The Catholic Defender: The Twelfth Promise of for the Sacred Heart
(12) I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. My divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment." This last promise brings all 12 promises binding them together and tying them with Jesus Grace of Love.
St. Margaret Mary once said, “I do not know of any other exercise in the spiritual life that is more calculated to raise a soul in a short amount of time to the height of perfection and to make it taste the true sweetness to be found in the service of Jesus Christ.” The objective for this devotion is first and foremost to honor Our Lord recognizing through His Sacred Heart, Jesus means to bring many to Himself in a deeper relationship. We must take to heart a firm commitment to follow these promises to obtain the promises in faith.
Our Lord places a lot of emphasis on receiving Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months for the grace of final perseverance. Psalms 86:11 states, "Teach me, LORD, your way that I may walk in your truth, single-hearted and revering your name." From the beginning of the Church era, Jesus instructed the Apostles to stay in Jerusalem for the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. This is known as the first 9 day novena.
Biblically speaking, the number 9 symbolizes divine completeness or finality, think about it, Jesus died at the 9th hour of the day on the cross saying "It is finished". Reading the synoptic gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, they record that Jesus was crucified at the third hour and there was darkness over the land from the sixth hour to the ninth hour. This shows that Jesus was crucified at 9:00 A.M. and darkness covered the land from 12:00 P.M. until 3:00 P.M.
The purpose of the novena is to prepare a person interiorly through the 9 days of devotion. Galatian 5:22-23 states, "In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." Notice there are 9 of these fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Philippians 1:6 states, "I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus." These 12 Promises are a good work that Our Lord will show us His great Mercy if we are faithful.
Hebrews 10:23 states, "Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope, for he who made the promise is trustworthy." This is a great example found in the Scripture that records Jesus promise is trustworthy. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque agrees with my assessment, “Go courageously to God, along the way He has traced out for you, steadfastly embracing the means He offers you.”
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque makes this statement, "“Look upon yourself as a tree planted beside the water, which bears its fruit in due season; the more it is shaken by the wind, the deeper it strikes its roots into the ground.” Obviously, St. Margaret Mary must of had Psalms 1:1-3 stating, "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in company with scoffers. Rather, the law of the LORD* is his joy; and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted near streams of water, that yields its fruit in season; Its leaves never wither; whatever he does prospers."
The 12 promises of Our Lord Jesus Christ for the devotion of His Sacred Heart and the 15 promises of the Blessed Virgin Mary dedicated to the Rosary offers each and every Christian a certain assurance of Salvation. These do not take the place of the Sacraments, but they hasten you to them. These promises are steeped deeply into the Heart of Jesus, His very presence in the Holy Eucharist.
Like St. John whom Jesus loved, Jesus wants us to rest in His heart and this is the purpose of the First Friday devotion. Through this spiritual adventure, we encounter Our Sovereign Lord taking us deep into the ocean of His Divine Mercy. May the Lord bless you as you move forward in His Journey of Love.
♥ Prayer of Thanksgiving and Praise to the Sacred Heart
Lord, you deserve all honor and praise, because your love is perfect and your heart sublime. My heart is filled to overflowing with gratitude for the many blessings and graces you have bestowed upon me and those whom I love. Forever undeserving, may I always be attentive and never take for granted the gifts of mercy and love that flow so freely and generously from your Sacred Heart.
Heart of Jesus, I adore you. Heart of Jesus, I praise you. Heart of Jesus, I thank you. Heart of Jesus, I love you forever and always. Amen.