Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Third Day of June

Divine Love the Principal Effect of Devotion to the Sacred Heart.

The whole law of our Lord Jesus Christ is summed up in this single word, Diliges, You shall love. How sweet and admirable a law, worthy of God who gives it, and alone worthy of man, to whom it is announced. He who made the human heart knows well that there are no chains strong enough to bind it, but those of love. He may have imposed other obligations on His creatures, but they are all summed up in this; Thou shalt love. This is tlie distinctive commandment of Jesus Christ. "This is my commandment , that you love," Hoc est praeceptum meum, ut diligatis (St. John, xv. 12). My chief injunction, the only commandment which I give you is, that you love Me, that you love one another as I have loved you. It is by keeping this commandment that you shall be known as My disciples. Qui diligit, legem implevit. "He that loves has fulfilled the law" (Rom. xiii. 8). He that abides in love abides in God, and God in him. He that loves not, abides in death (1 John, iii. 14).

O Jesus! what return shall we make to You for having commanded us to love You, and for having assured us so often and so solemnly of Your love for us?

If, then, all our duties, labors, combats, triumphs, may be reduced to the gaining this single good, the love of God, we are fortunate in having at our disposal a sweet, easy, and infallible means of securing it. This means, and it is within the reach of all, is devotion to the Sacred Heart; the Person who has attached such promises to it is, as we have seen, no other than Jesus Christ Himself. "I promise you," He says, "that my Heart shall enlarge itself, to pour in abundance the influence of its divine love upon those who shall render it this homage." And on another occasion, "This devotion shall awaken love in the hardest hearts, and enkindle the least fervent with its flames."

"God shall reign in spite of His enemies," wrote Saint Margaret Mary, "and make Himself master of our hearts; for this is the principal end of this devotion, to convert souls to His love."
It may be easily conceived that such is the effect of devotion to the Sacred Heart. For, indeed, everything about it breathes love. Its object is the Heart of Jesus Christ burning with love; its end is to repair the injuries done to love; its practice, exercises of love. It invites to an attentive consideration of all that can enkindle this love, the remembrance and acknowledgment of the love and benefits of our Lord, especially in the sacrament of the Eucharist.

What would Jesus Christ not have done for any one who should have faithfully borne Him company during His sorrowful passion, when all others abandoned Him? Or rather, what did He not do for St. John, who alone attended Him to His last sigh? He made him, in some sort, a second self, leaving him the last and most touching pledges of His love; His divine Mother for his own, His cross for a token of remembrance, His Heart for his place of abode.

He reserves the same inestimable gifts of His liberality for those who are touched by the abandonment and solitude of His churches, and the outrages, contempt, and coldness of Christians towards the sacrament of His love, and who resolve to bear Him company, to receive Him into their hearts, and to make reparation each day by their diligence and fervor, in prayer and their self annihilation in His presence, for the indignities which He meets with so repeatedly at the hands of men. He will not allow Himself to be outdone in generosity; their love will be recompensed by love. He will give it them not by measure; non ad mensuram; (St. John xiii. 34) but with a profusion which will crown and surpass the ardor of those desires which Ho has formed within them Himself. He has promised to do so; He has pledged His word to it. "He that loves me shall ge loved hy my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him" (St. John xiv. 21).

He has given His word for it. If, in worldly promises, this puts an end to all doubt, what shall we say when the word of Jesus Christ is pledged? From henceforth, then, let us say, full of confidence, with the apostle: I live in the faith of Jesus Christ who has loved me, and has promised me His love, and in these last times has given me His Heart in pledge of it.

We read in the life of St. Gertrude that, one day, when she was favored with an apparition of St. John the Evangelist, she asked him why it was that, though he had reclined during the last supper upon the breast of Jesus Christ, he had written nothing for our instruction on the movements of His Heart; and that the Saint replied in these remarkable words; "I was charged to write for the infant Church the words of the uncreated Word of God; but God has reserved the sweetness of the movements of His Heart to be revealed in the latter times, in the decrepitude of the world, in order to rekindle charity which will be greatly cooled." We have reached the period of which the beloved disciple spoke to this saint. The fire of charity is extinct in almost every heart; but why should we not have confidence? The devotion to the Sacred Heart, which is extending every where, will rekindle its flames.

Practice: The Heart of Jesus has an infinite desire to be known and loved; it wishes that we should address ourselves to it with great confidence, especially in the holy Sacrifice of the Mass. In order to rekindle your devotion, remember that a single Mass procures greater glory to God than the merits of all the saints together, and that the blessings attached to this adorable sacrifice, are greater than those which you can gain from your other prayers during your whole life. Many do not know how to occupy themselves during Mass. What rapid progress they would make in the love of Jesus Christ, if they applied themselves to meditate on the Passion and sorrows of His Heart, each time that they assist at this divine sacrifice.

Ejaculatory Prayer: Who shall separate us from Thy love, O Heart of Jesus? Quis nos separabit a charitate Chrtsti? (Rom. viii. 35)

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


shadowlands said...

Having attempted to fill the hole in my lonely soul with anything earth would offer,I then presented my finally exhausted search to God,hardly a prepared offering.He accepted me,none the less.What Love!Dare to approach,anyone who feels unworthy.You are who He waits for,truly.

Anonymous said...

O my soul, love the Love that loves thee from eternity.
- Card. Raphael Merry del Val