Have you ever heard the following expressions?
Take it to heart
The heart of the matter
You break my heart
Now, let’s zero in on the last line: heartbreak. Almost everyone moving from childhood to adulthood will experience romantic heartbreak at some point. Some shrug it off, while others react negatively. Here’s how to support a teenager through this difficult time: introduce them to a devotion to the Sacred Heart! There is a longing in all of us, a deep desire to fill our hearts with love. And, there is an emptiness only Jesus can fill (if we let Him). St. Faustina said Jesus loves us like a Mad Man!
The heart is seen as the “center” of a person. It represents who we are at the deepest, most intimate level. The Sacred Heart of Jesus symbolizes his personal, passionate love for the Father and for every single one of us. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is devotion to Christ Himself, but in the particular ways of meditating on his interior life and His love.
”There is in the Sacred Heart the symbol and express image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ which moves us to love in return.” – Pope Leo XIII
Below are practical ways to help teens begin a daily devotion to the Sacred Heart:
Experience the love of Christ through Holy Communion and Reconciliation. In order to grow in faith, we need to experience God’s unconditional love for us.
The saints have been awesome examples of what it means to love and be loved. It is through Christ’s unconditional love for us that we are empowered to love Him and others in return.
A simple but effective way of growing in devotion to the Sacred Heart is to recite daily the morning offering of the Apostleship of Prayer: O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you all 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 the Holy Father.
First Friday devotion to the Sacred Heart.
The First Friday of each month was designated by our Savior Himself as a day to be consecrated to honoring His Sacred Heart.
Keeping your commitment is probably the hardest part of getting started. Determine in your heart to stick with it, even when you miss a day. Rather than beating yourself up when you mess up, just pray and ask God to help you. And, be sure to pick it up the next day and keep going. The rewards you will experience as you grow in a deeper relationship with God will be worth it.
Encouraging teens to a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is something we all can do. Our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and revealed to her how He desired souls to foster devotion to His Sacred Heart: “My Divine Heart is so passionately in love with men that it can no longer contain within Itself the flames of its ardent charity. It must pour them out by thy means, and manifest itself to them to enrich them with its precious treasures, which contain all the graces of which they need to be saved from perdition. I have chosen you as an abyss of unworthiness and ignorance to accomplish so great a design, so that all may be done by Me.”
Jesus informed St. Margaret Mary that He had chosen her to spread devotion to His most Sacred Heart, and made twelve specific promises to those who would practice this devotion. We can share with the teens about making amends to the wounded heart of Jesus through prayer, and about His great love for us.
June is the month of the Sacred Heart, a perfect time to begin this beautiful devotion. GO…. after His Heart!