Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Second Day of June

Abundant Graces Promised to Those Who Embrace this Devotion.

We cannot begin this month better, or better excite ourselves to celebrate it with fervor, than by recalling to mind the magnificent promises which Jesus Christ Himself has made to all those who shall embrace the devotion to His Sacred Heart. Our Lord expressed Himself very clearly upon this subject to the Saint Margaret Mary: "I would have you know that you are not to appropriate to yourself those graces which are designed for others also; I wish to make use of your heart as a channel to communicate them to souls according to my designs." He then gave her to understand that it was by a last effort of His love towards men that He had resolved to disclose to them the treasures of His Heart, by inspiring them with this devotion, which is to awaken the hearts of the most insensible to the love of Jesus Christ, and to enkindle those of the least fervent. "Publish everywhere," Jesus Christ said to her, "suggest, recommend this devotion to persons of the world as a sure and easy means of obtaining from me a true love of God; to ecclesiastical and religious persons as a powerful means of attaining to the perfection of their state; and in fine, to all the faithful, as a most solid devotion, and a most powerful means of overcoming the strongest passions, healing the most violent dissensions and quarrels in families, removing the most inveterate imperfections, obtaining a most ardent and tender love of me; in fine, arriving in a short time and in a most easy manner, at the highest perfection." What can be more capable of encouraging us to embrace this devotion than such promises, coming as they do from the mouth of Jesus Christ Himself? "Why cannot I recount," writes Saint Margaret Mary the depositary of the secrets of the Heart of Jesus, "why cannot I recount all that I know of this devotion, and disclose to the whole world the treasures of grace which Jesus Christ has laid up in this adorable Heart, and which He designs to pour forth in profusion upon all those who shall practice this devotion? Our Lord proposes by this means to restore many to life by drawing them out of the path of perdition, and to destroy the empire of Satan in souls in order to establish that of His love, which will never suffer any one to perish who shall be consecrated to Him. Yes, I say it with confidence, did men but know how pleasing this devotion is to Jesus Christ, there is not a single Christian, however feeble may be his love for this amiable Savior, who would not at once practice it. Endeavor to induce religious persons to embrace it; for they will derive so great a support from it, that it will be sufficient, of itself, to reestablish primitive fervor and the most exact observance in the most irregular communities; and to raise those which lived before in the most exact observance to the height of perfection. My divine Sa'vior gave me to understand that those who labor for the salvation of souls will have the art of touching the most hardened hearts, and will labor with marvelous success, if they are themselves penetrated with a tender devotion to this Sacred Heart."

Father de la Colombiere was the first to experience this. He recommended this powerful means of salvation to many who addressed themselves to him for the direction of their souls, and amongst them even to Protestants, with whom all the other resources of his zeal had failed, and this with a success at which he was himself astonished. Some obtained an entire conversion of heart by the practice of this devotion, which they had at first rejected: others found in it a means of advancing in perfection, through the abundant graces which they received from God.

"Nothing astonishes me," exclaimed a great servant of God of our age, "when I think of the adorable Heart of our divine Master. In Him we can do all things, even lead unobserved a poor, humble, and loving life in the midst of the world. This Sacred Heart of our Divine Lord is anxious to intercede for us with the Eternal Father, and to inspire us with holy desires; and comes to our aid when it sees us nearly sinking. It removes from our heart, while we are little thinking of it, the obstacles which opposed the execution of the will of God; it enables us to surmount difficulties which, a moment before, we looked upon with terror; it is this adorable Heart which takes from us the attraction of the world, and enables us to discover its deceits and false principles.

"Everything, in a word, comes to us from this most Sacred Heart; let it then be all in all to us; let us offer our whole being to it; let nothing remain in us unconsumed by its flames, until at length, after it has purified our souls, it take them wholly to itself, and secure them in this furnace of love for all eternity."

"One day," says St. Mechtild, "the Son of God appeared to me, holding in His hands His own Heart, brighter than the sun, and shedding on every side rays of light; it was then that this amiable Savior gave me to understand that it was from this divine Heart that all those graces issue which God pours forth unceasingly upon men."

Practice: Do not let a week of this month pass without speaking of the Heart of Jesus, and of the boundless treasures of grace which He has promised to those who shall honor it with a special devotion.

Ejaculatory Prayer: Give me Thy love alone, O Heart of Jesus, and I am rich enough! Amorem tui solum et dives sum satis (St Ignatius).

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