Skip to comments.Catholic Devotions: Sacred Heart of Jesus
Posted on 05/12/2006 3:46:40 PM PDT by Knitting A Conundrum
Devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
"Behold this Heart Which has loved men so much that It spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, in order to testify to them It's love; and in return I receive from the greater number nothing but ingratitude by reason of their irreverence and sacrileges, and by the coldness and contempt which they show me in this Sacrament of Love." --- Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
Our Lord stands there, ever waiting to heal our aching hearts, soothe our griefs, reach out to us with his mercy and bring us home. But like the soldiers the day he was crucified, too many people choose instead to join in the mockery, and bring others with them.
At this time, on the edge of a new wave of attacks against the Church and the divinity of Jesus, it is a good time to remember what a loving Lord we have, and offer up our prayers, sacrifices and acts of love to Him.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,
overflowing with love for all people and so empty of the love due to Thee,
behold us prostrate before You, eager to repair the damage caused to Your Heart
by the hateful actions, neglect and indifference heaped upon Your Heart by the people you love so much.
We are mindful, Lord, that we ourselves have failed to give You the honor and love that You deserve,
and we pray that we will never allow ourselves to wander from the love of Your Most Sacred Heart again.
We grieve, O Lord, that people continue to turn away from You in spite of Your love of them
and pray that by our words and deeds we might bring as many of these to You as we are able.
In the meantime, Lord, please accept our offering of our small sacrifices as reparation for all of the offenses committed
against Your Most Sacred Heart. Count our sacrifices worthy although we know that there is no sacrifice we can make
that will ever compare to the sacrifices that You have made for us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I love you.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in you.
Short Litany of Aspirations
May I prove to You my love, O heart of Jesus, by a spirit of self-sacrifice for your interests.
May I cheerfully make every sacrifice You demand of me, 0 heart of my Jesus.
May the sacrifices You ask of me glorify You, O Heart of My Jesus
May each sacrifice made forYour love draw me nearer to You, O Heart of My Jesus
By increasing in the spirit of self-sacrifice, may I become more like You. O Heart of My Jesus
May the sacrifices I make be agreeable to You, O Heart of My Jesus
May each sacrifice win one soul to You, O Heart of My Jesus
May each sacrifice prevent one mortal sin, O Heart of My Jesus
May each sacrifice earn a special grace for some soul, O Heart of My Jesus
May each sacrifice merit a holy death for some soul, O Heart of My Jesus
May each sacrifice relieve a soul in purgatory, O Heart of My Jesus
May each sacrifice ascend as a prayer to You, O Heart of My Jesus
May each sacrifice be as a hymn of praise to You, O Heart of My Jesus
May Your Holy Spirit instruct me more and more in the spirit of self-sacrifice, O Heart of My Jesus
May the spirit of self-sacrifice increase in our family, O Heart of My Jesus
May the same spirit be propagated throughout the whole Church, 0 Heart of my Jesus,
And may it hasten the Church's triumph.
O Lanb of God, sacrificed for us, give us a spirit of self-sacrifice.
O Lamb of God, daily immolating Yourself upon the altar for us, give us grace to immolate our wills for Your sake.
O Lamb of God, dying for us, give us grace to die to all that wounds your Sacred Heart.
Prayer to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus
Eucharistic Heart of Jesus,
gracious companion of our exile,
I adore Thee.
Eucharistic Heart of Jesus,
Heart ignored by men,
Heart which loves our own hearts;
Heart pleading for our love,
Heart so patient in waiting for us,
Heart so eager to listen to our prayers,
Heart so anxious for our requests,
Heart, unending source of new graces,
Heart so silent, yet desiring to speak to souls,
Heart, welcome refuge of the hidden life,
Heart, teacher of the secrets of union with God,
Heart of Him Who sleeps but watches always,
Eucharistic Heart of Jesus,
have mercy on us.
I desire to comfort Thee;
I unite myself to Thee;
I offer myself in union with Thee.
I regard myself as nothing in Thy Presence.
I long to forget myself in order to think only of Thee,
to be despised and forgotten for love of Thee.
I have no desire to be understood or loved by anyone but Thee.
I will keep silent in order to listen to Thee,
and I will abandon myself in order to lose myself in Thee.
Grant that I may thus satisfy Thy thirst for my salvation,
Thy burning thirst for my holiness,
and that once purified I may give Thee a sincere and pure love.
I am anxious not to tire Thee further with waiting:
I hand myself over to Thee.
I give Thee all my actions,
my mind to be enlightened,
my heart to be directed,
my will to be stabilized,
my wretchedness to be relieved,
my soul and body to be nourished by Thee.
Eucharistic Heart of my Saviour,
Whose Blood is the life of my soul,
may I myself cease to live
and Thou alone live in me. Amen
How many today remove the body of Christ from the Crucifix and look only at the empty cross. If we Christians have a Crucifix before us, instead of an empty cross, we cannot forget about sin and reparation. "Paccatum meum contra me est semper."
