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This Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, printed below, is quite inspiring in its scriptural reference to the Sermon on the Mount found in Chapter 7 of Matthew’s Gospel, which asks us to have great confidence in our Lord, and, thus, in His Sacred Heart.
What reflects our emotions more than our hearts after all? And what can be more compelling than a heart burning with love? In this case that heart belongs to our Creator and Savior Jesus Christ who is burning with love for you! The Sacred Heart of Jesus even has its own feast day in June which draws attention to just how much Jesus loves us!
The prayer itself follows:
Divine Jesus, You have said “Ask and you shall receive; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Behold me kneeling at Your feet, filled with a lively faith and confidence in the promises dictated by Your Sacred Heart and pronounced by Your adorable lips. I come to ask this favor: (here mention your favor).
To Whom can I turn if not to You, whose Heart is the source of all graces and merits? Where should I seek if not in the treasure which contains all the riches of Your kindness and mercy? Where must I knock if not at the door through which God gives Himself to us and through which we go to God? I have recourse to You, Heart of Jesus. In You I find consolation when afflicted, protection when persecuted, strength when burdened with trials, and light in doubt and darkness.
Dear Jesus, I firmly believe that You can grant me the grace I implore, even though it should require a miracle. You have only to will it and my prayer will be granted. I admit that I am most unworthy of Your favors, but this is not a reason for me to be discouraged. You are the God of mercy, and You will not refuse a contrite heart. Cast upon me a look of mercy, I beg of You, and Your kind Heart will find in my miseries and weakness a reason for granting my prayer.
O Sacred Heart, whatever may be Your decision with regard to my request, I will never stop adoring, loving, praising, and serving You. My Jesus, be pleased to accept this my act of perfect resignation to the decrees of Your adorable Heart, which I sincerely desire may be fulfilled in and by me and all Your creatures forever.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I know that there is but one thing impossible to You: to be without pity for those who are in suffering or distress. Look upon me, I beg of You, dear Jesus, and grant me the grace for which I humbly implore You through the Immaculate Heart of Your most sorrowful Mother. You entrusted me to her as her child, and her prayers are all-powerful with You. Amen
The image of our Lord’s Sacred Heart shows it surrounded by flames, as if showing His burning love for us, and thorns, surmounted by a cross, both of which remind us of His Passion! This captures its essence beautifully!
Jesus expressed his fervent desire to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French nun in visions to her from 1673-1675, for this special feast day to His Sacred Heart mentioned earlier to be established. He called St. Margaret Mary “the Beloved Disciple of the Sacred Heart” and the Heiress “of all Its treasures”.
Our Lord made these twelve promises to those who honor His Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary. They show us how much he cherishes this devotion.
1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life.
2. I will establish peace in their families.
3. I will comfort them in their trials.
4. I will be their secure refuge during life, and, above all, in death.
5. I will shed abundant blessings on all their undertakings
6. Sinners will find in My Heart an infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Lukewarm souls will become fervent.
8. Fervent souls will rapidly grow in holiness and perfection.
9. I will bless every place where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.
10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
11. The names of those who promote this devotion will be written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.
12. I promise thee, in the excessive mercy of My Heart, that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.
Keep in mind in the 12th Promise that our Lord asks us to receive Him in Holy Communion in a state of grace free from mortal sin on the First Friday of each of nine consecutive months. This is called a First Friday devotion.
The image of our Lord’s Sacred Heart that I mentioned earlier, comes up in the ninth promise and is indeed seen in many homes of the faithful!
The reference to our Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Heart in this prayer is worth noting as well in that it has also been full of sorrows and indeed is pictured in some instances with seven swords going through it and there is even a feast day for our Lady of Sorrows on September 15th.
Note also the remembrance here of the scene at Calvary where, in entrusting St. John’s to be our Blessed Mother’s son Jesus, from the cross, also made Mary our Spiritual Mother as well (John 19:26-27).
We are also reminded in this prayer’s words You will not refuse a contrite heart of that stirring line in the Psalms A contrite and humbled heart, O God, you will not spurn (Ps. 51:17).
The line in this prayer about Jesus being “the God of mercy”, brings to mind as well our Lord’s words to St. Faustina, a Polish nun in the 1930’s that He is love and mercy itself.
When you see the flames surrounding His Sacred Heart, think also of His desire He expressed to her to pour out His flames of mercy onto our souls, and how painful our indifference or distrust of His love and mercy are to Him!
St. Margaret Mary herself once wrote "When you have committed faults, do not be anxious because anxiety, uneasiness, and too much agitation withdraw the soul from God, and cause Jesus Christ to withdraw from the soul. Let us, rather, ask pardon of Him and beg His Sacred Heart to restore us to favor."
It is important to remember that whatever your sins or situation, Jesus is never out of bounds for you in prayer and in the Sacrament of Penance (otherwise known as Confession).
As St. Philip Neri also referred to the psalms in matters of the heart as well in this maxim attributed to him: “As soon as a man feels that he is tempted, he should fly to God, and devoutly utter…'O God, come to my aid; O Lord make haste to help me; a pure heart create in me, O God'” (His quote here is taken from Psalms 51 and 70.)
The question asked in this novena :”To Whom can I turn if not to You” brings to mind St. Peter’s memorable words to Jesus after our Lord was deserted by so many of His disciples after He first introduced Himself as the Living Bread come down from heaven in John’s Gospel (6:51): “Where are we to go, Lord? You have the words of eternal life?”
Christ Himself has experienced much suffering in His Sacred Heart over fallen humanity over the past 2000 years no doubt, yet when we turn to Him for help, He can rejoice as if he were the man finding his one lost sheep in Matthew’s Gospel (18:12-13).
The disciples on the road to Emmaus clearly felt some of that fire surrounding our Lord’s Sacred Heart when they asked each other after their brief encounter with the resurrected Christ “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was speaking on the road and explaining to us the scriptures” (Luke 24:32)?
And did not Christ set the world on fire, in a sense, as per His desire expressed in Luke’s Gospel (12:49) when He sent down His spirit in the form of tongues of fire at Pentecost (Acts 2:3)?
May the following two quotes inspire you when you approach Jesus in His Sacred Heart through prayers such as this novena, as well as others listed in the Sacred Heart prayers section of our website.
For the first one, Jesus said, in preaching love for God and His kingdom rather than for the world and mammon, that “where your treasure is, there also will your heart be” (Luke 12:34).
And for the second, St. Augustine, one of our most esteemed Church Fathers, also known as the Doctor of Grace, wrote in his Confessions that “our hearts are restless until they rest in You”.
To which I might add, especially in these uncertain times, “Dear Lord may our restless hearts find rest in You and in Your Sacred Heart”!