Last night, I was fortunate to have served the Thursday evening holy hour at my parish in Omaha. I used to serve it quite regularly when I lived full-time in Omaha, and I had dismissed how pressing Our Lord’s desire is that we make this holy hour. How fitting it is to make it on Thursday evening, the evening Our Lord suffered in the garden and first desired the Apostles to watch and pray.
Here are the words of Pius XI in Miserentissimus Redemptor concerning this devotion:
…The ingratitude of mankind continually pierces His Sacred Heart.
When Jesus saw the sins of the world and the reparation that must be made to His Heavenly Father, He began to fear and to be sad and sorrowful. “Kneeling down, He prayed: ‘Father, if Thou will, remove this chalice from Me; But not My Will, Thine be done: There appeared an Angel from Heaven to strengthen Him; and being in agony, He prayed the longer, and His sweat became as drops of blood trickling to the ground.” [Luke 22:41, 44]
The Sacred Heart of Jesus said to St. Margaret Mary: “Make reparation for the ingratitude of men. Spend an hour in prayer to appease Divine justice, to implore mercy for sinners, to honor Me, to console Me for My bitter suffering when abandoned by My Apostles, when they did not WATCH ONE HOUR WITH ME.” “That the necessity of Expiation and Reparation is especially urgent today must be evident to everyone who considers the present plight of the world, ‘seated in wickedness’ [John 5:9].
The Sacred Heart promised to St. Margaret Mary that he would reward abundantly with His graces all those who should render this honor to His Heart.
And so I give you a prayer of Saint Alphonsus de Ligouri, fitting for all the beginnings of your holy hours before the Blessed Sacrament. It seems such a fitting prayer, a summation of good and holy desires, of pure intentions, and the words which form a heart to love truly as Christ loves:
My Lord Jesus Christ, it is Thy great love for men that keeps Thee day and night in this Sacrament, full of pity and love, expecting, inviting, and welcoming all who visit Thee. I believe that Thou art really present in the Sacrament of the Altar. From the depth of my nothingness, I adore Thee; and I thank Thee for the many graces Thou hast given me, especially for the gift of Thyself in this Sacrament, for the gift of Thy most holy Mother as my intercessor, and for the privilege of visiting Thee in this Church.
I now speak to Thy most loving Heart with a three-fold intention: to thank Thee for the great gift of Thyself; to atone for all the insults which Thy enemies heap upon Thee in this Sacrament; and to adore Thee wherever Thy Eucharistic Presence is dishonored or forgotten.
My Jesus, I love Thee with my whole heart. I am very sorry for my ingratitude to Thine infinite goodness. I now resolve, with the help of Thy grace, never to offend Thee again. And, sinful as I am, I consecrate to Thee my entire self, my whole will, my affections, my desires, and all that I have. From now on, do with me and mine as Thou please. I ask for and desire only Thy love, final perseverance, and the grace always to do Thy holy will.
I intercede with Thee for the Souls in Purgatory, especially for those who were most devoted to the Blessed Sacrament, and to Thy most holy Mother. I recommend to Thee also, all poor sinners. And lastly, my dear Savior, I unite all my desires with the desires of Thy most loving Heart. Thus united, I present them to Thine Eternal Father, and beg Him in Thy Name and for love of Thee, to hear and answer them. Amen!