Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Devotion to the Sacred Heart
Google has pages of images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the only one I really like is not there. It is a picture of the statue of the Sacred Heart that is at Kenwood in Albany, New York. I have scanned it into a PowerPoint presentation on Devotion to the Sacred Heart that is now in my International On-line Certificate Program in Spirituality Studies. Maybe I will learn how to use the scanner on the printer at home and put the picture on for the Feast of the Sacred Heart which is June 19th this year.
In the meantime, I am going to return to the writings of St. Madeleine Sophie. Besides the Journal which, as we have seen, Sophie kept for two years, we have her Circular Letters, her personal letters adressed to individuals, and her Conferences. These writing reveal Mother Barat's concern to form true spouses of the Heart of Jesus who would glorify his Heart by living united and conformed with it. I will just be giving a sample of each. There are ninety-eight circular letters which have been published in two volumes. The first volume contains thirty-two letters addressed to the entire Society of the Sacred Heart. The second volume contains the other sixty-six letters which were written to certain provinces or to those in charge. These circular letters were written to give information, to teach, and sometimes to admonish. Some deal with the spiritual teaching of the foundress and the means for the advancement of the Society. I will quote a section of the very first official Circular Letter written in Paris in 1815 just after the Constitutions had been adopted by the General Council. Sophie writes:
"Our Society is based essentially and founded on devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and it must be so devoted and consecrated to the glory and worship of that Sacred Heart that all the works it takes up. all the means it employs must refer to it as their chief end. Yes, my sisters, such is the glorious and sweet end of our little Society; we will sanctify ourselves by taking the Divine Heart of Jesus as our model, and by seeking as far as possible to unite ourselves to Its sentiments and interior dispositions, and to spread the knowledge and love of this Divine Heart by laboring for the sanctification of souls."