After the joy of the Ascension, and the thrill of Pentecost, we are moving into Ordinary Time and the Green Sundays after Pentecost/Trinity which all seem to melt into one long memory of cucumber sandwiches, fruit loafs, church fetes, and (if you chose your church well) Pimms on the terrace. During this longest of the lirtugical "seasons", we run the risk of losing our focus. We can feel as though we're not really going anywhere, just drifting through another summer, going on holiday, skipping Mass to sunbathe etc. We need to think hard, now, what it means to be a people of Pentecost, and to seize this outpouring of the Spirit, the Spirit that guides us and nourishes us as living water.
This is the genius of the Catholic practice of assigning certain devotional foci for the months of the year. We all know May is Mary's month, and now in June, we're in the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We have some good feasts to look forward to in the near future; Trinity Sunday and Corpus Christi, but during our down-time, perhaps we should make use of this powerful devotion to focus ourselves more intently on Christ. Indeed, devotion to the Sacred Heart is designed to appeal to the cooling hearts of Christians, as Pope Pius XI said :
"From among all the proofs of the infinite goodness of our Savior none stands out more prominently than the fact that, as the love of the faithful grew cold, He, Divine Love Itself, gave Himself to us to be honored by a very special devotion and that the rich treasury of the Church was thrown wide open in the interests of that devotion."
The prayers, litanies, novenas and other devotions to the Sacred Heart all begin with the acknowledgement of our own weakness, that we frequently don't love God with our whole hearts, as we are commanded to. In venerating the Sacred Heart, we are making reparation for that sin of indifference, and we are rekindling the fires of holy love in our own hearts, being set alight by the love of Christ.
And let us not forget that the Sacred Heart of Jesus is also his Eucharistic Heart. That Holy Heart, set aflame with love for us, yet crowned with thorns and weeping blood, is Cor Jesu Eucharisticum, the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, given up for us, and to which we join our meagre offerings. So go to Mass in June, make it a resolution to attend the Holy Mysteries whenever you can, for what else are we giving thanks for in the Eucharist other than God's immense love for us, symbolised by the radiant, tortured heart of our Saviour.
Meanwhile, why not make use of some of these devotions...?
Thanks for that! I knew May was Mary's month, but was wondering what June was. Is it only the sacred heart of Jesus, or can we focus on devotions for the sacred heart of Mary too?ReplyDelete
Also, do you know any good London based Anglican statues/iconography of the sacred heart of Jesus? I'm not too sure if we have any Marys...
I believe devotion to the heart of Mary goes under the title of the Immaculate Heart, not Sacred, but I'm sure you can say as many novenas to the Immaculate Heart as you see fit in this month!
I'm not sure I understand your second question. Are you asking me which London churches have shrines to the Sacred Heart? I know S. Silas, Kentish Town does have one, and S. Peter's London Docks has a nice statue. As for Mary's Immaculate Heart, I don't know.
The St. Augustine's prayer book has some wonderful devotions to the Sacred Heart; I will see if I can type some up!ReplyDelete