The Catholic Defender: The Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Promise 9
(9) I will bless every place in which an image of my Heart is exposed and honored. This image of Jesus and the Sacred Heart is probably the most popular image of Jesus, however, many would not know about these 12 promises of Jesus. Many would not know the history nor the biblical implication. For some, just having an image of any kind would be to them idolatry. Of course that objection is absurd. They take Exodus 20:4-6 out of context, "You shall not make for yourself an idol or a likeness of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before them or serve them. For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their ancestors’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation; but showing love down to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments."
The above passage in context refers to creating false gods such as the golden calf that was made by the Hebrews as Moses was up on the mountain receiving the 10 Commandments. Consider Exodus 25:18-20, "Make two cherubim of beaten gold for the two ends of the cover; make one cherub at one end, and the other at the other end, of one piece with the cover, at each end. The cherubim shall have their wings spread out above, sheltering the cover with them; they shall face each other, with their faces looking toward the cover." Did God break His own command? Not at all. Clearly there is a difference from a holy object from an idol used to worship false gods.
If your not convinced, consider 1 Kings 6 Solomon built the Temple for the worship of God, consider vs 23-28, "In the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim, each ten cubits high, made of pine. Each wing of a cherub was five cubits so that the span from wing tip to wing tip was ten cubits. The second cherub was also ten cubits: the two cherubim were identical in size and shape; the first cherub was ten cubits high, and so was the second. He placed the cherubim in the inmost part of the house; the wings of the cherubim were spread wide, so that one wing of the first touched the side wall and the wing of the second touched the other wall; the wings pointing to the middle of the room touched each other. He overlaid the cherubim with gold."
Notice that in this Temple Solomon built, within the sanctuary two statues of angels are placed. They are not the object of worship, but are placed to enhance the worship of the unseen God. Throughout the Temple were images of angels which tells you that heavenly images were not seen as idols. Consider 1 Kings 9:1-5 states, "After Solomon finished building the house of the LORD, the house of the king, and everything else that he wanted to do, the LORD appeared to Solomon a second time, as he had appeared to him in Gibeon. The LORD said to him: I have heard the prayer of petition which you offered in my presence. I have consecrated this house which you have built and I set my name there forever; my eyes and my heart shall be there always. As for you, if you walk before me as David your father did, wholeheartedly and uprightly, doing all that I have commanded you, keeping my statutes and ordinances, I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father: There shall never be wanting someone from your line on the throne of Israel."
Something very interesting we find here! With the completion and dedication of the Temple, God says something so clear here. First, God heard the prayer of Solomon and accepted it, secondly, the Lord consecrates the Temple and set His name there forever, His heart shall be there always. Now, I find this extremely interesting. If God would have had problems with statues and images this would have been the time to make it plain. If God saw these images as "idols", he would certainly have told Solomon that the Temple I will consecrate once you get the idols out! God did not say that did He, no He didn't. He accepted the Temple as it was.
Also notice God's Heart will always be there! Remember that Solomon is the son of King David, Jesus also is the son of David and it is Jesus Heart that is very important to this story. Jesus is the Messiah, God's only Son, and Jesus is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. The Sacred Heart of Jesus literally is the Heart of God. Ezekiel 36:25-26 states, "I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." In every Eucharistic Miracle, it is always the Left Ventricle of the Heart that is revealed.
Now that I have dispelled the false notion that Holy objects are idols, Jesus has no problem asking for the image of His Sacred Heart to inspire devotion to Him. From the Shroud of Turin to Our Lady of Guadalupe, all the images coming from the Catholic Church are authorized for personal, public use. These 12 promises are coming from the King of kings and Lord of lords. We can place our trust in the One who gave them.