In a previous post I explained that plans for our new altar include a mosaic of the Sacred Heart with the Immaculate Heart, and that a priest friend said that our Lord forbade such a depiction of His Sacred Heart apart from the body of His human nature. But then…
Someone well studied with the revelations to Saint Margaret Mary dropped a comment that they’ve never seen such an admonition in any of the literature.
Someone with a life dedicated to the Sacred Heart sent in this picture of the tomb of St Margaret Mary Alacoque in Paray-le-Moniale, above which is a mosaic of the Sacred Heart is depicted without the body of the human nature of the Divine Person.
I would add that the practical, that is, artistic “reception” of the Sacred Heart depicted also apart from the body of the human nature of Jesus is ubiquitous, that is, everywhere to be seen.
I’m sure you’re seen the “Badge” as it’s called:
And I’m sure you remember the Sacred Heart enshrined in homes:
And, of course, there are zillions of “holy cards” often framed or used as bookmarks for, say, breviarys:
Hey! Let’s call it the sensus fidelium! (I say that apart from the intervention on the same from the International Theological Commission, which is highly problematic.)
This picture was taken immediately before Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament about 4:00PM Divine Mercy Sunday at the end of our Divine Mercy Holy Hour, the third Holy Hour of the day in the parish.
We displaced, as it were, the Divine Mercy painting for emphasis. One priest I know, who hates the Divine Mercy, says that this painting is the worst thing ever in the history of art as it “blashemously” does not depict the Sacred Heart, just rays of light representing the blood and water which gushed from Jesus’ Heart when pierced through with the soldier’s gladius:
Anyway, that picture of Roman gladii is by Matthias Kabel on Wikipedia’s “Gladius.” Such swords were so heavy they could cut someone in half with one hit, so wide that the wound was at least as wide as a man’s hand. When Thomas put his hand into the side of Jesus he surely touched that Heart pierced through.
Anyway, yet another priest, a good friend, who loves the Divine Mercy, told me that Jesus told Saint Margaret Mary that His Heart is not to be depicted without the rest of the human nature of the Divine Person, such as with this image in the Major Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome (on the epistle side of the Basilica):
This topic of the depiction of the Heart without the Body came up because I’m thinking of having a mosaic created for the front of the altar with the Two Hearts, something like this:
I would switch the places, left to right and vice versa with the two, and slightly overlap them, perhaps all told some 18″ wide.
My answer to the objection that the Sacred Heart is not to be depicted apart from the Body was the infant Jesus at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament:
But my priest friend said this was all good because, although apart from the chest, was with Jesus.
My response to was that my planned mosaic was all good because the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus, the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and in the Tabernacle, is absolutely present fully. :-)
Anyway, I’m wondering if any reader knows where it is that an account of Jesus giving such instructions to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque is to be found.
We had a Holy Hour of Adoration of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus from 7:00-8:00pm on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This picture was taken from the Confessional after hearing a zillion Confessions and just before Benediction. We had the Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a scriptural Rosary, the Litany of the Sacred Heart…
Some hours earlier, at Holy Mass, it was the Immaculate Heart of Mary with the Sacred Heart of Jesus that grabbed the emphasis of the sermon…
/// Tonight, on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, during Adoration of our Eucharistic King, we will recite the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus as well as the Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in both English and Spanish. Here are those consecrations below. I include them here, because we are going to be using the increasingly hard to find older form, politically incorrect as it may be. :-) ///
Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Pope Pius XI)
Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us, humbly prostrate before Thine altar. We are Thine and Thine we wish to be; but to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy Most Sacred Heart.
Many, indeed, have never known Thee; many, too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart.
Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee, grant that they may quickly return to their Father’s house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.
Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof and call them back to the harbour of truth and unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one shepherd.
Be Thou King of all those who even now sit in the shadow of idolatry or Islam, and refuse not Thou to bring them into the light of Thy kingdom. Look, finally, with eyes of pity upon the children of that race, which was for so long a time Thy chosen people; and let Thy Blood, which was once invoked upon them in vengeance, now descend upon them also in a cleansing flood of redemption and eternal life.
Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church, assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation: to it be glory and honour forever. Amen.
Consagración del género humano al Sagrado Corazón de Jesús (Papa Pío XI)
Dulcísimo Jesús, Redentor del género humano, miradnos humildemente postrados delante de vuestro altar: vuestros somos y vuestros queremos ser; y a fin de poder vivir más estrechamente unidos con Vos, todos y cada uno espontáneamente nos consagramos en este día a vuestro Sacratísimo Corazón.
Muchos, por desgracia, jamás os han conocido; muchos, despreciando vuestros mandamientos, os han desechado. ¡Oh Jesús benignísimo!, compadeceos de los unos y de los otros y atraedlos a todos a vuestro Corazón Santísimo.
