DEVOTION – religious devotion – is an often neglected or overlooked means of deepening faith. One dictionary definition is: loyalty or love and care for something (Cambridge) and connects devotion with being faithful and dependable.
Amongst all these practices the venerable tradition of dedicating each month of the year to focus on a particular aspect of our Faith can be of great help, yet will be unfamiliar to many. January, for example, is dedicated to the ‘Name of Jesus’, July to the ‘Precious Blood’, November to remembering the ‘Souls of the Departed’. And June, by tradition, is the month of the Divine Compassion (or Sacred Heart).
The act of consecrating people, congregations or parishes to the Sacred Heart of Jesus flourished greatly in the 19th century and concerns a desire to deepen faith and develop devotional life by dedicating a person or group of people to the Love of God realised in the Heart of Jesus. And faith involves the core of our being – the heart – as well as the head. Devotions and traditions which focus our attention on deepening our awareness of God, and God’s love for us and the whole of creation, can enliven and nurture our faith, touching our hearts and allowing us to express our love of God. So here are some suggestions as to how one might observe this Month of Divine Compassion:
make a personal dedication to live out of Divine Compassion – a form is available here;
consider making your Confession – maybe for the first time;
find a practical expression of Compassion – visit or telephone a lonely person; join a campaign for social justice; offer to give time or make a donation to a charitable cause, etc…
each morning re-consecrate yourself to living with compassion in words such as: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
However we might observe this month we need always to remember the compassionate love that God has for each of us and for the whole of creation. We need to enable our hearts to be converted by His Most Sacred Heart for
“Blessed are the pure in heart, … they will see God.”