Behold this Heart which has loved men so much, and yet men do not want to love Me in return. Through you My Divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth.
—Jesus to St. Margaret Mary.
We Remember Sacrificial Love
When the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, the liturgy reminds us of the measure of God’s love. In On Spiritual Perfection, Diadochus wrote, “Anyone who loves God in the depths of His heart has already been loved by God. In fact the measure of a man’s love for God depends upon how deeply aware he is of God’s love for him.” As we remember the immeasurable personal love that God has for us we are empowered to love with His heart. God is in love with us and our response is to fall in with Him who loved us first. The renowned words of Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J. remind us, “Nothing is more practical than finding God, i.e., than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.”
We Love With His Heart
Fr. Cliff Ermatinger explains in his wonderful book entitled Saint Therese of Lisieux: Spouse and Victim, “But what God asks of us in not simply to love him with our heart, but through the dynamic of theological virtue, to love him with His heart; that is, with His own divine charity present in our hearts.”
God calls us to love like Jesus and makes it possible to keep the first commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Mk 12:30). Jesus is constantly revealing His heart of love and bringing his people back to the heart of the faith—sacrificial love! The Sacred Heart is a pierced heart. To love like Christ, to love with His pierced Sacred Heart, is to be courageous in bearing witness to the truth that sets us free from the loveless lies of false doctrine, duplicity, mediocrity, sin and evil.
Jesus Revealed Secrets and Promises
Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque as she prayed before the Blessed Sacrament. She described the occasion, “For a long time he kept me leaning on his breast, while he revealed the wonders of his love and the mysterious secrets of his Sacred Heart.” She also described how The Lord revealed his heart as a heart on fire with love: “My divine heart is so passionately fond of the human race, and of you in particular, that it cannot keep back the pent-up flames of its burning charity any longer. They must burst out through you and reveal My Heart to the world, so as to enrich mankind with my precious treasures.”
Among the precious treasures of the Sacred Heart are 12 promises given to St. Margaret Mary for those who are devoted to His Sacred Heart. Each promise can be considered divine protection from evil because they represent a covenant of love. Such a covenant with God strengthens us to overcome the tactics of the devil. The Sacred Heart of Jesus makes real His promises.
- I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life.
- I will give peace in their families.
- I will console them in all their trials.
- They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
- I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
- Sinners shall find in My Heart the source an infinite ocean of mercy.
- Tepid souls shall become fervent.
- Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
- I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored.
- I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
- Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.
- The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at the last hour.
The Sacred Heart: Seven Protections from Evil
- The Sacred Heart of Jesus is a refuge from evil because it is a Eucharistic Heart. The True Presence, the Eucharistic Sacrifice and Bread of Heaven, sustains us in Him. We are not orphans. He remains with us. The demons are completely subject to Christ. The more we receive His love in the Eucharist, the more the demons fear us because of Christ in us.
- The Sacred Heart of Jesus is an icon of humility. The Lamb of God is humility incarnate. He conquered the pride of Satan. When we clothe ourselves in Christ’s humility, we resist every shade of pride that Satan relentlessly suggests.
- The Sacred Heart of Jesus is a vessel of hope. Christ is our unfailing hope. In Him we place all our trust. Hope and trust combat the demonic spirits who tempt us to run hopelessly into their despair and darkness. The Sacred Heart is an abode of hope, help and honor where evil cannot enter.
- The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the beating Word of God. The Word of God is a living word with power to save.When we internalize the Word of God, the fiery darts of the evil one cannot penetrate. It is the devil’s demise: “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
- The Sacred Heart of Jesus is a school of divine mercy. Divine Mercy is the attribute of God that confounds and undoes the malicious hatred of demons. On the cross, with one thrust of the sword into the Sacred Heart, a fount of saving mercy gushed forth. The Evil One knows: the victory is the Lord’s. The wound of His Sacred Heart is the wound of love that heals us, and defeats Satan.
- The Sacred Heart of Jesus is a firewall against evil. Christ’s heart on fire pours out infinite love with the power to save. This repels the fallen angels and protects us from the devil’s burning desolation and destruction. The fire of divine love is a sanctifying fire leading to eternal beatitude. The fire of hell is a tortuous dead end.
- The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the true Love story. In his book, A Heart on Fire, Father James Kubicki, S. J., wrote, “Sacred Heart devotion isn’t our devotion. It’s God’s. It’s God’s devotion to us first.” From Eden to Gethsemane to Calvary to the end of time, the devil seeks to distort and destroy God’s true Love story. Why? He has no place in it! He’s outside of God’s love by his free choice. When we live in the truth of God’s love story, we are safe, free, loved and equipped for the “good fight.”
Home Enthronement To The Sacred Heart of Jesus: For Love of Family
Recently I dialogued with Monsignor John Esseff on my weekly Radio Maria program, and he strongly exhorted listeners to consider the spiritual ritual of home enthronement to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Monsignor Esseff is a priest of 60 years, a spiritual son of St. Padre Pio, a former spiritual director of Mother Teresa, and a veteran exorcist. Experience has taught him the great spiritual benefits of home enthronement and personal consecration to the Sacred Heart.
Do you sometimes feel that God has abandoned or rejected you or your family? Is your home an environment of fear, anxiety, confusion, bitterness, unhappiness, or spiritual desolation? Monsignor Esseff advises, “There is a simple but effective way to make your home a Gibraltar in the midst of the evils that threaten to destroy the last stronghold of our Church and country—the family. Enthrone Christ as King of your home! Turn your family over to His Sacred Heart. Invite Him into your home as its Lord. Once the Sacred Heart of Jesus is enthroned in your home, He will give you special assistance. He will never abandon your family even if you let Him down. He has promised and He is faithful!” (Visit www.sacredheartapostolate.com for more information.)
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, reign in us that we may always console You. Amen.