To understand 'reparation,' we first have to understand what St. Paul was teaching the Colossians about our cooperation in Christ's sufferings. The following is part of what the Church calls the 'paschal mystery.'
Christ's perfect Sacrifice was accomplished when He said, "It is finished." The objective redemption is a 'fait accompli.'. However, St. Paul said that there is more to it.
Therefore, here comes the difficult part.
St. Paul explained, "Now I rejoice in my suffering for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of His body, that is, the Church...."
What in heaven's sake is St. Paul saying?
St. Alphonsus summarizes this statement as follows:
"Can it be that Christ's passion alone was insufficient to save us? No. It left nothing more to be done; it was more than sufficient to save all men. However, for the merits of the Passion to be applied to us, according to St. Thomas Aquinas, we need to cooperate (subjective redemption) by patiently bearing the trials God sends us, so as to become like our head, Christ."
This is called 'reparation.' It is a theological doctrine of the Catholic Church. Reparation is the foundation of many confraternities and pious associations to make reparation for our sins and for the sins of mankind.
That infinite merit of Christ's Passion and Sacrifice on Calvary enables us to add our daily prayers, labors, trials, and sufferings to those of our Lord. Thus, we become actually co-redeemers with Christ, sharing in His suffering.
Suffering, more than anything else, makes present in the history of humanity the force of the Redemption.
Why should we make reparation to God? For two reasons: 1) to repair for our own offences against Him, 2) by virtue of the Communion of the Saints, we can also make satisfaction or reparation for the sins of others.
However, we first need to see ourselves as we really are so we can properly intercede for the souls of others. We do this through frequent Confession.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, n.2412, n.2487, n.2454, n. 2509 teaches that every offense committed entails the duty of reparation, even if its author has been forgiven.
The greatest offering of reparation is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
So that we might join with Christ, He commanded his disciples at the Last Supper "Do this in memory of me."
Since Holy Mass is the representation of Christ's infinitely perfect Sacrifice of Calvary, it is one of the best means of offering satisfaction or reparation of God's wrath.
In fact, St. Therese of Lisieux said the best reparations she could ever make for sin was attending Holy Mass and worthily receiving Holy Communion. --
Barbara Kralis http://www.google.com/search?q=reparation+catholic&hl=en&lr=&start=50&sa=N
The Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, united substantially with the word of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who invoke Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, saturated with revilings, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, crushed for our iniquities, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, made obedient unto death, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord,
Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
V. Jesus, meek and humble of Heart.
R. Make our hearts like unto Thine.
Let us pray
Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Thy well-beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which He renders unto Thee in the name of sinners; and do Thou, in Thy great goodness, grant pardon to them who seek Thy mercy, in the name of the same Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end.
Catholic Devotional Ping!
O Jesus, my Savior and Redeemer,
Son of the living God,
Ocean of Divine Mercy,
whose loving Heart is big enough to embrace the entire world
behold, we kneel before You and plead for your mercy.
Hear us as we ask for your mercy for this poor world,
for all the lost and weary souls who refuse to see
that only You will fill the aching in their souls.
We ask your mercy on all the young people
who are growing up in a world who will not acknowledge the good,
but that chooses to call good evil, and evil good.
We who love you would make amends for all the blasphemies uttered against Your holy name,
for all the injuries done to You in the Blessed Sacrament,
for all the irreverence shown toward Your immaculate Virgin Mother,
for all the lies and slanders spoken against Your spouse, the Church.
O Jesus, who has said: "If you ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it to you,"
we pray and beg You to be with all who are in danger of sin;
May those who should know better but choose the wrong
find the way to your light..
For those who are wavering, shield them from every temptation to fall away;
save those who are even now standing on the brink of the abyss;
to all those who will hear your voice, give light and knowledge of the truth,
courage and strength for the conflict with evil,
perseverance in faith and active charity!
O Lord, you are our light.
In this dark time, may we stand forth,
witness of the light you long to shed to an aching mankind,
no matter the cost,
and know, that end the end, you have promised
to be with us, always.
Show us the way to go, and help us walk it,
This day, and always, Amen
Sacred Heart of Jesus, animated with a desire to repair the outrages unceasingly offered to Thee, we prostrate before Thy throne of mercy, and in the name of all mankind, pledge our love and fidelity to Thee!
The more Thy mysteries are blasphemed, the more firmly we shall believe them, O Sacred Heart of Jesus!
The more impiety endeavors to extinguish our hopes of immortality, the more we shall trust in Thy Heart, sole hope of mankind!
The more hearts resist Thy Divine attractions, the more we shall love Thee, O infinitely amiable heart of Jesus!
The more unbelief attacks Thy Divinity, the more humbly and profoundly we shall adore It, O Divine Heart of Jesus!
The more Thy holy laws are transgressed and ignored, the more we shall delight to observe them, O most holy Heart of Jesus!
