Gratitude to 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.
I will praise Thee, O Lord, with my whole heart. Ps. cx. 1.
Thou, most sweet Jesus, art my only love, my salvation, and my consolation. O most faithful friend of men, my Creator and my Redeemer, the light of my heart, the repose of my mind, and the remedy of my soul, I adore Thee. Thou Divine Reconciler of men, most loving advocate of sinners, Who givest comfort to the afflicted, relief to those who labour, and to the just their reward, I adore Thee. O Jesus, Victim well-pleasing in the sight of the Lord, Victim all-powerful with God, Thou art the Peace-offering whose odour of sweetness has mercifully inclined towards us God the Father, Who dwelleth in the highest Heaven. Thou hast compelled Him to look on us with loving kindness and pity, to take us into His favour, and to make us inheritors of His kingdom. O most merciful Jesus, I praise Thee, bless Thee, and give Thee glory for Thy infinite, inexhaustible and overflowing compassion towards us. It was not enough for Thee to be our Lord, our Creator, and our Protector, Thou wouldst become also our Redeemer, our brother, and our fellow exile! Thou hast been pleased to take our human nature, to share our weakness and poverty, and even to submit to the law of death. This is why, during thirty-three years, Thou hast laboured and suffered so much in order to procure our salvation. O most compassionate Jesus, how often hast Thou been broken down with fatigue in consequence of Thy journeys! How often hast Thou suffered from heat, cold, thirst, hunger and poverty! How often hast Thou been despised, insulted or reproached! And – what is more wonderful than all – Thou hast finally yielded up Thy soul to the most ignominious and bitter death for us who were Thine enemies!
Yet all these signs of love, and the great benefits bestowed upon us vile and ungrateful creatures, did not satisfy Thy inconceivable charity. During thirty-three years Thou wast loaded with sufferings and ignominy; but, to atone fully in our stead, there was yet one thing more that Thou wouldst do, after Thy death, in submitting to a last outrage, when Thou didst permit a cruel and insolent soldier to pierce Thy most tender Heart, already wounded with the dart of Thy love. But why didst Thou wish Thy Heart to be thus rent by a dreadful Wound ? Ah! it was that we might see all the depth and the breadth of Thine infinite love, and learn with what charity Thou didst suffer for our sake. Thou wouldst teach us that all Thine actions were animated by the most perfect charity. Thy holy Body had been broken and bruised for us, and Thou hadst offered It to God as a living Sacrifice, pure and acceptable in His sight. It was difficult for Thee to prove more clearly or more perfectly Thy mighty love for us. Thou wouldst however open the sanctuary of love itself, and disclose the mystic casket which contains this treasure, by opening to us Thy Heart, in order to enable us to see with our own eyes whence came all that Thou hadst done for us. In reserving nothing for Thyself, in giving us all, even Thy Heart, does it not seem as though Thou wouldst say to each one of us, whose ingratitude and coldness, alas! Thou knewest: Behold, O man, and see all that I have done, all that I have suffered for thy salvation. Thou wast Our enemy, and I have restored thee to My Father’s favour. Thou didst wander at random like a lost sheep: I sought thee long, with much trouble and weariness, and when at last I found thee, I carried thee in Mine Arms, and brought thee back to the heavenly fold. I bent My Head that it might be crowned with thorns. I held out My Hands and Feet to be pierced with nails. Patiently I suffered the torture of scourging. I shed My Blood even to the last drop; and My Heart was so inflamed with love of thee, that I was lacerated and bruised internally as well as externally. Finally, I gave up to death My Soul that I loved, and thus consummated, by My perfect and complete obedience, the work of thy salvation. After that, what can there still be to do? I have nothing more to offer thee. Thou seest well that My love for thee was strong as death, and My love makes Me wish thee to draw near to Me, and unite thyself to Me by love. Yet thou goest far away, and dost separate thyself from Me. Child of Adam, callous soul, if all I have already done is not enough to melt thy frozen heart, and make a deep impression on thee, accept My Heart in addition to all I have given thee, and understand what It is. Receive the Blood which flows from It. If I could do anything more and thou hadst the right to demand it, I should be quite willing to offer it to thee. Answer Me, what dost thou still require? Point out to Me what will be able to move, to convert thee, to decide thee to love Me, and most certainly I will not refuse to grant it.
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 Obedience and Subjection.
Christ humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Philipp. ii. 8). Who after that will refuse to obey? There is no order in the world, no life except through obedience: it is the bond that unites men to each other and to their Creator; the foundation of peace and the principle of universal harmony. The family, the city, the Church, in which the great society of intelligence exists only by it; and the highest perfection is, for creatures, but more perfect obedience; it alone secures us against error and sin. What is error? The thought of a fallible mind, which recognises no master and is only obedient to itself. What is sin? The act of a corrupted will, which acknowledges no master and is obedient to itself alone. But whom should we obey ? Is it a man like ourselves? No; man has no legitimate empire over man; his power is but force, and when he commands in his own name he insolently usurps a right which in no way belongs to him. God is the only monarch, and all legitimate authority is an offshoot, a participation, of His eternal and infinite power. Thus, as the Apostle teaches, there is no power but from God (Rom. xiii. 1), and it is subjected to a divine rule, as well in the temporal order as in the religious order; so that in obeying a pontiff, a prince, a father, anyone in short who is really God’s minister to thee for good (Rom. xiii. 4), it is God only that you obey. Happy is he who understands this heavenly doctrine; delivered from the servitude of error and of the passions, from the servitude of man, he enjoys the liberty of the glory of the children of God (Rom. viii. 21).–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch IX reflection.
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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