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.
Meditation on the Fifth Promise:
"I will pour abundant blessings on all their enterprises."
1st Point - God's blessing, in general, on our enterprises.
In many passages of Sacred Scripture promises of temporal prosperity are held out to those who serve God. "All whatsoever he shall do shall prosper," says the Psalmist;
[Ps. 1: 3] and the prophet Amos speaks of the temporal blessings that shall follow the Redemption, when "every hill shall be tilled ...and they shall plant vineyards . . . and make gardens and eat the fruits of them" [Amos 9:13,14]. In the Book of Deuteronomy, especially, many temporal blessings are promised to the observers of God's law: "If thou wilt hear the voice of the Lord . . . all these blessings shall come upon thee . . . Blessed shall be . . . the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the droves of thy herds and the folds of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy barns and blessed thy stores . . . The Lord will send forth a blessing upon . . . all the works of thy hands . . . the Lord will make thee abound with all goods." [Deut. 28: 1-2]
Affections and Petitions
My God, on Thee I cast the care of all my temporal affairs. Grant me, in such measure as Thou seest best for me, a blessing on my enterprises. May they flourish in Thy sight and yield such fruits as shall be to Thy greater glory and my own salvation. To Thee I abandon them. I accept success or failure as Thou judgest best.
2nd Point -----
The special blessing of the Sacred Heart upon our enterprises.
As we have seen in the last point, God in His general Providence" watches, with tender care, even over our temporal interests. Besides this, there is God's special Providence, whereby His more intimate friends and faithful servants become the objects of His very special predilection. Holding the foremost place among these special friends of God are the clients of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. With them, as with the Apostles at the Last Supper, Our Blessed Lord holds very intimate and loving converse. They hold, with regard to His Divine Majesty, relations similar to those that exist between a Sovereign and his more privileged and favored courtiers. Their requests are listened to, their petitions answered, where less favored persons might not get a hearing.
Furthermore, Our Lord, Who is goodness and generosity itself, repays in truly royal fashion and a thousand-fold the little that we try to do for Him. He never allows Himself to be outdone in generosity. In proportion, therefore, as we are devoted to His interests and strive to promote these interests, in that same proportion, though in vastly greater measure, He will watch over and promote our every interest, whether temporal or spiritual.
Affections and Petitions
O most loving and generous Heart of my Redeemer, teach me to forget myself, to make it the one great business of my life to promote Thine interests and advance Thine honor. To Thee I abandon all the care of my material welfare. I know that if I seek but Thee alone, and try to please but Thee alone, Thou, in turn, wilt interest Thyself in all my enterprises for Thine honor, and bring them to a happy and successful issue.
3rd Point - Conditions upon which these material blessings of the Sacred Heart are granted to us.
The Sacred Heart is ever ready to grant us the temporal blessings that we ask for, provided they do not militate against our higher and eternal interests. It may be that God foresees that that success of our undertaking, that increase of material prosperity, that lucrative appointment, that release from sorrow, suffering, or ill-health, is coupled with our spiritual ruin------may mean the loss of our immortal souls. Riches, honors, pleasure, immunity from suffering, are not always a blessing. They may be the very opposite. "Would it be bestowing a favor on a son," asks St. Augustine, "to place in his hands a sword or a firearm, with which he might, perhaps, wound or even kill himself?" "It is God's mercy that listens to our prayers today," adds the same Saint; "it is His same mercy that is deaf to them tomorrow." Hence we must not be discouraged if our prayers for temporal favors are not always answered. We must pay for these things with entire resignation to God's will, we must ask them with the proviso that they are not inimical to our higher and eternal interests.
Affections and Petitions
O Heart of Jesus, Heart of my best and truest of friends! bless me with the blessing of health and material happiness, prosperity and success, in so far as Thou seest that these things are good for me, and will enable me to promote Thine interests and advance Thy glory. I am Thine in this as in all else. Do with me as Thou willest. Bless me with the blessing of patience and of loving and humble submission, should it be Thy Will to deprive me of these temporal favors. I am Thine------Thine both in time and eternity. Thou knowest, and wilt give me, what is best for me.
"My Divine Savior gave me to understand that through means of this admirable devotion [to the Sacred Heart] souls will experience the blessing of Heaven in all their enterprises." -------Letter of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque to her Director.
In three weeks: Part Eleven
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.
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
Wednesday, March 13, 2002
volume 13, no. 48
THE TWELVE PROMISES OF THE SACRED HEART