The more Thy Sacraments are despised and abandoned, the more frequently we shall receive them with love and reverence, O most liberal Heart of Jesus!
The more the imitation of Thy virtues is neglected and forgotten, the more we shall endeavor to practice them, O Heart, model of every virtue!
The more the devil labors to destroy souls, the more we shall be inflamed with desire to save them, O Heart of Jesus, zealous Lover of souls!
The more sin and impurity destroy the image of God in man, the more we shall try by purity of life to be a living temple of the Holy Spirit, O Heart of Jesus!
The more Thy Holy Church is despised, the more we shall endeavor to be her faithful children, O Sweet Heart of Jesus!
The more Thy Vicar on earth is persecuted, the more we will honor him as the infallible head of Thy Holy Church, show our fidelity and pray for him, O kingly Heart of Jesus!
O Sacred Heart, through Thy powerful grace, may we become Thy apostles in the midst of a corrupted world, and be Thy crown in the kingdom of heaven.
Ocean of Mercy
Your love, O Lord, is an ocean,
An ocean of mercy waiting to quench our burning thirst,
Water ready to purify the darkness of sin,
Water to quench the fires of hate,
Water to fill the parched aching within,
Water to wash us clean,
Living water streaming from the heart of a loving God,
Endless fount of mercy,
Gift beyond our imagining.
Open our hearts, O Lord,
and remind us how we need that living water,
how we will perish without the touch of that healing flow,
how life becomes a meaningless desert
when we wander separated from the living water of your presence.
Help us to realize
that when the burning thirst touches us,
it is only you who can quench that fire within,
and when touched by your living waters,
may we remember the giver,
and pass the gift on to those whose lives we touch,
this day, and always,
ADORABLE Heart of Jesus, glowing with love for us and Inflamed with zeal for our salvation: O Heart! ever sensible of our misery and the wretchedness to which our sins have reduced us, infinitely rich in mercy to heal the wounds of our souls, behold us humbly prostrate before Thee to express the sorrow that fills our hearts for the coldness and indifference with which we have so long requited the numberless benefits that Thou hast conferred upon us. With a deep sense of the outrages that have been heaped upon Thee by our sins and the sins of others, we come to make a solemn reparation of honor to thy most sacred majesty. It was our sins that overwhelmed Thy Heart with bitterness; it was the weight of our iniquities that pressed down Thy face to the earth in the Garden of Olives, and caused Thee to expire in anguish and agony on the Cross.
But now, repenting and sorrowful, we cast ourselves at Thy feet, and implore forgiveness. Adorable Heart of Jesus, source of true contrition and ever merciful to the penitent sinner, impart to our hearts the spirit of penance, and give to our eyes a fountain of tears, that we may sincerely bewail our sins now and for the rest of our days. Oh, would that we could blot them out, even with our blood! Pardon them, O Lord, in Thy mercy, and pardon and convert to Thee all that have committed irreverences and sacrileges against Thee in the Sacrament of Thy love, and thus give another proof that Thy mercy is above all Thy works. Divine Jesus, with Thee there are mercy and plentiful redemption: deliver us from our sins, accept the sincere desire we now entertain, and our holy resolution, relying on the assistance of Thy grace, henceforth to be faithful to Thee. And in order to repair the sins of ingratitude by which we have grieved Thy most tender and loving Heart, we are resolved in the future ever to love and honor Thee in the most adorable Sacrament of the Altar, where Thou art ever present to hear and grant our petitions, and to be the food and life of our souls. Be Thou, O compassionate Jesus! our Mediator with Thy Heavenly Father, Whom we have so grievously offended; strengthen our weakness, confirm these our resolutions of amendment, and as Thy Sacred Heart is our refuge and our hope when we have sinned, so may It be the strength and support of our repentance, that nothing in life or death may ever again separate us from Thee. Amen.
you who love us
beyond the ken
of earthly wisdom,
who calls us home
the cast off,
enough to die
for each and every one,
here, watching God's folly,
I fall down on my knees
and adore you.
son of Mary,
son of God,
who knew the taste of dust
on the road,
the feel of sweat on your forehead,
the bite of hunger
at the end of a long day,
the weight of wood,
smooth under a carpenter's hand,
rough against the back,
the anger of a mob,
the betrayal of friends,
the loneliness of suffering,
evil done in the name of justice,
the bitterness of a shameful death,
and still you loved us.
O Folly of God,
love beyond compare,
remember us this day,
--be our strength,
--be at our side,
--be our healer,
--be our help.
Open our hearts to you,
you who are all love,
whose heart is big enough
to hold the whole world
whose hands wait to lift us up
whose love waits to heal us,
whose peace can transform us.
The Lumberjack and the Sacred Heart
TAKEN FROM "Trésor d'Histoires sur le Sacré-Coeur"
by Father Millot, 1914
EVERYONE in the area knew Jean-Marie Duclos the lumberjack. An old soldier, a sapper, he had taken part in every campaign during the Second Empire: Mexico, Crimea, Italy, the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. Finally he had returned to his native mountains with decorations on his chest and a Prussian bullet in his right thigh. Jean-Marie had taken up his ax again at once, but he had never married.
