The Sacred Heart of Jesus
In the New Testament Jesus is recorded often teaching about LOVE. One of the most familiar is the following passage: As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Live in my love. You will live in my love if you keep my commandments, even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and live in his love. All this I tell you that my joy may be yours and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15: 9-13).
The Heart of Jesus, like all else that belongs to the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, is worthy of adoration. The Heart of Jesus is considered in the Papal Bull, Auctorem fidei, of Pope Pius VI (1794) and the pope authoritatively sets forth this devotion to the Sacred Heart as one counter to the errors of the Jansenists. This worship, although focused on the Heart of Jesus, extends further than Christ’s Heart of flesh and is directed to the love of which his Heart is the living and significant symbol.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart
An “Act of Love” is demanded by the very object of the devotion, since devotion to the love of Jesus for us should be preeminently a devotion of love for Jesus. It is characterized by a responce of love; its aim is to love Jesus who has so loved us, to return love for love. Since, moreover, the love of Jesus manifests itself to the devout soul as an zealous love, especially for the Eucharist, the love expressed in this devotion naturally assumes a character of reparation: hence the importance of acts of atonement, the Communion of reparation, and compassion for Jesus suffering. But no singular act, no devotional practice, can expend the riches of the devotion to the Sacred Heart. The love which is its soul embraces all; and, the better we understand this mystery, the more firmly we will be convinced that nothing can compete with it for making Jesus live in us and for bringing all who live by it to love God, in union with Jesus, with all their heart, all their soul, and all their strength.
Act of Consecration
Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Your altar. We are Yours, and Yours we wish to be; but to be more surely united with You, behold, each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Your Most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known You; many too, despising Your precepts, have rejected You. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Your Most Sacred Heart. Be King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken You, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned You. Grant that they may quickly return to their Father’s house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger. Be King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd. Grant, O Lord, to Your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry; Praise to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to It be glory and honor forever.
Act of Love to the Sacred Heart
Reveal Your Most Sacred Heart to me, O Jesus, and show me Its attractions. Unite me to It forever. Grant that all my aspirations and all the beats of my heart, which cease not even while I sleep, may be a testimonial to You of my love for You and may say to You: Yes, Lord, I am all Yours; the pledge of my allegiance to You rests ever in my heart and will never cease to be there. Accept the slight amount of good that I do and be graciously pleased to forgive all my wrongdoing; so that I may be able to bless You in time and in eternity.
For the Help of the Sacred Heart
Take away, O my Jesus, the blindness of my heart, that I may know You; take away the hardness of my heart, that I may fear You; take away the coldness of my heart, that I may resist everything that is contrary to Your will; take away its heavy, earthly sluggishness and selfishness, that I may be capable of heroic sacrifice for Your glory, and for the souls whom You have redeemed with Your own most precious blood.