Saturday, June 27, 2009

There is no greater love than yours: Song to the Sacred Heart

I grew up as a member of the youth arm of the Apostleship of Prayer but never was inducted or enrolled as a full fledged member.  I still pray the Morning Offering though and was able to complete the 9 First Friday devotion. This apostolate strengthened my Faith in the time when the pentecostal-charismatic-born against- Catholic movement in the Philippines was growing like a latest fashion trend that Hollywood can think of.  In fact, this is the devotion that summarizes my life as a Pinoy Catholic.  And I continously thank the Lord for introducing me to this devotion.
I remember as a young boy after school, I would walk for about 2 to 3 kilometers from home to get to our parish church.  I would arrive around 4 PM before the scheduled 5PM Holy Hour every First Friday.  I would be helping in cleaning the big church since the parish does not have a full time janitor.  That was my vow.   The parish priest was thankful for our help.  I would remove my flip flops and climb the huge side altar of our parish church to wipe the dust covering the 8 foot statues of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart.  It was a bit of a not so usual childhood.  Instead of playing or watching cartoons at home, I chose to sweep the floor of our parish church!  Maybe it was an "abnormal childhood" but I enjoyed it and I thank God for it. Every week I would do that until I finally fulfilled my promise to Him to visit Him for nine consecutive first Fridays of the month.
Thus my devotion to the Eucharistic adoration began.
Now as a father, and a professional, I cannot keep up with the First Friday devotion  but everytime I get to a church I would find the tabernacle and the Sacred Heart picture or statue and renew my devotion.
I used to wear this badge as a member of the youth arm.
I was never invested with this since according to the officers of the AP, only adults may wear this. I still see this being worn in church by...the elderly.  Above the Sacred Heart you see the Spanish words for Apostleship of Prayer.  Immediately below the Sacred Heart is Spanish for "Thy Kingdom come."   You can see the name of Pius IX on the lower part of the front medallion and the date July 14, 1877 and 100 days.  I think this is an indulgence granted by the Blessed Pope.
I remember singing this beautiful song to the Sacred Heart entitled No Mas Amor Que El Tuyo .  This is in Spanish.  I don't know much Spanish so I relied on my folks to translate it for me.  I am sharing this with you so you can deeply appreciate the love that He has shown to us.
His Heart...the Fount and Source of Divine Love and Mercy...the Heart that loved so much but is not loved much in return.
No Mas Amor Que El Tuyo

No mas amor que el Tuyo
O corazon divino,
El pueblo Filipino,
Te da su corazon.
En templos y en hogares,
Te invoque nuestra lengua,
Tu reinaras sin mengua
De Aparri hasta Jolo.

Ha tiempo que esperamos
Tu imperio en el Oriente,
La fe de Filipinas
Es como el sol ardiente,
como la roca firme,
Inmensa como el mar.
La iniquidad no puede
Ser de estas islas duena
Que izada en nuestros montes,
Tu celestial ensena,
Las puertas de infierno
No prevaleceran.
Here is a translation in English (not sure if it's exact though)
There is no greater love than yours, O Most Sacred Heart,
so we, the Filipino people, offer you our hearts.
In our temples and in our homes, we cry out to you.
May Your kingdom stand firm from Aparri to Jolo.

Long we have hoped for Your empire in the East.
Like the sun burning bright is the faith of the Philippines,
It stands strong like a rock and fills all void like the sea.
Never shall these islands be possessed by sin,
For on our mountains is raised your heavenly sign
And the gates of Hell shall not prevail.

UPDATE:  June 15, 2012: I just got my scapular, at last!  :)

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