The Sacred Heart of Jesus and Me

I came across an article today on the CERC website titled The Sacred Heart and the Eucharist by Fr. Richard Neilson. The article was written back in 1988 for Lay Witness magazine. As you may surmise from the title of the article, it speaks of the interconnection between the Sacred Heart and the Eucharist; they are inseparable. The article is beautifully written and worth the time it takes to read. However, this post is not merely to point you in the direction of this beautifully written piece; I would also like to share my own experience of devotion to our Lord's Most Sacred Heart.
Seven years ago, when I finally woke up and answered our Lord's call to return to Him, I almost immediately felt drawn to the Sacred Heart. I could come up with no concrete reason for this feeling; it wasn't the feast day of the Sacred Heart or even the feast of Corpus Christi ~ although it was the last day of May so the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart was about to begin. All of that aside, I didn't need a reason. All I knew was that in Jesus' Heart was where I wanted and needed to be!
Then one day, almost out of nowhere, I received a packet in the mail with a pamphlet of prayers to the Sacred Heart and one of the most striking portraits of the Sacred Heart I had ever seen! (It is the picture at the beginning of this post).
Now what you need to know here is that when I made the decision to return to our Lord and His Church, I did not run to the nearest confessional. Being post-abortive made that very difficult. Between the months of June and August, while I searched for ways to deal with the abortion, all I had was prayer and that picture. In August I found Rachel's Vineyard, but it would be November before I could get on a retreat! So I literally clung to those prayers and that picture. Our Lord heard those prayers and used that time to draw me closer to Him. There were days during those long 6 months that I hungered for the Eucharist. At this point you may be wondering why I didn't just run to the nearest Church and make my confession. The fear, shame and guilt that had built up over those 14 years since the abortion had created a huge roadblock~ I needed to wait for the "safety" of the retreat. Our Lord was very patient and gentle during those months. I continued to pray.
Once I had finally made my confession and returned to Mass, our Lord continued to draw me to His Sacred Heart. I was drawn to daily Mass. I don't just mean that I felt like going; I mean I was drawn ~ felt almost compelled to go! Seven years later this is still the case and when I do miss daily Mass on occasion, I feel it.
The next thing I felt drawn to was Eucharistic Adoration. Those of you who have followed this blog know that I am blessed to be in a parish that has Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. At first I would go whenever I felt like being close to Jesus. Then one day as I was leaving the chapel, my dear friend who is coordinator of the chapel told me she had 2 hours in need of an adorer; one was Saturdays at 3pm the other was Sundays at midnight. Since I work on Saturdays, I took the midnight slot. I began my regular hour with our Lord at midnight on Sundays Divine Mercy Sunday 2003. The other interesting tidbit about this particular hour is that this was the same time slot I had for Adoration on the Rachel's Vineyard retreat ~ guess Jesus just likes having me around at midnight!
I know that I have kind of rambled through much of this post, but the point is that from that first scared little "yes" that I gave our Lord, He has continued to draw me to His Sacred Heart. I truly find it a refuge; I know that I am always safe there. In this post I have simply wanted to give you a picture of my personal devotion to the Sacred Heart; the article I mentoned at the beginning will give more of the doctrine and history of the devotion. The links throughout the post will also give more information. For the prayers and picture I talked about go here.
I thank our Lord and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque for this devotion. I thank Him for the grace of drawing me into His Sacred Heart through this beautiful devotion. I thank Him above all for the fire of His unfathomable love in His Most Sacred Heart.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us; have mercy on me.

*Painting by Joseph Fanelli

Comments

I had a dream last night that a Priest was giving a talk on how the Sacred Heart of Jesus has always kept him safe and encouraging us to have devotion to His Heart.
Kay Carlson said…
Thanks for your story about the Sacred Heart. I converted to Catholicism because of marriage 20 years ago. Ten years ago, we had a priest at our parish who had dedicated himself to the Sacred Heart devotion. He had been on the verge of death as a child and a nun had prayed for him using the Sacred Heart devotion. He is now gone from our parish, but still saying the devotion at over 80 years of age. Because of this the devotion is special to me now too. Also, Karinann, I love the picture of the woman at the well in your profile. My blog is called womanatwell and I have a different picture of the meeting on the wall of my den. It is one of my favorite Bible stories.
First thank you for your prayers~and visit!
Next, this is such a beautiful post. I wear the Sacred Heart of Jesus medal always! My brother told me that our Lord's Sacred Heart is where we are drawn during the Eucharist~drawn here to the center of the Universe. Isn't it wonderful you ran to our Lord's Sacred Heart and held on for dear life~and He harbored you then and still does now! God bless you~Margaret