As the Conciliarist Church Establishment falls further into spiritual and moral decay, we publish this sermon given by Fr. De Pauw, on the Sunday of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Ave Maria Chapel. It is on the history of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus of which this month of June is dedicated.
As with all his sermons, their beauty lies in their clarity and simplicity making them easily understood by all, and making us realize why it is so important to hold on and persevere till the end.
THE SOLEMNITY OF
THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
Today is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This past Friday was the Feast of the Sacred Heart and therefore, the Solemnity is transferred to the following Sunday, making this Solemnity the high point of the month of June which is dedicated to the Sacred Heart.
No one knows how far back in history the human heart was, for the first 2time, presented as the symbol of love. All we know is that one could fill a whole library or an entire music store with all the poems and songs mentioning the heart as the symbol of human love and affection.
The heart, as a symbol or sign of Our Lord’s love for us, goes back to the cross on Calvary when a soldier opened the side and heart of Christ with a lance, as the Apostle St. John, who was standing under that cross, described in his Gospel: “One of the soldiers with a lance opened his side, and immediately there came out blood and water.”
Down through the centuries, the Saints of all ages have associated that pierced side and heart of Christ with His love for us. Among the Fathers of the Church, St. Augustine and St. John Chrysostom are outstanding on this topic.
However, the credit for starting the formal devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus goes to the 12th Century, St. Bernard and his Benedictine monks of Clairvaux in France. Subsequent Saints who promoted the Devotion to the Sacred Heart were St. Francis of Assisi, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Clare, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Albert the Great, and especially the 13th Century St. Gertrude the Great, from whose writings several of the invocations of the Litany of the Sacred Heart were taken.
It was almost 500 years later that this devotion truly became of age when Heaven itself put its seal of approval on it, when in 1673, Our Lord appeared to a humble 26 year old French Visitation nun Sister Margaret Mary of the convent of Paray-le-Monial, directing her to make the devotion to His Sacred Heart known throughout the entire world.
Showing His Heart to the simple soul who was kneeling before the tabernacle in the convent’s chapel, Our Lord said as an introduction to a whole series of subsequent apparitions, the following words which express the whole theology and philosophy of the devotion to the Sacred Heart: “Behold this Heart which has loved human beings so much, which has heaped upon them so many benefits. Yet, in return for this infinite love, it finds ingratitude, forgetfulness, indifference, outrages.”
Just hearing the word apparition, some of you I am sure, are at once turned off. And I don’t have to be a mind reader to see written on the faces of some of you that cynicism that says; “Oh come on now, even Father too is falling for these kooky things now!”
Just a minute!
If you refuse to believe some of the ridiculous nonsense some pietistic superstitious people are sending through the mail, I am with you. You know what I am talking about, crying statues, waving crucifixes, and you name it. But that is not the kind of apparitions I am speaking about in connection with the devotion to the Sacred Heart.
The entire life of the nun claiming to have had those apparitions, and every word she wrote about them, were examined most critically. And it was only 75 years after her death that Pope Clement XIII, in the year 1765, approved of the Feast of the Sacred Heart. And the Church waited another 155 years to proclaim her a saint on Ascension Thursday in the year 1920 by
Pope Benedict XV.
In addition to the examination of the nun’s life and writings, there had to be the evidence of truly authenticated miracles through her intercession, before she was canonized. And in this case, the Church authorities used extra caution in view of the publicity to the so-called Promises made by Our Lord Himself during those apparitions. If there had been any shadow of doubt left, that French nun would have remained Soeur Marguerite Marie and would not be Saint Margaret Mary.
What about those promises of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary for souls devoted to His Heart?
Actually, neither Our Lord, nor the saintly nun to whom He appeared, gave us this neat little package of 12 clear cut statements all at one time. That was the work of those who, at the request of the highest authority in our Church, studied the writings in which the saintly nun related the messages Our Lord gave her over a period of two years. It is the summary of those messages which became known as the “ Twelve Promises”, the very substance of the much longer statements made by Our Lord to those souls devoted to His Heart.
Here are those promises: Listen to them, act upon them:
1) I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
2) I will establish peace in their homes.
3) I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
4) I will be their safe refuge during life, and above all in death.
5) I will bestow abundant blessings upon all their enterprises.
6) Sinners shall find my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7) Half-hearted souls shall become fervent.
8) Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
9) I will bless every place in which a statue or picture of my Heart shall be exposed and honored.
10) I will give to priests devoted to my Heart the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
11) Those who shall promote the devotion to my Heart shall have their names written in my Heart, never to be effaced.
12) (known as the great promise)…I promise thee in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all powerful love will grant to all who worthily receive Holy Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final penitence: they shall not die in mortal sin nor without the necessary sacraments. My divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in their last moments.
My dear people, those promises are not the words of a salesman of religious articles trying to pull a fast one over on an unsuspecting old lady.
Those promises are the words of the living God depicted in that beautiful statue of ours, rescued and restored by dedicated laymen after apostate nuns had thrown it on a junkyard.
Those promises are the words directed to each one of us, no matter how young or old we are, no matter how sophisticated or how educated we are or think we are.
Those promises are the words of the living God truly present on the altar of this chapel. Have a good look at that statue before you return home. And ask yourself how you have reacted or plan to react from now on to the promises of the Sacred Heart, not only on the First Friday of the month of June, but on each day of each month of each year of the rest of your life.
He made the promises! It is up to each one of us to make ourselves worthy of those promises of Christ!