Three Degrees Of Devotion
According to the fervor and zeal wherewith the veneration of the Divine Heart is practiced, three sacred degrees are distinguished : (a) the simple daily adoration; (b) the act of consecration, whereby one is personally pledged to practice this devotion oneself, and (c) the apostolate, whereby one is bound to propagate it amongst others. In regard to these three distinct degrees, Our Lord gave His servant, Bl. Margaret Mary, these express promises.
(a) For the simple adoration of the Sacred Heart: That He would shower down the abundant blessings of which His heart is full into the hearts of those who are devoted to it. "That He would restore concord to families that are disunited, and afford protection and assistance to those who are in any distress, provided they have recourse to the Sacred Heart in all confidence."
(b) For the act of consecration. Bl. Margaret Mary left a paper in her own handwriting containing these words:'' Our Lord told me that He desired to be known, loved and adored by all men,' and therefore He would impart to them many graces if they dedicated themselves to the love and veneration of His Sacred Heart. Nay, more; that all who are animated by a fervent devotion to His Sacred Heart and consecrate themselves to it shall not perish eternally."
(c) For propagating the devotion. Our Lord declared that those who showed Him all the love and veneration within their power and induced others to do the same should be superabundantly enriched with the heavenly treasures of which His Sacred Heart is the source. In confirmation and explanation of this statement Bl. Margaret Mary says that the Divine Heart is like an unfathomable abyss, and that it was granted her to see in it the treasures of love and grace destined for those who consecrate and sacrifice themselves to the Sacred Heart, with the object of paying it all the homage possible on their own part, and procuring for it the honor, love and adoration of others to the utmost of their ability.
These treasures were so vast, she adds, that words failed her to describe them, and she could only repeat what, after holy communion, she heard Our Lord distinctly say in reference to three persons who had exerted themselves greatly to promote this devotion: " I will surely unite them eternally to Myself in the unity of love.'' And in respect to several souls, she says: “The Lord permitted me to see that their names were inscribed in His heart on account of their desire to promote His glory, and that they would never be effaced therefrom.''
(Adapted from “The Glories of The Sacred Heart Of Jesus” by Rev. M. Hausherr, S.J.)