First Friday Prayer

Sacred Heart mural in San Antonio, TX by Mark Benavidez: click on image for larger version

In June we prayed a Novena to the Sacred Heart. (Scroll down the sidebar for a link to the novena.). Now, every first Friday, we pray the novena litany again on this monthly day of special devotion to the Sacred Heart.

As you pray today, bring to the Lord's open heart a worry, a concern or a joy - or the names of others you're praying for - and ask the Lord to keep your prayer in his heart...

The mural above is on St. Mary Street in San Antonio, Texas. (Check here for the artist's comments on this piece.) There's no way you could walk down the block and miss this larger-than-life devotion to the heart of Jesus. I wonder what the image says to those unfamiliar with Catholic imagery? Then again, I wonder what it speaks to those who immediately recognize the devotion it depicts. This is a Jesus bursting into a neighborhood too small to contain him. This is Jesus whose heart is large enough to contain, to hold within itself all of humanity...

Beyond our imagining, the breadth and depth of Jesus' heart expands to hold in its beating chambers every human being created in God's image. In the heart of Jesus are found the peoples of every time and age, of every race and nation: past, present and to come. We are in Christ's heart now, already - and we always have been. All things came to be through him and without him, nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race. In the heart of Jesus we are brothers and sisters. Our life's work is to grasp that each heart is meant, is made, to beat as one with Christ's heart. And if each heart beats as one with Christ's, then all hearts will beat together and live in the Spirit's breath. Sin is congestive heart failure in the body of Christ and we need the healing of the divine Physician to heal us and give us one heart and one breath...

Litany of the Sacred Heart

Heart of Jesus, hear our prayer!

So loving
So humble
So gentle
So compassionate
So faithful
So wise
So patient
So steadfast
So tender
So spacious

Heart of Jesus, hear our prayer!

God’s joy
God’s shalom
Harp of the Trinity
Wingbeat of the Spirit
Breath of God
Five-petaled rose

Heart of Jesus, hear our prayer!

Womb of justice
Birthplace of peace
Our dearest hope
Longing of our lives

Heart of Jesus, hear our prayer!

Freely flowing fountain
Spring of grace
Freshet of forgiveness
Merciful river
Mystical dew

Heart of Jesus, hear our prayer!

Warmth of our hearts
Transforming fire
Cosmic furnace
Enflamer of hearts

Heart of Jesus, hear our prayer!

Heart of evolution
Beginning and ending
Center of all

Heart of Jesus, hear our prayer!

Garden of virtues
Mystical dew
Table and food

Heart of Jesus, hear our prayer!

Our refuge
Our shelter
Our comfort
Our rest
Our welcoming breast

Heart of Jesus, hear our prayer!

Wounded by love
Pierced by our cruelty
Broken by our hardness
Mystic winepress
Poured out as gift

Heart of Jesus, hear our prayer!

Have mercy, gracious heart,
Give us gratefulness
Teach us tenderness
Let us learn to love.

Hear our prayer!

- Wendy Wright

Let us pray...

Lord of all our hearts,
open wide your Heart of mercy
and refresh us with the peace that flows
from the font of your love.
Gracious Lord,
hear and answer our prayer.

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