Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: The Feast of Love
Today is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. On this feast, we focus our attention on Jesus truly present in the Holy Eucharist and reflect on God’s unconditional love and boundless mercy as symbolized by His heart.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has as its dogmatic foundation the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. On account of the hypostatic union, every part of our Lord’s Human Nature is worthy of adoration. Hence, therefore, we adore His bodily Heart, beating in His Bosom. We also honor the Heart of Jesus as a reminder, or symbol, of His love for us, and we are moved to make Him a return of love, because He has loved us and He is not loved by men. Love, consecration, and reparation are the characteristic acts of this devotion. In this form it is now solemnly approved by the Church.
On the feast of the Sacred Heart celebrated on the Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi an act of reparation is prescribed for recitation in every church in the world. On the feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King, the last Sunday of October, an act of consecration of the human race is prescribed. Though this devotion was practiced by saintly souls before 1675, it is due to the apparitions of our Lord to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in the Visitation Monastery at Paray-le-Monial that the feast of the Sacred Heart is now kept on the day assigned by Our Lord.
O Heart of Jesus, treasured tenderness,
Thou art my joy supreme, my hope, my all!
Thou who didst charm my youth and sweetly bless,
Stay with me now till twilight shadows fall.
Master, to Thee alone my life I give,
To Thee the longings of my heart are known.
Lost in Thy goodness infinite, I live,
O Heart of Jesus, lost in Thee alone!
Thy Heart is all my need and it will be
My strength abiding, my unfailing stay,
I need a love that takes my frailty
And holds me in its keeping night and day.
No creature heart I find whose love is mine
Ever and always with undying power.
Jesus, Thy love must make my nature Thine.
Be Thou my Brother in each suff’ring hour.
If I to see Thy glory would aspire
Then I must know Thy crucible of flame,
But here I choose my purgatory’s fire:
Thy burning love, Heart of my God, I claim.
Then when my soul wings upward like a dove
Called from the earth to heaven’s home of light,
May it go forth in one pure act of love,
Plunge to Thy Heart in one unswerving flight.
~ St Therese of the Child Jesus (from the Carmelite Proper of the Liturgy of the Hours)