Image provided by Kevin J. Banet
When the health of our nation and Church are beset with difficulties of various kinds, it’s time to cry out to God for divine help.
And why not do it by following a path of mercy that He has laid out for us?
That is the backdrop behind the recent consecration of the Diocese of Brooklyn by Most Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio.
The consecration was held after the diocese’s Chrism Mass on June 19, the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Mass had been postponed from Holy Week due to COVID-19 concerns.
Bishop DiMarzio said in his homily,
“…[S]ome of our own ranks have sinned and destroyed the lives of many. How can we make reparation for our own sins and the sins of others, especially now that we struggle to overcome a new heritage which is ours now….”
The ceremony tied together several themes - the blessing of sacramental oils for the diocese, the need for the sanctification of the priesthood, and the recent scandals in the Church. At the end of Mass, the bishop led the congregation with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, the Litany of the Sacred Heart, and a formal prayer of consecration of the diocese to the Sacred Heart.
Bishop DeMarzio also said in his homily,
“The consecration to the Sacred Heart reminds us that we know the love of God, that the Father has given us in Jesus, his Son. The Son who died and rose for us. We also recognize that we must still make reparation for our sins and the sins of others because God's love is offended by sin, when we turn away from God.”
Our Will Taken Up By His
Quoting Saint Margaret Mary, known as the apostle of the Sacred Heart, to whom Jesus revealed himself, the bishop said,
“There must be no longer anything of ourselves, but this divine Heart of Jesus must take the place of our own so completely that our Lord alone will live and act within us. Our own will must be taken up by His, that He may be able to act in us without any resistance whatsoever.”
The bishop continued,
“Tonight, as we consecrate the Diocese of Brooklyn, here in Queens and Brooklyn, and ourselves to the Sacred Heart, we ask for that grace, that Jesus take us over, that our will become His own. And that is our special request tonight.”
Referring to the pandemic, the bishop said,
“I don't think people have prayed more at home than during this time. The spirit of prayer and devotion entered into each home in a different way. Perhaps it is the Sacred Heart of Jesus who asked to be honored in every home with his picture to remind us that His love should be the centerpiece of each Catholic family, the domestic Church.”
Consecrations to the Sacred Heart
A few dioceses in the United States have been consecrated to the Sacred Heart. Besides Brooklyn, the Diocese of Marquette, MI was consecrated in 2015.
Popes have recognized and solemnized consecrations to the Sacred Heart. On June 11, 1899, Pope Leo XIII consecrated the entire human race to the Heart of Jesus.
17th-Century Apparition to St. Margaret Mary
Jesus Christ appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French Visitation nun and mystic, in 1673. Jesus spoke these words,
“Behold the Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, in order to testify Its love; and in return, I receive from the greater part only ingratitude, by their irreverence and sacrilege…”
Read more and see photos about the consecration of the diocese on the website of the Visitation Sisters.