If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone

 

THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
 
Everybody has seen the image of Jesus exposing his sacred heart in Catholic homes. Many Catholics do the nine First Fridays in honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus believing that it secures salvation for them.
 
Idolatry is preferring something to God or worshipping something without regard for the real God. A person could adore the heart of Jesus in an idolatrous way. The Church says anything become an idol. Even our perception of God can be an idol. The heart of Jesus can mean more to you than Jesus himself. Just because it is Jesus' heart does not mean it cannot be turned into an idol.
 
Israel seems to have regarded the Golden Calf as an image of the true God. God rejected this. So can you imagine him approving of the worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus? It gets more than honour or veneration. The Church gives it the full worship due to God.
 
Catholics try to bluff off those who see that the worship of the Sacred Heart is the idolatrous worship of a body part. The excuse is that the heart is the heart of a man who is also God. But the heart is God's heart but it is not God. That is the fact to be focused on.
 
Idols are made by God. The Church says God makes all things. Nothing exists without his agency. So if you make an idol, it is God that empowers you to do it and gives you the materials with which to make it. To honour anything is to at least indirectly honour the God who makes it for it consists of his power. Without him it would not exist or be made. But God vehemently denies that this honour is lawful. He says it is idolatry. Anything that is less than direct worship of God is idolatry. The sacred heart devotion is idolatry.

The person most responsible for all the Catholic sacred heart superstitions is St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) who was a nun in the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary.
 
The sinister truth about this person to whom faking miracles was a piece of cake can be read in her own autobiography. The original book in her handwriting is venerated and kept at Paray-le-Monial in a reliquary. The version I am using is TAN books, The Autobiography of St Margaret Mary.

It did not occur to her that the mind and not the heart is the seat of love even though her pathological devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus says the opposite. And it is idolatry to pray to the sacred heart even if it is only a symbol of Jesus under the aspect of love. Praying to it makes you find yourself adoring an organ and not Jesus.
 
On page 19 we learn that she asked God to ensure she would write only what is for God’s glory and her own disgrace. Then she writes that God is her only love (page 20). The unproven God comes before herself even though she can prove her own existence to herself. That is sheer evil. All her book is about is Jesus trying to get her to love him alone. This shows that if the apparitions and messages she reported are authentic then they are from some malign agency.

Jesus promised to dictate to her what to write (page 26) so the book is divinely inspired.

Margaret Mary claims that her mother’s sufferings are worse than her own crosses (page 27). One of hers was going voluntarily for days without food and drink. She was slandering herself because she couldn’t be sure of this.

Her credulity and belief in the wickedness of God is shown when she would not go to communion at Christmas because a priest said it was a sin to receive if one did not sleep the day before and she had not slept (page 30). Credulous wasn’t she?

She tied knotted cords around herself so tightly that they cut into the flesh which grew over them (page 34). She was conscious of serious sin and was supposed that Hell did not open up to take her (page 35).

At least she was aware that if you sin and do not repent your good deeds are just mockeries to God (page 36). Any good you do is done because it suits you not because it is good for you are still attached to your sins. But this is completely contradicted by page 124 where she says she never loses the divine presence even though she sins at times. If one sins then one can do no good and cannot be united with God at all. She even says that her right standing with God who is present torments her if she displeases him and she enjoys that torment. God does not indwell sinners who reject him.

She denies what the people who lived around her were saying which was that she gave all she could get her hands on to the poor for that would have been stealing for she had nothing (page 37). But it is the words of people who had no reason to lie about her against her own. She is probably lying. You can’t pin everything on jealousy.

Jesus warned her that if she did she did not become a nun he would abandon her forever (page 40). Obviously, it must be a mortal or hell-deserving sin to turn away from one’s vocation. But it is fanaticism to listen to an unproven apparition. The Church says that the Devil is at work when a vision commands or says something harmful for she is never very sure of visions.

Margaret Mary became a nun though she believed that by leaving her mother with nobody to care for her she would be the cause of her death if not by neglect then by breaking her heart (page 41).

She offered her blood to Jesus as if he would want it (page 44). How silly she was!

Jesus commanded her all the time to hurt and mortify herself (page 54). Today’s Catholics pay no attention to the duty of self-abuse.