When anyone asked him why he had not, he would mumble between his teeth, "I wouldn't want to see any woman in such poverty!"
He was not a bad fellow, and he was certainly no enemy of priests. True, he didn't go to Mass on Sunday, having abandoned that habit on the battlefield, but he had a well-founded respect for priests. No one was going to make him believe that the priests had paid the Germans to come in and shed French blood and steal Alsace. He had seen too many good priests risking their lives to help soldiers die, or not die at all. It was something you just never forget. That very memory had been haunting him like a reprimand for the past two days. But why?
First of all, the previous Monday, after he had just finished felling an old oak tree, the three little Brothers from the Catholic school had come walking by the edge of the forest. Seeing the sweat streaming from his brow and his old hand trembling a little from fatigue, one of the Brothers, the oldest one, had said to him, "Here, Jean-Marie, let me have your ax," and picked it up without waiting for a reply. The second one picked up his hatchet and the third his saw, and in no time at all they had trimmed all the branches off that big oak. Oh, the strapping fellows had worked heartily and struck true! Surely they were the sons of lumberjacks!
Then, that very evening the parish priest had come to his cabin to call on him with a Capuchin Father. That Capuchin, a magnificent man with a sapper officer's beard, had asked him straight on, holding out his hand like a friend, "So, Jean-Marie, will you be coming to the mission this evening?"
Instead of answering, he looked for a moment at the gray robe, the bare feet, the manly face, the bright, clear eyes, and asked in his turn, "You were a soldier, right?"
"Yes, my friend, I was with the Western Volunteers. I was at Patay and Le Mans."
"I was at Patay and Le Mans, too. What time is the mission?"
"Eight o'clock every evening, all week long."
"I'll be there."
He had gone that evening and every other. But what was he to do after that? It wouldn't be very nice to stop going to church again. That wouldn't be very logical. This problem kept churning around in his old lumberjack's head. At the men's meeting on the third day of the mission, Jean-Marie took a place up against the big pillar in the nave facing the pulpit, for he was very proud to be listening to an old comrade in arms who spoke so well. That evening the Capuchin Father surpassed himself: his warm words-----even clearer, more vibrant, more incisive than usual-----penetrated the souls of those mountain folk like an ax biting into the core of a tree. He spoke about fidelity to religious duties:
"What would you think about a son who abandoned and denied his father? A servant who betrayed his master's interests? A soldier who deserted the battlefield and passed over to the enemy?
"Jesus is here in the Tabernacle, hidden but alive. He is our God and consequently the Father of us all, our sovereign Master and King. We owe Him love, obedience and fidelity. We must fight for Him against Hell, and against ourselves and our vices. What would you say about someone who falls back in such a battle?"
"That man's a coward!" a voice replied, hammering out the syllables with savage energy.
It was Jean-Marie Duclos the lumberjack. With pale face and trembling lips he stood up, his hand stretched out towards the altar in an almost tragic gesture, and continued, "Yes, that man's a coward. And that coward is me. But all of that is finished!"
You can imagine the rest. Ten minutes later he followed the missionary into the sacristy -----grace had done its work.
Now, the next time New Year's came around, Jean-Marie the lumberjack went to pay his respects to his parish priest and wish him a Happy New Year. Actually, he had been coming often to the rectory ever since the unforgettable mission that had turned him into the most faithful man in the parish, the one with the deepest conviction. He even came every Sunday after High Mass to pick up "La Croix" (a religious newspaper) that he brought to his cabin. He read it from one end to the other, starting with the Sunday Gospel and turning to the news from Morocco. It was certainly a better way to pass the time than going to the cafe.
So then, as we were saying, on New Year's Day he came to pay his respects to his pastor and to the priest's sister Mariette.
"It's very good of you to come, Jean-Marie, even though the weather's not very good up on the Wolf Trail, is it?"
"No, by thunder, it's not, Father! There's a North wind blowing . . ."
"Mariette, please bring us a bottle of rum."
With this request the lumberjack gave a start: "Rum? Oh no, Father, not for me! I promised the Lord I would never drink again. I did too much drinking in the past."
"Good for you! Now, tell me what you'd like. A cup of coffee or some tea?"
"Not really, Father. But there is something (as he said this, Jean-Marie started tugging at his ear), there is something . .. but you'll probably think it's sort of . . ."
"No, not at all! What is it?"
"Well, I would like it if you gave me a beautiful picture."
The priest was certainly not expecting such a request, and he could not help but laugh.
The old sapper went on:
"I knew you'd think it was childish. Even so, Father, a picture of the Lord or Our Lady, His Mother, would be a lot better than wood shavings for marking the pages of the Mass in my missal! Besides, Jesus says that we have to be like little children."
