Novena in preparation
for the Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Means for surmounting the obstacles that prevent us from deriving fruit from the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
After talking about all that is an obstacle to this devotion, we see that, if we are not continually on-guard and prepared for combat, very soon the enemy will become master of our heart. These are the means that Jesus Christ Himself assures us are the best suited to diminish or destroy self-love and hidden arrogance:
a.First means: True mortification
Mortification is a necessary disposition for the true lovers of Jesus Christ; this was the first lesson that Jesus Christ Himself gave those who wished to be His disciples. ‘‘If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’’ (Lk 9:23) Exterior mortification consists of doing fasts, vigils and other corporal austerities practiced with discretion, obedience and generosity subdue the body helping to triumph over certain temptations and ensure freedom of spirit.
The exercise of interior mortification is nothing more than applying the ear to the divine inspirations. The love of Jesus Christ is so ingenious in this point, that it inspires all souls with the means and the tricks to mortify themselves. For example, if one has a great desire to see something or speak, it is a mortification to make himself lower his eyes or calm the desire to learn news or to know what is going on, or what is being said, etc. If on the outside we don’t have many occasions to mortify ourselves, we can count on the fact that there will be plenty of occasions of interior mortification.
b.Second means: Sincere Humility
The second means is to have sincere humility. Saint Augustine says, ‘‘Jesus Christ does not say to us: learn from Me to work miracles, but, ‘Learn from Me because I am meek and humble of heart’ (Mt 11:29), to show us that without humility there can be no true piety.’’ In order to be truly humble it is not enough to know that we have no virtue or merit earned through our own strength; we must truly believe it and not be disgusted when others believe it too.
The first step towards acquiring this virtue is to ask for it insistently from God; the next, to convince ourselves, by seriously and frequently reflecting on our poverty and imperfection. The remembrance of what we have been, and of what we might have become without God’s grace, are powerful aids to keep us humble. Seeing ourselves so close to the precipice makes us not be afraid that others may fall.
It’s important to forget our own interests if we want to achieve Christian perfection. If we wish to be perfect, we must forget even our spiritual interests to seek only the pure glory of God. For we will never truly enjoy peace and tranquillity if we don’t forget ourselves.
Let’s put ourselves in the presence of God to meditate upon these truths.
Ask the grace: to be able to understand our defects with humility and have the strength to seriously embark upon the way to sanctity.
Today’s resolution: Let us do an act of humility when we encounter some limit, imperfection or defect, calmly recognizing our littleness and our nothingness.
Jaculatory prayer of the day: (to be repeated throughout the day) Jesus, meek and humble of Heart, make my heart similar to yours!
Novena in preparation for the Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Lord Jesus Christ, the only redeemer of man,
look with love to those of us who are preparing to consecrate ourselves to Your Most Sacred Heart.
Open for us the eternal fount of your mercy,
that flows from your Heart opened on the Cross.
Through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
we want to be always and only yours: in life, in death, and eternity.
Let nothing separate us from your love!
Grant us a heart similar to yours, meek and humble, that listens to you and keeps your commands;
that is nourished of the Word and the Eucharist so that, rooted, edified and transformed in you, we can grow every day in desires of love and reparation to your Heart, pierced by the sins of men and that we can work tirelessly so you can reign in every heart and every society.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in you.
Sweet Immaculate Heart of Mary, be my salvation.
All the angels and saints of God, pray for us.