Feast of the Sacred Heart—Outcome of Corpus Christi

O Sacred Heart of Jesus

For the fourth year now, Roger and I mark the Feast of today: the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. The vigil of which, yesterday, is shared with the octave day of Corpus Christi.

It is no coincidence that those two great celebrations of the Holy Church overlap.

For the Feast of the Sacred Heart was inaugurated, in order that we re-affirm our love for the Eucharist (the Corpus Christi) and repair the damage done in failing to love Him as we should.

As we know so well, it was Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, who was the recipient of the incredible vision that brought about this inauguration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart.

This vision occurred in the octave of Corpus Christi, as she fervently prayed before the Corpus Christi Itself, Our Lord, in His Blessed Eucharist.

This is to say that Saint Margaret Mary’s extraordinary experience happened whilst she was participating in something very special, very important  …

That very special and important something: Here is how Father Croiset S.J. (her confessor) described it in the book he wrote after her death, The Devotion to the Sacred Heart:

The Feast of the Sacred Heart should be marked by the outward expression of the most sincere and ardent love for Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament [Italics mine].

Yes, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque did just that on this unforgettable day, in the octave of Corpus Christi, when Our Lord appeared to her, requesting this Feast of His Most Sacred Heart. She made a passionate outward expression of her love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus – in His Blessed Sacrament.

She wrote of this expression of love, with these words:

Being before the Blessed Sacrament one day of Its octave, I received from my God signal tokens of His love, and felt urged with the desire of Making Him some return, and rendering Him love for love.

She rendered him love for love. She was so able to recognise His love for her that she could easily make Him a return of love. This was her outward expression of sincere and ardent love.

Then, appearing before the Saint and revealing His Heart to her, Our Lord said:

Behold this Heart, Which has loved men so much, that It has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, In order to testify to them Its love. In return I receive from the greater number nothing but ingratitude by reason of their irreverence and sacrileges, and by the coldness and contempt which they show Me in this Sacrament of Love.

However small our hearts are, should these words not make us weep!

How must Our Lord have felt? His burning love for humanity, spurned. Imagine how this has pierced His poor Heart. And still pierces.

He has given us everything and what have we done in return, forgotten, doubted or even denied His immense love.

Our Lord requested this Feast, in order that we make reparation for this forgetting and that we make Him a return of love.

It is in hearing how Our Lord reveals His own pain that we can discover the depths of love within our own hearts that can then burst forth, making the return of love He is asking of us.

Today in the West, the understanding and love of the Eucharist (the most precious gift ever bestowed upon us) seems to be threatened like never before.

We as Catholic faithful, can most definitely enflame our love and zeal for the Sacrament of Love, as we bear witness to greater disbelief in the True Presence.

This is what this Feast is about. This is what Our Lord asks of us. To recognise the depth of love He has for us in His Eucharist and to make the greatest return of love we can.

To do, as Father Croiset suggests, ‘make an outward expression of the most sincere and ardent love for Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.’

A final most personal note: I would have liked to say more, but certain personal difficulties are keeping both Roger and myself away from this website at present.

We would like to say that our prayers are very much for a certain person M and if any of you cared to offer your prayers for M, we would be very grateful to you.

Finally, I have much more about both today’s Feast of the Sacred Heart as well as other aspects of the Devotion in a special section for this site which I wrote not so long ago  …

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