Did you know that in the Catholic Church, each of the 12 months of the year has a devotional theme? It’s a great way to bring special traditions, symbols, colors, and even foods into our faith life at home.
June is the beautiful month of the Sacred Heart. Continuing our monthly series on ways to showcase each month’s Catholic theme in your life, here are 10 ways you can more closely align your life and home to the Sacred Heart. Perhaps some of these wonderful devotions will stick around your family even after June is over!
1) Set the table or a prominent place in your home with an image of the Sacred Heart and a candle or bouquet of flowers as a constant visual reminder of devotion.
2) Do a Sacred Heart craft with your kids. Here’s an easy one: get a grapevine wreath resembling the crown of thorns and place in the center of your kitchen or dining table. Have the kids make a large heart out of construction paper to place in the middle of the wreath. Upon the heart, each member of the family writes a prayer intention and/or a work of mercy they will offer to the Sacred Heart all month.
3) For the entire month, pray the morning offering to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Leave it near your bedside or pasted on your bathroom mirror so you can say it first thing in the morning:
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all our associates, and in particular for the intentions of our Holy Father for this month.
4) Pray one of the many beautiful Sacred Heart prayers as part of grace before meals. Here’s one I like: Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
5) Participate in a Holy Hour of Eucharistic Adoration as a way to honor his Sacred Heart as present in the Eucharist.
6) Attend First Friday Mass, which is a devotion that memorializes Good Friday. According to the Church-accepted apparitions of Christ to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, there are special promises to those who practice the First Friday Devotions:
“In the excess of the mercy of my Heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.”
7) Make food in honor of the Sacred Heart. Here’s an easy one: prepare or purchase cupcakes and then top with strawberries cut in the shape of a heart as a topper. To make the recipe even more devoted to the Sacred Heart, try making them red velvet cupcakes.
8) Make a Sacred Heart garden. This is a wonderful activity for the whole family. In front of an outdoor statue of the Sacred Heart, a garden sculpture of a heart, or even a homemade stepping stone with a heart traced in the concrete, plant flowers that honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Flowers for a Sacred Heart garden could include a display of any blooms in red and orange tones. Dicentra, commonly known as “Bleeding Heart,” has a string of heart-shaped blooms that are a symbolic image of sacrificial love. Roses symbolize love and the crown of thorns so they would be a great choice. Other beautiful choices to honor Jesus include the “Star of Bethlehem” flower, and Caladium, also known as “heart of Jesus.”
9) Consider purchasing a new painting, statue, candle or image of the Sacred Heart in your home. If you already have one, consider buying one for someone else.
10) Plan and host an enthronement of your home to the Sacred Heart. Invite a priest to come to the house and help with this special blessing. For more information on this ceremony that entrusts your home and family to the patronage of Jesus and the protections and graces of His Sacred Heart: https://enthronements.com
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