Friday, January 6, 2012

First Friday Devotion

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
It's the beginning of January, the first month of the year and a time to make life changing resolutions.  Today is the First Friday of month.  Now is the time to make a great resolution, one that will be life changing. 

FIRST FRIDAY DEVOTION
The following is from prayerbook.com:

The Nine First Fridays

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Apostle of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, received the unique favor of being visited by Our Lord Himself, who asked her to spread devotion to His Most Sacred Heart. This she most humbly did, once she had received the permission and approbation of her superiors, especially her spiritual director and confessor, St. Claude La Columbiere.

For all Catholic men and women, families and young people troubled by the many afflictions of modern life here is the greatest source of spiritual and temporal help, graces and blessings for those who truly love the Sacred Heart of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and practice His requested Devotion with the essential prayers and acts including the "First Friday's". The Nine "First Fridays" must be made in honor of His Sacred Heart on nine consecutive months, and communion must be received.

The Great Promise of Jesus to Saint Margaret M. Alacoque

To all those who, during nine months on end, will receive Holy Communion on the first Fridays of every month,

I promise the Grace of final perseverance. They will not die in My disgrace, but will receive the Sacraments (if necessary), and My Heart will be sure shelter for them in that extreme moment.

The nine Friday promises of our Lord to St. Margaret Mary

1. I will give them all of the graces necessary for their state of life.

2. I will establish peace in their houses.

3. I will comfort them in all their afflictions.

4. I will be their strength during life and above all during death.

5. I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings.

6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy.

7. Tepid souls shall grow fervent.

8. Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.

9. I will bless every place where a picture of my heart shall be set up and honored.

10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.

11. Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.

12. I promise you in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant all to those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.



The following explains the just how to do this devotion  (from catholictradition.org)

The love of Jesus Christ ought to be the principal devotion of a Catholic. Lack of devotion to the Sacred Heart is the reason for frequent relapses into serious sin, because people pay scant attention, and are not sufficiently encouraged to acquire the love of Jesus, which is the golden cord which unites and binds the soul to God. . . The Father will love us in the same proportion as we love Jesus Christ. . . We will never be formed in the image of the Lord, nor even desire to be formed in His image, if we do not meditate upon the love which Jesus Christ has shown us.

For this purpose it is related in the life of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, a nun of the Visitation Order, that our Savior revealed to this servant His wish that the devotion and the Feast of His Sacred Heart should be established and propagated in the Church. In this way, devout believers would, by their adoration and prayer, make reparation for the injuries His Heart constantly receives from ungrateful humanity when He is exposed in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. It is also related that while this devout nun was praying before the Blessed Sacrament, Jesus Christ showed her His Heart surrounded by thorns, with a cross on the top, and in a throne of flames.

The First Friday of the Month

It was the special desire of our Lord Jesus Christ, revealed to Blessed Margaret Mary, that the first Friday of each month be consecrated to the devotion to and adoration of His most Sacred Heart. In order to better prepare for it, it would be well to read, the evening before, some book treating of this devotion, or of the Passion of Our Lord, and to make a short visit to the Blessed Sacrament.

On the day itself we should, on awakening, offer and consecrate ourselves, with all our thoughts, words, and actions, to Jesus, that His Sacred Heart may be thereby honored and glorified. We should visit some church as early as possible; and as we kneel before Jesus, truly present in the tabernacle, let us endeavor to awaken in our soul a deep sorrow at the thought of the innumerable offenses continually heaped upon His most Sacred Heart in this Sacrament of His love; and surely we cannot find this difficult if we have the least degree of love for Jesus. Should we, however, find our love to be cold or lukewarm, let us consider earnestly the many reasons we have for giving our hearts to Jesus. After this we must acknowledge with sorrow the faults of which we have been guilty through our want of respect in presence of the Blessed Sacrament, or through our negligence in visiting and receiving Our Lord in Holy Communion.

The Communion of this day should be offered by the adorers of the Sacred Heart with the intention of making some satisfaction for all the ingratitude which Jesus receives in the Most Holy Sacrament, and the same spirit should animate all our actions during the day.

As the object of this devotion is to inflame our hearts with an ardent love for Jesus, and to repair thereby, as far as lies in our power, all the outrages which are daily committed against the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, it is evident that these exercises are not confined to any particular day. Jesus is equally deserving of our love at all times; and as this most loving Savior is daily and hourly loaded with insults and cruelly treated by His creatures, it is but just that we should strive each day to make an the reparation in our power. Those, therefore, who are prevented from practicing this devotion on the first Friday can do so on any other day during the month. In the same manner they may offer the first Communion of each month for this intention, consecrating the whole day to the honor and glory of the Sacred Heart, and performing in the same spirit all the pious exercises they were unable to accomplish on the first Friday.

Moreover, Our Lord suggested another feature in this consoling devotion of the first Friday, by the faithful practice of which he led Blessed Margaret Mary to expect the grace of final perseverance, and that of receiving the Sacraments of the Church before dying, in favor of those who should observe it. This was to make a novena of Communions in honor of the Sacred Heart on the first Friday of the month for nine successive months.

Go HERE for more prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

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