Today is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is usually in June, but due to the scheduling of Lent/Easter it is earlier this year.
This feast is an old Catholic devotion, having been around since the Middle Ages. Proponents state that it is based on the Gospel account of St. John the Evangelist laying his head on Jesus’ chest at the Last Supper. The Devotion started during an apparition of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Information on this can be found here and additional prayers and such also here .
Devotion to the Sacred Heart also has roots in early AA history. Last year I wrote about the Feast and its influence on AA tradition. That post also contains the Litany to the Sacred Heart, and a careful study of that Litany reveals how useful the devotion can be to individuals in recovery.
The following two prayers also reveal the relevance to people in recovery this Catholic devotion:
THE BLESSING OF THE SACRED HEART
May the grace and blessing of the Sacred Heart be with you, the peace of the Sacred Heart encompass you! May the merits of the Sacred Heart plead for you, the love of the Sacred Heart inflame you! May the sorrows of the Sacred Heart console you, the zeal of the Sacred Heart animate you, the virtues of the Sacred Heart shine forth in your every word and work! And may the joys of the Beatific Vision be your eternal recompense!
PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore Thee, I love Thee and with a lively sorrow for my sins, I offer Thee this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to Thy will. Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in Thee and for Thee. Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions; give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, Thy blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Within Thy Heart I place my every care. In every need let me come to Thee with humble trust saying, “Heart of Jesus, help me.”
The heart is the human symbol of love. Jesus’ Sacred Heart is the ultimate symbol of love, the love He has for us and the mercy that is available to us if we avail ourselves of it. One image of the Sacred Heart that I enjoy is the immersion of ourselves in His Precious Blood, shed for us because of our sins. What better image for us alcoholics to meditate upon when we are troubled by our addictive past.Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"