Today for the feast of the Sacred Heart I give you a poem:
Feast of the Sacred Heart
By Abram Joseph Ryan
Two lights on a lowly altar;
Two snowy cloths for a Feast;
Two vases of dying roses;
The morning comes from the east,
With a gleam for the folds of the vestments
And a grace for the face of the priest.
The sound of a low, sweet whisper
Floats over a little bread,
And trembles around a chalice,
And the priest bows down his head!
O’er a sign of white on the altar —
In the cup — o’er a sign of red.
As red as the red of roses,
As white as the white of snows!
But the red is a red of a surface
Beneath which a God’s blood flows;
And the white is the white of a sunlight
Within which a God’s flesh glows.
Ah! words of the olden Thursday!
Ye come from the far-away!
Ye bring us the Friday’s victim
In His own love’s olden way;
In the hand of the priest at the altar
His Heart finds a home each day.
The sight of a Host uplifted!
The silver-sound of a bell!
The gleam of a golden chalice.
Be glad, sad heart! ’tis well;
He made, and He keeps love’s promise,
With thee all days to dwell.
From his hand to his lips that tremble,
From his lips to his heart a-thrill,
Goes the little Host on its love-path,
Still doing the Father’s will;
And over the rim of the chalice
The blood flows forth to fill
The heart of the man anointed
With the waves of a wondrous grace;
A silence falls on the altar —
An awe on each bended face —
For the Heart that bled on Calvary
Still beats in the holy place.
The priest comes down to the railing
Where brows are bowed in prayer;
In the tender clasp of his fingers
A Host lies pure and fair,
And the hearts of Christ and the Christian
Meet there — and only there!
Oh! love that is deep and deathless!
Oh! faith that is strong and grand!
Oh! hope that will shine forever,
O’er the wastes of a weary land!
Christ’s Heart finds an earthly heaven
In the palm of the priest’s pure hand.
And a reminder.
There is a plenary indulgence available today for the recitation of this prayer:Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Most sweet Jesus, You have bestowed on men the benefits of Your charity, but their ingratitude only responds with forgetfulness, negligence and spite. Thus here we prostrate ourselves before Your altar, inspired by the desire to make reparation through a special homage for their culpable indifference and the outrages which, in all ways, they oppress Your most loving Heart.
Nevertheless, we remember that we ourselves have been guilty of unworthy conduct in the past, and filled with profound sorrow, we implore Your mercy for us first of all. By voluntary expiation, we are ready to atone for the faults we have committed, ready also to expiate for those who, led astray from the way of salvation and remaining obstinate in their infidelity, refuse to follow You, their Shepherd and chief, thus throwing off the yoke of Your law and trampling the promises of their Baptism.
We would like to expiate for too many lamentable faults, making reparation for each of the following: our disorderly conduct, indecent fashions, scandalous corruption of innocent souls, profanation of Sundays and feasts, detestable blasphemies against You and against Your Saints, insults to your Vicar and to Your priests, reckless violations and odious sacrileges to the divine Sacrament of Your love, and finally the public sins of nations who revolt against the rights and authority of Your Church.
If only we could erase so many offenses with our own blood! At the least we wish to make reparation to Your outraged honor. We present to You even the satisfaction that You have offered to Your Father on the Cross, and the offering You have renewed each day on the altar. We present that sacrifice to You, accompanied with all the acts of atonement made by the Most Holy Virgin Your Mother, the Saints, and by faithful Christians. We promise You with all of our hearts, with the help of Your grace, to use all our means to do penance for our past faults and those of our neighbor. By the fervor of our faith, the purity of our life, and by perfect docility to the precepts of the Gospel, we desire to atone for the indifference toward such a great love, to which belongs all charity. We also promise You to make every effort to spare You new offenses and to lead the most souls possible to follow You.
Agreed, we offer You in this matter, O most good Jesus, by the intercession of the gracious Virgin Mary, Reparatrix, this spontaneous homage of expiation. Guard us until death, keeping us unshakably faithful to our duty and to Your service. Accord to us this precious gift of perseverance, which leads us finally to our native land where, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, You reign, God, forever and ever. Amen.
People laugh at me because I am obsessed with indulgences. I don’t really understand why other people are not as obsessed with them as I am. It’s like the Church is opening floodgates of grace and most of us just step to the side!
So take advantage folks, not just for yourself but for the many souls who have no one to pray for them.