Friday, June 19, 2009

Feast of the Sacred Heart

Today is the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in both the Roman and the Pauline calendars. The reliable old Catholic Encyclopædia goes into great detail on the history and theology of the devotion here. EWTN provides the text of some devotions here. And while you're there, you'll find some devotions for the Immaculate Heart of Mary also since in the Pauline Rite it's her feast day tomorrow.

Pope Pius XI made the following prayer obligatory on the feast of the Sacred Heart but it seems to have faded away like so much else:

O, Sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence, and contempt, behold us prostrate before Thine altar eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which Thy Loving Heart is everywhere subject.

Mindful alas! that we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, which we deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask Thy pardon and declare our readiness to atone, by voluntary expiation not only for our own personal offenses, but also for the sins of those, who, straying far from the path of salvation, refuse in their obstinate infidelity to follow Thee, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the vows of their baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of Thy law. We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against Thee; we are determined to make amends for the manifold offenses against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behavior, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violations of Sundays and holy days, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against Thee and Thy saints. We wish also to make amends for the insults to which Thy Vicar on earth and Thy priests are subjected, for the profanation, by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very Sacrament of Thy Divine Love; and lastly for the public crimes of nations who resist the rights and the teaching authority of the Church which thou hast founded.

Would, O Divine Jesus, that we were able to wash away such abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of Thy Divine Honor, the satisfaction Thou didst once make to Thy Eternal Father on the cross and which Thou dost continue to renew daily on our altars; we offer it in union with the acts of atonement of Thy 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 Thy grace, for all neglect of Thy 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 Thee and to bring as many as possible to follow Thee.

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 unto death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to Thee so that we may all one day come to that happy home, where Thou, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen.


The feast seems to be getting more popular. The noon Mass I attended today was SRO.