Looking for true love? Sacred Heart devotion is for you
Fr. James Nitollama, parish priest of Epiphany of Our Lord Parish, Camarin, C.C., directs the youth to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to better understand the true meaning of love during the June 19, 2017 episode of Hello Father 911. MINNIE AGDEPPA
By Minnie Agdeppa
June 21, 2017
According to a priest, having a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, whose Solemnity will be celebrated this Friday, June 23, will actually help people, especially the youth, find the true meaning of love.
“The Sacred Heart of Jesus is a very important image for the youth to capture the religious meaning of love,” said Fr. James Nitollama, head of the Charismatic Communities of the Diocese of Novaliches.
In a regular Monday anchor of Radio Veritas 846AM Hello Father 911, he raised his concern over young people’s changing definition “love” during the June 19 episode since the topic was “The Devotion to Sacred Heart of Jesus”.
“The kids, their concept of love is different now. Love for them is different now, [romantic]. It should be the religious, spiritual aspect of love: agape love,” stressed the priest.
Agape love or the love shown by the Trinitarian God, is defined by YouCat as “a continual exchange and perpetual self-giving”. Thus, it is a self-sacrificing love like that of the Sacred Heart’s.
Nitollama said that, as parish priest of the Epiphany of Our Lord Parish in Camarin, Caloocan City, he actually dubbed Fridays in his parish as “Love Day” in celebration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus devotion observed on these days, to re-introduce to devotees and parishioners, especially to the youth, what real love really is.
In addition, he also emphasized that Filipino Catholics must always associate the word “heart” with the Sacred Heart of Jesus whenever they encounter it, as a reminder of God’s love.
“I just noticed when there’s a basketball game, [they say,] ‘Heart! Heart!’ I said, this is okay, but we should connect the ‘heart!’ they mention in basketball to the Heart of Jesus, right?”
Not just any heart
According to the priest, the Sacred Heart is not just any heart. “Since we are a Christian country, when we mention the word ‘heart’, we should connect it to the Heart of Jesus.”
According to online Encyclopedia New Advent, the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus began as early as the 11th century, attributed to Sts. Gertrude, Mechtilde, and Bonaventure, and was promulgated by the Carthusians, Dominicans, Franciscans, and Jesuits from the 13th to the 16th century.
But it was only through the French nun St. Mary Margaret Alcoque (1647-1690) that the devotion took form from the private revelations given her by Jesus Christ, which included promises for those who devote themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
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