Sunday, August 14, 2005

Types of Vows of Immolation as Victim Soul

Notwithstanding the realities written thus far, it is important to emphasize that everyone either suffers now or will suffer and that being a victim soul is an opportunity for everyone to offer these sufferings as a gift to Jesus, in reparation and for specific intentions. I pray that nothing written has frightened you from offering yourself as a Victim Soul of the Sacred Heart. Rather, I trust you have prayed and desire to offer yourselves to the degree you are able, in the type of suffering you encounter in daily life, out of love for Jesus and souls. You may be Catholic or non-Catholic; you may make the vow formally, informally, with a witness, or in solitude.

Before giving examples of private vows, let us consider the possibilities of how to make this offering. Consider someone you love very much. Which would you prefer: that person to quickly say, "Love ya!" or "I guess I'll help you out" or "Thinking of you!"; or, would you prefer that person stop activity and thoughts, kneel, look into your eyes, and speak slowly with devout conviction, "I love you so much, and I know that you'd like me to be close to you, to help you with your work, to communicate openly with you more and more, and to give you what it most costs me to give. I promise this and more..."? Would you also appreciate a tangible sign or gift of these promises?

Consider how Jesus would like to receive our most loving offering of whatever sufferings may come our way. Then proceed with what you conclude. I will share an example of a private offering by a Victim Soul of the Sacred Heart. The soul wrote it days in advance after prayer and some understanding of reparative suffering and victim soulhood. A priest received the offering as the alter Christus that he is, in front of the altar and Tabernacle which contains Jesus' Real Presence (Body and Blood: the consecrated Host). This occurred on a selected feast day of the Church, that of a victim soul saint, which seemed appropriate to the offering. On that day, the person making the act of immolation knelt and carefully read the vow which the priest and the Primary Victim Soul signed and dated.

As a private act of willingness to accept whatever the extent of suffering, the soul had beforehand pricked a finger and placed the blood drop inside a small heart drawn in ink on the written vow. An outward sign also was chosen which would ever remind this victim soul of the vocation: a large Crucifix with an attached medal of the Virgin in Prayer. (Mary knows all about suffering). Later, the priest blessed two rings of personal signficance to the one making the offering, which were added to the Crucifix and medal; and he symbolically wed the soul to the Cross. Yearly, the victim soul chooses to repeat, kneeling, the written offer of immolation to Jesus.

Additionally, fervent acts of love and private verbalizations are made in short, spontaneous prayers. These are very pleasing to the Beloved, also, but the formal covenant, witnessed, with a sacramental as a "foundation stone" is an efficacious, time-honored, Scriptural and Traditional format. For one reason, the written vow is a specific reminder of commitment: the job description. The Crucifix with medal and rings is an outward witness: the visible sign.

However, the point remains: through prayer, reflection, spiritual reading and consulting spiritual friends and a director, a Victim Soul of the Sacred Heart will be inspired as to the structure and elements of whatever offering is most suitable and loving to Jesus and which reflects the degree or type of suffering the person is able to offer. Be realistic and prudent.

Another example of an act of immolation is that of the first and preeminant Victim Soul of the Sacred Heart: the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her vow was quite simple and spontaneous, or so it seems. The Angel Gabriel appeared to her one night when she was in prayer, alone in her room, and told her she was chosen to be the mother of God. She asked a practical question, was given an answer, and immediately made her fiat: "Let it be done unto me according to Thy Word." From this evolved her life as a victim soul of all categories at varying times of her earthly existence. Of course, she is in a different level than all of us. Mary was created without original sin; she was already in union with Christ as His mother and by her will being united to God's will. She experienced what is called "infused grace" to handle all the sorrows which she would endure. She didn't need a written reminder of why or for Whom she offered her sufferings. She pondered all these things in her heart, whereas most of us agree to distractions which obstruct meditating and pondering upon much of anything.

Truly, Jesus can do all things with all souls. In some situations (such as if He or some verified heavenly messenger appears and personally invites a soul to be a victim of love), a simple "fiat" could be a valid act of immolation. Jesus can accept and lead the soul forth from any offering. The formal offering, however, is very helpful for those of us who don't have great or perfect faith and who benefit by a well-thought out, written commitment.

The old guide provides three examples of the written vow. One is long for the formal offering; two are shorter and could be prayed daily. The language is of the time period in which this guide was written. You may choose to change the wording to that which you communicate with Jesus, but the content is solid and inclusive for victim souls--is tried and true. You may also choose to write your own Act of Immolation.

