Introduction to the Devotion of Sacred Heart of Jesus
The devotion of all devotions is love for Jesus Christ. A devout author laments the sight of so many persons who pay attention to various devotions, but neglect devotion to the Sacred Heart. There are many preachers and confessors who say great things, but speak little of love for Jesus Christ.
The love of Jesus Christ ought to be the principal devotion of a Catholic. Lack of devotion to the Sacred Heart is the reason for frequent relapses into serious sin, because people pay scant attention, and are not sufficiently encouraged to acquire the love of Jesus, which is the golden cord which unites and binds the soul to God. The Father will love us in the same proportion as we love Jesus Christ. We will never be formed in the image of the Lord, nor even desire to be formed in His image, if we do not meditate upon the love which Jesus Christ has shown us.
For this purpose it is related in the life of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, a nun of the Visitation Order, that our Savior revealed to this servant His wish that the devotion and the Feast of His Sacred Heart should be established and propagated in the Church. In this way, devout believers would, by their adoration and prayer, make reparation for the injuries His Heart constantly receives from ungrateful humanity when He is exposed in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. It is also related that while this devout nun was praying before the Blessed Sacrament, Jesus Christ showed her His Heart surrounded by thorns, with a cross on the top, and in a throne of flames.
"Behold the Heart," she reports that Jesus spoke to her, "that has loved humanity, and has spared nothing for them, even to consuming itself to give them pledges of Its love, but which receives from the majority of people, no other return but ingratitude, and insults toward the Sacrament of Love."
The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is nothing more than an exercise of love toward our loving Savior. Therefore, the principal object of this devotion, the spiritual object of this devotion, is the love with which the Heart of Jesus is inflamed toward all. Let us now attempt to satisfy the devotion of those who are enamored of Jesus Christ, and who desire to honor him in the Most Holy Sacrament, by a novena of holy meditations and affections to His Sacred Heart.