Wednesday, October 7, 2015

On the Feast of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

The feast of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque traditionally is celebrated on October 17, although in the new calendar it has been moved to the day prior. As a child, St. Margaret Mary endured many hardships, but she remained devout in her faith and kind to everyone. At the age of twenty-two, St. Margaret Mary made her profession at the convent of the Visitation at Paray-le-Monial. The nuns of the Order of the Visitation, which was founded by St. Francis de Sales, were widely known for their humility and charity, both virtues of which St. Margaret Mary generously possessed. She also practiced severe penances throughout her life as a nun. After a few quiet years in the convent, St. Margaret Mary began receiving revelations from Our Lord Who informed her of His great desire to be loved by all men. He also wanted devotion to His Sacred Heart to be spread, making twelve promises to those who practiced a true devotion to his Sacred Heart. Through these revelations and her zeal and love for Our Lord, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus spread throughout the world. 
St. Margaret Mary spoke of the Heart of our Lord, saying
"The Sacred Heart of Christ is an inexhaustible fountain and its sole desire is to pour itself out into the hearts of the humble so as to free them and prepare them to lead lives according to His good pleasure.
From this divine heart three streams flow endlessly. The first is the stream of mercy for sinners; it pours into their hearts sentiments of contrition and repentance. The second is the stream of charity, which helps all in need and especially aids those seeking perfection in order to find the means of surmounting their difficulties. From the third stream flow love and light for the benefit of His friends who have attained perfection; these He wishes to unite to Himself so that they may share His knowledge and commandments and, in their individual ways, devote themselves wholly to advancing His glory.
This divine heart is an abyss filled with all blessings, and into it the poor should submerge all their needs. It is an abyss of joy in which all of us can immerse our sorrows. It is an abyss of lowliness to counteract our foolishness, an abyss of mercy for the wretched, an abyss of love to meet our every need."
May we, like St. Margaret Mary, hold a place of honor for the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in our hearts, striving to love our Lord with our whole beings and to give our entire selves to Him.  A wonderful practice honoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the devotion of the First Fridays.  You can read more about this devotion in this post.

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Prayer to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ

Place me, O my sweet Savior, in Thy Sacred Side, and in Thy adorable Heart which is a burning Furnace of pure love, and I shall be in safety. I hope, O my Jesus, My Sovereign Good, that Thou wilt bring me in thither, since I love Thee, not for the recompenses which Thou dost promise to those who love Thee, but purely for the love of Thyself. I love Thee above all things lovable, above everything good, above everything beautiful, above every pleasure, and in fine, above myself and everything that is outside of Thee, and I protest in the presence of Heaven and earth that I wish to live and die in Thy holy love, purely and simply, and that even if to love Thee in this manner, I must suffer persecution and torments and even endure death, I am quite content, and will say with St. Paul: "No creature shall ever be able to separate me from the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, whom I love and wish to love eternally."

O most amiable Heart, Thou art my strength, my support, my recompense, my safety, my refuge, my love and my all. O most holy Heart of Jesus, Heart most august, Master of all hearts, I love Thee, I adore Thee, I praise Thee; I thank Thee, I wish to be all Thine. O Heart of love, dwell with me and in me; govern me, save me, change me entirely into Thee. O most excellent and most Sacred Heart, the eternal enjoyment of which will be, without surfeit, the Source of enjoyment and the Recompense of the blessed, how desirable, how lovable Thou art! O Divine Heart, come to me, or draw me to Thee. O Heart most sublime, the Delight of Divinity! I salute Thee from exile where I am; I invoke Thee in my sorrow; I call on Thee as the remedy for my frailty. Oh! most merciful Heart, compassionate and generous Heart of my Father and my Savior, do not refuse Thy help to my unworthy heart, destroy in me the reign of sin and establish in me that of virtue in order that Thy image may be completely perfected in me and that it may one day be an ornament in Thy Heavenly palace. Amen.
--by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

God bless!

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