Wherefore this Open Heart?
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.
What are these wounds? Zach. xiii. 6.
At the request of the Jews, some soldiers climbed the hill of Calvary to break the legs of the three men hanging on the crosses. Having broken the legs of the two thieves, they came to Jesus and found that He was already dead. They were thinking of going away, when one of them opened the Side of Jesus with his spear, and immediately there came out Blood and Water.
The Saviour did not feel this grievous wound, which was a new and last outrage added to so many others. The spear smote but the dead Body of Jesus, while it penetrated into the soul and heart of Mary. “And he that saw it hath given testimony: and his testimony is true.” “Now, all this took place that the oracle of Holy Scripture might be fulfilled: “Videbunt in quem transfixerunt – They shall look on him whom they pierced.”
This Wound in the Side of Jesus was so large that after His Resurrection the Apostle St. Thomas was able to put his whole hand into it; and at the same time it was so deep that it reached to the Heart. It is, in fact, the conviction of all devout souls, that the soldier’s spear touched the Sacred Heart, and wounded It.
Jesus allowed His Heart to be opened in order to give us a proof of His infinite love, and to make us understand that the sole cause of His sufferings was the charity which filled His Divine Heart. It is easy to see with what tortures the Body of Jesus was racked: our Redeemer wishes us also to see the love of His most merciful, most faithful, and most amiable Heart, for this love is the source of all that He has done and suffered for us, and of all the favours that He has bestowed upon mankind.
Jesus has moreover opened for us His Heart so as to afford us a refuge in temptation, solace in the midst of suffering, help in times of persecution, shelter in adversity, light in hours of anxiety, and joy to those who love Him; in a word, to give happiness, salvation, and endless felicity to those who enter into this most beneficent Wound of His Sacred Heart.
This Wound of the Heart of my God is the gate of Paradise, the entrance to life, and the fountain of grace. The Heart of Jesus shall be my dwelling place, my bulwark, and my stronghold. In all temptations, let us not engage in open combat, but begin by going into the Heart of Jesus. From there we will fight. To remain far from this Wound, is to give up all hope of gaining the victory. It is gained by retiring into this citadel, which is so strong that no enemy can ever take it by storm.
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 Shunning too much Familiarity.
In order to change the earth into a paradise, and to begin in time what is to form our occupation for eternity, Thou dost command us, O Father of mercies, to have no connection but with persons of piety, of regular morals, who are simple and humble, and only to converse on edifying subjects; Thou dost command us to hold a familiar converse with Thee and with Thine Angels. O most loving God! grant us grace to perform what Thou commandest, and command what Thou pleasest. Amen..–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch VIII prayer.
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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