I suggest that a Victim Soul of the Sacred Heart may profit in beginning the the Act of Immolation by stating the victim soul category/ies and type/s of suffering. In this way, the victim soul accepts and verifies the sufferings and offers them as gift, with focused meaning. For example, the Primary, Secondary, and Situational Victim Souls may state their categories and offer their types of suffering accordingly. The Supportive Victim Souls may include mention of their compassionate sufferings and vow to help those they support to understand and offer their sufferings, as well, in expiation and reparation as Victim Souls of the Sacred Heart.

All souls could (and should) make an oblation as Imminent Victim Souls with an inclusion to their vows, such as: "I know that I could be given suffering at any moment, which could change my life and bring death; thus, I offer myself as an Imminent Victim Soul so that my suffering and death may be used as reparation to Thy Sacred Heart, O Jesus!"

Formal Act of Immolation for Victim Souls of the Sacred Heart

My most adorable Savior! Vouchsafe to accept this desire of mine to devote myself wholly and entirely to the task of loving and appeasing Thy most Sacred Heart. Deign to look with pleasure upon the sacrifice I offer up to Thee of all I am and all I possess.

To Thee I resign, through the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary, my person and my life, all my labors, my pains, my sufferings, to make amends for the wrongs Thou hast suffered and all the shocking ingratitude Thou has met through the hands of men, intending also to prevent thereby my committing similar crimes.

Yes, my Jesus, let it all be Thine: my soul with its intellect and free will, my heart with its desires and aspirations, my powers and faculties and all my actions, my life and my health, my spiritual progress and my eternal salvation; whatever be dear to me for the present or the future, for time or eternity, let it all be Thine for ever and ever. Henceforth, nothing shall be my own; no, it shall all be devoted to Thee as a sacrifice of expiation, put at the disposal of Thine adorable Providence. Make, then, of me and all my goods whatever Thou wilt, make use of me or put me away as a useless tool, comfort me or torture me. Let Thy holy will dispose of it all.

I further present and vow to Thee through Mary, my heavenly mother, all the merits and rights acquired by me through holy Masses and Communions, prayers and penances, works of charity, humility, obedience and all other virtues that I shall ever perform to the last moment of my life. Let them all serve to honor and propitiate Thy most Sacred Heart.

Behold, O Lord, how I thus wholly belong to Thy Heart, wholly and entirely to Thee. I know I give Thee very little but I give Thee all I can and never will I take back anything I have given Thee. I feel within me a burning desire to appease and to gladden Thee. I shall, however, not be able to do so without that heavenly help which Thou only canst render me. Let Thy holy will regarding me be done. I do put obstacles in its way, I know; I am fully aware of it, but Thou knowest that this is not the consequence of my will but that of frailty, and that I do not intend to hinder the execution of Thy holy will.

Complete then, O divine Heart, this Thy work. It is Thou alone who must do it all; Thine also will be the honor of having made me holy, if I, so frail a being, should become holy. The greater my frailty, the greater the honor that will accrue to Thee; and this is the very reason why I desire to reach perfection. Graciously grant that I may live and die as a true Victim Soul of Thy divine Heart. Amen.

A Short Act of Immolation (may be used daily)

O sweetest Jesus, divine Victim, ever being sacrificed on our altars for the salvation of mankind, I desire to unite with Thee, to suffer with Thee to sacrifice myself with Thee in union with the many thousands of Victim Souls of the Heart of Jesus.

To this end I offer to Thee all my sufferings and afflictions, all humiliations and all the crosses with which Thy divine providence will line the path of my life. I offer it all to Thee with that very same intention with which Thou, O divine Heart, offer and sacrifice Thyself.

Vouchsafe to ordain that this humble sacrifice of mine draw down rich blessings upon holy Church and all its priests, upon our country, and the poor sinners, my brothers.

Deign to accept it through the hands of Mary and in union with the dolorous sacrifices of her Immaculate Heart. Amen.

Act of Oblation for Victim Souls of the Sacred Heart

"'Ecce Venio,' Behold me, O Good and Sweet Jesus! Divine Lamb, perpetually offered on our altars for the salvation of the world. I wish to be united to Thee, to suffer with Thee, to be immolated with Thee in union with the Victim Souls of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

"For that end I offer Thee whatever pains, griefs, humiliations and crosses Thy Divine Providence has placed in my path. To Thee I offer them according to the intentions for which Thy Sacred Heart offers and immolates Itself.

"May my poor sacrifices bring blessings upon the Church, on the priesthood, on our country, on our brethren and all poor sinners. Be pleased to accept it through the hands of Mary, our Mediatrix, and in union with the sufferings of her Immaculate Heart. Amen."


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