Tuesday, 2 May 2017

The Devotion to the Sacred Heart Of Jesus. 45.


Establishment of the Apostleship. The same formalities are not required for the establishment of the apostleship as for the erection of a confraternity. The objections which may be raised, often with justice, to the introduction of a confraternity do not apply to the Apostleship of Prayer. Since it is not a confraternity or sodality in the strict sense of the word, it can be established in any parish or community however many the number of confraternities already existing there; and far from proving a hindrance to them in any way, it only serves to promote and stimulate their action. For, apart from the spirit of Jesus Christ and zeal in the performance of religious exercises which it is its mission preeminently to awaken and augment in the associates, all who make the morning offering may gain an indulgence of one hundred days for every prayer and action offered for the general intention notified in the organ of the league—a fact calculated to incite the members of the apostleship to perform the obligations of the different confraternities to which they may belong more faith fully and more zealously in the intentions of the apostleship.

The priest who is keenly alive to the evils and needs of the day, and is desirous to aid in curing them, will not fail to introduce the Apostleship of Prayer among his flock and do his utmost to propagate it. Both faith and experience teach us clearly and plainly enough that intercessory prayer exercises an almost incalculable influence over the course of events and the life of the Church at large. Instant, persevering prayer is indispensable if the religious indifferentism and the moral corruption which have gained ground even among Catholics are to be checked and eradicated. Of late the Church has been deprived of one of her most powerful weapons of defence against her foes, one of the most efficacious means of reviving the faith of her children, because in many parts of the Catholic world the contemplative Orders, Orders of prayer and penance, have been forcibly ejected from their peaceful dwellings. This may possibly be the reason why the Holy Spirit, as if in compensation for this loss, has awakened an extraordinary spirit of prayer in the Church of God. The devotion to the Heart of Jesus, in union with the Apostle-ship of Prayer, is the antidote in the fullest sense of the word for the ills of the present day. For the last ten years the regenerating influence of the devotion has been strikingly manifested, and within that period, through the merciful, loving kindness of God, the Apostle-ship of Prayer has arisen and spread rapidly. It may confidently be affirmed that all that is elevating and cheering, all that we see to be grand and wonderful in the present fierce struggle waged by the Church in her severe trials, is in a great measure to be attributed to the devotion of the Sacred Heart and of the Apostle-ship of Prayer. And only by the increase of prayer can society be cured of its mortal malady, and health and vigor be restored to it.