Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Tenth Day of June

Riches of the Heart of Jesus.

Our Lord informed me, says St. Margaret Mary, that it was His great desire of being loved perfectly by men that had made Him form the design of manifesting His Heart to them, and of giving it to them in these latter times as the last effort of His love; that in it He opened to them all the treasures of love, grace, mercy, sanctification, and salvation, which this Heart contains, in order that all who wish to pay to Him, and procure for Him all the honor and love in their power, might be enriched in profusion with the treasures of which that divine Heart is the inexhaustible source. He said, "Behold my Heart. It is so impassioned with love for men that, unable to contain within itself the flames of its charity, it must shed them abroad by your means. It wishes to manifest itself to them in order to enrich them with those precious treasures which I discover to you, and which contain sanctifying graces suited to draw them from perdition.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the seat of all virtues, the source of all blessings, the retreat for all holy souls; this adorable Heart is ever burning with love for men, ever open to shed upon them every sort of grace, ever touched with a sense of their evils, ever disposed to receive us, to serve as an asylum to us, a place of rest, a heaven even in this life. Come to it, then, you especially who are laden with crosses, temptations, and miseries; the Sacred Heart invites you, waits for you, presses you; it wishes to give you consolation; it is to you that it addresses itself when it says, "Come to me all you that labor, and are burdened, and I will refresh you." Venite ad me omnes qui laboratis, et onerati estis, et ego reficiam vos (Matt. xi. 28).

It is in this adorable Heart, says St. Peter Damian, that we find every weapon proper for our defense, every remedy for the cure of our ills, the most powerful succor against the assaults of our enemies, the sweetest consolations to relieve our sufferings, the purest delights to crown our souls with joy. Are you afflicted, do your enemies persecute you, are you troubled at the remembrance of your sins, is your heart tossed with uneasiness, fears, or passions? Ah, come, throw yourself at the foot of the altar; cast yourself into the arms of Jesus Christ; enter into His very Heart; it is a refuge and retreat for holy souls, and a place of perfect safety; it is the treasure of heaven. St. Thomas says that, in his time, it was usual to represent at the foot of the crucifix a virgin, who received in a chalice the Blood that issued from the sacred Wound of the side, and another who shed it on the earth. The one bore a rich crown upon her head, the other allowed hers to fall to the ground. The one wore a smiling aspect, all radiant with light, the other had a sad and gloomy look. The first represented the faithful soul, who by meditation receives from the Heart of Jesus joy, light, and a crown of glory; the other, the unfaithful soul, who by sin loses these three incomparable gifts, the light of grace, the joy of a good conscience, and the crown of glory.

"O sweet Jesus!"' exclaims St. Bernard, "what riches You contain within Your Heart, and how easy is it for us to enrich ourselves, for in the Blessed Eucharist we possess this infinite treasure! What riches do we lose from not knowing how to use them! Jesus Christ Himself has promised that those who beg for graces through His Sacred Heart shall receive them in abundance; and we see that those who have practiced this devotion with a lively and ardent faith, have obtained by this means what they had failed to obtain before by repeated and persevering prayer."

As St. Gertrude heard one day at Mass those words of Holy Scripture, Tibi et semini tuo dabo has regiones, "To thee and to thy seed I will give all these countries," our Lord, placing His hand upon His Heart, explained to her what that land was of which, in His boundless liberality towards His creatures, He here spoke. Upon this, the Saint, entering into this mystery of love, exclaimed; "O blessed and beatific land, region of delights, so overflowing is the beatitude You contain, that the smallest grain were enough to satisfy the eager desires of all the elect, and surpasses all that the heart of man could ever imagine as desirable, amiable, agreeable, delectable, and sweet."

Practice: You know what are the terms in which the sentence of life will be pronounced by the Son of God, on the last day, upon His elect: "Come, you blessed of my Father; I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was naked, and you covered me." These words are applicable, in their true sense, to the care which we shall have taken of His suffering members, the poor; and we cannot meditate on them too often, for the Son of God makes our charity towards our brethren the rule and measure of His eternal mercy towards us.

But it must be acknowledged that, owing to the indifference of the greater part of Christians for Jesus Christ, this amiable Savior is truly in the Blessed Sacrament the first among the poor whom we ought to relieve. Be careful to see, then, especially in country churches, that whatever is employed in the service of the adorable Sacrament be kept with becoming cleanliness and decency. Work with your own hands, or get others to work, for churches; and in preference to any brilliant decorations, offer linen necessary for the service of the altar. Your offering will be pleasing to Jesus Christ in proportion as it admits of less ostentation, and as He sees in it a proof of the reverence which you bear towards His Sacred Body. This is a good work, of which He deigns to be Himself the object; this is that ointment which He would willingly see poured over His divine Body, and the pouring out of which He praised on the eve of His death.

Ejaculatory Prayer: O Heart of Jesus, how late have I begun to love Thee! Sero te amavi? (St. Augustine).

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

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