The Sacred Heart and the Sanctifying Fire of Frequent Communion


It was in the late Seventeenth Century in France in Paray-le-Monial that St. Margaret Mary Alacoque was to receive not only visions of the Sacred Heart, but from That Heart many commandments, encouragements and promises.

These would form the basis of the public cult of the Sacred Heart, whose elements were once well-known in the Church before Vatican II: the Holy Hour on Thursday night sharing Gethsemane, the First Fridays of Reparation, the annual Feast of the Sacred Heart and still more.

But what Our Lord also asked of St Margaret Mary is that she receive Holy Communion as often as obedience permitted.

And so in the late Seventeenth Century origins of the public Cult of the Sacred Heart born in Paray-le-Monial, Our Lord appears and it seems to me that He appears offering many things as a remedy toward the Protestantising and Secularising forces that were then sweeping across Christendom.

And that among these may be an impetus for more frequent communion.

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Now, I am a layperson with the distinctive sense of a lay vocation that calls to effort towards re-awakening the spirituality of the Sacred Heart, lost to the hurricane “Spirit of Vatican II”. And I take this call to frequent Holy Communion given to St. Margaret Mary as a call to myself in these troubled times.

Now, I am also an erstwhile New Ager with a wide variety of influences in my past.

Among these is the example of certain so-called “Christian Esotericists”, who cannot be considered New Agers, even if the Church cannot consider them as anything other than heretics.

Whatever their position, may it be said that these “Christian esotericists” are not New Agers in that they frequently abhor so very much that the New Age stands for and they venerate the Mystery of Calvary – sometimes with a deeper reverence than many Catholics.

Yet these so-called “Christian Esotericists” are frequently and tragically pitted against the Church in countless ways.

Among these ways is their commonly held notion that the Sacrament of Holy Communion though important in the past, is becoming less so now as humanity evolves to greater heights.

And this of course is an idea very redolent of New Age tendencies to this effect:“We do not need; we are self-sufficient; we do not need to pray for Grace; and we especially do not need the Sanctifying Grace of the Sacraments given through an Institution …”

And meanwhile as the Sanctifying Grace of the Church is spurned on countless fronts, we develop a world civilisation which is ever more materialistic and beginning to literally burn.

Yes, the idea that we need less, rather than more of the Holy Sacraments seems to me perhaps more dangerous today than ever.

The more I pray and ponder, the more I feel the need for recognising a certain FIRE that it seems to me is enkindled by frequent reception of the Sacraments. That is, it seems to me that frequent reception of the Sacraments among other things can be experienced as vitalising and strengthening for the Good.

Now I am well aware of the course, that the rule of the Catholic Church is Holy Communion simply on Sundays and the Holy Days of obligation. I am aware that in the Orthodox East, the tradition is akin.

Yet in Paray-le-Monial, the Sacred Heart appears and calls St Margaret Mary to many things, which become the basis for many aspects of the Cult, a Cult that as Valentin Tomberg indicates here is perhaps meant to counter the danger of humanity being reduced to soulless “clever beasts” …

I want to say more soon about the very special fire that it seems to me is – again – enkindled by frequent reception. For it seems to me that at this point of world decay, this Sanctifying Fire is more needed than ever before.

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O Sacred Heart of Jesus!

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