The good shepherd was no longer laughing. Admiring the man's faith-----simple and naive, but strong and active, too-----he was deeply moved. The priest stood, went to his breviary, took out some beautiful pictures and laid them on the table in front of the lumberjack, inviting him to choose one of them. The man took a magnificent Sacred Heart of Jesus.
When he got home, the old soldier lit his candle, put on his thick glasses and read all that was printed on his picture. These words in particular impressed him: "Promise of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to Blessed Margaret Mary: I promise you, in the excessive mercy of My Heart, that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who go to Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance. They shall not die in My disfavor, nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their secure refuge at that last hour."
He thought about it all night long. The next day, Sunday, he had a little conversation with the priest on the subject, the practical conclusion being that as of the next Friday, which was the First Friday of January, Jean-Marie would receive Communion every First Friday of the month, no matter what. To do otherwise would be imprudent: there had been too many escapades in his life!
And have no fear, he did not forget! Besides, his heart was so content that he even began to look younger, and his hand had never been so steady with the ax. February, March, April, May, June, July, August went by like a dream. It was now the day before the ninth Communion, and that morning he said to himself as he got up, "Tomorrow, Jean-Marie, victory is yours. Oh, what a great day!"
All day long he chopped and cut and sawed so energetically and so well that by evening time he was chopping down his sixth oak, a colossal tree that would have given more than one young man quite a battle.
The iron of his stout ax bit deep into the thick roots; one by one they gave way, and already the enormous head was beginning to tremble and sway. Four more blows and the mountain giant would fall.
Before dealing them, since the tree was close to the road, the old man stopped and looked to see if anyone would be passing by. No one was coming, so there was no danger. Again, the heavy ax rose and fell, and suddenly the mighty oak fell to the ground with a tremendous crash. But unfortunately, the terrific sound of its fall was answered by a horrible cry of pain. Stepping back rapidly, the old lumberjack had slipped: both his legs were pinned to the ground, crushed beneath the enormous trunk.
Was he going to die like this, all alone in the approaching night without help, without a priest, before making his ninth Communion? He called out for help a long time, but the only reply was his answering echo. He felt his life ebbing away; his suffering was atrocious. For a moment he despaired. No, God had not been able to forgive him for all his sins, they were too great. That was why He had permitted this accident before he had made his last Communion of the nine First Fridays. He was damned. The thought of it tortured him far more cruelly than his injuries.
But as the moon rose slowly in the sky, calm and radiant, escorted by thousands of stars, the dying man began to hope again. Wasn't the Heart of Jesus infinitely good? Wasn't He almighty? Wasn't He the One who had sent that Capuchin Father last year and who had inspired him to ask the priest for a holy picture?
Suddenly the injured man gave a start, lifted his head, looked down the road and listened . . . Yes, there it was: someone was coming! The sound of steps came closer. Gathering his fading strength, he called out with unspeakable anguish in his voice: "Help! Help! I need a priest!"
Finally-----thank You, O Lord!-----a shadow materialized and made its way straight for him. The poor lumberjack thought he was dreaming when he recognized his pastor.
"Oh, Father, is it really you? God is so good!"
"I just gave the Last Sacraments to old monsieur Hugon."
"Father, it's the Sacred Heart Who sent you!"
As he spoke, the priest attempted to move the tremendous trunk and free the lumberjack's legs.
"Let it be, Father. It's too heavy, you won't be able to move it. Besides, I can feel it: I'm finished. I don't have more than two hours left. Please hear my confession."
The priest knelt down, heard his last accusations, gave him absolution and followed it with Extreme Unction, for he had the holy oils on his person.
Then the dying man murmured:
"Tomorrow is my last First Friday. I would be so happy if . . ."
Yes, of course. I understand. I'll be back in three quarters of an hour."
And the priest dashed off down the road that led to the village. As he passed the sacristan's house, he woke him with a cry:
"Quick, Mr. Lucas! Send your boy to church for me, and go tell the doctor that Jean-Marie the lumberjack is injured in the hills, up at the bend near Great Rocks!"
Then he went to get Holy Viaticum. His altar boy arrived and they climbed quickly back up to Great Rocks. It was half past midnight when he arrived. The lumberjack was still alive and praying. When he heard the little silver bell, he raised himself painfully and made the Sign of the Cross, a big tear running down his pale cheek. He received Holy Communion, and a few minutes later he passed away gently in the peace of the Lord.
In his sermon on Sunday, the pastor told the people of the man's predestined death. The entire parish turned out for his funeral. And on the little cross over his grave, they inscribed the following words:
HERE LIES JEAN-MARIE DUCLOS
THE LUMBERJACK Of THE SACRED HEART
There is not a greater sorrow for a heart that loves, than to see its love despised: and so much the more when the proofs given of this love have been great, and, on the other hand, the ingratitude great.
