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October 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A blasphemous advertising poster mocking Jesus and His Sacred Heart is currently being advertised all around the United Kingdom. The image is being used to advertise “Borderlands 3,” the latest in a series of hugely popular video games.
The game was released worldwide last month, and no doubt many readers in different parts of the world may have seen the advertisements in their own cities. But in London, a city packed full of advertisements, the dramatic image commands attention from its place on the side of the city’s iconic double-decker red buses. It has thus become one of the most visible images in the city at present.
In an obvious profanation of the image of the Sacred Heart, the cover of “Borderlands 3” depicts one of the games’ characters, called ‘Psycho,’ wrapped in a blue cloak, with a halo around his head, and a hand grenade as a heart (entwined with barbed wire). He is also shown with a weapon (with a power saw at the top) as a staff in his left hand while holding up three fingers with his right hand.
Of course, we know that the proper image of the Sacred Heart was given to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque between 1673 and 1675 in apparitions that she had of the Lord Jesus, who requested that there be reparations made for ingratitude shown to God.
“Behold the Heart that has so loved men … Instead of gratitude I receive from the greater part (of humankind) only ingratitude.”
Additionally, 12 promises of specific graces were made by Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary for those people who practice devotion to His Sacred Heart. (Please see all 12 promises listed below.)
The ninth promise is as follows: “I will bless those places wherein the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.”
So, by these promises from the Lord Himself, we know that this profanation of His image is utterly wrong — especially because it mocks His mercy, and because it deprives young people of the truth about the holy image of Our Lord, its veneration and the awesome promises attached to the same.
It could be argued that this is a mere “drop in the ocean” given the prevalence of distasteful, pornographic and irreverent content in today’s entertainment media. But to my mind this marks a significant moment in the culture war and one that is worth reflecting on. About a year ago, I saw a similar image for sale as “art” in an English town famous for celebrating LGBT, bohemian and “alternative” lifestyles. It was offensive then, but perhaps not surprising given the environment.
But now it feels as though this particular image is everywhere and, in a sense, it is in London. On the side of the double decker buses, it’s a large, imposing, moving object. Last week, I either had to board a bus bearing the offensive image or risk missing a flight. If you live in London, then right now it feels like you can’t get away from it.
The potential impact of this game on the development and psyche of people playing it would be a subject for a separate article. But when this sort of image is displayed so prominently on our streets it affects everyone.
LifeSite readers may consider whether the advertisement is in contravention of the Travel for London’s advertising policy on the required standards for approval of advertisements. Section 2.3 (a) of the document reads:
It is likely to cause widespread or serious offence to reasonable members of the public on account of the product or service being advertised, the content or design of the advertisement, or by way of implication.
And section 2.3 (c) continues:
It could reasonably be seen as distasteful, indecent or obscene, in its use of imagery, language or otherwise.
For Catholics such as myself, who from their earliest days have grown up venerating and praying to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, it is of course highly offensive and sad to see such a manifest contempt of Our Lord displayed so prominently on our streets.
But, of course, we know as St. Paul tells us that “where sin abounded, grace did more abound.” God can use all things for the good. If nothing else, then this sad event should inspire Catholics to a greater devotion to the Sacred Heart and a renewed commitment to making reparation for the crimes and indifference of men toward it.
Here are the complete list of the promises made by Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Perhaps, after reading through them, you, too, might like to help propagate devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus!
- I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
- I will give peace in their families.
- I will console them in all their troubles.
- I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.
- I will abundantly bless all their undertakings.
- Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
- Tepid souls shall become fervent.
- Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
- I will bless those places wherein the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.
- I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
- Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names eternally written in my Heart.
- In the excess of the mercy of my Heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.