O Most Sacred Heart of Jesus!
by Dillon Naicker
How many of us young people understand, really understand, the various devotions and teachings of the Catholic faith? I recall always hearing about Divine Mercy, Immaculate Conception, Lent, Easter, Rosary, etc. during my pre-teen and teenage years, but I never really understood what these were or why we celebrate them as part of our faith. Following my radical conversion seven years ago, many aspects of Catholicity became alive in my own journey of faith.
One such aspect is devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It started with various encounters with a former parish priest who, when praying the rosary, often invited those present to consecrate themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He did this by leading a prayer on our behalf in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. It did not mean much to me at the time, but that changed when I joined him and his highly gifted prayer partner on a healing mission about six years ago. While praying in the home of a certain family, the priest requested the father of the house to consecrate his family to the Sacred Heart. The priest’s prayer partner uttered a sigh of relief as the father of the family prayed the prayer of consecration. The prayer partner shared with us all afterward that, as the father consecrated his family, it was as if a very heavy weight was lifted from their home. In witnessing his sincerity as he relayed his experience I was deeply moved and I believed. This memory recurs ever so often in my mind; it fuels my faith in prayer and in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
It has now become custom for me to consecrate my own family to the Sacred Heart every day. I do it by faith and not by sight, for blessed are those who do not see, yet believe (Jn 20:29). My wife and I have also chosen St. Margeret Mary Alacoque, the chosen instrument of God to spread the devotion of the Sacred Heart as we know it today, as one of our many patron saints for our family.
Have you ever heard or read about the Eucharistic miracles? Did you know that Pope Francis was involved in one of the most recent of these miracles before he became the pope? Upon investigating these matters, it was found that the consecrated bread had miraculously turned into real human flesh. More specifically, it was found that this flesh is tissue of a human heart. “The bread that I will give is my flesh”, said Jesus (Jn 6:48-51). When we eat the consecrated bread at Mass, we eat the heart of Jesus! This is how much God loves us – quite literally with God’s “whole heart”. In my view, there is no stronger devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus than that of partaking in the Eucharist, including Eucharistic Adoration. It also stands to good reason why we should approach this Sacrament with utter reverence!
The next time you receive Holy Communion or pray before the Blessed Sacrament, remember that you are eating and adoring the very heart of Jesus!
May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus give us life to the full. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us. Amen.