June 26, 2023 Column Father De Celles

Reparation. Last week in writing about the recent blasphemous acts of the Los Angeles Dodgers,
and, in fact all the blasphemy surrounding “Pride Month,” I talked about the need for “acts of
reparations to the Sacred Heart.”
For many, the idea of “reparation” is unfamiliar. By way of context, recall that in a private
revelation on June 16, 1675, Our Lord Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, and revealed
to her His Sacred Heart, asking that a feast be established honoring His Heart and calling for acts of
“reparation,” saying:
“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, and by the coldness and contempt they have for Me
in this Sacrament of Love. …Therefore, I ask of you that the Friday after the Octave of Corpus
Christi be set apart for a special Feast to honor My Heart, by communicating on that day, and
making reparation to It by a solemn act, in order to make amends for the indignities which It
has received during the time It has been exposed on the altars….”
[“Private revelations” need not be accepted by the Faithful, but this one is so well established
and reflective of Catholic Doctrine that it has great prominence in Catholic life.]
This Feast of the Sacred Heart was established in France in 1765, and for the Universal
Church in 1856, celebrated 8 days after the Feast of Corpus Christi. We just celebrated it on Friday,
June 16.
In 1928 Pope Pius XI, an extremely learned man with a great devotion to the Sacred Heart,
raised the Feast to the highest of Solemnity, e.g. the same liturgical rank as Sunday or a holy day of
obligation. In that context he issued Miserentissimus Redemptor in which he explained the teaching
on “reparation.” Here follows a lengthy excerpt thereof. It’s a little difficult to wade through, perhaps.
But well worth the read:
Miserentissimus Redemptor, Pope Pius XI:
“6. ….honorable satisfaction or reparation ….must be rendered to the Most Sacred Heart of
Jesus. …namely that to the same uncreated Love, if so be it has been neglected by forgetfulness or
violated by offense, some sort of compensation must be rendered for the injury, and this debt is
commonly called by the name of reparation.
“7. ….we are holden to the duty of reparation and expiation by a certain more valid title of
justice and of love, of justice indeed, in order that the offense offered to God by our sins may be
expiated and that the violated order may be repaired by penance: and of love too so that we may
suffer together with Christ suffering and “filled with reproaches” (Lam. iii, 30), and for all our poverty
may offer Him some little solace. For since we are all sinners and laden with many faults, our God
must be honored by us not only by that worship wherewith we adore His infinite Majesty with due
homage….but besides this we must need make satisfaction to God the just avenger, “for our
numberless sins and offenses and negligences.” [Therefore we must offer] expiation, whereby sins
are wholly blotted out, lest the holiness of the supreme justice may punish our shameless
unworthiness, and reject our offering as hateful rather than accept it as pleasing….
“9. But no created power was sufficient to expiate the sins of men, if the Son of God had not
assumed man’s nature in order to redeem it. ….Yet, though the copious redemption of Christ has
abundantly forgiven us all offenses (Cf. Colossians ii, 13), nevertheless, because of that wondrous
divine dispensation whereby those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ are to be filled
up in our flesh for His body which is the Church (Cf. Colossians i, 24), to the praises and
satisfactions, “which Christ in the name of sinners rendered unto God” we can also add our praises
and satisfactions, and indeed it behooves us so to do. But we must ever remember that the whole
virtue of the expiation depends on the one bloody sacrifice of Christ, which without intermission of
time is renewed on our altars in an unbloody manner…Wherefore with this most august Eucharistic
Sacrifice there ought to be joined an oblation both of the ministers and of all the faithful, so that they
also may “present themselves living sacrifices, holy, pleasing unto God” (Romans xii, 1).
“Nay more, St. Cyprian does not hesitate to affirm that “the Lord’s sacrifice is not celebrated
with legitimate sanctification, unless our oblation and sacrifice correspond to His passion”

(Ephesians 63). For this reason, the Apostle admonishes us that “bearing about in our body the
mortification of Jesus” (2 Corinthians iv, 10), and buried together with Christ, and planted together in
the likeness of His death (Cf. Romans vi, 4-5), we must not only crucify our flesh with the vices and
concupiscences (Cf. Galatians v, 24), …but “that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our
bodies” (2 Corinthians iv, 10) and being made partakers of His eternal priesthood we are to offer up
“gifts and sacrifices for sins” (Hebrews v, 1). …
“13. But how can these rites of expiation bring solace now, when Christ is already reigning in
the beatitude of Heaven? ….[A]ny one who has great love of God, if he will ….dwell in meditation on
Christ, and see Him laboring for man, sorrowing, suffering the greatest hardships, “for us men and
for our salvation,” well-nigh worn out with sadness, with anguish, nay “bruised for our sins”
(Isaias liii, 5), and healing us by His bruises. …Now if, because of our sins also which were as yet in
the future, but were foreseen, the soul of Christ became sorrowful unto death, it cannot be doubted
that then, too, already He derived somewhat of solace from our reparation, which was likewise
foreseen, when “there appeared to Him an angel from heaven” (Luke xxii, 43), in order that His
Heart, oppressed with weariness and anguish, might find consolation. And so even now, in a
wondrous yet true manner, we can and ought to console that Most Sacred Heart which is continually
wounded by the sins of thankless men, since – as we also read in the sacred liturgy – Christ Himself,
by the mouth of the Psalmist complains that He is forsaken by His friends: “My Heart hath expected
reproach and misery, and I looked for one that would grieve together with me, but there was none:
and for one that would comfort me, and I found none” (Psalm lxviii, 21).”
Choir. The choir is on “summer vacation” until September. We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to our
choir members, as well as our cantors. I know we all agree that they add so much to our ability to
worship reverently on Sundays and other important Masses. Thank you, choir members for your
magnificent work this year. Enjoy the summer, and see you soon. God bless you.
Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles