As I mentioned two weeks ago, I was introduced to the devotion to the Sacred Heart by one of my pastors who would have the congregation join in praying the Litany of the Sacred Heart every First Friday. Over the years, I have found praying this litany and meditating on the various invocations of the litany to be one of the best means of deepening my love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This past Monday, I received a copy of an out-of-print book that has a collection of Angelus Meditations offered by Pope St. John Paul II on the Litany of the Sacred Heart.
In his introductory meditation from June 27, 1982, the Holy Father said the following about the litany in general:
It in a marvelous prayer, totally concentrated on the interior mystery of Christ, the God-Man. The Litany to the Heart of Jesus draws abundantly from biblical sources, and at the same time reflects the deepest experiences of human hearts…This prayer, recited and meditated, becomes a true school of the interior life, the school of the Christian.
In the Litany, there are 33 invocations that start with the words: “Heart of Jesus”, followed by some aspect related to His Sacred Heart, to which those praying respond: “Have mercy on us.” Some of my favorite invocations are: “burning furnace of charity, king and center of all hearts, in whom the Father was well pleased, and source of all consolation.” And as beautiful as each of these invocations are, I find that I am most drawn to the final petition after the 33 invocations, which goes as follows: “Jesus, meek and humble of heart. Make our hearts like unto thine.” I pray this petition almost daily, asking for the grace to have my heart be a little more like His heart, which overflows with love and mercy for those around Him.
I would invite all of you who are reading this to consider looking up and praying this beautiful litany, or to take a few of the titles to your time of personal prayer. As Pope St. John Paul says, doing so becomes a school for our interior life, where we learn the consoling lesson of His personal, intimate love for each and every one of us, and how He desires for us to be channels of His love and mercy in our daily lives.
On a different note, we are pleased to welcome to our parish for the summer Mr. Jayke White, one of the seminarians studying for our diocese. Jayke has graciously provided a brief biography for you to get to know him a little better. Please feel free to introduce yourself to him when you see him around the parish. Please keep Jayke in your prayers this summer that his time with us will be fruitful for him and for the parish.