Saturday, June 6, 2009

THe Sixth Day of June

Of the Nobility and Excellence of the Heart of Jesus.

The Heart of Jesus is King of all hearts, by its greatness, power, and merit.

It is the greatest of all hearts, for it bears all enclosed within itself. It is the most powerful, for it can dispose them as seems good to itself. It knows all their secrets, all their springs of action, and can give them whatever movement it pleases. It is the most worthy to command, for it is the kindest, the most amiable, and the most loving; it was through love that it would be wounded to heal all hearts, and to prepare for them a bath of its blood.

Its wound forms its crown; the right which it has over us, is most legitimate. We cannot refuse it obedience without injustice, for we are indebted to it for everything; nor without madness, for it commands nothing but what is for our good: its sole object, in the pressing invitations which it makes us to give ourselves to it, is to render us happy as well as holy.

Let us honor, then, the Sacred Heart, since it possesses such nobility and excellence; let us adore it, since it is the Heart of a God; let us follow all its movements, since it is the infallible rule and principle of all the good which is done in the world; let us submit our wills to it, since it is the King of all hearts. Let us regard it as a royal and divine signet; let us stamp it upon our own hearts that we may receive from it all its characters. "Put me," says Jesus Christ, "as a seal upon thy heart;" that is to say, according to the explanation of St. Anselm, let me rule your heart and your thoughts, that I may be the director of all the actions of your life. "We must place Jesus Christ as a seal upon our forehead, upon our heart, and upon our arm," says St. Ambrose; "upon our forehead, to make public profession of our faith; upon our heart, to establish there the reign of His love; upon our arm, to labor without ceasing for the increase of His glory by the practice of good works." Let us exhibit the image of His greatness in our words, affections, and works, and, if possible, let us try to express His virtues in ourselves, for He is the seal of uncreated sanctity which the Eternal Father has engraved with the point of the nails, the thorns, and the lance, in order to stamp our souls with the seal of His humility, sweetness, patience, love, and His other perfections.

Whenever, then, O Christian soul, worldly ambition flatters your heart with treacherous promises, or the world dazzles your eyes with its false luster, raise your mind aloft to heaven, and, as St. Jerome advises, give ear to those words of the Spouse: "Put me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arm" (Cant. viii. 6).

Let us beg of Jesus Christ, then, to turn our hearts and those of all men towards His own, and to make them docile to the pressing invitation by which He urges us to devote ourselves to His Divine Heart, when He says, "O all ye who are parched with thirst amid the false pleasures of all the world, come to My Heart, the center of true joys, the fountain of living waters; poor needy beggars, thirsting for the gifts of grace, draw near, drink and quench your thirst; come, receive without money; why wear yourselves out in seeking after deceitful goods, which cannot satisfy your craving hearts? Here true riches are to be found; My Heart is their source; the deeper you draw from thence, the more will your hearts be satisfied." All you that thirst, come to the waters, &c., (Is. iv. 1).

Yes, it is amongst Christians, the truly favored people, that the prediction of the same prophet is fulfilled; "You shall draw waters with joy out of the Savior’s fountains." Haurietis aquas in gaudio de fontibus Salvatoris (Is. xii. 3). But if all His wounds are so many fountains of grace, we may say with truth, that the one of His Heart is the most life-giving and abundant.

St. Frances of Rome relates that she saw the wound of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and that there issued from it a spring of living water, and that she heard these words; "I am that love which calls aloud, if any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. I wish to refresh those who answer to my call; it is for this that I have opened my Heart, to receive them within it as in a place of refuge." (Bollandists iii. c. 4.)

Practice: Offer your prayers to God each day through the Heart of Jesus; it is the way to render them no less meritorious than powerful. The following is the form which Saint Margaret Mary employed for this purpose:

My God, I offer Thee the Heart of Jesus, Thy well-beloved Son, in thanksgiving for all the blessings which Thou hast conferred upon me; for my petition, my offering, my adoration, and all my resolutions. Receive it, O Eternal Father, to supply for all that Thou desirest of me, for I have nothing to offer Thee which is not unworthy of Thee except Jesus, my Savior, the possession and enjoyment of whom Thou Thyself hast given me.

Ejaculatory Prayer: O Heart of Jesus, Victim of love, be propitious to me a poor sinner! O Cor, amoris victima, propitius esto mihi peccatori!

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

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