The venerable tradition of keeping the First Fridays of each month, in honor of the Sacred Heart, is the response to Jesus' desire for the faithful to make reparation for those who do not love Him. In fact, it is a Eucharistic reparation, because He has asked for reception of Holy Communion, His Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, and that time be spent in making reparation for the neglect, indifference, and contempt of His Love in the Sacrament of the Altar.
Saint Margaret Mary Alocoque, the blessed mediator of the messages of Jesus of this devotion, was drawn not only to adoration, but to reparation in not only accepting, but desiring suffering.
At first glance, I was "put off", as the English might say.
And yet, the beautiful spirituality that this woman of God gave to the Church was one of identification with the Suffering Servant, the Jesus Who was abandoned, mistreated, tortured, hated, despised and rejected. The Suffering Servant of Isaiah.
Don't we all have suffering to bear?
And yet to "love sufffering" in order to be made in the imitation of Jesus, as Saint Margaret Mary so faithfully and beautifully exemplifies, is a great grace, a touch of the divine that we must urgently petition Jesus to give us. It is not in our human capacity to do. Only the love of a Saviour that went to the depths of suffering, of hell even, can give us the ability to love suffering as means to belong to Him, to witness to Him, to atone for those who, in the words of the Angel of Fatima, "do believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You."
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