The people of Assumption Grotto celebrate this feast day with somewhat of a more solemn Mass with the choir. Last year when I went, there was also a Eucharistic Procession and benediction in the cemetary.
So, you may be thinking that it will be hot inside of Assumption Grotto Church and would rather remain in a nice cool place. As you will read (if you read this whole post and all of the links) the devotion to the Sacred Heart involves acts of reparation for offenses to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Going to Mass tonite and sweating a little is a good thing. You will have good, sweaty company. In fact, if you think it is hard on you, think of the priest in his vestment and altar boys in cassock and surplice. BTW - we do not wear shorts and tank tops at Assumption Grotto so if you do come, please take this into consideration. Solid Catholic and Christian living involves making sacrifices and this is one way to do it.
The following was taken from a diary entry of St. Margaret Mary in June of 1674 (emphasis mine):
On the First Friday of each month, the above-mentioned grace connected with the pain in my side was renewed in the following manner: the Sacred Heart was
represented to me as a resplendent sun, the burning rays of which fell
vertically upon my heart, which was inflamed with a fire so fervid that it
seemed as if it would reduce me to ashes. It was at these times especially that
my Divine Master taught me what He required of me and disclosed to me the
secrets of His loving Heart. On one occasion, while the Blessed Sacrament was
exposed, feeling wholly withdrawn within myself by an extraordinary recollection of all my senses and powers, Jesus Christ, my sweet Master, presented Himself to me, all resplendent with glory, His Five Wounds shining like so many suns. Flames issued from every part of His Sacred Humanity, especially from His Adorable Breast, which resembled an open furnace and disclosed to me His most loving and most amiable Heart, which was the living source of these flames. It was then that He made known to me the ineffable marvels of His pure love and showed me to what an excess He had loved men, from whom He received only ingratitude and contempt.
(d) The heart is, above all, the emblem of love, and by this characteristic, the devotion to the Sacred Heart is naturally defined. However, being directed to the loving Heart of Jesus, it naturally encounters whatever in Jesus is connected with this love. Now, was not this love the motive of all that Christ did and suffered? Was not all His inner, even more than His outward, life dominated by this love? On the other hand, the devotion to the Sacred Heart, being directed to the living Heart of Jesus, thus becomes familiar with the whole inner life of the Master, with all His virtues and sentiments, finally, with Jesus infinitely loving and lovable. Hence, a first extension of the devotion is from the loving Heart to the intimate knowledge of Jesus, to His sentiments and virtues, to His whole emotional and moral life; from the loving Heart to all the manifestations of Its love. There is still another extension which, although having the same meaning, is made in another way, that is by passing from the Heart to the Person, a transition which, as we have seen, is very naturally made. When speaking of a large heart our allusion is to the person, just as when we mention the Sacred Heart we mean Jesus. This is not, however, because the two are synonymous but when the word heart is used to designate the person, it is because such a person is considered in whatsoever related to his emotional and moral life. Thus, when we designate Jesus as the Sacred Heart, we mean Jesus manifesting His Heart, we mean Jesus manifesting His Heart, Jesus all loving and amiable. Jesus entire is thus recapitulated in the Sacred Heart as all is recapitulated in Jesus.
More reading on the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus:
- The Doctrinal Foundation of Devotion to the Sacred Heart by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ
- Devotion to the Sacred Heart (Fr. William Wagner, ORC - Opus Angelorum)
- Prelate Consecrates Families to the Sacred Heart (CWNews)
- Devotion to the Sacred Heart, it's history and origin (Apostolate Alliance of the Two Hearts via EWTN)
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