Today is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
I’ll let Dr. Pat McNamara clue you into the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Your heart pumps about 100,000 times a day to keep your lifeblood flowing through you. For this reason it has become a symbol for our very selves. We say, “I put my heart into it” and “I want that with all my heart.” The heart also is a symbol for love, perhaps because it seems to beat faster when we are in love. The biblical image of the heart means the depth of our selves where we decide for or against God. God, who always speaks to us using our own experiences, has chosen our symbol of the heart to represent Jesus.
The heart of Jesus was a human heart like ours. It stopped beating the day Jesus was crucified. According to the Gospel of John, after Jesus had died a soldier made sure of his death by piercing his side with a lance. Blood and water ran out (19:34). Jesus’ pierced heart became a sign of the completeness of his love for us, a love that compelled him to die for us and that prompted him to remain with us in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. The physical heart of Jesus is the symbol of the total love of Jesus, divine and human. …In art the Sacred Heart is pierced, surmounted by a cross, and encircled with thorns. Light radiates from it to show that it is a burning furnace of love.
There’s more, so do go read it all. There is another good piece on background here.
There are whole societies dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and all sorts of pious and worthy prayers and practices associated with this devotion, but for me, there is nothing like praying a litany, and the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is one of the best. Ygive yourself over to meditation of many aspects of the heart of mystery that is Christ, and you can find yourself in a deep and refreshing well of contemplation.
Accordingly, I recorded it for you. The podcast may be heard here.
And if you’d like to read the prayer (*after each invocation, respond with “have mercy on us.”):
Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy
Christ, hear us
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us*
God, the Holy Spirit,
Holy Trinity, One God,
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father,
Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mother,
Heart of Jesus, substantially united to the Word of God,
Heart of Jesus, of Infinite Majesty,
Heart of Jesus, Sacred Temple of God,
Heart of Jesus, Tabernacle of the Most High,
Heart of Jesus, House of God and Gate of Heaven,
Heart of Jesus, burning furnace of charity,
Heart of Jesus, abode of justice and love,
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love,
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues,
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise,
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts,
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwells the fullness of divinity,
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father was well pleased,
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received,
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills,
Heart of Jesus, patient and most merciful,
Heart of Jesus, enriching all who invoke Thee,
Heart of Jesus, fountain of life and holiness,
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, loaded down with opprobrium,
Heart of Jesus, bruised for our offenses,
Heart of Jesus, obedient to death,
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance,
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation,
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection,
Heart of Jesus, our peace and our reconciliation,
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who trust in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, delight of all the Saints,
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world; spare us, O Lord
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy on us
V. Jesus, meek and humble of heart.
R. Make our hearts like to yours
Let us pray;
Almighty and eternal God, look upon the Heart of your most beloved Son and upon the praises and satisfaction which He offers You in the name of sinners; and to those who implore Your mercy, in Your great goodness, grant forgiveness in the name of the same Jesus Christ, You Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.