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 Faithful Heart of Jesus.
Oh, how faithful is the beautiful heart of Jesus towards those whom He calls to His love: He is faithful Who hath called you, Who also will perform.' [1 Thess. v. 24]
The faithfulness of God gives us confidence to hope all things, although we deserve nothing. If we have driven God from our heart, let us open the door to Him, and He will immediately enter, according to the promise He has made: If anyone open to Me the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him. [Apoc. iii. 20] If we wish for graces, let us ask for them of God, in the name of Jesus Christ, and He has promised us that we shall obtain them: If you shall ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it you. [John xvi. 23] If we are tempted, let us trust in His merits, and He will not permit our enemies to strive with us beyond our strength: God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able. [1 Cor. x. 13]
Oh, how much better it is to have to do with God than with men! How often do men promise and then fail, either because they tell lies in making their promises, or because, after having made the promise, they change their minds: God is not as man, says the Holy Spirit, that He should lie; or as the Son of Man, that He should be changed. [Num. xxiii. 19] God cannot be unfaithful to His promises, because, being Truth itself, He cannot lie; nor can He change His mind, because all that He wills is just and right. He has promised to receive all that come to Him, to give help to him that asks it, to love him that loves Him; and shall He then not do it? Hath He said, then, and will He not do it? [Ibid.]
Oh, that we were as faithful with God as He is with us! Oh, how often have we, in times past, promised Him to be His, to serve Him and love Him; and then have betrayed Him, and, renouncing His service, have sold ourselves as slaves to the devil! Oh, let usbeseech Him to give us strength to be faithful to Him for the future! Oh, how blessed shall we be if we are faithful to Jesus Christ in the few things that He commands us to do; He will, indeed, be faithful in remunerating us with infinitely great rewards; and He will declare to us what He has promised to His faithful servants: Well done, good and faithful servant; because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. [Matt. xxv. 21]
Affections and Prayers
Oh, that I had been as faithful towards Thee, my dearest Redeemer, as Thou hast been faithful to me. Whenever I have opened my heart to Thee, Thou hast entered in, to forgive me and to receive me into Thy favor; whenever I have called Thee, Thou hast hastened to my assistance. Thou hast been faithfu1 with me, but I have been exceedingly unfaithful towards Thee. I have promised Thee my love, and then have many times refused it to Thee; as if Thou, my God, Who hast created and redeemed me, wert less worthy of being loved than Thy creatures and those miserable pleasures for which I have forsaken Thee. Forgive me, O my Jesus. I know my ingratitude, and abhor it. I know that Thou art infinite goodness; Who deservest an infinite love, especially from me, whom Thou hast so much loved, even after all the offences I have committed against Thee. Unhappy me if I should damn myself; the graces Thou hast vouchsafed to me, and the proofs of the singular affection which Thou hast shown me, would be, O God, the hell of hells to me, Ah, no, my love, have pity on me; suffer me not to forsake Thee again, and then by damning myself, as I should deserve, continue to repay in Hell with injuries and hatred the love that Thou hast borne me. O loving and faithful heart of Jesus, inflame, I beseech Thee, my miserable heart, so that it may burn with love for Thee, as Thine dost for me, My Jesus. It seems to me that now I love Thee; but I love Thee but little. Make me love Thee exceedingly, and remain faithful to Thee until death. I ask of Thee this grace, together with that of always praying to Thee for it. Grant that I may die, rather than ever betray Thee again.
O Mary, my Mother, help me to be faithful to thy Son.