Friday, May 30, 2008

Sacred Heart of Jesus

sic enim dilexit Deus mundum ut Filium suum unigenitum daret ut omnis qui credit in eum non pereat sed habeat vitam æternam
For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting. ― John iii. xvi.
The Friday the octave after Corpus Christi is dedicated to the Sacred Heart, by his request to Margaret Mary Alacoque (*1647,†1690). This year, it is in May, because of the extremely early Easter moon. To-day, the 30th, is also for Saint Joan of Arc and the pre-Monday holiday observation of Decoration/Memorial Day. The government moves its vacation days to Monday; Catholics move holidays to Sunday, but not this one, it is not a day of obligation. Christ showed the world, His Scourged Heart, on a Friday. This feast logically needs to fall on a Friday. The Heart that suffered for us in love, can be recognised by its continual beating for us. In a manner of cosmic, divine poetry, It circulates throughout creation.

Saint Gertrude the Great (*1256,†1302) bore the stigmata and her heart was pierced. Her writings are the earliest, we have, of detail of the devotion. Throughout the centuries this devotion has been linked to the lance wound to Christ on the cross. To that wound where there flew both water and blood. The Sacred Heart has also been connected with the Five Wounds. Saint John Eudes, Saint Francis de Sales, Claude de La Colombière, St Francis Borgia and St Peter Canisius all encouraged and helped the spread of the devotion.

Christ’s wounded Heart shewed His love for us. The Divine Mercy vision of Saint Faustina, and the teaching of the Divine Mercy, must be connected with the Sacred Heart, for the Source is the same. In 1765 the day became a feast for the Church in Poland, and in 1856 for the entire Church.

The Gospel for the day, from the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, is:

Then the Jews, (because it was the parasceve,) that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath day, (for that was a great sabbath day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. The soldiers therefore came; and they broke the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with him. But after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers with a spear opened his side, and immediately there came out blood and water.And he that saw it, hath given testimony, and his testimony is true. And he knoweth that he saith true; that you also may believe. For these things were done, that the scripture might be fulfilled: You shall not break a bone of him. And again another scripture saith: They shall look on him whom they pierced. ― John xxxix. 31-7.

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