St. John the Baptist, ora pro nobis!
On the Power of Love in the Heart of Jesus.
PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.
My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.
On the Power of Love in the Heart of Jesus.
To-day, in commencing your meditation, let your thoughts dwell for a few moments on the three hours agony of our Lord upon the cross. It is impossible for you to contemplate it without deep emotion, without feelings of contrition, of gratitude, of love. Yet at the time hundreds stood by callous and indifferent, unmoved by the awful sufferings of which they were eye-witnesses on Calvary. Thus even the pains our Lord endured at His crucifixion failed to melt those stony hearts; the crown of thorns, the transfixed hands and feet produced no impression on them. But all was changed when once the heart of Jesus was opened.
1st. Consider that just as the greater the altitude the sun attains in the sky the more power its rays have to warm the face of the earth, so it was with the Sun of justice, our Lord Jesus Christ. Whilst He walked on the earth in lowliness and abjection, the hearts of many sinners were, it is true, warmed and illuminated by the sunshine of His grace, but the great majority remained obdurate. But when that heavenly Sun ascended higher, when from the elevation of the cross He sent the rays of divine charity, issuing from His wounded side, into the hearts of men, they were warmed and melted. Not the centurion alone, but all the bystanders struck their breasts in contrition, and a far greater number of Jews at that time believed in Christ than until then His signs and miracles had been effectual to convince. The Gentiles also were converted to the faith less by the power of His miracles than by the potency of the charity the crucified Redeemer displayed. The blood and water, the last and highest token of love that came from the heart of Jesus, was more efficacious in softening those stony hearts than all the signs and wonders that had gone before. This fact will not appear so incomprehensible when we consider:
2d. The extraordinary ardor of the charity that consumed the heart of Jesus. Great heat causes perspiration, it makes a man put on thinner clothing, it produces excessive thirst and accelerates the circulation of the blood in the extremities of the body. Now in like manner the heat of the fire of charity that burnt in the heart of Jesus was so ardent, so intense, that it caused the sweat of blood to exude from His pores, it caused Him to be stripped of His garments, and it was this, still more than His bodily sufferings, which induced a thirst so inexpressibly torturing that He who up to that point had borne the most grievous sufferings with mute, lamb-like endurance, uttered upon the cross that bitter cry: “I thirst!” Moreover the fire of charity in that Sacred Heart burnt so hotly, that it made the blood flow in streams from His veins, dyeing His body with its crimson tide. Furthermore in the furnace of that glowing charity the Heart of Jesus itself was at last broken; it was opened in order that the flames whereby it was inwardly consumed might flare up externally, and kindle our hearts by contact with them. Oh how great was the power of love in that divine heart which thus made a victim of Christ’s most holy body!
3d. Yet, my soul, consider that perhaps your heart is even now resisting the power of that love. “Who,” we read in the Imitation, “approaching humbly to the fountain of sweetness, does not carry away thence some little sweetness? Or who, standing near a great fire, does not receive from it some little heat?” (Imit. B. iv. ch. 4.) And you, my soul, stand so frequently at this fire, nay more, how often when you receive Holy Communion you lean on the Heart of your Redeemer, that Heart which glows with charity for you. But when do you give any outward proof that you are inwardly consumed by the fire of divine charity? If it were indeed so with you, you would toil in the sweat of your face in the service of God and the untiring struggle against sin; you would put off the garments of sinful desires, the burdensome apparel of evil habits; you would then experience a thirst for greater perfection, and you would open your heart to your Saviour and listen to His inspirations as a flower unfolds its petals to the sun. Is that the case with you? And if not, why is this? What will you do in future that you may no longer offer any resistance to the all-powerful charity of the divine heart of Jesus?
PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.
My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.
June Devotion: The Blessed Sacrament and the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Virtues to practice: Obedience, piety, dutifulness
DEVOTION TO THE SACRED HEART.
CONSIDERATIONS.—Let the love of God produce in us the same effect as death. Death would take us from the midst of the living; the love of God should make us love retirement. Death will rob us of every thing; the love of God should make us practise the virtue of poverty. Death will take from us all taste for perishable things; the love of God should detach our hearts from all the creatures, the goods and the pleasures of this earth.
Prayer.—O adorable Heart of Jesus; worthy of possessing the hearts of all men! Heart consumed with flames of purest love! O devouring fire! wholly consume me and give me a new life of love and grace.
O God, create in me a heart worthy of being united to the Heart of Jesus! Heart of Jesus, grant that I may love Thee more and more!
PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART.
Jesus! Creator of the world,
Of all mankind Redeemer blest,
True God of God, in Whom we see
Thy Father’s image clear expressed!
Thee, Saviour, love alone constrained
To make our mortal flesh Thine own,
And, as a second Adam, come
For the first Adam to atone.
That selfsame love which made the sky,
Which made the sea and stars, and earth,
Took pity on our misery,
And broke the bondage of our birth.
O Jesus! in Thy Heart divine
May that same love for ever glow!
Forever mercy to mankind
From that exhaustless fountain flow!
For this the Sacred Heart was pierced,
And both with blood and water ran –
To cleanse us from the stains of guilt,
And be the hope and strength of man.
Jesus, to Thee be glory given,
Who from Thy Heart dost grace outpour,
To Father and to Paraclete
Be endless praise for evermore. Amen.
An indulgence of 5 years. A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, If this hymn is devoutly recited every day for a month (S.P.Ap., March 12, 1936). (taken from The Raccolta (c)1957)
Prayer to the Holy Ghost.
O HOLY SPIRIT, divine spirit of light and love, I consecrate to Thee my understanding, heart and will, my whole being for time and for eternity. May my understanding be always submissive to Thy heavenly inspirations, and to the teaching of the Catholic Church, of which Thou art the infallible Guide; may my heart be ever inflamed with love of God and of my neighbour; may my will be ever conformed to the Divine Will, and may my whole life be a faithful imitation of the life and virtues of our LORD and SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST, to whom with the FATHER and Thee be honour and glory for ever. Amen.
300 Days, once a day.
Pius X, June 5, 1908.
Novena for Pentecost.
i. Seven Years and Seven Quarantines, each day.
ii. Plenary, once during the Novena, Feast or Octave.
This Novena may be made publicly or privately, and the same Indulgences are granted for special prayers said every day during the Octave. Any prayers to the HOLY GHOST may be used.
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