Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Seventh Day of June

Of the Nobility and Excellence of the Heart of Jesus.

The Heart of Jesus is the altar upon which He offered to the Creator the most agreeable sacrifice in the world. It is upon this same altar that we should place all our vows, and offer our whole hearts; for it is from thence that He receives and listens to them. It is from thence that all the honor that creatures have ever paid Him, all their praises, sacrifices, adoration, and love, derive their efficacy, and even this united homage is as nothing in comparison with the honor which this same Heart singly renders to the Sovereign Majesty, for it alone loves and honors Him as He deserves.

We can do nothing, then, so pleasing to God as to offer Him the homage and adoration of the Heart of His Son; the surest means of obtaining what we pray for is to address our prayers through the Heart of Jesus, saying to Him in the same spirit as the royal Prophet; Look down upon me, O Lord, in Thy mercy; but, as Thou canst find nothing there which does not deserve punishment, turn Thine eyes upon the face, upon the Heart of Thy well-beloved Son. "Protector noster, aspice Deus, et respice in faciem Christi tui" (Ps. lxxxiii. 10.) Regard me not except through those wounds, which cry to Thee for mercy, and which are all-powerful to obtain it; call to mind the boundless love of the Heart of Thy Son for me a wretched creature, and destroy not the work of Thine own mercy, the fruit of Thy labors.

Saint Gertrude was given to understand one day that all the Religious of her community, who were praying before the Blessed Sacrament, received each a share of divine grace. Some appeared to draw the sacred stream from the Heart of Jesus, others from His hands, or from His feet, pierced with nails, but with this difference, that the further the source was from the Heart, the greater difficulty did they experience, while those who drew directly from the adorable Heart obtained more readily and easily what they desired.

It is from the Heart of Jesus that the Church drew her birth; the faithful, then should love it as their cradle, and never quit it. It was while Jesus was wrapped in the sleep of death that the Church came forth from His Heart; He wished His Heart to be opened, in order that she might be able to glory in having issued from her Savior’s side. Happy the soul who shall be able to say, at the moment of entering on her eternity, in the words of one of the most ardent Apostles of the devotion to the Sacred Heart: "I used often to say to myself, as I thought of the love of the Heart of Jesus for me; ‘the Heart of Jesus is my cradle, my refuge during hfe, may it be my tomb at death!’ He has made me understand the sense of those words,—cradle, refuge, tomb."

"The Heart of Jesus is the Heart of the Church; it watches whilst she sleeps. Ego dormio, et cor meum vigilat (Cant. v. 2). Holy Scripture says that the first Christians had but one heart and one soul. I am not surprised; it is the Heart of Jesus which lived in them, and inspired them all with the love of heavenly things" (Nouet). O happy time, when all conspired in holy concord! Why may it not reappear amongst those who are united, by one and the same devotion, in the Heart of Jesus? Let us at least direct all our efforts to this object, by setting an example of an unreserved devotion to the Sacred Heart; let us exert ourselves by our prayers and good works, in union with those of this divine Heart, that all true Christians may, as in the first ages of the Church, make but one heart to love the Heart of Jesus, but one voice to praise and bless it, but one and the same soul, the united movements of which may be consecrated to the love and glory of the divine Heart.

Practice: The Heart of Jesus is the cradle of all the Faithful; it is through it that you have been called to the spiritual birth of holy baptism. You will please this Divine Heart if, every morning, on waking, you renew your baptismal engagements. You may make use of the following form, or of any other like it:

O Heart of Jesus, I renounce anew Satan with his pomps and works, and I engage myself wholly to Thee for every moment of my life.

Oh! what graces will this practice draw down upon you! It is enough to defeat all the efforts of the tempter.

Ejaculatory Prayer: If any one love not Thee, O Heart of Jesus, let him be anathema. Si quis non amat Dominum Nostrum Jesum Christum, sit anathema.

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