The Agony of 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.
My heart is become like melting wax. Ps. xxi. 15.
Consider, O my soul, what our Redeemer does when, for the last time, He devotes Himself to the holy exercise of prayer. He withdraws from His disciples into solitude, so that He may the better pour out the bitterness of His Soul before His Father, the one Consoler of those who are in anguish, Who alone is near to hearts in tribulation. At the sight of the torments that await Him, the inferior and sensitive part of His Soul seems for a moment overcome by terror. The Soul of Jesus Christ is filled with such great dread, that for the time He seems to forget what He is and why He came into this world. He prostrates Himself, and beseeches His Father to remove from Him, if possible, this chalice of suffering which He sees instore for Him. Nevertheless, the reasonable part of the Soul fully and freely submits its will to that of God; but between the inferior and the superior parts, there is so sharp a struggle that our Lord is covered with sweat, a sweat of blood, which oozes out in great drops and trickles down to the ground.
O my soul, consider attentively and inwardly contemplate the great agony of the most tender Heart of our Redeemer at this moment. On the one hand, His burning charity urges Him gladly to sacrifice Himself entirely for our salvation: but on the other, He is seized with horror at the thought of the terrible sufferings He foresees. A frightful combat is waged between love and fear, and His all-loving Heart is so overwhelmed in the struggle, that from His whole Body and its members there springs so abundant a sweat of Blood, that it penetrates His garments and wets the ground on which His Face is bent. Tell me, O my soul, hast thou ever seen a man so crushed under the weight of affliction and enduring so great an agony that he sweated blood? No, never has it been known for any one to be reduced to this extremity. Only our Lord Jesus Christ, Who for our souls has become a true spouse of blood, has suffered this! Gather up these drops of a Blood so precious: place them on thy heart, which is so hard: and their efficacy will soften it, and inflame it with love.
O heavenly Father, dost Thou not see the anguish of Thy Son? Is not Thy just anger allayed by all the sorrows that break His Heart?
O my Jesus, my sweet Jesus! Thou hast sacrificed Thyself in my stead, and hast most willingly suffered the divine wrath and vengeance, which should be cast on me, to fall on Thee! O good Lord Jesus Christ, what more couldst Thou have done for me? Love took such full possession of Thy Heart that It was induced to drink the bitter chalice of Thy Passion, even before Thy enemies came to torture Thee and to deliver Thee up to death. Yes, long before they put Thee to death, Thou didst suffer an interior death through the excessive sadness that oppressed Thy Heart. So ardent was Thy thirst to work out our salvation, that Thou didst Thyself perform all that was in Thy power in order to procure it, leaving to Thy enemies only what Thou couldst not do Thyself. What heart then, were it a heart of stone, would not be kindled by the fire of Thy Heart, which burns with the most intensive love?
Make me then feel compassion for Thy sufferings, O most loving and most sweet Jesus. O my Saviour, so afflicted and so sorrowful, I cannot shed tears of blood, perhaps not even tears of water, but at least I can desire it, and my heart will know how to weep. Through the sadness and the oppression of Thy Heart, through this bloody sweat which, after so much suffering, gushed from all Thy members and abundantly watered the ground, I implore Thee, most sweet Jesus, to give me true contrition for my sins, to soften my hard heart with compunction, to inflame it with devotion, and to give to my eyes an abundance of tears, so that, by day and by night, I may weep for the injuries I have done Thee, the sins by which I have offended Thee. Put, I beseech Thee, this great sorrow of Thy Heart between Thy justice and my poor soul, that I may thereby be spared all that my iniquities deserve, and may be cleansed by Thy sweat of Blood.
Most sweet Jesus, Thou hast fought against the dread of death by a complete resignation. Thou hast subjected the natural love for Thy Humanity to the uncreated love of the Divinity, and, with full consent, hast been obedient to Thy Father, even to the death of the Cross. Bestow upon me the same grace, in order that I may renounce my own will, be unmindful of self, and in such perfect submission to God and to all creatures for His sake, that I may only acknowledge in the depth of my soul, but also feel that I am indeed the most vile and worthless of beings. May I give up my will, and live without desires or choice, as though I had never had a will of my own. May Thy almighty power strengthen my weakness, in order that I may conquer the sensuality of my rebellious and unmortified nature, entirely overcome every inordinate desire for anything that is not Thee, and become perfectly detached from all that might sully my heart. Grant, in short, that I may love Thee with as pure and steadfast a love as is possible for a creature that is mortal. Make my heart so just, so upright, so pure, so conformable to Thy Heart, that between Thee and me there may be nothing to offend Thee or estrange Thee from me. In all my words and actions, may I seek, wish and have in view one thing only, namely, to please and honour Thee. I desire to perform all that is pleasing to Thee. I desire to love Thee with all my heart; and my unceasing care shall be to return Thee at least some little love for Thy great charity. Amen.
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 Avoiding Superfluity of Words.
I. Fly the tumult of men as much as thou canst: for treating of worldly affairs hinders very much, although they be discoursed of with a simple intention.
For we are quickly defiled and ensnared with vanity.
I could wish I had often been silent, and that I had not been in company.
But why are we so willing to talk and discourse with one another, since we seldom return to silence without prejudice to our conscience?
The reason we are so willing to talk is because by discoursing together we seek comfort from one another, and would gladly ease the heart, wearied by various thoughts.
And we very willingly talk and think of such things as we most love and desire, or which we imagine contrary to us.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch X 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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