Posts Tagged 'akathist to the sweetest lord jesus'

Devotions to the Sacred Heart in The Saint Ambrose Prayerbook

Taking a breather for just a second from recounting travels, let me inject the following —

In response to a question from Ryan Close regarding how the Sacred Heart devotions are presented in The Saint Ambrose Prayerbook:

The text used is identical to that in The Saint Augustine Prayer Book, with two significant exceptions and one or two minor exceptions that I am not convinced aren’t typographical errors (“heaven” instead of “haven”, for example).

The first significant difference is in the introduction. SAugPB says:

This devotion arose only in the seventeenth century. It is directed to that human heart taken by God the Son when he became Man. The heart is the seat of love and the human Heart of Jesus reveals the fundamental fact of religion that God loves us. Devotion to the Sacred Heart bestows a deeper insight into the Divine love and a surer confidence in it. As we see something of God’s love, we shall want to make a return in terms of love and this devotion enables us to express the love of our own hearts. (p. 242)

SAmbPB says, differences in bold:

The Western Orthodox use of this devotion — although the devotion didn’t develop until the 17th century, long after the schism between the East and West — is directed to the compassion of Jesus Christ, represented by His Sacred Heart. The devotion does parallel the Eastern Rite devotion found in The Akathist to the Sweetest Lord Jesus, which has been popular among Eastern Christians for centuries. It is not a devotion to a specific physical organ and body part, anymore than when we say of ourselves, “my heart within me is troubled,” but to Our Lord’s compassionate love for us. The heart is long been taken to be the symbolic seat of love and the Heart of Jesus reveals the fundamental fact of Christianity that God loves us. Devotion to the Sacred Heart bestows a deeper insight into the Divine love and a surer confidence in it. As we see something of God’s love, we shall want to make a return in terms of love and this devotion enables us to express the love of our own hearts. (p. 370)

The other noticeable difference is in the first Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. SAugPB renders it thus:

O Sacred Heart of Jesus! living and life-giving fountain of eternal life, infinite treasure of the Divinity, glowing furnace of love! Thou art my refuge and my sanctuary. O my adorable and loving Saviour! consume my heart with that fire wherewith thine is ever inflamed; pour down on my soul those graces which flow from thy love, and let my heart be so united with thine that my will may be conformed to thine in all things. Amen. (p. 242)

SAmbPB reads, again differences in bold:

O Sacred Heart of Jesus! living and life-giving fountain of eternal life, infinite treasure of the Divinity, glowing furnace of love. Thou art my refuge and my sanctuary. O my adorable and loving Saviour, consume my heart with that fire wherewith Thine is ever inflamed; pour from thy love, and let my heart be so united with Thine that my will may be conformed to Thine in all things. Amen. (pp. 370-71)

A couple of slight punctuation and capitalization differences, but the deletion of “those graces which flow” seems very deliberate and intentional. My guess is that the editor wants to eliminate any suggestion of the notion of created grace.

Otherwise, the text is identical, save for some differences in punctuation and capitalization conventions, and the Litany of the Sacred Heart beginning with the Greek Kyrie rather than the English, and containing an appeal to “Heart of Jesus, heaven of repose” rather than “haven of repose”. As I said, I’m not convinced that that’s not a typo.

A more thorough comparison of SAugPB and SAmbPB, to say nothing of a list of errata in this first edition of SAmbPB, is certainly in order; I’ll see if I can do that soon.

Hope this helps.


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