Last updated on June 12, 2021
As Cardinal Thomas Collins says, three majestic devotions, “Doctrinal devotions”, draw us into an intimate encounter with the Father if we abandon ourselves during the week in June when they are celebrated. Corpus Christi, Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary together form a trinity of glory.
Abandonment is best achieved in prayer; prayer is best nourished in silence and silence is most powerful in adoration of the Eucharist.
In the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Jesus is our food and drink providing nourishment for the journey home. For as Jesus told Pilate and the whole universe, “My kingdom is not here.” (John 18: 36). Here is only a temporary dwelling where we pray and love.
This life is a cross-carrying road along which our hearts crave intimacy with Divine Love. Our heart yearns to speak heart to heart with Jesus who gave us his mother to be our mother. Her Immaculate Heart, pierced by a sword (Luke 2:35), speaks to our heart consoling the wounds of our sins.
The sword of anguish Mary experienced at the cross united her fully to her Son’s incomprehensible love for us.
But he was pierced for our offences, crushed for our sins. Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed. (Isaiah 53:5).
In his Pastoral Letter, Heart Speaks To Heart, Archbishop Collins reflects on the unity of the three great Solemnities:1
Devotion to the Sacred Heart is most fully expressed through adoration of Our Eucharistic Lord in the Holy Eucharist, and it is no accident that each year the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart occurs on the Friday following the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. Devotion to the Sacred Heart has also always been closely linked to devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. All three of these are doctrinal devotions, intimate experiences of personal prayer which are founded on the objective doctrinal fact of who God is and how God acts among us. All three are rooted in the incarnation, for God came among us by being born as one of us through Mary, and the night before he offered himself for us on the cross, on that Good Friday of the Sacred Heart, he gave us the sacramental way to be joined to him down through the ages in the Holy Eucharist.
Bishop Collins shares his deep love of Christ’s Sacred Heart in a 12 part compassionate and passionate reflection. Here are the segment titles:
I: The Need for Devotion to the Sacred Heart
II: The Symbol of the Sacred Heart
III: The Meaning of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
IV: Head, Heart, and Hands: To Know, to Love, and to Serve
V: “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” (Psalm 51:10)
VI: Living Water in the Desert of Isolation and Ego
VII: Compassion, and its Deadly Imitation: Sentimentality
VIII: The Sacred Heart and Social Justice
IX: The Day and the Month of the Sacred Heart: Friday and June
X: Some Practical Suggestions for Devotion to the Sacred Heart
XI: Prayer of the Heart
XII: The Litany of the Sacred Heart
Here is the complete text of segment XI :
Prayer of the Heart
The prayers of the Sacred Heart take us deep into the heart of our self, and lead us to God. We do not find confusing and over-complex intellectuality, but a simple “heart to heart” with the Lord, in the silence of our hearts.
In another tradition, that of Eastern Christian spirituality, which differs from the Sacred Heart devotion, we nonetheless see some similarity, as in the constant repetition of the Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” This can very much be a prayer of the Sacred Heart, with its focus on mercy which is central to the spiritual theme of the Sacred Heart.
We can grow in holiness by weaving through our day the constant repetition of the Jesus Prayer, and also of the short prayer: “O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.”
Whenever anxious, in whatever desert of modern life you find yourself in, repeat throughout the day the verse from the prophet Isaiah that is closely associated with the gloriously divine and humanely human devotion to the Sacred Heart, “With joy, you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” (Isaiah 12:3).
That verse provided the name for the most important papal encyclical on the Sacred Heart, Haurietis Aquas (“You will draw water”) of Pius XII in 1956. It is also quoted in the Preface of the Mass of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. For that matter, go to the Vatican website and read this wonderful meditation on the deep meaning of the devotion to the Sacred Heart.
Some people find great spiritual value in beginning the day with the Morning Offering Prayer:
“O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all of the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in union with the holy sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in thanksgiving for your favours, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all my relatives and friends, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father, Amen.”