in establishing His reign. For it seems to me that It is like a King who thinks only of recompensing His friends while he gains victories and triumphs over His enemies. When this Heart reigns victorious on Its throne, It will be Itself their eternal Recompense."
We invite any viewers, priests or laity, who have additional suggestions or experiences that further the spread of the Devotion to please E-mail us, so we can share the ideas with others.