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XI: Prayer of the Heart


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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 the 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.”