Prior to the imprudent liturgical changes instituted in the 1950s, yesterday was the Octave Day of the Feast of Corpus Christi which then led into today’s Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This celebration of Christ’s unyielding love for us, His fallible and petulant children, is accompanied by a spirit of reparation for all of the cruelties, insults, and neglect shown toward our Lord by Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Christ, King of Heaven and Earth, is a benevolent ruler who calls His subjects to take up their crosses and follow Him so that we may come to the full knowledge of the truth and enjoy life everlasting. For centuries, since the fracturing of Western Christendom and the diabolical rise of enlightened individualism, we, as a society, no longer recognize Christ’s right to reign; we are no longer devoted to that Heart of infinite love which has revealed God’s precepts in order that we may have true freedom in this life and eternal happiness in the next.
The Fortnight For Freedom (FFF) has reached its halfway point today and yet, strangely, there is nothing on the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) linking what ought to be a time for faithful Catholics to beseech Almighty God to assist us in the battle for libertas ecclesiae (not libertas religionis) with today’s feast. Why? The fact the USCCB has even instituted the FFF is a clear sign that society has rejected Christ; it has inflicted a new wound on the Sacred Heart by safeguarding murder and licentiousness under the civil law. For the Catholic Church to join in the struggling for religious freedom is a sign that she has failed to take her divine mission seriously. For these and countless other affronts against the Sacred Heart, reparation is due to the King. And yet in the midst of the FFF, no such call for reparation and renewal is to be found.
Contrast, for instance, the USCCB’s “Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty” with the Actus reparationis to the Sacred Heart. The former asks God to protect religious liberty so that the United States—“this great land”—“will always be ‘one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’” Yes, the secular pledge of allegiance, with its generalized deity, has been mixed into the language of a questionable prayer—a pledge to religious liberty. What about a pledge to Christ as the Actus reparationis makes?
We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against Thee; we are now determined to make amends for the manifold offenses against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behavior, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violations of Sundays and holydays, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against Thee and Thy Saints. We wish also to make amends for the insults to which Thy Vicar on earth and Thy priests are subjected, for the profanation, by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very Sacrament of Thy Divine Love; and lastly for the public crimes of nations who resist the rights and teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast founded.
. . .
O loving Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mother, our model in reparation, deign to receive the voluntary offering we make of this act of expiation; and by the crowning gift of perseverance keep us faithful unto death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to Thee, so that we may all one day come to that happy home, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit Thou livest and reignest, God, forever and ever. Amen.
Apparently it never crossed the mind of the USCCB that one of the reasons the Church finds herself in a tertiary position in society today is because she has lost the spirit of reparation. In a misguided and self-destructive attempt to wed herself to the ways of the world and the lies of modernity, the Church in America has insulted the Divine Majesty of our Lord and rejected the love which pours forth from the Sacred Heart. We, poor banished children of Eve, reconciled ourselves with liberalism—religious, social, and economic—rather than working to reconcile millions of souls who, through either ignorance or intention, remain separated from Christ and His Church. Should we not sorrow? Should we not ask forgiveness? And after doing so, should we not rejoice that God is Love and despite our insolence and neglect, His Sacred Heart continues to burn for our Salvation?
As I stated in earlier posts on the FFF (here, here, here, and here), the USCCB has missed an important opportunity during these 14 days to redirect the hearts and minds of the faithful back toward the social reign of Christ the King. This redirection would have been made all the easier this year with not only the feasts of Corpus Christi and the Sacred Heart falling within the FFF in 2014, but the Feast of the Most Precious Blood (July 1) as well. Thankfully there is still time for individual Catholics to use this time wisely. And so today we should recite the Litany to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and gain a plenary indulgence by making the Act of Reparation. And next Friday, July 4, presents an opportunity to continue our devotion to the Sacred Heart by making a First Friday reparation for not only our own private sins, but the public sins of our country as well.