Jesus would not accept the penances she did without his request or that of the Mother Superior (page 66). Once she even said a longer prayer than she had been asked to by Jesus to say and he told her that once she crossed the border she was pleasing to the Devil. This is ludicrous. It is the same as a person doing genuine good to another person and being condemned for doing another good deed. The holy souls in Purgatory once told her that she was hurting them by going beyond what God commanded. Now, we have the new doctrine that our sins hurt the souls.

It is strange if everything the Superiors command is right and a sure sign that the Devil is not tricking you according to Jesus (page 71). There is no free will if that is true.

Jesus actually asked her to destroy her free will and let his will rule her in its place (page 78). If free will is for destroying then God is evil for giving it to us and causing suffering and sin through it.

The saint once licked a sick person’s vomit (page 82) and ate the diahorrea of a patient with dysentery. Jesus told her she was foolish for eating excrement and she replied that she did it to please him and reminded him that he did degrading and voluntary things which were worse. He agreed with her but said that he wanted her to make up for human ingratitude. This all means that he was not against her for what she ate but for not doing it in reparation. He told her that her objection was right but that she did not understand why he was complaining. Catholicism says that we are not sure enough of apparitions to do anything bad they ask. This Jesus did not know that a saint’s repulsive act could have given her a killer bug so he was not the Catholic Jesus who is divine.

She prayed that the manuscript would make people forget her and despise her (page 92). She said that Fr Claude de la Colombiere (now Saint Claude de la Columbiere) was holier than her and told Jesus that and he did not correct her (page 96). She would not judge the priest in case she slandered him but it was all right to slander herself for him! Devotion to the Sacred Heart forbids real love.

Jesus forbade her to judge or accuse anybody but herself (page 105). If we don’t judge then the legal system has to be abolished and all badness has to be treated as goodness. The saint did not protest against the Church and the state judging so she was not a true saint.

Jesus promised to save a dying nun from going to Hell if the saint refused to disobey her superiors in anything, if she would not refuse to enter the parlour and if she would not write (page 114). So, a promise she broke lots of times on her own admission mattered more to him than saving the girl. What an evil God this would be!

It is suspicious that the saint was miraculously cured of the wounds caused by writing Jesus on her chest in order that the nurse would not see it (page 115). Jesus would not work an unprovable miracle that only one person who needed no sign could be sure of. And why hide the wounds when she writes about her sufferings and about the wounds? There was no wound at all.

The Superior had sent a nurse with a remedy but the wound was gone before she met the saint. Because of this, Margaret Mary was accused of disobedience by the Superior and by Jesus even though she admits that she believed she had not disobeyed deliberately. And she had disobeyed. She was barred from communion over it. One wonders what kind of madhouse that convent was. Jesus criticised her despite collaborating in her alleged disobedience by removing the marks.

The saint boasts that she wrote her book with repugnance and did not want anybody to think that she was holy. That is a lie because she does go into detail about how much she loves God. On page 121, she says she conformed to God’s will in many things.

The saint loved suffering which shows that her embracing it was not sacrifice but self-will which was the very thing that she pretended to loathe above all else.
 
The Catholic frequently recites the prayer, "O Sacred Heart of Jesus I Place all my trust in thee!" It is one of the most idolatrous devotions in the Church. It proves that Roman Catholic apparitions cannot be taken as indicating that the Catholic faith is true. Christians who believe the Bible would see these apparitions as part of a demonic deception. The apostle said that idols are not gods and they are really nothing and so the worship they get goes to demons.
 