If every human being were to renounce all his goods, and to go and live in the desert, to feed on herbs, to sleep on the bare earth, to macerate himself with penances, and at last give himself up to be murdered for Christ's sake, what recompense could he render for the sufferings, the Blood, the life that this great Son of God has given for his sake? If we were to sacrifice ourselves every moment unto death, we should certainly not recompense in the smallest degree the love that Jesus Christ has shown us, by giving Himself to us in the most Holy Sacrament. Only conceive that God should conceal Himself under the species of bread to become the food of one of His creatures!
But, O my God, what recompense and gratitude do men render to Jesus Christ? What but ill-treatment, contempt of His laws and His maxims,-----injuries such as they would not commit towards their enemy, or their slave, or the greatest villain upon earth. And can we think of all these injuries which Jesus Christ has received, and still receives every day, and not feel sorrow for them? And not endeavor, by our love, to recompense the infinite love of His Divine heart, which remains in the most Holy Sacrament, inflamed with the same love towards us, and anxious to communicate every good gift to us, and to give Himself entirely to us, ever ready to receive us into His heart whenever we go to Him? Him that cometh to Me, I will not cast out. [John vi. 37]
We have been accustomed to hear of the Creation, Incarnation, Redemption, of Jesus born in a stable, of Jesus dead on the Cross. O my God, if we knew that another man had conferred on us any of these benefits, we could not help loving him. It seems that God alone has, to to say, this bad luck with men, that, though hH has done His utmost to make them love Him, yet He cannot attain this end, and, instead of being loved, He sees Himself despised and neglected. All this arises from the forgetfulness of men of the love of God.
Affections and Prayers
O Heart of Jesus, abyss of mercy and love, how is it that, at the sight of the goodness Thou hast shown me, and of my ingratitude, I do not die of sorrow? Thou, O mv Saviour, after having given me my being, hast given me all Thy Blood and Thy life, giving Thyself up for my sake, to ignominy and death; and, not content with this, Thou hast invented the mode of sacrificing Thyself every day for me in the Holy Eucharist, not refusing to expose Thyself to the injuries which Thou shouldst receive, and which Thou didst foresee, in this Sacrament of love. O my God, how can I see myself so ungrateful to Thee without dying with confusion! O Lord, put an end, I pray Thee, to my ingratitude, by wounding my heart with Thy love, and making me entirely Thine. Remember the Blood and the tears that Thou hast shed for me, and forgive me. Oh, let not all Thy sufferings be lost upon me. But though Thou hast seen: how ungrateful and unworthy of Thy love I have been, yet Thou didst not cease to love me even when I did not love Thee, nor even desire that Thou shouldst love me; how much rather, then, may I not hope for Thy love, now that I desire and sigh after nothing but to love Thee, and to be loved by Thee. Oh, do Thou fully satisfy this my desire; or rather this Thy desire, for it is Thou that hast given it to me. Grant that this day may be the day of my thorough conversion; so that I may begin to love Thee, and may never cease to love Thee, my sovereign good. Make me die in everything to myself, in order that I may live only to Thee, and that I may always burn with Thy love.
O Mary, thy heart was the blessed altar that was always on fire with Divine love: my dearest Mother, make me like to thee; obtain this from thy Son, Who delights in honoring thee, by denying thee nothing that thou askest of Him.
St. Alphonsus Liguori
Sacred Heart of Jesus,
Thank you for all the pain
you have suffered for love of us,
unworthy as we are to listen to your soft voice.
Sacred Heart of Jesus,
Thank you for being willing to come to us,
day by day,
in the mystery of the mass
waiting for us to love you in return.
Sacred Heart of Jesus,
wounded by the indifference and scorn and ingratitude
of the world you poured your heart's blood for,
forgive me for all those times
I forgot the true giver,
I looked with unseeing eyes,
I turned a deaf ear,
I chose not to love.
Sacred Heart of Jesus,
You who are worthy of all my love
I give you my heart,
no matter the cost.
Jesus, gentle and humble of heart,
make my heart like yours.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
by Fr.. William G. Most
1. Devotion to the Sacred Heart is part of the mainline of our faith: The reason is that it is basically honor paid to the love of God as seen in and symbolized in the Heart of Jesus. Without that Divine Love we would not exist at all, nor would we have been redeemed. For to love is to will good to another for the other's sake.It is because (1) He willed us the good of existence that we exist at all and continue to exist; (2) Our existence would be miserable without the redemption, which was needed not just for original sin--which if one had nothing else would not result in eternal punishment--but also and principally for the reparation of our personal sins, without which most persons would be eternally doomed.
So Pius XI, in his Encyclical, Miserentissimus Redemptor, wrote (as cited by Pius XII, in Haurietis aquas): "Does not this one devotion contain a summary of all our religion, and a guide to a more perfect life? Indeed, it more easily leads our minds to know Christ the Lord intimately, and it more effectively turns our hearts to love Him more ardently and to imitate Him more perfectly."
