In his encyclical letter on devotion to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord, Pope Pius XI explained that devotion to the Sacred Heart, the "source" of the Love and Mercy of Our Lord, is mandatory. How can a devotion be mandatory? The Rosary is the most-cited devotion in Magisterial texts, and even it can't be mandatory. As the Holy Father went on to explain, it is simply a form of devotion to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, which is the sacrament of love as Pope Benedict XVI explained in the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis.
I am reading as part of my journey towards Easter and its Octave Day, which was declared the Sunday of Divine Mercy by soon-to-be Saint John Paul II in response to the devotion encouraged through the writings of St. Faustina to the Divine Mercy, Consoling the Heart of Jesus by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC. It is based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, and it is all about coming to the Sacred Heart and resting there. If you have done Marian consecration using his 33 Days to Morning Glory, or even if you did it with True Devotion or St. Maximilian Kolbe's method, you should at some point move on to this book. By the way, St. Faustina's spiritual director was a Marian Father of the Immaculate Conception, and they are entrusted with spreading the Divine Mercy devotion today.
I really love what Fr. Nicholson has to say about the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. It is a participation in the true sacrifice of Our Lord, the complete self-offering of His body and blood, soul and divinity to the Eternal Father first upon the Cross and then through His Mystical Body the Church as her priests offer the Holy Mass, one in which everyone can participate as He comes to rest in our souls sacramentally and by our own sacrifices, whether through our prayer at Mass or in our own mortifications and works of mercy (we talked about this today in theology class...).
It is all about coming to love Jesus more and more so that we might share his love with others. "In all things we are more than conquerors in Him who loved us."-Romans 8:37.
Hmm. I learned some interesting information on the origins of the devotion, and it's connected to the Anglican Patrimony. More to come, I think, on this devotion.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.