NOVENA in honour of the SACRED HEART of JESUS – DAY NINE –22 JUNE
By St Alphonsus Liguori
(1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
Published in 1758 from THE HOLY EUCHARIST
The Faithful Heart of Jesus.
Oh, how faithful is the beautiful heart of Jesus towards those whom He calls to His love: He is faithful Who hath called you, Who also will perform.’ [1 Thess. v. 24].
The faithfulness of God gives us confidence to hope all things, although we deserve nothing. If we have driven God from our heart, let us open the door to Him and He will immediately enter, according to the promise He has made: If anyone open to Me the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him. [Apoc. iii. 20]. If we wish for graces, let us ask for them of God, in the name of Jesus Christ and He has promised us that we shall obtain them: If you shall ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it you. [John xvi. 23]. If we are tempted, let us trust in His merits and He will not permit our enemies to strive with us beyond our strength: God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able. [1 Cor. x. 13].
Oh, how much better it is to have to do with God than with men! How often do men promise and then fail, either because they tell lies in making their promises, or because, after having made the promise, they change their minds: God is not as man, says the Holy Spirit, that He should lie; or as the Son of Man, that He should be changed. [Num. xxiii. 19]. God cannot be unfaithful to His promises, because, being Truth itself, He cannot lie; nor can He change His mind, because all that He wills is just and right. He has promised to receive all that come to Him, to give help to him that asks it, to love him that loves Him; and shall He then not do it? Hath He said, then, and will He not do it? [Ibid.].
Oh, that we were as faithful with God as He is with us! Oh, how often have we, in times past, promised Him to be His, to serve Him and love Him and then have betrayed Him, and, renouncing His service, have sold ourselves as slaves to the devil! Oh, let us beseech Him to give us strength to be faithful to Him for the future! Oh, how blessed shall we be if we are faithful to Jesus Christ in the few things that He commands us to do; He will, indeed, be faithful in remunerating us with infinitely great rewards and He will declare to us what He has promised to His faithful servants: Well done, good and faithful servant; because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. [Matt. xxv. 21].
LET US PRAY – DAY NINE
Oh, that I had been as faithful towards You, my dearest Redeemer,
as You have been faithful to me.
Whenever I have opened my heart to You,
You have entered in, to forgive me and to receive me into Your favour.
Whenever I have called You, You have hastened to my assistance.
You have been faithfu1 with me
but I have been exceedingly unfaithful towards You.
I have promised You my love and then have many times refused it to You,
as if You, my God, Who has created and redeemed me,
were less worthy of being loved than Your creatures
and those miserable pleasures for which I have forsaken You.
Forgive me, O my Jesus. I know my ingratitude and abhor it.
I know that You are infinite goodness;
Who deserves an infinite love, especially from me,
whom You have so much loved,
even after all the offences I have committed against You.
Ah, no, my Love, have pity on me;
suffer me not to forsake You again
and then to damn myself, as I should deserve, to Hell.
O loving and faithful heart of Jesus, inflame, I beseech You, my miserable heart,
so that it may burn with love for You, My Jesus.
It seems to me that now I love You but I love You but little.
Make me love You exceedingly
and remain faithful to You until death.
I ask of You this grace, together with that of always praying to You for it.
Grant that I may die, rather than ever betray You again.
O Mary, my Mother, help me to be faithful to your Son. Amen.