What is Meant by Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ…
The particular object of this devotion is the immense love of the Son of God, which has induced Him to die for us, and to give Himself wholly to us in the Adorable Sacrament of the Altar, and this, although He foresaw all the ingratitude and outrages which He was to meet within this state of a victim immolated till the end of ages; preferring rather to expose himself daily to the insults and contempt of mankind, than to fail in showing us, by the greatest of all wonders, to what an excess He loves us.
This is what has enkindled the piety and zeal of many. Reflecting on the little gratitude that is shown for such an excess of love, the little love that is felt for Jesus Christ, and the little value that is set upon His love for us, they have been unable to endure to see Him daily so ill-treated, without protesting to Him their just grief and their excessive desire to repair, as far as they can, so much ingratitude and contempt, by their ardent love, by their profound respect, and by every sort of homage in their power. It is with this intention that certain days in the year have been chosen in order to make a more special recognition of the excessive love of Jesus Christ for us in the adorable Sacrament; and at the same time, to make Him some reparation of honor for all the indignities and all the contempt which He has received, and still receives daily, in this mystery of love. And certainly, this grief at the sight of the little love shown to Jesus Christ in this adorable mystery, this intense sorrow at seeing Him so ill-treated, these practices of devotion which are suggested by love alone, and which have no other aim but to repair, as far as possible, the outrages He there endures, are, without doubt, real proofs of an ardent love for Jesus Christ, and visible signs of a just gratitude.
It is easy to see that the object and principal motive of this devotion is, as we have already said, the immense love which Jesus Christ has for men, whilst they for the most part feel only contempt, or at least indifference, for Him.
The end we have in view is, first, to acknowledge and honor, as far as we are able, by our frequent adorations, by a return of love, by our thanksgivings, and by every sort of homage, the sentiments of love and tenderness which Jesus Christ has for us, in the adorable Eucharist, where He is so little known to men, or at least, so little loved, even by those who do know Him.
In the second place, we aim at repairing, by every means possible, the insults and outrages to which His love exposed Him, in the course of His mortal life, and to which the same love exposes Him still every day, in the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. So that this devotion wholly consists, properly speaking, in an ardent love of Jesus Christ, constantly residing amongst us in the adorable Eucharist, and in testifying to this ardent love by our grief at seeing Him so little loved and so little honored, and by the means we take to repair this contempt and this want of love.
(From Devotion To The Sacred Heart Of Jesus by Father John Croiset, S.J.)