Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
PATER NOSTER, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.
I have added the Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to my daily prayers. Many have asked about the practice of asking Our Lord to allow one’s self to expiate (extinguish the guilt of, make atonement for) the sins of others since I mentioned it in recounting the experience with the crazy beggar dude in the church who spit at Our Lord in the tabernacle. There is a chap in Riverville – a good egg, but with some idiosyncrasies – who takes Our Lord’s Name in vain and says it as an expression of disgust and/or frustration, most especially revolving around his use of the water closet. Every time I hear this, or anyone else using Our Lord’s name as an expression of anything but love for Him, I pray, “Give it to me.” I understand the sin better than he does (obviously), and I understand and can deal with more suffering than he could, so give me the punishment for the offense which God’s Perfect Justice requires, and give the grace from the expiation to him.
What we must NEVER, NEVER, NEVER do is ask God to send us to hell to be with a dead loved one or in place of a living loved one, or to allow demons to oppress or possess us instead of a loved one. I had dinner recently with a person who was acquainted with a real exorcist, and she said that the exorcist had warned her that one of the most common “entries” for demons was when a person ASKED to be given demonic oppression or possession in place of another. As you can imagine, this is commonly a fairly pious (albeit poorly catechized) mother with a child who is on drugs or some such and experiencing demonic influence.
This is a terrible sin – an egregious violation of the First Commandment. It is a sin to choose ANYONE over God. It is a sin to choose your own child or spouse over God. If you say to God that you want to be in hell with your loved one or instead of your loved one, you are saying that you love and worship that other person above God, and you reject the Beatific Vision in favor of hell with or instead of the other person. This also applies to the Limbo of the Innocents. A mother who prays to be in Limbo with her dead baby is worshiping and idolizing the baby over God. This is not virtuous. This is actually evil – the rejection of Perfect Good, Perfect Truth, Perfect Beauty and Perfect Love, Who made you for the end of being with Him forever in the Beatific Vision.
Asking God to allow us to expiate the sins of others has as its intended end heaven for both one’s self AND heaven for the person who committed the sin, motivated by the love of God simply because He is God, and because any offense against Him should engender contrition. Remember, the Fruit of the First Sorrowful Mystery, The Agony in the Garden, is Sorrow for Sin… all sin, including the sins committed by OTHERS.
Here is the text of the Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus:
O sweet Jesus, Whose overflowing charity for me is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before Your altar (or in Your presence) eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries, to which Your loving Heart is everywhere subject.
Mindful alas! that we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, which we now deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask Your pardon and declare our readiness to atone by voluntary expiation not only for our own personal offenses, but also for the sins of those, who, straying for from the path of salvation, refuse in their obstinate infidelity to follow You, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the vows of their baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of Your Law.
We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against You; we are determined to make amends for the manifold offenses against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behavior, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violations of Sundays and holidays, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against You and Your Saints. We wish also to make amends for the insults to which Your Vicar on earth and Your priest are subjected, for the profanation, by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very Sacrament of Your Divine Love; and lastly for the public crimes of nations who resist the rights and teaching authority of the Church which You have founded. Would, O divine Jesus, we were able to wash away such abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of Your divine honor, the satisfaction You once made to Your eternal Father on the cross and which You continue to renew daily on our altars; we offer it in union with the acts of atonement of Your Virgin Mother and all the Saints and of the pious faithful on earth; and we sincerely promise to make recompense, as far as we can with the help of Your grace, for all neglect of Your great love and for the sins we and others have committed in the past. Henceforth we will live a life of unwavering faith, of purity of conduct, of perfect observance of the precepts of the gospel and especially that of charity. We promise to the best of our power to prevent other from offending You and to bring as many as possible to follow You.
O loving Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our model in reparation, deign to receive the voluntary offering we make of this act of expiation; and by the crowing gift of perseverance keep us faithful unto death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to You, so that we may one day come to that happy home, where You with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, God, world without end. Amen.