Heart of Jesus Families Novena
According to the revelations of the Sacred Heart and with prayers composed by Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
For the spread of the kingdom of the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, so as to renew all things in Christ
This novena also serves as the Perpetual Novena of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Families
The Importance of Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in our Time
Honoring the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is more than a devotional practice. In the Heart of Christ, we honor the most profound mystery of His divine-human love: the love of God which, in the God-man Jesus Christ, was sacrificed for us even unto death to redeem us from our sins and thereby to reconcile and unite us again with God.
Therefore, this love of God also demands a response: our love in return, and the surrender of our heart. Consequently, this devotion is something profoundly interior; it consists of the deepening of our relationship to Christ, and touches on the most essential elements of our religion: union with God, and life with Him and in Him.
Why is devotion to the Heart of Jesus necessary, especially today, to promote our eternal salvation? There are three reasons to consider:
1. To Rekindle our Love for God
“God is love,” Saint John teaches; and in the Christmas liturgy we hear the consoling words: “The goodness and kindness of God our Saviour has appeared…. According to His mercy, He saved us.” [See Titus 3:4-5.] Today, to a great extent, the awareness of God’s love has been lost, and His goodness has been forgotten. Because of selfishness and materialism, even many Christians have no true love for God, and the very concept of love is frequently distorted into a merely emotional matter. For this reason, Christ foretold the devotion to His Heart to Saint Gertrude (+1302) as a remedy for our time, when faith would become shallow and love would grow cold. She writes in her work, Herald of Divine Love: “My mission was to write of the Eternal Word…. The language of the blissful pulsations of the Sacred Heart is reserved for latter times, that the time-worn world, grown cold in the love of God, may be warmed up by hearing of such mysteries.”
The revelations of the Heart of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque confirm this promise: “Behold this Heart which has so loved human beings that It has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, in order to give them proof of Its love.” These words testify to the infinite love of Jesus. In a visible way, God shows us in Jesus that there is a place in His Heart for us, and that is the strongest incentive for us really to love God as well.
2. To Restore the Reign of Christ the King
Today, as a result of wiles and machinations, unbelief has made such headway that Christ’s legitimate kingship over society is denied and even opposed. Shouting the battle cry, “We do not want Him as our King!”, Christ’s enemies have literally dethroned Him. If Christ does not rule, though, Satan will immediately claim His place. We are currently experiencing the devastating consequences of this de-Christianization. Through devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, especially through the consecration associated with it, we once again pledge to our King the love of our hearts, acknowledge His kingship over us and thus set it up again in miniature in society. Christ promised Saint Margaret Mary: “Fear not, I will reign in spite of My enemies and all who oppose it.”
3. To Make Reparation for Blasphemies Against Christ
The public insults and crimes against Holy God provoke the divine justice. The outrages committed against God through men’s misdeeds must be atoned for, and the disrupted order must be restored through penance. The reparation that is an essential part of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in union with Christ’s atoning sacrifice, works to turn aside or at least to mitigate the punishments that they have deserved. In the message of Our Lady of Fatima, which has Church approval, the call to make reparation was even more insistent, inasmuch as reparation for the offenses against the Immaculate Heart of Mary was demanded as well. The Angel of Peace taught the three shepherd children the well-known prayer of atonement: “My God, I believe in You, I adore you…” (see p. 56).
In a later apparition, he recited for them the prayer to the Most Holy Trinity and administered to them a communion of reparation with the words: “Receive the Body and drink the Blood of Christ, who is terribly offended by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their sins and console your God.” Because these sins have reached critical mass today, the duty to make reparation is all the more urgent.