April – Month of the Most Blessed Sacrament
Devotion To the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus
Who comes to me in the Holy Communion?
Jesus Christ, our Father, our Redeemer, our Spouse, who has opened a place of refuge for us in His Heart. Listen to His pressing invitation:
Come to me, all you that labor, and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light.
Jesus Christ, the God who made the Heavens and the Earth with their contents, who stands not in need of our goods, who is jealous of your heart, and who considers not so much what you give him, as the heart with which you give it. Jesus Christ, this Divine Spouse, captivated with the beauty of your soul, and who, in order, to obtain it from His Heavenly Father, served on this cold earth, not fourteen years like Jacob, but three-and-thirty years—years considered only as so many moments by this ardent Lover of your soul.
To whom does He come?
To an ungrateful child; to a heartless, loveless heart! To a heart of ice, of stone, insensible to so many stupendous miracles of love Divine wrought in her behalf! To a nonentity, a mere nothing, having neither life nor aught else in itself, destitute of any one thing worthy the acceptance of a God, save the heart alone, which that muniﬁcent Creator condescended to bestow on her, that, offering it again to Him, she might be happy in and b Him eternally! Yes. He comes to your soul, that ‘spouse which He has sought for with such unparalleled labor, perseverance, and love, and whom He would not abandon, even though that soul might be inclined to abandon Him (Is., lxii. 12).
Why does He come to me?
He comes to melt your heart of ice, and to make of it a fountain of compunction and of living waters unto Life Eternal; He comes to take away your heart of stone, and to make it a furnace of Divine ﬂames. He comes to enkindle within our heart a very ardent and a most tender awe; and, however insensible it may be now, to raise it in a very short time, and in the most simple and easy manner possible, to a very sublime degree of perfection! He comes to say to you: O my spouse! beloved of my soul would you know how to triumph over Me as the saints have done? By My Heart you can do so; one loving look, a single hair, a sigh, an aspiration wafted towards Me from a pure and single heart, shall win for you the empire of my affections (Cant, iv. 9). He comes to espouse you in mercy and compassion, to contract on union with your soul, not only eternal, but supremely perfect and elevated above all earthly unions (Osee, ii. 19, 20).
Behold Jesus Christ with the eye of Faith present in your soul, and presenting you with His own Sacred Heart, saying: “Zeal for your soul hath consumed and devoured Me”. I have loved the beauty of this interior habitation which My hands have built up within thy soul;I have oft, been seeking to dwell therein, and again do I stand at the door and knock with irrepressible, ceaseless desire. I am the God of thy heart, a jealous God! jealous of thy heart. I am a consuming ﬁre, ever burning for thee, and requiring in return that thou dost burn as a perpetual holocaust for me! (Deut., xiv. 24). This have I commanded thee by my Prophet under the “Law of Fear”, and under the “Law of Love”; by one of My servants, thus: Behold this Heart which so loveth man that it has exhausted and consumed itself in order to prove its love; and in return what do I receive from the greater number but ingratitude, Contempt, irreverence, sacrilege, and indifference, meet me but too often in the Sacrament of My love.
Prostrate at Thy sacred feet, my Lord and my God permit me to say, that if Thou art consumed with zeal for my poor soul, shall I not burn with zeal for Thy glory? If there be no reciprocity between us, what then can so charm me here below as to hide Thee from me! O my soul love Thy God who so loveth thee; love Him without measure, and close thy eyes to all bewitching vanities; love, love, love, and repair His outraged love.
No other business is worthy of thy attention here below!
Ask our Lord to give you penitential love and heartfelt tears, which will make you ardent in doing and suffering all things in reparation of His injured love and of your own past inﬁdelities.
O my sweet Lord Jesus! in the name of that adorable Wound of Love that wrought our salvation upon the cross, and whence ﬂowed water and blood, vouchsafe to wound the sinful soul of Thy servant N. for whom Thou didst bow Thy sacred head in death; wound it; with the ﬁery dart, the omnipotent dart of Thy immense charity: for the word of the Lord is efﬁcacious and more penetrating than a two-edged sword. O chosen arrow! piercing its way through the tough and stony human heart and human spirit, come and in ﬂame mine with the light and ﬁre of the Holy Ghost that, wounded with Divine love I may shed tears of love both night and day during the remainder of my earthly pilgrimage. Amen.
Behold our Divine Lord coming into your soul and asking: “I give thee My heart, Do thou give me thine?” (Prov., xxiii.) – Prostrate, receive His magniﬁcent gift, and then offer your heart to Him, saying: “O Lord, how unequal is the exchange! Thou givest Thyself without reserve or self-interest; but when shall I give myself wholly to Thee, and not permit myself the least repine in the holocaust? Ah, now Jesus, Omnipotent Friend; now once for all, enable me to abandon myself to Thee irrevocably! Say now, my soul, with St. Bernard, in confusion and bitterness of heart: ‘Immensity’ loves us; that “Charity’ which surpasses all knowledge, loves us; ‘Eternity’ loves us; and we set limits to our love! Pray with Solomon for the gift of Divine Wisdom, that she may dwell with you, set with you, and teach you in every action of your life what is most pleasing to that God who loves you, and whom you ardently desire to love.
Prayer to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to Entreat his Love
O amiable and adorable Jesus, my Lord and my God, source of every good; thou art the Light of the world, the only and sure Way, which leadeth to thy eternal Father; thou art the Truth which enlightens our blindness, and delivers us from error, the Gate by which whoever enters shall be safe. Thou art the Fountain of life, who hast opened to the world that new Life of divine love which was erst hidden in thy eternal Father’s bosom, making thee to shine resplendent with thy goodness and mercy. Fulfill, according to thy promise, O Lord, our joy, that we all may serve to promote thy glory, and to increase thy holy love. Shed upon us that divine light which thou didst bring into the world, that so the love which thy Father bears thee, may be in us, as thy holy word bids us hope. Grant that, as he is in thee, and with thee is one God, so we may be in thee by sincere love, and may be one with thee through a perfect conformity of life and habits, that so nothing may remain in us which shall not be wholly subject to thee, and to thee be wholly dedicated; that, being dead to the world, to the ﬂesh, to ourselves, through an entire detachment from all that is not thee, we may henceforth live for thee alone, who who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.
The Eucharistic Heart in the Redemptorist Tradition
There is only a minimal difference between the devotion to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus and that which the Church renders to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. With loving reverence the Church celebrates this symbol of the infinite love with which Christ gave us the sacrament of the Eucharist and so remain with us till the end of time. For this reason special worship is given to this demonstration of the love of Christ. So it was that Leo XIII established the Archconfraternity of the Eucharistic Heart in the church of San Gioacchino in Rome. Benedict XV approved devotion to the Heart of Jesus who gives us the Eucharist.
Finally Pius XII, in his encyclical ‘Haurietes aquas’ encouraged the devotion in these words:
‘It will be difficult for us to appreciate fully the love that inspired Christ to give himself to us as the food of our souls, unless we practice a special devotion to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.’
(THIS TRANSLATION REQUIRES CAREFUL READING)
From the beginning the devotion to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus has been in tune with the Eucharistic spirituality of St. Alphonsus de Liguori. Then gradually it has developed, reaching its maturity with Leo XIII, (1903), who entrusted the worship and the apostolate of the Eucharistic Heart to the Children of St. Alfonsus, the Redemptorist Fathers.
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