|(Damaris is hidden behind Lillie.)|
Our Lord Jesus Christ made these twelve promises to those who honor His Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French nun, whom he called “the Beloved Disciple of the Sacred Heart” and the Heiress “of all Its treasures”, in the 1670’s. They show us how much he cherishes this devotion. Considering that the blood that redeemed us at Calvary came from His Sacred Heart and that so much love and light still exude from it, we can easily understand why! These promises were revealed in one of many private revelations that Jesus gave St. Margaret Mary. Our Lord promised the following:
1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life.
2. I will establish peace in their families.
3. I will comfort them in their trials.
4. I will be their secure refuge during life, and, above all, in death.
5. I will shed abundant blessings on all their undertakings
6. Sinners will find in My Heart an infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Lukewarm souls will become fervent.
8. Fervent souls will rapidly grow in holiness and perfection.
9. I will bless every place where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.
10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
11. The names of those who promote this devotion will be written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.
12. I promise thee, in the excessive mercy of My Heart, that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.
Keep in mind in the 12th Promise that our Lord asks us to receive Him in Holy Communion in a state of grace on the First Friday of each of nine consecutive months, a First Friday devotion.
If you have any serious sins on your soul, it’s important to have them absolved in the Sacrament of Penance (Confession) first. (If for some reason you miss a month, the following month becomes your first again, but considering the graces Jesus offers us here, it’s more than worth following this schedule!)
As with all of God’s graces, these promises are contingent on our obeying His Will for us through prayer, the sacraments, reading and studying about our faith, and listening to His Holy Spirit. This is not as difficult as it may sound, however. What it involves, after all, is trying our best to live a good life pleasing to God, in obedience to Him, and sharing His love with others!
Think also of those parables in the Gospels in which Jesus spoke approvingly of the good and faithful servants who served their master diligently and thus were rewarded when he returned (Matt 24:45-47 and 25:14-30 ).
The ninth promise, incidentally can help with the seventh and eighth. Just as looking at a crucifix can remind you of the immense depth of God’s love for us, so can looking at an image of our Lord and His Sacred Heart such as the one above further personalize that love for each of us, and for you in particular.
Seeing His Sacred Heart ablaze with love and light can be a source of great consolation after a hard day or during a trying time in this often loveless world! And remember, His love is not just for us sinners or for fallen humanity in the abstract, but for you as well!
These promises, like this devotion, remind us that God’s love for us is such that he doesn’t want to lose any of us to Satan and Perdition. The Good Shepherd will search after His lost sheep, but, we must want to be found.
As St. Augustine, the 5th Century bishop of Hippo, one of our greatest theologians and a Doctor of the Church once said about God “He who created us without our help will not save us without our consent.”
|Fr. Courtney has a special devotion to the Sacred Heart. He had us pray a novena in preparation. He blessed the picture and encouraged us to come to his heart in times of trial and sorrow and seek his protection and comfort.|