Most of us, if not all, have heard the maxim “Follow your heart.” However, our heart is so easily swayed by emotions, wants and temptations. As a Christian, we know that our heart can lead us both towards God and away from Him.
So how can we, as Christians, follow our heart and remain faithful to God? Let us look to Scripture to guide us:
What do our lives and words demonstrate to those around us?
But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ – Matthew 15:18
When we acknowledge how vulnerable and failing our heart is let us cry out…
A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit. – Psalm 51:12
As He begins to restore our hearts, let us rekindle our love for Him.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. – Matthew 22:37
Jesus replies to the true authentic desires of our heart not by making it harder for us but by guiding us tenderly towards a pure heart that can rest in Him-
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. – Matthew 11:29
It will take a lifetime of prayer, daily commitment, and God’s grace for us to become more like Jesus. But let us look to Jesus’ Heart with greater inspiration and yearning to become like Him.
One of the earliest devotions I remember learning about as a child is the beautiful devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus as my Mom shared this favorite devotion with our family. Her great faithfulness to this devotion led me to learn to love Jesus more through contemplating and embracing the Sacred Heart as well.
In my home, we have pictures of the Sacred Heart in various rooms including near our beds to incline our hearts more to Jesus throughout the day.
Often, I gaze upon Jesus’ Heart and wonder at the love He has for me and for the whole world. At other times, a deep sadness comes upon me for the many who do not accept His love and choose to wound His Heart.
My family has completed the tradition of First Friday celebration and when the nine consecutive First Fridays were completed to honor the Sacred Heart, we continued to attend First Friday Mass with a greater love for Jesus. First Fridays of each month are dedicated to the Sacred Heart that we might make reparation for the many offenses made to Jesus. Consider joining the parish for First Friday Masses at 7 pm and allow your love for Jesus to be felt and shared with Him.
Another beautiful way to honor Jesus on today’s Feast Day is to pray a prayer that consecrates, namely begs to make us holy, through the Sacred Heart.
Consecration to the Sacred Heart
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Thee I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials, and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honoring and glorifying Thee. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to Thee, and to do all for Thy love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease Thee.
I take Thee, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be Thou, O Most Merciful Heart, my justification before God Thy Father, and screen me from His anger which I have so justly merited. I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in Thee, O Heart of Love, I hope all from Thine infinite Goodness. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist Thee. Imprint Thy pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget Thee or be separated from Thee.
I beseech Thee, through Thine infinite Goodness, grant that my name be engraved upon Thy Heart, for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and to die as one of Thy devoted servants.
– St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (EWTN)
This is truly one of the surest ways to be able to follow our heart after we have given it over to the Heart of Jesus that burns with love for all. Allow the words of the prayer to sink deep into your heart and allow Jesus to raise within you a new intensity of love with Him.
Another approaching devotion is that of the Immaculate Heart of Mary whose feast we always celebrate the day after the Feast of the Sacred Heart. The Sacred Heart devotion leads us to know the depth of Jesus’ love for us that is often despised and forgotten. The Immaculate Heart of Mary leads us to know how to more authentically love Jesus through the heart of His Mother.
May the Hearts of Jesus and Mary guide us to new life here on earth and lead us to eternal happiness in Heaven!
To learn more about these Feasts as well as ideas of how to celebrate with your family, visit these links:
Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
EWTN Consecration prayer retrieved from https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/devotions/act-of-consecration-to-the-sacred-heart-12727
Author: Laura Stephens, FF Homeschool Coordinator