So it is not a peripheral devotion, like that to St. Anthony, for example, or to other Saints. To honor the love of God is the very heart of our faith.
2. Hypostatic union: The term means union of two natures in one Person, the divine Person. It is because of this that we can direct our devotion immediately to the physical Heart of the Redeemer. Pius XII wrote ("Haurietis aquas" par. 21): "We recognize that His Heart, the noblest part of human nature, is hypostatically united to the Person of the divine Word. Consequently, there must be paid to it that worship of adoration with which the Church honors the Person of the Incarnate Son of God Himself."
3. Triple Love: Haurietis aquas pars. 55-57: "It is a symbol of that divine love which He shares with the Father and the Holy Spirit, but which He, the Word made flesh, alone manifests through a weak and perishable body, since 'in Him dwells the fullness of the divinity in a bodily way' [Col 2:9]. It is, besides, the symbol of that burning love which, infused into His soul, enriches the human will of Christ and enlightens and governs its acts by the most perfect knowledge derived both from the beatific vision and that which is directly infused. And finally--and this in a more natural and direct way--it is the symbol also of sensible love, since the body of Jesus Christ, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, possesses full powers of feelings and perception, in fact, more so than another other human body."
To fill in on the triple love:
1) 1 John 4:8 says "God is love." In speaking of humans, we can see that he or she has love. But that is a duality. The perfectly undivided character of God means we must not say He has love,but that He is love. He is love within Himself since--in view of the fact that to love is to will good to another for the other's sake - the Father eternally wills the Supreme Good of the Divine Nature to the Son. That will is effective, and thereby the Son is begotten from the Father. Father and Son together will that same Supreme Good to the Holy Spirit: thus the Holy Spirit originates, is effected from and by both.--In His divinity He, the Divine Second Person of the Holy Trinity loves us, that is He wills to us the divine good of a share in the Divine Nature (cf. 2 Pet 2:4) making possible the superhuman happiness of the Beatific Vision in eternity.
2) The human will of Jesus, the Incarnate God, also wills us that same eternal happiness. We can as it were get a measure on this love. For if to love is to will good to another for the other's sake, then, if someone sets out to bring good to the other, but is stopped by a small obstacle, then that is a small love. If it takes a great obstacle to stop it, it is a great love. But if even an immense obstacle does not stop it - that love is immense, beyond measure.
So St.Paul says in Romans 5:8: that God "proved His love for us, since at the right time, Christ died for us." And what a death! Hideously painful. And He knew from the first instant of His conception what it was, for, as we shall explain later, His human soul from the first instant saw the vision of God, in which all knowledge is available. He let us as it were look inside Himself twice. In Luke 12:50: "I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened until it be accomplished." That is: I know what dreadful suffering awaits me. I am in a tight spot, cannot be comfortable until I get it over with. About a week before His death, He was speaking to a crowd in Jerusalem. He decided again to let us see within Him - for surely He could have held back the anguished cry (John 12:27): "Now my heart is troubled! What shall I say? Father, save me from this hour." If we have a long running pain or stress, it wears the skin thin, as it were, and it becomes all the more unbearable. We, however, can take comfort in the thought: May be it won't come--maybe it won't be so bad. But the vision of God was merciless; it showed Him infallibly everything to the last horrid detail. Since as Pius XII told us, He had the most perfect of all human bodies, being formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Immaculate Virgin, it would feel pain more than others. The vision showed Him too the coldness and ingratitude of so many who rejected Him. So He is said to have told St.Margaret Mary that that pain of rejection was worse than the physical suffering.
We can get a gauge on the severity of rejection too. The pain is in proportion to the form the rejection takes, and the love the rejected one has for the one who is rejecting. The form it took on Him? - the worst possible death. As to His love, it was shown by what lengths He would go to to bring us eternal happiness - so that love was beyond measure. So the pain of rejection was similarly beyond measure.
3) The third kind of love is a love of feeling. In human affairs, love itself is in the spiritual will; but normally along with that goes a parallel on the bodily side, which psychologists call somatic resonance. That is a love of feeling. Since, recalling again what Pius XII told us, that His human body was most perfect, it would be most perfectly resonant to the love in His spiritual will. Centuries before, God had told the people through Isaiah (55:9): "As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways." On hearing this one might say in dismay: How can we hope to please Him? But now we know in Christ He has a human heart, with human feelings, that responds as our hearts do, minus our imperfections.
4. Covenant and love: We saw one measure of His love, the obstacles it could overcome. There is another way to gauge its force: the new covenant.
A covenant is a sort of contract. In Ex. 19:5 God said to the people through Moses: "If you really hearken to my voice and keep my covenant, you will be my special people." That means: "If you do this, I will do that." Now in a contractual type of arrangement, each party gives the other something of at least closely equivalent value. What was that which Christ gave to the Father? His own obedience unto death. How much was that worth? Of course, it was infinite. Therefore, what the Father pledged to give in turn would be similarly infinite. In other words, He bound Himself to make available, on behalf of our race as a whole, an infinite, inexhaustible measure of forgiveness and grace.
