December 17-23, 2001
volume 12, no. 161

The Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart

by Father Joseph McDonnell, S.J.

    Reprinted with permission of Catholic Family News, see Editor's Notes below.
Part Three

Meditation on Promise #1:
"I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life"

1st Point-----Providence and the graces of our state of life.


    We may rest assured that God has awaiting us the graces necessary for our state of life. Ordinarily speaking, however, these graces must be asked for. We must have diligent recourse to the two great channels of God's graces, prayer and the Sacraments. "Ask and you shall receive," says Our Lord. Prayer is the universal medium of God's grace. To some Sacraments special and particular graces are attached. Thus the Sacrament of Matrimony confers the graces peculiar to the marriage state, the Sacrament of Orders to those that belong to the priestly state, Extreme Unction to those belonging to the dying, and so forth. Other Sacraments are more universal in their action, such, for instance, as the Blessed Eucharist, which is a medium of Divine grace for every class of person not at enmity with God.

Affections and Petitions, Etc.

    O my good God! enable me to have recourse with fervor, confidence and perseverance to these appointed channels of Thy grace. Teach me, O Lord, to pray. Teach me to love the Sacraments, to be diligent and earnest in making the best possible use of them, and to have unbounded confidence in their power to assist me in the duties of my daily life. These duties may be hard at times, they may tax my efforts to the utmost, I may fail in them in many ways, and even sink beneath the overwhelming burden they impose upon me. Yet, none the less, in toil, in trial or in failure, when my way is steep and rugged and bestrewn with thorns, when my soul is weary and my body faint, when I am discouraged and dejected and tempted to give up the battle in despair, I will appeal for grace, with confidence and trust, through prayer and through the Sacraments, and Thou, O Lord, wilt hear my cry, and help me. In te, Domine, speravi, non confundar in aeternum.

2nd Point-----The Sacred Heart and the graces of our state of life.


    If, as we have seen in the last point, God grants us in response to prayer and to our fervent use of the Sacraments the graces necessary for our state of life, what need is there of this Promise to the clients of the Sacred Heart? To answer this question it must be remembered that there is what is called the ordinary Providence of God and His extraordinary Providence. To the latter belong those special and peculiar graces that, in manner, lie outside the usual action of God's Providence in our regard, graces that He gives to His special and more intimate friends. These are the graces of which there is question in this Promise. They are graces of a more powerful and efficacious kind, more plentifully given from the boundless treasures of the Sacred Heart.

Affections and Petitions, etc.

        O sweetest Jesus, let Thy Heart pour forth its treasures on my soul to fill me with Thy love. Shed the gladness of Thy unction on my daily life. May its daily round of duties be sweetened and made easy by this outpouring of Thy special graces. Lift me up above the feebleness of nature and let me feel the super-human strength and courage and energy that are the outcome of devotion to Thy Sacred Heart.

3rd Point-----The perfection of our state of life.


    But there are higher graces still than those that we have mentioned. These are the graces of the Saints, graces that belong to those whose feet are planted on the lofty hills. Not to every one is it given to receive these higher graces. They are the portion of only a chosen few-----the special friends and clients of the Sacred Heart. If we would have them, we must be generous and whole-hearted in our service of His Heart of love. We must be wholly His. Our entire being, with its every facility and sense, must be irrevocably and unreservedly devoted to the love and service of His Sacred Heart.

Affections and Petitions, etc.

        Most loving Heart of Jesus, take complete possession of my being and of all I have. May I love but Thee alone, and value all things else in their relation to Thee alone. Thus shall all the actions of my daily life be permeated and transformed by Thy love. May I seek, in every thought and word and action of life nothing but Thy honor and the advancement of Thy greater glory. Amen.

Next Issue: Part Four.

    EDITOR'S NOTES: Since this site is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we are presenting the Meditations and Commentary first written by Father Joseph McDonnell, S.J. during the pontificate of Pope Saint Pius X. We have received the gracious permission of John Vennari, editor of Catholic Family News to reprint the Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart in The DAILY CATHOLIC. We urge you to subscribe to John's excellent monthly publication for only $20 a year by calling 1-905-871-6292 or e-mail them at CFN.

       The book by Fr. McDonnell has been a favorite of countless Catholics over the decades, and CFN gives it the highest praise, "especially because of the author's erudition in weaving solid doctrinal considerations into his spiritual commentaries. The work is as much a catechism as it is a book of meditations. It continually instructs and uplifts. We pray this series serves as an incentive for more people to practice the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus." We echo our 'Amen' to that and thank John and his publication for allowing us to publish this outstanding work in installments each issue. The one in this issue is reprinted from the January 2001 issue of Catholic Family News.

Your email:
Your name:
E-mail it  to:
For past installments, see Archives of The Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart

For the List of Promises given to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, see Twelve Promises

December 17-23, 2001
volume 12, no. 161
Return to Current Issue