Each of the 12 months of the year has a Catholic devotional theme. It’s a great way to bring special traditions, symbols, colors and even foods to enrich our faith life at home. During this time that so many of us are self-quarantined and face restrictions in public places, including our churches, the rich traditions and treasures of our faith provide special and reassuring blessings.
June is the beautiful month of the Sacred Heart. Here are 8 ways you can make your home come alive with love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
1Start your morning with the Son
For the entire month, do the morning offering to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Leave it near your bedside, pasted on your bathroom mirror, or at the breakfast table so you remember to 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.
2Decorate your table
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.
3Put your heart into it
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. 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. Keeping it simple? Just write your prayer intentions or offerings on a paper heart and place before your image of the Sacred Heart.
4Cook for the King
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. To make the recipe even more devoted to the Sacred Heart, try making them red velvet cupcakes.
5Offer special prayers to the Sacred Heart
Pray one of the many beautiful Sacred Heart prayers. As part of grace before meals you might try adding a brief but beautiful prayer such as Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesusand here’s a beautiful novena to the Sacred Heart that would be very meaningful to pray before sleep (it was St. Padre Pio’s go-to novena, as he recited it every day for those who requested his prayers).
6Participate in Eucharistic Adoration online
Participate in a Holy Hour of Eucharistic Adoration online or on television as a way to honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus as present in the Eucharist. This is a great way to increase not only faith, hope and love … but also peace, freedom from anxiety, and comfort in your own heart.
7Set your alarm for 3 p.m.
That’s the hour of Divine Mercy, a devotion inexorably linked to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as it reminds us of the outpourings of Jesus’ heart, with these words, “O blood and water which gushed forth from the heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in you.” Purpose to pray the Divine Mercy chaplet every day this month at 3 p.m., the hour that Jesus died for us. It is such a beautiful devotion that it will likely remain a favorite of yours long after June is over. Here’s how to pray it.
8Make 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.”
This is one of the oldest depictions of the Sacred Heart
Why you should spend more time in a garden