We said He did this for our race as a whole. That is true, but there is more: In Gal 2:20, St.Paul tells us that "He loved me, and gave Himself for me." Was that true only for St.Paul, a most special person? Not at all. Vatican II, in Gaudium et spes par. 22 taught: "Each one of us can say with the Apostle: The Son of God loved me, and gave Himself for me." To translate that into contractual language: Our Redeemer generated an infinite objective title to forgiveness and grace not just for our race as a whole, but He created an infinite title in favor of each one of us individually.
In passing: How can anyone be lost with an infinite title to forgiveness and grace? Could he not go on sinning greatly for years,and then pull up short just before the end? We reply: God would not be unwilling to grant grace even to such a one, if he would really repent But there are two problems: First, if someone planned in advance to sin a long time and then quit in time--would there be really a change of heart? Hardly; it was all preplanned. Secondly, it is one thing for Him to give, another for us to take in what He gives. By sinning long and gravely a person makes Himself incapable of receiving. Much sin over time will result in hardness or blindness. So God might give, but the sinner could not see at all what God was trying to tell him. For the first thing an actual grace needs to do is to give the person the good thought of what God wants him to do. But the pull of habit coming from many sins can cancel out, overwhelm the pull of grace, which is gentle, in that it respects our freedom; while the pulls of creatures, if one lets himself be deeply enmeshed, do not respect his freedom: they take it away.
5. His knowledge and love: Pius XII, in his Encyclical on the Mystical Body, wrote: "The most loving knowledge of this kind, with which the divine Redeemer pursued us from the first moment of the Incarnation, surpasses the diligent grasp of any human mind; for by that blessed vision which He enjoyed when just received in the womb of the Mother of God, He has all the members of the Mystical Body continuously and perpetually present to Himself, and embraces them with saving love.... In the manger, on the Cross, in the eternal glory of the Father, Christ has all the members of the Church before Him and joined to Him far more clearly and far more lovingly than a mother has a son on her lap, or than each one knows and loves himself."
6. Consecration and reparation: The essential devotion does not consist in singing hymns or lighting vigil lights, though these are good. Nor is it identified with the Nine First Fridays, though the Church highly favors these. Rather, Pius XII, in Miserentissimus Redemptor, explained: "Certainly, among the other things which properly belong to the worship of the Sacred Heart, that consecration stands out and is notable, by which we, recognizing that we have received all that we are and have from the eternal love of God, dedicate ourselves and all that we have to the Divine Heart of Jesus." But Pius XI added: "...if the first and chief thing in consecration is the repayment of the love of the creature to the love of the Creator, the second thing at once follows from it, that, if that Uncreated Love has been neglected by forgetfulness or violated by offenses, compensation should be made in some way for the injustice that has been inflicted: in common language we call this debt one of reparation...."
There are, then, two essentials: consecration and reparation.
When Pope Leo XIII consecrated the world to the Sacred Heart in 1899, he explained it this way: "For we, in dedicating ourselves, not only recognize and accept His rule explicitly and freely, but we actually testify that if that which we give were ours, we would most willingly give it, and we ask Him to graciously accept from us that very thing, even though it is already His."
In other words, in consecration we as it were say that we acknowledge He already has most full rights over us, as Creator and Redeemer, and we owe Him everything, and He would not need to repay us at all. But we say that we beg Him to kindly accept the very same service on a title of love, and propose to serve Him better.
As to reparation: All sin is a debt. The Holiness of God wants it paid. A rabbi, Simeon ben Eleazar (Tosefta, Kiddushin 1.14) wrote: "He [anyone] has committed a transgression. Woe to him. He has tipped the scale to the side of debt for himself and for the world." The sinner takes from one pan what he has no right to have. The scale is out of balance. He could begin to rebalance in case of theft, by giving the property back; in case of a stolen pleasure, he begins to rebalance by giving up some other pleasure he could have had. But this only begins: for even one mortal sin has an infinity: Infinite Person offended. Therefore if the Father willed full rebalance - did not have to, but did will it - the only way was to send a Divine Person to become Man. He could generate an infinite value to fully rebalance. This does not mean we can do nothing. St.Paul makes clear that we are saved and made holy if and to the extent that we are members of Christ, and like Him - so we must be like Him in this work of reparation: rebalance is a most essential part. Pius XII, in Miserentissimus Redemptor: "If the soul of Christ was made sorrowful even to death on account of our sins, which were yet to come, but were foreseen, there is no doubt He received some consolation from our reparation, likewise foreseen."
Text of the file "Devotion to the Sacred Heart" by Rev. William G. Most.
Is today the feast day? I don't see it marked on my calendar?
Just a Friday, another day of spirital darkness for many people, and a good set of prayers for the coming grief that the Da Vinci Code will work on some people's faith.
well done - thank you.
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