(Australia, the antipodean Land Down Under, is under a severe lockdown, with people arrested for surfing all alone, and, what is far worse, no sacramental participation, not least the Eucharist on this Holy Thursday. So perhaps this meditation will help life their, and our, spirits in this time of isolation. For the Heart of Jesus is always close by. Editor)

On December 27, 1673, Jesus revealed to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (†1690)“My Divine Heart is so passionately inflamed with love… that, not being able any longer to contain within Itself the flames of Its ardent charity, It must let them spread abroad through your means, and manifest Itself to man, that they may be enriched with Its precious treasures which I unfold to you, and which contain the sanctifying and salutary graces that are necessary to hold them back from the abyss of ruin.”  Jesus requested the practice of attending mass, going to confession, and receiving him in the Eucharist on the first Friday of 9 consecutive months. (Would that we still could! Editor)

Nowadays many Catholics seem to unjustifiably belittle the Veneration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. They dismiss the images of Our Lord literally pointing to His bleeding heart as a purely private devotional painting, considered appropriate to old ladies. In twentieth century Australia, the Sacred Heart was well established as an aspect of Catholic culture, but in a postmodern, secular and multicultural society its significance declines steadily. Notwithstanding this, especially in times of distress, tribulation and suffering, when all ordinary means appear insufficient, it may be necessary to resort to something exceptional, far more distinguished. Perhaps, the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which is, after all, deeply rooted in the life of Christian people, will manifest its ultimate power in the struggle against evil. Through Jesus, all things are possible.

Praise the Lord

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