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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Perfection Series VI:VII Reparation

Too many people tell me they are too busy to pray, much less do penance.

As Fulton J. Sheen once said, if you are too busy to pray, you are too busy.

One must come to the realization that certain other activities and interests must be sacrificed in order to make time for reparation. Here is Pope Pius XI on this point.

19. And for this reason also there have been established many religious families of men and women whose purpose it is by earnest service, both by day and by night, in some manner to fulfill the office of the Angel consoling Jesus in the garden; hence come certain associations of pious men, approved by the Apostolic See and enriched with indulgences, who take upon themselves this same duty of making expiation, a duty which is to be fulfilled by fitting exercises of devotion and of the virtues; hence lastly, to omit other things, come the devotions and solemn demonstrations for the purpose of making reparation to the offended Divine honor, which are inaugurated everywhere, not only by pious members of the faithful, but by parishes, dioceses and cities.

Do Catholics understand the real reason for the celebration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart? Do you want the current crisis in the Church to abate? Honor the Sacred Heart. Do you want changes in your governments? Honor the Sacred Heart. Do you want conversions among the lapsed Catholics in your own families? Honor the Sacred Heart.

20. These things being so, Venerable Brethren, just as the rite of consecration, starting from humble beginnings, and afterwards more widely propagated, was at length crowned with success by Our confirmation; so in like manner, we earnestly desire that this custom of expiation or pious reparation, long since devoutly introduced and devoutly propagated, may also be more firmly sanctioned by Our Apostolic authority and more solemnly celebrated by the whole Catholic name. Wherefore, we decree and command that every year on the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, - which feast indeed on this occasion we have ordered to be raised to the degree of a double of the first class with an octave - in all churches throughout the whole world, the same expiatory prayer or protestation as it is called, to Our most loving Savior, set forth in the same words according to the copy subjoined to this letter shall be solemnly recited, so that all our faults may be washed away with tears, and reparation may be made for the violated rights of Christ the supreme King and Our most loving Lord.

One of the problems is that people, even Catholics, do not understand just how transcendent God is. We have, as a society, as Western cultures, "dumbed-down God". One of the messages of Fatima, especially seen in the life of Blessed Jacinta, is the need for suffering in order for souls to be saved.

This young holy girl puts us to shame with her courage and determination to follow Mary's call for reparation.

21. There is surely no reason for doubting, Venerable Brethren, that from this devotion piously established and commanded to the whole Church, many excellent benefits will flow forth not only to individual men but also to society, sacred, civil, and domestic, seeing that our Redeemer Himself promised to Margaret Mary that "all those who rendered this honor to His Heart would be endowed with an abundance of heavenly graces." Sinners indeed, looking on Him whom they pierced (John xix, 37), moved by the sighs and tears of the whole Church, by grieving for the injuries offered to the supreme King, will return to the heart (Isaias xlvi, 8), lest perchance being hardened in their faults, when they see Him whom they pierced "coming in the clouds of heaven" (Matth. xxvi, 64), too late and in vain they shall bewail themselves because of Him 
(Cf. Apoc. i, 7)

Absolutely, now is the time for reparation to the Sacred Heart. The time for wasting opportunities must be seen as over. The Pope here sensed an urgency. Are not these times more urgent?

to be continued...