Three Lessons from 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.
Three Lessons from the Heart of Jesus.
There are three that give testimony on earth: the spirit, and the water, and the blood. I St. John, v. 8
“One of the soldiers with a spear opened His side.” From this last circumstance of our Saviour’s Passion we learn three useful lessons.
First we learn that if, by renouncing the world and sin, we are truly dead with Jesus Christ, we must be wounded with Him by the sharp spear of Divine love. This is the sentiment with which the Bridegroom in the Canticle exclaims: “Thou hast wounded my heart, my sister, my spouse.” And it was in the same way that St. Augustine desired to be wounded when he said: “O my sweet Saviour, by the life-giving Wounds Thou hast received on the Cross for our salvation, by the holy Wounds which have shed Thy Precious Blood for our redemption, pierce, I beseech Thee, my sinful soul for which Thou hast vouchsafed to die; pierce it through and through with the burning darts of Thy supreme charity. I beseech Thee, most merciful Lord, so to penetrate my heart with the flaming arrows of Thy mighty love, that tears of devout tenderness may spring abundantly from this blessed wound. Strike, O good Jesus, this hard and unfeeling heart of mine with the irresistible force of Thy holy love, so that it alone may fill my thoughts and my affections.” Thus speaks St. Augustine.
From this same event of the Passion we also learn, according to St. John Chrysostom, that we should receive the Sacraments of the Church with the same fervour and devotion as if they still flowed for us from the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ. The Wound of His Heart is the source of the Sacraments. As Eve was formed from the side of the first Adam sleeping in Paradise, so our mother the Church received life by means of the Blood and the Water which flowed from the sacred Side of the second Adam sleeping on the Cross.
Finally we learn that we must conform our wills to the will of God by accepting all things that are pleasing to Him. Why indeed was the Heart of Jesus wounded for us with this Wound of love? It was in order that we might enter through the door of His Side into His Divine Heart. There we can return Him love for love; there we can unite our love to His love, so that both may form but one, as white-hot iron in a furnace forms a portion of the fire which consumes it. Since Jesus has suffered His holy Hands and Feet to be pierced for love of us, we ought, for love of Him, to consecrate to Him our hands and feet by offering Him all our affections and our actions. Above all we should offer our hearts to God by conforming our wills to His, in gratitude for this Wound of love which Jesus Christ received for us upon the Cross, when His most sweet Heart was pierced through with the dart of an insuperable love. St. Augustine had entered the Heart of Jesus by this Wound when he said: “ Longinus with his spear has opened for me the Side of Jesus Christ; I have entered there, and there I repose securely. The nails and lance cry out that I am risen with Him if I give Him all my love.”
Let us then bear in mind, Christian souls, the very great love Jesus has shown towards us in allowing His Side to be opened wide in order that we might have easy access to His Heart. Let us hasten to enter into the Heart of Jesus, bringing there all our love, and uniting it to His Divine love. Our most loving Jesus draws from His Heart the Sacraments which open for us the gates of everlasting life; let us then address Him thus: – O Jesus, after dying for us on the Cross, Thou didst will that Thy Side should be opened by a spear, so that blood and water, emblems of the Sacraments, might flow out. Wound, I beseech Thee, my heart with the spear of Divine love, that I may merit to receive with good dispositions the Sacraments which flow from Thy most holy Side. In opening Thy Heart, Thou hast set ajar for Thine elect the door of everlasting life. Thou, O Lord, art this door through which the just shall pass in. Blot out, I beseech Thee, mine iniquities, or they will close for me the door reserved by Thy care for truly penitent sinners.
Our superabundant redemption springs from the pierced Heart of Jesus. Its source is found there as a hidden treasure. Shall not then this wounded Heart of Jesus wound our hearts? Shall we not feel compassion for Him? Shall we not love Him? It is evident that “with the Lord there is mercy and with Him plentiful redemption – apud Dominum misericordia et copiosa apud eum redemptio.” Yes, most plentiful! It was not a few drops, but streams of Blood, which flowed from His five Wounds. He shed it all to the last drop. The Blood circulating under the skin flowed in the scourging, that of the Head in the crowning with thorns, that of the veins when His Feet and Hands were pierced. A few drops still remained in the Breast and in the Heart of Jesus, but they gushed out when the soldier pierced His Side.
 St. John, xix. 34.
 Cant. iv. 9.
 Psalm. cxxix. 7.
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.
Of Prudence in our Actions.
I. We must not be easy in giving credit to every word of suggestion, but carefully and leisurely weigh the matter according to God.
Alas! such is our weakness, that we often more readily believe and speak of another that which is evil, than that which is good.
But perfect men do not easily give credit to every report; because they know man’s weakness, which is very prone to evil, and very subject to fail in words.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch IV pt I.
June Devotion: The Blessed Sacrament and the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Virtues to practice: Obedience, Piety, Dutifulness
Prayers to the Wound of the Heart of Jesus.
Blessed be the holy Wound of Thy Heart, my most sweet Jesus! Accept, O Lord, my heart and all the powers of my soul. Detach them from earthly affections. Let me lose even the remembrance of the things of this world. Cast my soul into the adorable Wound of Thy Side, into the ocean of Thy love, into the source of true life. Unite my heart for ever to Thy tender Heart, so truly that it will be impossible for me to desire what is not in conformity with Thy will. May I in all things entirely renounce my own will, and unite myself by faith, hope and charity to Thee, my Lord, my God and my Creator. Amen.
O most sweet Jesus, through the Wound of Thy Heart, pardon, I beseech Thee, all my offences against Thee by acting without sufficient purity of intention, or by following my own perverse will. I offer Thee my heart, that Thou mayest unite it to Thy Heart. Then I shall neither seek nor see anything but Thee in all things. I shall have no other will than Thine. Amen.
Jesu! 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.
Jesu, 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). (Raccolta)
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