During a 2008 Angelus message, Pope Benedict XVI said to all those present, “I invite everyone to renew his devotion to the Sacred Heart of Christ in the month of June, making use of the traditional prayer of the offering of the day and keeping in mind the intentions that I have proposed to the whole Church.” Pope Benedict was a strong supporter of devotion to the Sacred Heart and Pope Francis has continued that support, encouraging a religious group in September to, “Keep your gaze fixed on Jesus Christ and learn from him how to love with a truly human heart.”
Unfortunately, while the past two popes have been strong supporters of devotion to the Sacred Heart, many are still not aware of this ancient tradition or how it is relevant in today’s world.
To help spread and renew this beautiful devotion, Father James Kubicki SJ, former director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, wrote a book entitled, A Heart on Fire: Rediscovering Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In it he goes through a brief history of the devotion and gives practical tips on how it can be lived out.
Ave Maria Press summarizes the book in this way.
A lively introduction to one of the greatest Catholic devotions–the Sacred Heart of Jesus–showing clearly how the Heart of Christ can be a source of joyful transformation for contemporary Catholics.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus, an age-old and often misunderstood devotion, is presented in this persuasive and engaging guide by Rev. James Kubicki, S.J. He delves into the devotion’s rich theological and spiritual roots and demonstrates how the faithful may encounter the Heart of Jesus in one another, scripture, the sacraments, and especially in the Eucharist. Kubicki brings to life the rich imagery associated with the devotion’s history and provides a contemporary look at traditional devotions like the Twelve Promises, family consecration and enthronement, the Sacred Heart Badge, the Litany of the Sacred Heart, holy hours, and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
It is a truly beautiful book, one that especially designed for those interested in the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer). If you are looking for a great book for Lent, this one should be on the top of your list.