BOOKS CONSULTED
 
 
Ballinspittle, Moving Statues and Faith, Tim Ryan and Jurek Kirakowski, Mercier Press, Dublin, 1985
Beauraing and Other Apparitions, Fr Herbert Thurston, Burns, Oates & Washbourne, London, 1934
Believing in God, PJ McGrath, Millington Books in Association with Wolfhound, Dublin, 1995
Bernadette of Lourdes, Rev CC Martindale, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1970
Biblical Exegesis and Church Doctrine, Raymond E Brown, Paulist Press, New York, 1985
Catholic Prophecy, The Coming Chastisement Yves Dupont, TAN, Illinois, 1973
Comparative Miracles, Fr Robert D Smith, B. Herder Book Co, St Louis, Mo, 1965
Counterfeit Miracles, BB Warfield, The Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh, 1995
Cults and Fanatics, Colin & Damon Wilson, Siena, London, 1996
Divine Mercy in My Soul, Sr M Faustina Kowalska, Marian Press, Massachusetts, 1987
Eleven Lourdes Miracles, Dr D J West, Duckworth, London, 1957
Evidence of Satan in the Modern World, Leon Cristiani, TAN, Illinois, 1974
From Fasting Saints to Anorexic Girls, Walter Vandereycken and Ron van Deth, Athlone Press, London, 1996
Fatima in Lucia’s own Words, Sr Lucia, Postulation Centre, Fatima, 1976
Fatima Revealed…And Discarded, Brother Michael of the Holy Trinity, Augustine, Devon, 1988
From the Visions of the Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, Topic Newspapers, Mullingar, undated
Garabandal, a Message for the World, Ave Maria Publications, Middleton, Co Armagh
Introduction to the Devout Life, St Francis de Sales, Burns Oates and Washbourne Limited, London, 1952
Looking for a Miracle, Joe Nickell, Prometheus Books, New York, 1993
Miracles in Dispute, Ernst and Marie-Luise Keller, SCM, London, 1969
Miracles, Ronald A Knox, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1937
Mother of Nations, Joan Ashton, Veritas, Dublin, 1988
New Catholic Encyclopedia, The Catholic University of America and the McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., Washington, District of Columbia, 1967
Objections to Roman Catholicism, Edited by Michael de la Bedoyere, Constable, London, 1964
Our Lady of Beauraing, Rev J.A. Shields, M.A., D.C.L., M.H. Gill and Son, Ltd., Dublin, 1958
Padre Pio, Patrick O Donovan, Catholic Truth Society, London
Please Come Back to Me and My Son R Vincnet, Ireland’s Eye, Mullingar, 1992
Powers of Darkness, Powers of Light, John Cornwell, London, 1992
Rosa Mystica, Franz Speckbacher, Divine Mercy Publications, Dublin, 1986
San Damiano, S di Maria, The Marian Centre, Hungerford, 1983
Spiritual Healing, Martin Daulby and Caroline Mathison, Geddes & Grosset, New Lanark, Scotland, 1998
St Catherine Laboure of the Miraculous Medal, Fr Joseph I Dirvin C.M., Tan, Illinois, 1984
The Apparition at Knock, A Survey of Facts and Evidence, Fr Michael Walsh, St Jarlath’s College, Tuam, Co Galway, 1959
The Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary Today, Rene Laurentin, Veritas, Dublin 1990
The Appearances of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Grotto of Lourdes, JB Estrade, Art & Book Company Ltd, Westminster, 1912
The Autobiography of St Margaret Mary, TAN, Illinois, 1986
The Book of Miracles, Stuart Gordon, Headline, London, 1996
The Cult of the Virgin Mary, Michael P Carroll, Princeton University Press, 1986
The Evidence for Visions of the Virgin Mary, Kevin McClure Aquarian Press, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, 1985
The Exaltation of the Virgin Mary, by Rev S.G. Poyntz, M.A., B.D., Association for Promoting Christian Knowledge, Dublin, 1955
The Holy Shroud and Four Visions, Rev Patrick O Connell and Rev Charles Carty, TAN, Illinois, 1974
The Holy Shroud and the Visions of Maria Valtorta, Msgr Vincenzo Celli, Kolbe Publications Inc., Sheerbrooke, California, 1994
The Incorruptibles, Joan Carroll Cruz, Tan, Illinois, 1977
The Jesus Relics, From the Holy Grail to the Turin Shroud, Joe Nickell, The History Press, Gloucestershire, 2008
The Medjugorje Deception, E Michael Jones, Fidelity Press, Indiana, 1998
The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism, Fr Herbert Thurston, Burns, Oates & Washbourne, London, 1952
The Sceptical Occultist, Terry White, Century, London, 1994
The Supernatural A-Z, James Randi, Headline Books, London, 1995
The Thunder of Justice, Ted and Maureen Flynn, MAXCOL, Vancouver, 1993
The Turin Shroud is Genuine, Rodney Hoare, Souvenir Press, London, 1998 Twenty Questions about Medjugorje Kevin Orlin Johnson Ph.D, Pangaeus, Dallas, 1999
The Two Divine Promises, Fr Roman Hoppe, TAN, Illinois, 1987
The Virgin of the Poor, Damian Walne and Joan Flory, CTS, London, 1983
The Way of Divine Love, Sr Josefa Mendenez, TAN, Illinois, 1980
The Wonder of Guadalupe, Francis Johnson, Augustine, Devon, 1981
To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons, Fr Gobbi, The Marian Movement of Priests, St Paul’s Press, Athlone, 1991