Eight Ways, It’s Not Too Late, to Grow in Devotion

Eight Ways, It’s Not Too Late, to Grow in Devotion June 7, 2024

So I wrote this post three days ago and thought I’d scheduled it to be published, but it vaporized into the internet underworld and fortunately, I’d saved some of it.   I didn’t realize it hadn’t published until I tried to read it.   So here we are, on the feast of the Sacred Heart.   I made it to mass because it was my daughter’s end of the school year.  She won an award.  As a result, I managed my first, first Friday.

For those of you who don’t know what that is, keep reading.

There are eight ways recommended to help one grow in devotion to the Sacred Heart.  Since I’m starting at ground zero, I’m glad to know that this is an ongoing practice where one lets the Holy Spirit direct one’s heart to the heart of hearts.

#1 Making a Morning Offering.  I honestly didn’t know what that meant.  Now I do.  And the Lord does not place burdens on us, but offers us the opportunity to participate joyfully. God loves a joyful giver.  He is not looking for dutifulness, but love. 

At the beginning of each day, make an offering of your whole day to the Sacred Heart through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer You my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world.
I offer them for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart:
for the salvation of souls, the reparation for sins, the reunion of all Christians,
I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer
and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month.

I read it and googled, what are the intentions of Pope Francis for the month of June.
For migrants fleeing their homes
We pray that migrants fleeing from war or hunger, forced to undertake journeys full of danger and violence, find welcome and new opportunities in the countries that receive them.

Boy do we need to pray for those enduring the chaos, evil and destruction of war.  They need sanctuary.  
Again, God asks us to think of things and to do what we can –He invites us, He does not demand.  He asks us to love, to love God and love our neighbor, by putting them in our prayers, in our hearts.  

 

#2  Venerating images of the Sacred Heart  

We need holy images in a secular world.   We need to see the Sacred.  This icon invites us to contemplate the whole of who Christ is, a lover who willingly suffers for His beloved, us.  Again, I can do this sort of a thing.  I am thinking, I will start with sketching, so that my heart and hand wrap around the image.   

It’s part of my summer plan anyway, to draw or paint every day.  It will be my starting point.

#3   Visiting the Blessed Sacrament, going to Adoration  

We can’t love those we ignore, and going to Adoration, is looking into the heart of God, and spending time knowing, God is looking ino our hearts.   Nothing works better at bringing us closer to God, than our bringing ourselves before God.   Again, I can do that. The adoration chapel is a mile from my house.   What is keeping me from God except me?  Aparently I am an obstacle.   Must have something to do with being that abyss of ignorance.  If I knew, I would get out of my own way.  

#4  First Friday Devotion

I believe I thought this was the only way, so I’m relieved to know, the Sacred Heart is here, waiting for me in all these ways and this one is lovely –and I’ll honestly try but also know myself.  It’s not going to be as constant as it should be.
However, by attending Holy Mass and receiving Holy Communion on the First Friday of each month, making reparation for the sins committed against His Sacred Heart and the Holy Eucharist, we venerate the Sacred Heart.  I get to do so this Friday, so it’s a start.

#5  Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

I admit, I don’t know much about enthronement, but there was a handy dandy link when I did my research indicating what to do.  Here’s the link.

You pick a Sunday and attend mass together. 
You pick an image of the sacred heart and have the priest bless that image.
You establish a place (a throne if you will) where the image will be displayed. 
There are prayers you recite in the three days prior to the mass.
And on that Sunday, as you enthrone the Sacred Heart, there are prayers that complete the Enthronement.  

This one I felt less certain about –because there are those in my home who would not attend.  My own spirit felt a little somehow uncomfortable.  I do not know why.   That obstacleness revealing itself again?  Maybe.  Maybe it’s that God calls each of us, and what speaks to one, does not quite reach the heart of another, but God uses all the ways at His disposal to court our souls.  Was I afraid? Embarrassed? Did I just not know? Did I just not want?  I wasn’t sure, just certain that I was uncertain.   I will have to reflect.

However, one that does not attend, did come for a little while, for Anna, and was inside the church (admittedly with the dog), for a time during mass.  I viewed this as encouragement from the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to delve deeper.

#6  Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart

Here’s the prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, today I renew my dedication to Your Sacred Heart. I remember Your love for me. I pledge my love in return, placing You at the center of my heart and my family. I wish to live my life in union with You and to share in Your mission of love to all. Lord, accept this dedication and keep me always in Your Sacred Heart. Amen.    You pick a date –I recommend June 7th, so that the consecration to the Sacred Heart is on the feast of the Sacred Heart, or your birthday, so you don’t forget, to give your heart as a gift on your birthday.

#7  Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Full disclosure, I’ve always loved litanies. Not sure why, just feel like I’m asking all of Heaven for help, and it always helps.  Apparently, there are 33 invocations, one for each year of Christ’s life, and there’s a partial indulgence attached to this litany –another reason to love it.

Lord, have mercy,
R. Christ, have mercy,

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us,
R. Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, R. have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
God, the Holy Spirit,
Holy Trinity, One God,
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father, R. have mercy on us.
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 the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
Heart of Jesus, in Whom dwells all the fullness of the divinity,
Heart of Jesus, in Whom the Father is 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 unto 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 reconciliation,
Heart of Jesus, victim for sin,
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who trust in You,
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in You,
Heart of Jesus, delight of all the Saints,
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, R. spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, R. graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, R. have mercy on us, O Lord.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, R. make our hearts like to Thine.

Let us pray.
Almighty and eternal God, look upon the Heart of Your most beloved Son and upon the praise and satisfaction which He offers You in the name of sinners; and to those who implore Your mercy, do You in Your great goodness, grant forgiveness in the name of the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who with You lives and reigns world without end
R. Amen.

So I can pray most of that thing, think it lovely, and in the next moment be irritated because my son dumped a trash can full of tissues into another trash can and ninety percent of the tissues didn’t make it.  Top that with his doing the work because another sibling didn’t want to clean it up…and I’m needing more mercy than I’m giving in the moment as I grumble through cleaning up.


“An abyss of unworthiness and ignorance for the accomplishment of this great design,”a shipwreck of a soul, yep, that’s me.

The litany which I hadn’t finished, served as a good chastiser of my own soul and its limitations.  It thinks beautiful thoughts. However, it doesn’t live up to them.   Thinking that partial indulgence will be needed frequently.


#8  The Novena to the Sacred Heart
This is the thing that got me started on examining the devotion to the Sacred Heart, the reality that I frequently fail when it comes to Novenas.   Even with helpful email reminders, I fail.   Even with asking others to pray them with me, I falter. 
But if you want to attempt it, and I hope you do better than me, here’s where you can find all the prayers.

Go, enjoy the evening with those who hold your heart, and place your own in the one Heart that loves you no matter how often you fail, at novenas or anything else.

Sacred Heart Novena Day 4. Heart of Jesus, burning with love for us, set our hearts on fire with love for You.

 

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