When Jesus was here on Earth, He gave us everything: Knowledge of who God is, Mercy and Forgiveness for our sins, True and Pure Love for all mankind, and Eternal Life through the Blessed Sacrament of His Body and Blood through bread and wine. It was upon the Cross where His Mercy flowed with Water and Blood from His Sacred Heart. Jesus shared His Sacred Heart through the visions of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Apostle of the Heart of Jesus. In a vision, Jesus told St. Margaret, “Behold this Heart which has loved men as to spare Itself nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, to testify to them Its love.” Because this devotion was revealed through private revelation, Catholics do not have to believe the messages (CCC 67), but the visions are approved by the Holy See and it’s message and devotion has brought many blessings to those who dedicate themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
What is your Heart Condition?
According to Margaret Mary, he seeks “purity of intention, humility in action and singleness of purpose.” This is only possible when we submit to the reign of his heart and embrace his healing promises with faith. We can think of the elements of devotion as “spiritual surgery” for our hearts, to restore and transform them to their proper state as sanctuaries for his love. (Costa, 37)
The Devotion to the Sacred Heart isn’t a new devotion, but one that many don’t know the story behind. To come to know and love deeper the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, “Healing Promises: The Essential Guide to the Sacred Heart” by Anne Costa will share with you the story behind the Holy Image and explain how to devote yourself and family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
I say ironically, but with God, I know it is all planned, I started reading this book on the feast day of the Sacred Heart. I also have been celebrating “First Fridays” where there is a plenary indulgence if you receive the Blessed Sacrament and pray the devotion prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for 9 months. Knowing of this indulgence is one thing, but really understanding the devotion and blessing we receive for dedicating ourselves to the Sacred Heart really renewed my love and dedication to Our Lord.
Now is the Time
Costa points out in her book that making time for these devotions in our modern times might seem outdated and a sacrifice, but it is one worth making (Costa, 49). Pope Saint John Paul II had a special devotion to the Sacred Heart throughout his pontificate and advocated for a renewed devotion to the Sacred Heart. On the 300th Anniversary of the death of St. Margaret Mary, he stated:
For it is in the Heart of Christ that the human heart learns to know the true and unique meaning of its life and destiny; it is in the Heart of Christ that the human heart receives its capacity to love. (Costa, 83)
“Healing Promises” begins with explaining the what the devotion to the Sacred Heart is and how St. Margaret Mary received these visions. Costa then reveals each of the promises that are received through total devotion, including Grace, Peace, Comfort, Refuge, Mercy, Blessings… – there are 12 of them! Many people view “blessed” as those with fancy cars, large houses, and lots of money, but these are not the blessings we receive through this devotion. While we may still be blessed with a comfortable lifestyle, we must stay focused on the blessings which lead to Eternal Life, the entire reason why Jesus came to earth! Finally, the appendices give us the resources we use to enthrone the Sacred Heart and the devotional prayers. These are beautiful prayers, some for help in specific situations such as forgiveness, loss, addiction, and health. We all can use these prayers during the trials and tribulations in our lives.
Focus Upon the Sacred Heart
I highly recommend “Healing Promises: The Essential Guide to the Sacred Heart” by Anne Costa. If you are looking for a new devotion or a new way to pray, or even enthroning the Sacred Heart of Jesus for yourself or your family, this book will give you all that you need to properly devote yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Pray for Us!