In Sacred Scripture, all the earth is seen as belonging to God. Thus, it would seem useless or insignificant to build churches, shrines, altars, sanctuaries, temples, and sacred dwelling tents. After all, isn’t God everywhere?
Well, the answer is that although it is true that everything belongs to God and that God’s Spirit is present to all places, nonetheless we should set aside and dedicate special places and invoke God’s blessing and abiding Presence to come into those places. This is our way of acknowledging God’s supreme dominion.
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob built altars and offered their first fruits. Melchizedek, high priest, blessed Abraham’s gifts as a thanks to God. Moses removed his shoes from His feet when he walked close to God, because he was on holy ground, and later would spill the blood of a spotless lamb in order to sanctify the people, and the ground they gathered on near the Ark. David commanded the Ark of the Covenant to be kept in a special tent. His son King Solomon built the first great Temple in Jerusalem and then offered thousands of sacrifices over a period of several days in order to bless and dedicate the Temple as a house of worship and a dwelling place for the Ark.
And once we have acknowledged that God is supreme, and we give him some physical space, we have exercised a pious and religious act which pleases God. This Jewish practice of dedicating and consecrating special places and buildings comes from the laws of the Covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. A building dedicated to worship and holy rituals is a symbol of the people of God, who like the building, are also consecrated and sanctified.
Catholics inherit from ancient Israel and the law of Moses this sense of handing over, setting aside, and dedicating certain spaces, and places, to render tribute, honor, and gory.to God—and to acknowledge His dominion over our lives. A “consecration” of a home or space to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a Catholic development of the tradition of biblical blessing and dedication of certain lands and buildings.
Simply put, it is an outward acknowledgement that in your home, in your life, Jesus is Lord. It is saying to Jesus that He can come and take possession of whatever He wants, whenever He wants, because it all belongs to Him. Also, it is an invocation of His divine protection, so that by surrendering a certain space to God, you can count on the Lord giving you further light and His approval to your labors, efforts, and actions carried in that space or home that is consecrated.
A consecration is also a setting aside of a certain place so that the activity carried out there will be godly and filled with justice and Christian love. Jesus said to learn from Him, for He is meek and gentle of heart. Our prayer to consecrate a home, apartment, or dorm room to the Sacred Heart of Jesus manifests a desire to repent of sin and turn toward virtue in that consecrated space.
As a memento or outward sign of our prayer of consecration, it is most appropriate to hang holy objects, like a crucifix, and also a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It provides an opportunity for us to explain to people the significance of certain holy icons or images.
Also, hanging an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus will fulfill the requirement of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary, that He will pour out numerous graces on those who display the image of His Heart and venerate and honor this image in their homes. If a priest or deacon cannot pray the blessing and consecration in your special place, you could do the prayers yourself and later sprinkle the holy later and hang the image where it is honored and treated as a priority in your life. God bless and take care, Fr. Angel