Saturday, April 29, 2006

Devotions for the First Friday in Honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque was born in France in the year 1647, and died in 1690. She was canonized in 1920, and her feast is celebrated on October 17.
Our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary several times during her life as a nun in the Visitation Order. Sometimes Our Lord showed His Most Sacred Heart afire with love for men; while at other times His heart would appear torn and bleeding because of sin and indifference.
In 1675 the great revelation was made to St. Margaret Mary that she, in union with Father de la Colombière, S.J., was to be the chief instrument for instituting the Feast of the Sacred Heart and for spreading devotion to the Sacred Heart throughout the world.

The Great Promise of the First Friday

All who receive Holy Communion on nine consecutive First Fridays have been blessed by Our Lord with the grace of a most wonderful promise. We should listen carefully. It is our Saviour, Himself, who speaks to us through St. Margaret Mary:

"I promise thee in the unfathomable mercy of My hear that My omnipotent love will procure the grace of final penitence for all those who communicate on nine successive First Fridays of the month; they will not die in My disfavour, or without having received their sacraments, since My divine heart will be their sure refuge in the last moments of their life."

Our Lord also told St. Margaret Mary of the following additional blessings:

1) I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2) I will establish peace in their families.
3) I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
4) I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all in death.
5) I will bestow a special blessing upon all their undertakings.
6) Sinners shall find in My heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7) Tepid souls shall grow fervent.
8) Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
9) I will bless every place where a picture of My heart shall be exposed and honoured.
10) I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
11) Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My heart - never to be blotted out.


+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
V. Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
R. Make my heart like unto Thine.
V. O sweetest heart of Jesus, we implore,
R. That we may love Thee ever more and more.

Let us pray. May Thy Holy Spirit, we beseech Thee, Lord, enkindle in our hearts that fire which our Lord Jesus Christ came to cast on earth, and desired so earnestly to see enkindled.
R. Amen.
V. Thy kingdom come.
R. Thy kingdom come.

Let us pray. O Lord Jesus Christ, who hast promised that wherever two or three shall be gathered together in Thy name, Thou wilt be there in the midst of them, look down with compassion and mercy and love upon us, who are now united before Thee, in the lowliness of our hearts, to honor Thy Sacred Heart, and in the desire to make it known and beloved by all. Come into the midst of us, my sweet Jesus, and fill our hearts with Thy blessing and inflame them with Thy love.
R. Amen.
V. Sweet Heart of Jesus, be my love.
R. Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation.


O most merciful Jesus, lover of souls, we pray Thee, by the agony of Thy Most Sacred Heart, and by the sorrows of Thine immaculate mother, cleanse in Thy blood the sinners of the whole world, who are now in their agony, and are to die this day.
R. Amen.
V. Heart of Jesus, by Thy agony,
R. Have pity on the dying.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Morning Offering

O Jesus,

through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer Thee my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intensions of thy Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all our Associates, and in particular for the intentions of our Holy Father for this month. Amen.

Sweet Mother of the Lord most High

Sweet Mother of the Lord most High
To Thee we bow in humble prayer,
To Thee from evil powers we fly.
O shield and keep us in thy care.

Author unknown

The Mother's Hymn

Lord, who ordainest for mankind
Benignant toils and tender cares,
We thank Thee for the ties that bind
The mother to the child she bears.
We thank Thee for the hopes that rise.
Within her heart, as day by day
The dawning soul, from those young eyes
Looks with a clearer, steadier ray,
And grateful for the blessing given
With that dear infant on her knee,
She strains her eyes to look to heaven
The voice to lisp a prayer to Thee.
Such thanks the Blessed Mary gave
When from her lap the Holy Child,
Sent from on high to seek and save
The lost on earth, looked up and smiled.
All Gracious! grant to those that bear
A mother's charge, the strength and light
To guide the feet that own them care
In ways of love and truth and light.

William Cullen Bryant

Friday, April 14, 2006

Familiarity with Our Lord

We have a great difficulty in not looking at Our Lord as a high-and-mighty Personage. We should try hard to realise that Our Lord, in His Humanity, felt just as we feel. Tired, weary, hungry. When left alone, inclined to take a dismal view of life. Tempted to despondency. Our Lord likes us to show Him sympathy. He in His life on earth was just as appreciative of every particle of sympathy offered Him as we should be. Never the smallest kindness done to Him was unnoticed. He hungered for love and sympathy. In the house of Simon, how He appreciated St Mary Magdalene's ministrations. He said to Simon, who was pretending not to notice Mary Magdalene, "When I entered your house you gave Me no water for My feet. This woman with her tears has washed them, and with her hair has wiped them. You gave me no kiss; this woman has never ceased to kiss My feet." We do not realise how much Our Lord has had to bear for us. The one thing He desired when He came into the world was to do good to souls. If we have one great object in life, and that object is thwarted, what a crushing sorrow it is. And yet, Our Lord was thwarted at every turn. His preaching was misunderstood; His miracles and cures He got no thanks for. The one thing He looked for, to gain love, failed Him. Take Our Lord's day; it was one long string of dsappointments. And how we grumble over our trifling, futile, little disappointments. How ungenerous, how mean we are. When you think of your disappointments, compare them with Our Lord's. The way to be happy is to look at things from His point of view. His efforts invariably met with failure. When he had explained fully about His Body and Blood (John vi), we are told that "many of them ceased to walk with Him." What a sorrow for Him. Then it was that, feeling crushed an worn out, He said to St Peter: "Wilt thou also leave Me?" And St Peter anwered: "To whom, Lord, shall we go, for Thou hast the words of eternal life?" What a disappointment even the Apostles were. At the end even of the third year of His ministry how imperfect they were, how little credit they did Him. They had arrived at no greater understanding of Him than to think still that He was to be the Founder of an earthly kingdom, and at no greater virtue than to be wrangling as to who were to have the best places. If Our Lord were to say to anyone here: "I will, if you choose it, give you a life of perfect happiness; everyone shall try to please you, everything you touch succeed", I trust there is no one here who would not say: "No, Lord, what was good enough for You is good enough for me." These thoughts should throw a flood of light on our lives. If we wish to imitate Our Lord and Master, instead of crying our eyes out in moments of gloom and despondency, we should say: "What Thou dost is for the best, I will not wish it to be otherwise. When I am cowardly and inclined to cry out under suffering; if I ask for the pain to be removed - do not take me at my word, Lord, but give me greater strength and so draw me nearer to Thee."

From: Words of Encouragement - Notes of Instructions - delivered by Rev. Daniel Considine S.J., edited by F. C. Devas S.J. 1951

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sweet Mother, I place this cause in thy hands

O most beautiful flower of Mount Carmel,
Fruitful vine, spendor of Heaven,
Immaculate Mother of the Son of God,
Help me in my necessity.
Sweet Mother, I place this cause in thy hands.

O holy Mary, Mother of God,
Virgin most merciful, I beseech thee -
I humbly pray thee from the depth of my heart -
Help me in my necessity.
Sweet Mother, I place this cause in thy hands.

O Mystical Rose, O Flower of David,
None can withstand thy power;
Thy Son always hears thee.
Help me in my necessity.
Sweet Mother, I place this cause in thy hands.

O Queen of heaven and earth, Star of the sea,
Show me herein thou art my mother.
Hear thy child who seeks thine aid.
Help me in my necessity.
Sweet Mother, I place this cuase in thy hands.