A cardiac harness for treating congestive heart failure is disclosed. The harness applies elastic, compressive reinforcement on the left ventricle to reduce deleterious wall tension and to resist shape change of the ventricle during the mechanical cardiac cycle. Rather than imposing a dimension beyond which the heart cannot expand, the harness provides no hard limit over the range of diastolic expansion of the ventricle. Instead, the harness follows the contour of the heart throughout diastole and continuously exerts gentle resistance to stretch. Also disclosed is a method of delivering the cardiac harness to the heart minimally invasively.