Today, the Third Friday after Pentecost and nine days after the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Church honors the Sacred Heart of Jesus. At this time, we should have completed the Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which we began on May 26th, Corpus Christi.
The themes of reparation and penance are prominent of Our Lord’s revelations to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and those of His Blessed Mother to Sister Lucia and the little shepherds of Fatima. It’s worth noting that while Our Lord’s messages to St. Margaret Mary were so tender, personal and appealing, those of St. Michael the Angel of Fatima and of Our Lady of Fatima stressed the impending Justice of God in an appeal for reparation.
As centuries have passed, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and now the Immaculate Heart of Mary in union with Him, have alike been spurned, even by Catholics. Although Catholics are at least somewhat familiar with the Promises of the Sacred Heart, (though they ignore them), few take note of a most important passage contained in Our Lord’s words to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. This overlooked passage is His Promise of the Cross.
St. Margaret Mary wrote the following in a letter to her former Superior, Mother Grayfie,
“It seems to me that our Lord made me see several names written in His Sacred Heart owing to their desire to cause It to be honoured … But He does not say say that his friends would have nothing to suffer because He wishes that they make all their happiness consist in tasting His sorrows… Our Lord has never given us stronger proofs that He loves us than by making us share in his sufferings.”
And In a letter to Mother de Saumaise she wrote that Our Lord had explained to her, “Embrace the cross lovingly, whenever it comes, as the most precious token of love I can give you in this life.” (“The Promises of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary“, by Father Paul Wenisch, S. J., Tamil Nadu, India).
But the Promise of the Cross, does not mean that we will be forsaken, far from it! Taste and see the goodness of the Lord! St. Augustine, commenting on today’s Gospel (John 19, 31-37) notes that “The Evangelist says, ‘opened’ to show us that thereby the door of life was thrown open, through which the Sacraments of the Church flow forth.” And Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene adds, “And it is through these Sacraments that we receive the life of grace. Yes, it is eminently true to say that the Heart of Jesus was opened to bring us life.
Throughout His Gospels, Our Lord stresses that we are our brothers’ keepers. That we love one another is His commandment, the one He was most insistent about as well as that most emphasized by St. John in his epistles. He commands us to take up our crosses, not only for our own salvation but that sinners be converted.
The following Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is loosely based on Father Mateo’s much earlier one. Over the years, I have modified it for our family use and don’t believe Father Mateo would mind if you make it your own as well. His generosity of spirit propelled him to enormous sacrifices just to get people to consider for a moment, the love and mercy Our Lord stands so willing to pour forth for us. So take a moment if you will and consider…
Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, animated with a desire to repair the outrages unceasingly offered to Thee, I kneel before Thy throne of mercy and on behalf of my family and Church, pledge love and fidelity to Thee.
† The more Thy mysteries are blasphemed, the more firmly I will believe them, O Sacred Heart of Jesus!
† The more hearts despise and ignore Thy love, the more I will love Thee, O loving Heart of Jesus!
† The more that scientistic unbelief attacks Thy Divinity, the more humbly and profoundly I shall adore Thee, O Divine Heart of Jesus!
† The more Thy sacraments are despised and blasphemed, the more frequently I will receive them with love and reverence, most generous Heart of Jesus!
† The more Thy holy laws are transgressed and ignored, the more I will take care to observe them, most holy Heart of Jesus!
† The more that Thou art blasphemed and scorned in the Holy Eucharist, Thy Sacrament of Love, the more ardently i will adore Thee, Most Sacred Heart of Jesus!
† The more the imitation of Thy virtues is scorned and forgotten, the more I will endeavor to practice them, most obedient Heart of Jesus.
† The more the devil strives to destroy souls, the more I will be inflamed to save them by penances and prayers to Thee, most zealous Lover of Souls!
† The more sins of impurity deface and destroy Thy divine image in man, the more I shall try by purity of life to be a living temple of the Holy Spirit, Most Sacred Heart of Jesus!
† The more Thy Holy Church is scorned and compromised, the more I will endeavor to be her faithful child, Most Loving Heart of Jesus!
† The more that hubris, heresy and apostasy threaten our Holy Church, the more I will turn to Thy Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Thy Mother to save us, O Sacred Heart of Jesus!
† The more Thy Immaculate Mother is blasphemed, the more I will increase my fervent devotions to her, Most Devoted Heart of Jesus!
† The more Thy Church is persecuted, the more I will pray and sacrifice for for her triumph and exaltation, Most Sacred Heart of Jesus!
Let us pray:
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, always obedient to the Eternal Father, teach us to be ever obedient and humble in the face of the diabolical disorientation that has sown such chaos in the Church and disheartened so many. Suffer us not to be scandalized by this long, dark night of the soul of our Church, but to persevere in loving obedience trusting always in Thy Sacred Heart and in Mary’s Immaculate Heart. Amen.
We close with St. Bonaventure, by way of Father Gabriel’s “Divine Intimacy“.
“O Jesus! Now that I have been brought into Your Most sweet Heart, and it is a great good to be here, I do not want to let myself be easily torn away from it. … Your Heart, O good Jesus is a rich treasure, it is the precious pearl which I have found in the secret of Your pierced Body, as in a furrowed field. Who would cast aside this Pearl? Rather I will give all the pearls in the world; I will exchange for it all my thoughts and affections, and I shall purchase it for myself. I shall entrust all my cares to Your Heart, O good Jesus and without fail it will support me.
What joy for me! You and I have but one heart. Having found this divine Heart which is Yours and mine, O most sweet Jesus, I beseech You, O my God: receive my prayers in that sanctuary where You are attentive to them and even more, draw me into Your Heart.”
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is without doubt, devotion to the Holy Eucharist, His sacrament of love. Today, we seem farther than ever away from true devotion to the Sacred and Eucharistic Heart of Jesus and so we recall the prayer of St. Michael the Archangel of Fatima:
“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly, and I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the same Son Jesus Christ present in the Tabernacles of the world, in reparation for all the sacrileges, outrages, and indifferences by which He Himself is offended. Through the infinite merits of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.”
As the Angel of Fatima told Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia, “Pray! Pray very much!”
~ by evensong with love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ our Lord and King, and His most pure and holy Mother.