Friday, June 19, 2009

Feast of the Sacred Heart

The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus has had strong roots in the Society of Jesus. Several Jesuits served as Spiritual Directors for a Visitation convent in Paris. One of these was Sister Margaret Mary Alocoque. Today Jesuit Father Roc O'Connor, Rector of the Jesuit Community and member of the Campus Ministry team at Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, has studied the Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart that he been written by St. Margaret Mary Alocoque. This Visitation sister lived in 17th Century Paris. What she composed seemed so different from our world experience today.

He felt drawn by the Holy Spirit to "recompose" the Act. It is presented here for your own reflection and prayer. Fr. O'Connor uses the Eucharistic Prayer as a model for his construction of the prayer. Further he writes: "The structure of this prayer comes from the Jewish tradition of blessing before meals: Praise for creation, thanksgiving for redemption, and petitions. It proves my thesis that Jews and Baptists bless God; Catholics bless things."

Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Great and worthy of all praise are you, God, creator of heavens and the earth!
How glorious is your name!
At the dawn of time as your Spirit hovered over the waters,
all life poured forth from your creative Word –
The sun, moon, and stars join in the chorus of praise to you.
All the birds of the air, all fish of the sea, and all creeping things adore you.
Women, men, and children bless your name in countless languages throughout the earth.
You indeed are the Fountain, the Source, the very Wellspring of Life!

We do well always and everywhere to offer you thanks, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
How glorious is your name!
In the fullness of time, Mary received the joyful proclamation of overshadowing love from your messenger, Gabriel.
The Word humbled himself, taking on human form, indeed the form of a slave.
The waters of birth and the waters of the Jordan give you thanks.
We remember with gratitude Jesus’ death, descent among the dead, and rising to life.
As his heart was pierced, he revealed the mystery of Love Outpoured.
When he breathed his last, he handed over his Spirit.
Countless men, women, and children have been brought to Life through your Gift.
May this same Spirit make of us an everlasting gift to you.
You are indeed the Spring that waters the New Creation by your Spirit.

With a grateful heart, I join with all disciples to offer all my life to you.
As you have given to me so generously, I return to you all I have and all I am.
You, our Triune God, are the Center, the Foundation of all there is.
What else can I present to you, my all, who have given all?
From now until my final breath, I surrender everything to the service of your Reign.
How glorious is your name, O God, through all the earth!