"Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus" by Rev. Irenaeus Schoenherr, O.F.M.
God has always dealt with men in a way consonant with their nature - by drawing them to His Holy Will by promises of reward. It was so with His dealings with the chosen people under the Old Dispensation. It was the way of Christ in the New, promising even a hundredfold return for compliance with His desires. And so it is in the history of the revelation and propagation of the devotion to the Sacred Heart.
"That men might more readily respond to that wonderful and overflowing desire of love," wrote Leo XIII in his Encyclical Annum Sacrum (1899) on the devotion, "Jesus, by the promise of rich rewards, called and drew all men to Him."
St. Margaret Mary in her writings insists again and again on the ardent desire of Christ to pour out blessings with a royal generosity on those who would honor His Divine Heart and return Him love for love. These Promises of the Sacred Heart, in the form in which they are now popularly known and approved by the Church, far surpass in variety, universality, and importance those attached to any other exercises of devotion in the Church.
They are addressed to all sorts of persons: to the fervent, the tepid, and the sinful. They embrace every condition of life: priests, religious, and secular. They promise relief to the afflicted, strength to the tempted, consolation to the sorrowful, peace to the family, blessings in the home, success in our enterprises, mercy to the sinner, high sanctity to fervent souls, courage to the cold of heart. They promise power to the priest to soften the hardest hearts. They promise strength and courage on our deathbed, and tell us of the priceless gift of final perseverance and of a refuge in the Heart of Christ at the last moment.
What greater or more valuable favors than these could even the omnipotent and boundless love and goodness of the Sacred Heart bestow on us? These Promises help us to an understanding of the truth of St. Margaret Mary's glowing words: "Jesus showed me how this devotion is, as it were, the final effort of His love, the last invention of His boundless Charity."
(P)2013 Kenneth Mwaniki Muturi
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