Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
St. Alphonsus Liguori
Published in 1758
With Meditation and Prayers
Taken from THE HOLY EUCHARIST, by the same Saint-author.
Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1934.
The Generous Heart of Jesus.
It is the characteristic of good-hearted people to desire to make everybody happy, and especially those most distressed and afflicted. But who can ever find one who has a better heart than Jesus Christ? He is infinite goodness, and has therefore a sovereign desire to communicate to us His riches: With Me are riches, that I may enrich them that love Me.
[Prov. viii. 18, 21]
He for this purpose made Himself poor, as the Apostle says, that He might make us rich: He became poor for your sakes, that through His poverty you might be rich. [2 Cor. viii. 9] For this purpose also He chose to remain with us in the most Holy Sacrament, where He remains constantly with His hands full of graces, as was seen by Father Balthazar Alvarez, to dispense them to those who come to visit Him. For this reason also He gives Himself wholly to us in Holy Communion, giving us to understand from this that He cannot refuse us any good gifts, since He even gives Himself entirely to us: How hath He not also, with Him, given us all things? [Rom. viii. 32]
For in the heart of Jesus we receive every good, every grace that we desire: In all things you are made rich in Christ,
. . . so that nothing is wanting to you in any grace. [1 Cor. 1. 5, 7] And we must understand that we are debtors to the heart of Jesus for all the graces we have received -----graces of redemption, of vocation, of light, of pardon, the grace to resist temptations, and to bear patiently with contradictions; for without His assistance we could not do anything good: Without Me you can do nothing. [John xv. 5] And if hitherto, says our Saviour, you have not received more graces, do not complain of Me, but blame yourself, who has neglected to seek them of Me: Hitherto you have not asked anything; . . . ask, and you shall recive. [John xvi. 24] Oh, how rich and liberal is the heart of Jesus towards everyone that has recourse to Him! Rich unto all that call upon Him. [Rom. x. 12] Oh, what great mercies do those souls receive who are earnest in asking help of Jesus Christ. David said, For Thou, O Lord, art sweet and mild, and plenteous to all who call upon Thee. [Ps. lxxxv. 5] Let us therefore always go to this heart, and ask with confidence, and we shall obtain all we want.
Affections and Prayers
Ah, my Jesus, Thou hast not refused to give me Thy Blood and Thy life, and shall I refuse to give Thee my miserable heart? No, my dearest Redeemer, I offer it entirely to Thee. I give Thee all my will; do Thou accept it, and dispose of it at Thy pleasure. I can do nothing, and have nothing; but I have this heart which Thou hast given me, and of which no one can deprive me. I may be deprived of my goods, my blood, my life, but not of my heart. With this heart I can love Thee; Iwith this heart I will love Thee. I beseech Thee, O my God, teach me a perfect forgetfulness of myself; teach me what I must do to arrive at Thy pure love, of which Thou in Thy goodness hast inspired me with the desire. I feel in myself a determination to please Thee; but in order to put my resolve iinto execution, I expect and implore help from Thee. It depends on Thee. O loving heart of Jesus, to make entirely Thine my poor heart, which hitherto has been so ungrateful, and through my own fault deprived of Thy love. Oh, grant that my heart may be all on fire with the love of Thee, even as Thine is on fire with the love of me. Grant that my will may be entirely united to Thine, so that I may will nothing but what Thou wiliest, and that from this day forth Thy holy will may be the rule of all my actions, of all my thoughts, and of all my desires. I trust, O my Saviour, that Thou wilt not refuse me Thy grace to fulfill this resolution which I now make prostrate at Thy feet, to receive with submission whatever Thou mayest ordain for me and my affairs, as well in life as in death.
Blessed art thou, O Immaculate Mary, who hadst thy heart always and entirely united to the heart of Jesus; obtain for me, O my Mother, that in future I may wish and desire that which Jesus wills and thou willest.