St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque is "the Apostle of Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus". Although other saints, and theologians, and popes were devoted to the Sacred Heart of our Lord, none were more zealous in promoting devotion to Him in this manner charity than she.
From her writings, a list of 12 promises from our Lord to those devoted to His Most Sacred Heart was compiled and published widely for several decades before becoming somewhat forgotten in recent times.
To souls devoted to His Sacred Heart our Lord promises:
1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will give peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.
5. I will abundantly bless all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
9. I will bless those places wherein the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.
10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names eternally written in my Heart.
12. In the excess of the mercy of my Heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.
Now these promises and others like them are labelled by some as superstitious attempts to control God. It is said that they promise easy grace, but I'm not sure that it is all that easy, or all that controlling. To really and truly conform your Heart to His heart, and to form the habit of abiding with devotion in His love, that is a difficult thing, a life-changing thing. Or so I would imagine, I'm not there yet.
That our Lord will bless and sanctify those who follow him faithfully is not a new message. Our God blesses his friends in this world and the next.
A Novena to the Sacred Heart of our Lord and Savior
Cor ad cor loquitur
Turn then with trust to your Lord and Savior. Put away distractions and make room in your heart for Him. Try to set your heart in order, before welcoming Him in as an honored guest. He waits, and says to you:
Behold, I stand at the gate, and knock. If any man shall hear my voice, and open to me the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
To him that shall overcome, I will give to sit with me in my throne: as I also have overcome, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
With a peaceful and hopeful heart, speak to Him Who most truly wants good things for you, and who listens gently, patiently, kindly to everything you have to say:
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.
Saint Margaret Mary's feast is celebrated on 17 October. For anyone who has not faithfully followed this novena, but wants to start, I'd like to draw your attention to the 12th promise of Christ listed above. Tomorrow is a first Friday of a month, and a fine day to begin or end a novena.
The house of my soul is too narrow for thee to come in to me; let it be enlarged by thee. It is in ruins; do thou restore it. There is much about it which must offend thy eyes; I confess and know it. But who will cleanse it? Or, to whom shall I cry but to thee? "Cleanse thou me from my secret faults," O Lord, "and keep back thy servant from strange sins."
-- St. Augustine (354-430AD), Confessions, Chapter 5