"Remember, I am with you always to the end of the age" (Mt 28:20)

The Sacred Heart Is A Broken Heart

Pietà with the Holy Trinity (Large Pietà rondo), c. 1400

O
ur Lord Jesus Christ appeared to St Margaret Mary Alacoque between (1673-1675). St Margaret Mary once said, “I do not know of any other exercise in the spiritual life that is more calculated to raise a soul in a short amount of time to the height of perfection and to make it taste the true sweetness to be found in the service of Jesus Christ.” St Margaret talks about a spiritual exercise that first flowed from Jesus's passion and death. In Mark's Gospel, when Pilate learns that Jesus had already died, he was "amazed" at first that he needed a centurion to verify for him if Jesus had indeed died. He could not believe that Jesus died only after three hours of hanging, nailed on his cross. Usually, criminals often hung for a week, no sooner than forty-eight hours dying of hunger, shock, thirst, infection, exhaustion, asphyxia and exposure. To hasten death the victim’s legs are thrashed over the shin with a heavy mallet. That was the last remaining part of the body of the crucified man that gives him support to some degree.

St Margaret's vision of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was that moment of commending His spirit to the Father at the ninth hour. Among the words spoken to her, she heard the Lord make 12 promises to those who would respond to the pleading of His Heart and make an effort to return His love. Fr Richard Rohr holds that Jesus has accomplished more by acceptance or by his Passion (from the Latin "pati" meaning, "to endure," "to accept") than by his action. Indeed, all these 12 promises had been fulfilled at the ninth hour when He finally gave up His spirit and breathed His last.

We often look at the cross and conclude "That is what killed our Lord." But what if somebody will tell you that what killed the Savior was not the physical crucifixion? How would you react? When the soldiers arrived at Golgotha, "they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead. [T]hey did not break His legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into His side, and immediately blood and water flowed out" (Jn 19:33-34). "If the soldier’s spear was thrust into the left side of the Lord’s body and actually penetrated the heart, the outrush of ‘blood and water’ observed by John is further evidence of a cardiac rupture; for it is known that in the rare instances of death resulting from a breaking of any part of the wall of the heart, blood accumulates within the pericardium, and there undergoes a change by which the corpuscles separate as a partially clotted mass from the almost colorless, watery serum... Great mental stress, poignant emotion either of grief or joy, and intense spiritual struggle are among the recognized causes of heart rupture. In short, it appears that the actual cause of the Savior’s death was a broken heart, caused not [only] by the crucifixion but by the tremendous weight of sorrow and suffering He had endured..." (Adam Abrams, Gethsemane, © 2008 Adam Abrams). At this point, I am reminded of a poignant quote from Laura Hillenbrand's "Seabiscuit: An American Legend" that speaks too for our Lord. I quote, “...maybe it was better to break a man's leg than to break his heart.” For Jesus, He chose to have His heart broken.

The Sacred Heart Is A Broken Heart

Jesus died with a broken heart. But let us not think Jesus dying like a desolate man. Far from it. In St Paul's second letter to the Corinthians, he paints poignantly for us how Jesus chose to end it all triumphantly. St Paul writes, "We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you" (2 Corinthians 4:8-12). Reflecting on this, we can deeply understand now that the Sacred Heart is truly the Divine Heart which overcomes everything. Nothing gets in the way not even persecution, humiliation, nor the most despicable kind of death—death on a cross. For such is the way of love and among all of love's acts what we see through the Sacred Heart is love's greatest act which comes only from God's Divine Heart—the source. As regards the devotion to the Sacred Heart, St Margaret was correct in saying "I do not know of any other exercise in the spiritual life that is more calculated to raise a soul in a short amount of time to the height of perfection and to make it taste the true sweetness to be found in the service of Jesus Christ.”
"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
Fr JM Manzano SJ

Novena Prayer to the Sacred Heart (Source: EWTN)

I. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you." Behold I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of...... (here name your request) Our Father... . Hail Mary... . Glory Be to the Father... .

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

II. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you." Behold, in your name, I ask the Father for the grace of...... . (here name your request) Our Father... Hail Mary... . Glory Be To the Father... .

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

III. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away." Encouraged by your infallible words I now ask for the grace of... . . (here name your request) Our Father... . Hail Mary... . Glory Be to the Father... .

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of you, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your tender Mother and ours.
 
Say the Hail, Holy Queen and add: St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.
St Margaret Mary Alacoque

Padre Pio recited this novena every day for all those who requested his prayers.

Comments

  1. Very nice reflection... Making me appreciate more God's Divine love from the Sacred Heart of Jesus. An inspiration to love Him more... Thanks Fr. JM!

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    1. Thank you and Happy Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. God bless us!

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    2. Happy Solemnity din po Fr. JM. I will whisper a special prayer for you and with all your Brother Jesuits on this special day. Keep sharing the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to all the people you encounter. : )

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  2. Thank you for the prayers and the link of the 12 promises. I found something very valuable...(O_O)

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  3. As others would say it, "Physical pain is much easier to endure than emotional pain... Pain will be no more as soon as the wounds and bruises will be healed..." Yet, how about if you received both? After being rejected, left alone by friends and humiliated at the end you will still be pierced by a lance. Who can endure such pain? Only a Person whose Heart is full of Love - Only Jesus.

    His Heart, indeed, completely broken... Yet His loneliness and agony on the cross was not wasted but moreover was fulfilled by the gushing forth of the blood and water giving us new life... rebirth... saving us... cleansing us... His open and wounded Heart reflects the reality of each persons heart today... As if He telling us, "I whose heart is broken welcomes also a broken hearted like you."

    Just a sharing, I remembered, It was then on my 8-day retreat when I confirmed that He desired for me to be in His Meek and Humble Heart. And it was then on my 30-day retreat, in one of my contemplations, when I saw the little me being cuddled inside His Heart. I will never forget such feeling of love, protection and care. Once my guide said, "He desires that you be in His Heart because no one will ever harm you there anymore." And it is very true. He called me and accepted me as I am... He keeps on loving me despite my weaknesses and unworthiness. And lastly, He has given me the most tender space in His Heart.

    Thank you very much po Fr. Jom, for your reflections.. It made me realize something and made me remember some significant moments in my life... God bless you always... Be certain of my prayers for you...

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