An Act of Reparation
First Friday devotions are an excellent and simple way to make reparation and console the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The first mention of First Friday devotions is in the apparitions of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque. He also made several promises to those who honored nine consecutive First Fridays. Jesus told Saint Margaret Mary:
“In the excess of the mercy of my Heart, I promise you that all my powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.
The purpose of this devotion is to console the Heart of Jesus for all of the injustices committed against Him. It is also a way for us to draw close to our beloved Lord. He does not want us to be far from Him and so we have this wonderful opportunity to make reparation for our sins and for the sins of others and to console His heart.
A Simple Practice
The conditions for honoring the Nine First Fridays are simple. One should attend Mass and receive communion with the intention of honoring and making reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. If necessary, one should also attend confession before going to Mass. This is not necessary but going to confession may also help to properly prepare for First Friday. Going to a Holy Hour on First Friday or the Thursday before, is also encouraged.
Some people think that the conditions for honoring First Friday are too simple but they are not so easy as they might seem at first. How many of us receive Holy Communion absentmindedly, not paying any attention as to whether we are receiving Jesus worthily? Going to confession is a form of laying down pride and acknowledging our sinfulness. At the same time, we are also placing ourselves in God’s hands and asking for His mercy and forgiveness.
Behold This Heart
In one apparition, Jesus told Saint Margaret Mary:
My Divine Heart, is so inflamed with love for men…that being unable any longer to contain within Itself the flames of Its burning Charity, It must needs spread them abroad…and manifest Itself to [mankind] in order to enrich them with the precious treasures…which contain graces of sanctification and salvation necessary to withdraw them from the abyss of perdition.
Jesus’ Heart was pierced for us. His love is too great to even imagine! And yet, so often, He is ignored or pushed to the side. In an apparition to Saint Margaret Mary, Jesus held out His Sacred Heart as He said these words:
“Behold this Heart which has so loved men, that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself in order to testify to its love. In return, I have received from the greater part only ingratitude by their irreverence and their sacrilege, and by the coldness and contempt they have for Me in this sacrament of Love (the Eucharist).”
It is easy to become so familiar with the Mass that we begin to ignore the great mystery that is taking place!
As we celebrate this First Friday and every Friday, the day of the Lord’s Passion, let us make a home for Him in our hearts. This way, we will be open to receiving the priceless gift of His love. Let us shower Jesus with love and gratitude and carry the reminder and gift of HIS love and mercy with us every day, every year, and everywhere!
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I implore that I may ever love thee more and more!