Today, being the Friday after Corpus Christi, 15 Jun 2012, is the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is a day when miracles of love and miracles of mercy occur far more frequently. What great good it does us to be reminded of the immense, tender love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for each one of us!
While most of us can deal with the pains of the body in one way or another, it is the pains of the heart that really debilitate us. Dealing with a broken bone is far easier than coping with rejection from someone we had counted on as a friend. Keeping vigil at the bedside of a sick child is far easier than realising that no one has asked how you and the patient are doing. Visiting the dentist for a ‘scale and clean’ is far easier than hearing a spouse insult us and put us down. The One who really knows all about rejection, indifference and being insulted is Jesus. For a Heart that knows how to console someone with heart-pains, there is none better than His.
How amazing His love and mercy is! He willed that His side be pierced with a lance on the Cross so that every soul would see that His Heart is open to receive them. With what exquisite gentleness He brings healing to the painful wounds of our hearts, if we but let Him near. There is no better friend than Jesus, no better listener, Someone who really is available for us whenever we need Him at any moment of the day or night.
For each and every person Jesus has laid down His life on Calvary, to obtain love and mercy for us. Yet how many multitudes treat their loving Creator and Redeemer as irrelevant to their lives? By so many He is completely ignored and totally forgotten. Can you imagine the depth of sadness that this brings to His tender Heart? That’s why when Our Lady of Fatima told young Bl. Francisco that the Heart of Jesus was deeply offended by our sins, the young boy made it his mission to console the Hidden Jesus in the consecrated hosts of the tabernacle by prayer, keeping Him company and by making reparation for sin by offering up sacrifices. That’s what a good friend does when we are feeling hurt. They listen, they stay close and they do as many things as possible to try and cheer us up, to ease the pain caused by others.
Most of us are reasonably good at asking the pardon of Jesus for our own sins, but we rarely think about the Heart pains we have given Him. Still rarer do we do any penance for ourselves or to win pardon for others. That’s why for the solemnity of the Sacred Heart, Pope Pius XI put together this rather sublime prayer which awakens us to both the gravity of sins in the world and to our need to console Him via reparation….
Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Pius XI)
O sweet Jesus, Whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before Your altar, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries, to which Your loving Heart is everywhere subject.
Mindful, alas! that we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, which we now deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask Your pardon and declare our readiness to atone by voluntary expiation not only for our own offences, but also for the sins of those, who, straying far from the path of salvation, refuse in their obstinate infidelity to follow You, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the vows of their baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of Your law.
We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against You ; we are determined to make amends for the manifold offences against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behaviour, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violation of Sundays and holidays, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against You and Your Saints. We wish also to make amends for the insults to which Your Vicar (the Pope) on earth and Your priests are subjected, for the profanation, by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very Sacrament of Your divine love ; and lastly, for the public crimes of nations who resist the rights and the teaching authority of the Church which You have founded.
Would, O divine Jesus, we were able to wash away such abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of Your divine honour, the satisfaction You once made to Your Eternal Father on the Cross and which You continue to renew daily on our altars ; we offer it in union with the acts of atonement of Your Virgin Mother and all the Saints and of the pious faithful on earth ; and we sincerely promise to make recompense, as far as we can with the help of Your grace, for all the neglect of Your great love and for the sins we and others have committed in the past. Henceforth we will live a life of unwavering faith, of purity of conduct, of perfect observance of the precepts of the Gospel and especially that of charity. We promise to the best of our power to prevent others from offending You and to bring as many as possible to follow You.
O loving Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary our model in reparation, deign to receive the voluntary offering we make of this act of expiation ; and by the crowning gift of perseverance keep us faithful until death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to You, so that we may all one day come to that happy home, where You with the Father and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, world without end. Amen.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.