Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Presence of God – O Jesus, make me worthy to consecrate myself to Your loving Heart and to truly live this consecration.
Because devotion to the Sacred Heart arouses in us a need to return His infinite love, it expresses itself spontaneously in an Act of Consecration by which the creature gives itself entirely to the God who has loved it so much. Consecration to the Sacred Heart, says Leo XIII, “means a giving of oneself, a binding of oneself to Jesus Christ, since all respect, all homage, and all devotion to the Sacred Heart are really addressed to Jesus Himself” (Annum Sacrum). Pius XI explains what this act consists of: “By this Act of Consecration, we offer to the divine Heart of Jesus, ourselves and all we possess, acknowledging that we have received it all from the eternal charity of God” (Miserentissimus Redemptor).
To love is to give oneself: “To love is to give all and to give oneself,” sang St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus. When love is real it must make a gift of everything, and in this total gift to God the loving soul finds its peace and rest. The ardent cry of St. Paul: “Caritas Christi urget nos,” ends with his triumphant cry: “ut non sibi vivant, sed ei qui pro ipsis mortuus est”; the charity of Christ presseth us…. that we may not now live to [ourselves] but unto Him who died for [us]. (2 Corinthians 5:14, 15).
One who consecrates himself to a person gives himself entirely to that person; he no longer belongs to himself; henceforth he cannot live for himself; his tastes, interests, and desires must give way to those of the one to whom he has given himself, and to whom he now belongs. This is the profound meaning of Consecration to the Sacred Heart, a Consecration which, far from being reduced to the recitation of a mere formula, involves and must involve our whole person, life, and abilities so that we use our complete being and all we possess in the service of the divine Heart.
“Adorable Heart of my most loving Jesus, what good have You found in me to make You love me without limit, even though my heart, stained by a thousand faults, was so cold and indifferent toward You? The great proofs of love which You have shown me, even when I did not love You, give me hope that You will now find acceptable the proofs of my love. Receive then, my loving Savior, my desire to consecrate myself entirely to the honor and glory of Your Sacred Heart; accept the gift of all that I am. I consecrate to You my person, my life, my actions, my pains and sufferings, desiring to be in the future a victim consecrated to Your glory, on fire at this moment, and one day to be entirely consumed by the holy flames of Your love. I offer You then, my Lord and my God, my heart with all its desires, that during my whole life it may be perfectly conformed to Yours. I belong, then, wholly to Your Heart, I am entirely Yours. O my God, how great are Your mercies toward me!… My adorable Savior, accept my consecration also in reparation for the offenses which I have not ceased to commit against You until now, by corresponding so badly to Your love. I am giving You very little, I know, but at least I wish to give You all that is in my power and all You wish, for that You desire from me; therefore, by consecrating my heart to You, I give it to You never to take it back.
“Teach me, O loving Savior, perfect forgetfulness of self, for that is the one way by which I can enter Your adorable Heart; and since in the future I shall do everything for You, grant that all I do may be worthy of You. Teach me what I must do to arrive at the purity of Your love, but also give me this love, give me a most ardent, generous love. Give me that profound humility without which no one can be pleasing to You, and accomplish in me all Your holy will” (St. Margaret Mary).
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Art for this post on consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus: partial restoration of Srce Jezusovo (The Heart of Jesus), unknown artist, second half of 19th century, PD-US author’s life plus 70 years or less, Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.