Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Ninth Day of June

Tenderness of the Heart of Jesus for Men.

The activity with which fire consumes inflammable matter; the rapidity with which a stone seeks its attracting center; the impetuosity with which the swiftest rivers hasten to the ocean, do not equal the ardor with which the Heart of Jesus bums to communicate itself to souls, when they dispose themselves by removing sin, which alone presents an obstacle to the effects of His divine love.

Before I had any being, the Heart of Jesus already beat for me, sighed for my salvation, desired to give Itself to me, thought of me, watched over me, was anxious for me. That Heart is so full of love for me, that it condescends to come and knock at the door of my heart, and to beg an entrance. Sto ad ostium et pulso (Apoc. iii).

Our Lord revealed one day to St. Gertrude two admirable and loving pulsations of His Divine Heart: "By each of these two movements I work the salvation of men. The first is for sinners, the second for the just. By the first beating of my Heart, I speak, in the first place, uninterruptedly to God my Father: I appease Him, and incline Him to mercy towards sinners. I then address myself to all my elect, leading them to excuse, with fraternal charity, the faults of sinners, and to pray for them. Lastly, I speak to the sinner himself, mercifully calling him to penance, and awaiting his conversion with unspeakable desire. By the second beating of my Heart, I speak in the same manner to God, my Father, and invite Him to congratulate me for the blood which I shed so fruitfully for the redemption of my just, in whose hearts I find my delight in so many ways. I then call upon all the host of heaven to praise me for the admirable lives of my saints, and to render me thanks, in their behalf, for all the benefits with which I have loaded them, and continue to load them. Lastly, I address myself to the just themselves, caressing them in different ways, and exciting them to advance daily and hourly in my love. And, as the beatings of the human heart are not checked by the action either of sight or hearing, or of any other sense, so in like manner, neither the government of heaven or earth, or of the whole universe, nor anything else in the world, can arrest, moderate, or slacken for a single instant, even to the end of time, these two movements of my Heart for men" (Inst. iii. 52).

Lord, Thou hast said, "Where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also." We must be Thy treasure, since Thy Heart is so continually occupied with ours. O incomprehensible love of God, how small is the number of souls to whom thou art known! Why art thou not known to all? Why art thou not proclaimed throughout the whole world to the learned, and to the ignorant, to the just and to sinners, to those who seek thee, and to those who flee from thee, since all are loved by thee?

The saints are ravished at the excess of this love, and truly they would have reason to be astonished, if all hearts were made like our own, but God has placed such merits in the Heart of His Son, that He cherishes even our own in consideration of Him.

"No, O Lord, I am no longer astonished at Thy wishing to be called the God of my heart, Deus cordis mei; at Thy being jealous of my love, at Thy seeking its affection so earnestly; but I am astonished that my heart should reject Thee, and that it can hesitate to give itself wholly to Thee" (Nouet). Can Thy Heart, so great, so holy, so perfect, love me? What do I say? Thou commandest me to love Thee, and shall I not do so, I who should rather beg on my knees, that I might be allowed to do so? For alas I who am I that I should be raised to such an honor, that Thou shouldest deign to unite Thy Heart to mine, and think only of me? Quid est homo, quia magnificas eum ? aut quid apponis erga eum cor tuum? (Job. vii). Quid est homo, quod memor es ejus? (Ps. viii. 5). My body is nothing but a heap of dust; my soul is the grave in which Thy favors lie entombed; my heart is mere ingratitude, my memory forgetfulness, my understanding darkness (Nouet). Alas! how then canst Thou love me, my God and my love? How canst Thou love me, and permit me to love Thee? Quomodo me amas Deus meus, amor meus? quomodo me amas? (St. Bernard).

This incomprehensible love of God towards His creatures not only astonishes and ravishes the angels and saints who meditate upon it, it is also the terror of the devils, the object of their constant jealousy, the only good which engages their attention in this world, and of which they would fain rob the souls of men. Forced by the power of the prayers of the Church to make this remarkable avowal, Satan once said; "I traverse the whole earth. I observe the interests which occupy the minds of men, their wars, their politics, their governments. I see the buildings they raise, their arts, their sciences. I laugh at all this, as I would at the labors of an anthill. What wholly engages my attention is to thwart the love of God towards His creatures. I gladly quit idolatrous empires for Christendom, to harass and trouble a soul as soon as it has undertaken to serve God. Our joy consists in disquieting a heart which tends to union with God" (Surin,)

Defeat, then, the tempter’s designs, by giving wholly to God that heart of which He is so jealous; love Him, Christian soul, whom He cherishes so fondly, with all your heart, with all that heart which He has Himself given you, so large, so generous, so tender, so devoted, so insatiable in its affections, only that it may be turned towards Him who alone can fill it; answer to the invitation which He makes you. "My son, give me thy heart." Proebe, fill mi, cor tuum mihi (Prov. xxiii. 26).

Practice: We are told in the life of Saint Margaret Mary that the angels did not disdain to join her, in paying an uninterrupted homage of love, adoration, and praise to the Heart of Jesus. Address yourself, then, to the holy angels, and especially to your guardian angel who watches at your side, and prays unceasingly with you and for you. Beg them to supply by their ardent love and continual union with the Heart of Jesus for the coldness and unworthiness of your prayers. Ask also sometimes the angel guardians of those with whom you have contact, to inspire them with devotion to this Divine Heart.

Ejaculatory Prayer: As the hart pants after the fountains of waters, so my soul pants after Thy love, O Heart of Jesus! Quemadmodum desiderat cervus ad fontes aquarum, ita desiderat anima mea ad te (Ps. xli. 1).

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercv on us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

1 comment:

Anne said...

Your blog is so beautiful! I am so inspired by it! Thank you so much!