Notable quotations from Pope John Paul II and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
The 100th anniversary of the Consecration of the Human Race to the Divine Heart of Jesus, prescribed for the whole Church by my Predecessor Leo XIII ..., prompts us first of all to give thanks to "Him Who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father" (Rv 1:5-6).
Since in the Sacred Heart the believer encounters the symbol and the living image of the infinite love of Christ, which in itself spurs us to love one another, he cannot fail to recognize the need to participate personally in the work of salvation.
Consecration ... is to be joined to the missionary activity of the Church herself, because it answers the desire of Jesus' Heart to propagate in the world, through the members of His Body, His total dedication to the kingdom, and to unite the Church ever more closely to His offering to the Father and His being for others.
I have often urged the faithful to persevere in the practice of this devotion [to the Sacred Heart], which "contains a message which in our day has an extraordinary timeliness", because "an unending spring of life, giving hope to every person, has streamed precisely from the Heart of God's Son, Who died on the Cross" (June 8, 1994).
"From the Heart of Christ crucified is born the new humanity redeemed from sin. The man of the year 2000 needs Christ's Heart to know God and to know himself; he needs it to build the civilization of love" (June 8, 1994).
In facing the challenge of the new evangelization, the Christian who looks upon the Heart of Christ and consecrates himself as well as his brothers and sisters to Him ... rediscovers that He is the bearer of His light.
The faithful still need to be guided to contemplate adoringly the mystery of Christ, the God-Man, in order to become men and women of interior life, people who feel and live the call to new life, to holiness, to reparation which is apostolic cooperation in the salvation of the world, people who prepare themselves for the new evangelization, recognizing the Heart of Christ as the heart of the Church: it is urgent for the world to understand that Christianity is the religion of love.
"From the Heart of Christ, man's heart learns to know the genuine and unique meaning of his life and of his destiny, to understand the value of an authentically Christian life, to keep himself from certain perversions of the human heart, and to unite the filial love of God with love of neighbor" (October 5, 1986).
We give thanks to God, our Father Who has revealed His love in the Heart of Christ and has consecrated us by the anointing of the Holy Spirit ... so that in union with Christ, we may adore Him in every place and by our holy actions consecrate to Him the world itself and the new millennium.
(Source: Message for the Centenary of the Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, issued June 11, 1999)
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