In the late seventeenth century, St. Margret Mary Alacoque received visions of the Lord in which He discussed with her His Sacred Heart. She was encouraged to help promote devotion to the Sacred Heart and gave a dozen promises to those who practice the devotion:
I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
I will establish peace in their homes.
I will comfort them in all of their afflictions.
I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.
I will abundantly bless their undertakings.
Sinners will find in my heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
Lukewarm souls will become fervent.
Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
I will bless those places wherein the image of my Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored.
I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in my heart.
I promise you in the excessive mercy of my heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. My divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.
In Healing Promises: The Essential Guide to the Sacred Heart, Anne Costa guides the reader through the history of the Sacred Heart devotion, as well as the Promises and how to live with such a devotion. She’s included appendices that give more details about how to consecrate your home by enthroning the Sacred Heart (as well as Mary’s Immaculate Heart) in your own home. Now only does she include all of this information, but she also provides personal stories about how the devotion has helped people in all kinds of situations.
The Healing Stories scattered throughout the book are wonderful testimonies to the peace and joy that comes from living the devotion, even when your life doesn’t necessarily look perfect as a result of it. One of the other highlights of the book that I really got a lot out of (both enjoyment and help) were the selections of St. Margaret Mary’s writings and those of her religious superiors. I actually did something that I’ve never done before: I dog-eared a page so I could go back to a particular quote from St. Margaret Mary that spoke to me.
Should you find yourself overwhelmed by fear, cast yourself into the abyss of the unshaken confidence of the Sacred Heart, and there your fear will give place to love. If you find yourself frail and weak, lapsing into faults at every moment, go to the Sacred Heart and draw from it the strength which will invigorate and revive you…
If you are overwhelmed by sadness, go and plunge your soul into the ocean of the divine joy of the Sacred Heart. … One of the ways most pleasing to God…is to enter into the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to commit to Him all the cars of ourselves.
This book renewed my interest in possibly having our home enthroned, so I’m planning on passing it on to my husband so he can learn about it as well. I highly recommend Healing Promises for anyone who has heard of the devotion but doesn’t know much about it, as well as for people who are already familiar with the idea. The explanation and appendices with guidance on how to prepare for the enthronement (as well as descriptions of ceremonies) will help newbies, and even those who have already had their homes enthroned can benefit from the uplifting stories from those who are devoted to Christ’s Sacred Heart.
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Copyright 2017 Christine Johnson