Emily Jaminet explains how renewal of the soul can be found through the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
I recently led a weekend retreat at a beautiful retreat center for a women's group. As I sat in the pew of the Church adoring the Lord and reflecting on the blessing of this weekend away, I started to think of the years when getting away for spiritual self-care, like going on retreat, was utterly unrealistic.
I recall that over the years of raising seven children, I spent many of my weekends and spare moments running kids from one activity to the next, caring for little ones, and juggling all aspects of my life. I can now see that what I expected of myself was almost too much for one person, yet I continued down that path, embracing rugged individualism. Looking back, I can see that I had a hard time asking for help, except from my husband, who was also working hard to provide for our family and was burning the candle at both ends. During this season, our children ranged in age from babies to teenagers, and there was a lot of additional and unnecessary stress.
Yet, as I look back at that season in my life, I can see how the Lord slowly led me to a devotion that has set my own heart on fire and renewed me from the inside out through the love of the Sacred Heart.
I can recall looking upon the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in my front room and encountering the love of Christ. This devotion strengthened my understanding of the Holy Eucharist and even how Christ never wants us to feel alone. Through this devotion, I have been challenged to love more profoundly and more like Jesus and respond to the invitation He offered me to follow Him more closely. Being a good Catholic mom is not about how well we juggle our life, but how well we love with the Heart of Jesus and allow that love to change us and spread to others.
The Lord desires to pour love and mercy upon us. He wants to bless us with new graces and make our hearts His home. When we take time away from our lives and schedule a spiritual retreat, a day of reflection, or just the willingness to take the next step to grow closer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, like getting up before our family to spend time in prayer, the Lord will bless us.
One way we better live out our faith right in our home is to seek to "expose and honor" the Sacred Heart and welcome the Reign of Christ into the messy and dark corners of family life. Jesus told St. Margaret Mary in 1673 that He wanted His Heart to be exposed and honored and blessings would pour forth. This heart is a beautiful reminder of Who is love, What love looks like, and how our God is the source of all love. I have discovered firsthand that by seeking to honor the Lord through this life-changing devotion, He offers grace and healing.
The sacred heart of Christ is an inexhaustible fountain and its sole desire is to pour itself out into the hearts of the humble so as to free them and prepare them to lead lives according to his good pleasure. From this divine heart three streams flow endlessly. The first is the stream of mercy for sinners; it pours into their hearts sentiments of contrition and repentance. The second is the stream of charity which helps all in need and especially aids those seeking perfection in order to find the means of surmounting their difficulties. From the third stream flow love and light for the benefit of his friends who have attained perfection; these he wishes to unite to himself so that they may share his knowledge and commandments and, in their individual ways, devote themselves wholly to advancing his glory. This divine heart is an abyss filled with all blessings, and into the poor should submerge all their needs. (from a letter by Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque)
Who doesn't want those endless streams of mercy, charity, and love? Jesus wants to constantly and continually assist us so that we can experience joy and help. Jesus wants to be ever present in your life, not just at church and in the Holy Eucharist, but among you and your family during good times and bad.
One powerful way to expose and honor the Lord is through the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart. When a home, Catholic school, business, or parish builds a Covenant of Love with the Lord, God can and will pour His new graces. This act of Enthronement is rooted in Psalm 102, "But you, LORD, are enthroned forever; your renown is for all generations." Enthronement of the Sacred Heart was officially approved by the Church in 1907 and is a powerful way to gain new graces against Secularism and Modernism. To learn more about Enthronement, visit WelcomeHisHeart.com.
My family changed when we enthroned the Sacred Heart. I changed when we enthroned the Sacred Heart. Christ becomes the proper head of our family, and His Heart pours forth the love we need each day.
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Jesus wants to be ever present in your life, not just at church and in the Holy Eucharist, but among you and your family during good times and bad. #CatholicMom
My mom wrote about the importance of the Sacred Heart devotion and what she has witnessed in generations of family living out this devotion:
Looking back, I know the Sacred Heart was the cornerstone of faith devotion for my grandparents and parents and their families. It was the air they breathed, filling hearts and homes now for four generations in our family and perhaps even beyond. We can attest to God keeping His promises through, sickness, wars, sorrows and joys. They stood firm in their trust and faith and in the end Jesus was victorious in their dying in Him and His Sacraments of Love. (JoAnn Wilson)
If you are in a season of lacking spiritual self-care or even physical self-care, know that Christ cares! Jesus invites you to welcome His Heart into your home, His love into your life, and to allow His graces to heal and convert you. This will transform your heart so that you can spread peace, love, hope, and kindness to others. If you want to change the world, we are called to go deep into this devotion and allow Christ to be the source of our healing and transformation.
Copyright 2023 Emily Jaminet
Images: copyright 2020 Holy Cross Family Ministries, all rights reserved.
About the Author
Emily Jaminet and her husband have 7 children. Jaminet is the Executive Director of Sacred Heart Enthronement Network, WelcomeHisHeart.com, shares "A Mother's Moment," a daily radio reflection, a podcast host and radio personality. She is the co-author of Divine Mercy For Moms: Sharing the Lessons of St. Faustina and The Friendship Project, Pray Fully, Our Friend Faustina, and her most recent book Secrets of the Sacred Heart. You can read more of Emily’s work at EmilyJaminet.com or InspireTheFaith.com.