Oh Señor, sed Rey, no sólo de los hijos fieles que jamás se han alejado de Vos, sino también de los pródigos que os han abandonado: haced que vuelvan pronto a la casa paterna, para que no perezcan de hambre y de miseria.
Sed Rey de aquellos que, por seducción del error o por espíritu de discordia, viven separados de Vos: devolvedlos al puerto de la verdad y a la unidad de la fe, para que en breve se forme un solo rebaño bajo un solo Pastor.
Sed Rey de los que permanecen todavía envueltos en las tinieblas de la idolatría o del islamismo; dignaos atraerlos a todos a la luz de vuestro reino. Mirad finalmente con ojos de misericordia a los hijos de aquel pueblo que en otro tiempo fue vuestro predilecto; descienda también sobre ellos, bautismo de redención y de vida, la Sangre que un día contra sí reclamaron.
Conceded, oh Señor, incolumidad y libertad segura a vuestra Iglesia; otorgad a todos los pueblos la tranquilidad en el orden; haced que del uno al otro confin de la tierra no resuene sino esta voz: Alabado sea el Corazón divino, causa de nuestra salud; a El se entonen cánticos de honor y de gloria por los siglos de los siglos. Amén.
A priest friend visited today. He instructed me on one of those “rule and regulations” that are so unpopular in Rome right about now. It’s about one of the most commonplace rubrics directing what the priest is to do when he offers that oft-repeated blessing of those assisting with Holy Mass: Dominus vobiscum – “[May] the Lord be with you.”
When the priest says Dominus vobiscum, he (traditionally) begins with hands together at the sternum and then moves his hands outwardly only as far as either side of his rib cage, not as far as he can stretch his hands (as has done by some religious orders and in various countries with another symbolism altogether). This limited action, he said, had been very strict in the strictly Roman Latin Rite (there being some 28+- Latin Rites).
The first time in, say, a Low Mass, that the priest says Dominus vobiscum is when he is just about to ascend the steps to begin Holy Mass. He surely feels entirely unworthy, and, indeed, he has just finished reciting the confiteor, striking himself thrice for having sinned: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. And now he makes brave to ascend to the Altar of Sacrifice, to the Most Sacred Mysteries. How could he do this, freakishly unworthy sinner that he is?
Dominus vobiscum, he cries out. And in spreading his hands from the sternum to the edges of his rib cage, he is symbolically ripping open his rib cage, revealing to all that while he is inept and entirely unworthy, his heart is now that of Christ Jesus, in whose Person he will offer the Holy Sacrifice of our redemption and, please God, our salvation. Those present, horrified by his unworthiness and yet taken by the great mercies of the Most High, pray for the priest as well: Et cum spiritu tuo (and [may the Lord also be] with your spirit [because you’re certainly in need of that mercy]).
“I will appoint over you shepherds after my own Heart, who will shepherd you wisely and prudently.” (Jeremiah 3:15)
The Sacred Heart to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque: “In the excess of the mercy of my Heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays for nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments, and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.”
For nine consecutive months on the First Friday, Mass and Holy Communion, with Confession if need be. In this parish we, of course, have Holy Mass and a Holy Hour during which Confession is provided. There are twelve promises of Jesus regarding the First Fridays. I remember being totally amazed and thankful to Jesus as a little kid when my sister introduced me to this devotion (as well as the Five First Saturdays).
I will give them all of the graces necessary for their state of life.
I will establish peace in their homes.
I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
I will be their strength during life and above all during death.
I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings.
Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy.
Tepid souls shall grow fervent.
Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
I will bless every place where a picture of my heart shall be set up and honored.
I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.
I promise you in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant all to those who communicate on the First Friday in 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.
Seen in “The Barn” – the priests retreat house in Hanceville, AL
“For the sake of His sorrowful passion…” [“for the sake” – that’s called justice]
“… have mercy on us and on the whole world.” [There is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood.]
The reason people are skeptical of mercy, cynical, with bitterness, is that they cut mercy off from justice and run after mercy alone. That doesn’t work. There is no mercy without justice. Mercy is founded on justice. Aquinas puts mercy in its place in his commentary on the Sentences, saying that mercy is a mere potential part of the virtue of justice, yet also speaking of mercy as the greatest revelation of the glory of God. It is Christ Jesus standing in our place, taking on what we deserve for sin, original sin and our own, death, the worst we can give out, which makes the mercy real, majestic, the weight of the glory of which brings us to our knees, has us go prostrate before this most Sacred Mystery, and has us walk in humble thanksgiving with the Son of the Living God in our daily lives, at every moment of our lives, one with Him as members of the body are one with the body.