Friday, July 3, 2009

THe Thirty-Third Day of the Month of the Sacred Heart

Of the Zeal Which the Heart of Jesus Looks for in Those Who Are Devoted to Him in Spreading the Devotion to the Sacred Heart.

It is not enough to have conceived a great devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. You must also labor, as far as you can, to extend it. And this will be no difficult matter if you have only love: the most unequivocal proof of love is zeal. Whoever has no zeal has no love says St. Augustine.

But in what way are you to exercise your zeal? There are three means of doing it, and these are within the reach of every one. The first is example. Set an example yourself of a tender devotion to the Heart of Jesus. This is the shortest and most efficacious lesson. The second means is to counsel it; to make it known to those who are unacquainted with it and to encourage and foster it in those who have some beginning of it. The third and surest, as it is also the easiest, is to pray ardently to this Sacred Heart to make itself known and loved by means of those interior lights, those secret motions, that enlighten and transform hearts; for this devotion seems to be in a particular manner the fruit of prayer, one of those special graces which our Lord has reserved to be spread in the hearts of His servants by Himself alone.

No one can excuse himself from employing so easy a means as this. The saints in their enterprises of zeal knew well the power of prayer over the Heart of God and hence they never failed to join it to their preaching. For they bore in mind the saying of St. Paul, that "neither he that plants is anything, nor he that waters, but God that gives the increase" Neque qui plantat est aliquid, neque qui rigat, sed qui incrementum dat Deus (1 Cor. iii. 7).

It is related of a Father of the Society of Jesus that he never preached without having first spent three hours in fervent prayer accompanied with abundant tears. A lay brother of the same society, when asked what were the means which he used to gain so many souls to God in his office as porter, replied: "For one word that I address to men, I address a hundred to God." Let us adopt the same means and we may be sure of success.

Let us pray. And if our sins. make us unworthy to be used as instruments by Jesus Christ in making His Sacred Heart known, let us beg of Him to choose others in our place. Let us entreat Him to send into His vineyard apostles of His Heart who, penetrated with a deep sense of the advantages of this devotion, may devote themselves to increase and spread it Yes, let us pray, for everything is promised to prayer. When a holy soul once asked of God why He did not raise up in this corrupt age one of those saints whose zeal changes, as it were, the face of the whole world, "Men do not pray to me enough," was the reply which she received.

The surest means of succeeding in the prayers which we address to God for the good of souls is to offer them to Him through the mediation of the Heart of Jesus. This was made known to Marie of the Incarnation, foundress of the Ursulines in Canada, as she relates in the second hook of her life written by herself. "One night as I was pleading before the Eternal Father the great cause of the salvation of souls, I understood by an interior light, that I was not heard by His Divine Majesty and that He did not, as usual, lend a propitious ear to the vows and urgent entreaties which I addressed to Him. I annihilated myself at His feet. I sank to the center of my own vileness and nothingness that His Divine goodness might deign to teach me what was most pleasing to Him in order that I might obtain my request. Upon this I heard these words: ‘Pray to me through the Heart of Jesus, my most amiable Son. It is through Him, that I will hear you and grant your petition.’ Since that time I have always concluded my daily devotions by this practice, and by this means I gain each day a fresh profusion of graces beyond all that I can express. *

It would be well to mention here the magnificent promises of Jesus Christ in favor of those who zealously employ themselves in making known His Sacred Heart. Saint Margaret Mary says, "Our Lord disclosed to me the treasures of grace and love reserved for those who shall consecrate and devote themselves to give and procure to His Sacred Heart all the honor, love, and glory in their power, treasures so great that it is impossible for me to express them." And in another place, "Our Lord showed me the names of a number of persons written in His Sacred Heart on account of the desire they felt that He should be loved and honored, and He promised, that they should never be effaced."

At the same time, let us bear in mind that to be profitable, our zeal must be prudent and enlightened. There is a wide difference between the affairs of God and those of the world. In the affairs of the world it is necessary to be full of action; in those of God, we must be content with following His inspirations, leaving grace to act and following its movements with all our power. Devotion to the Sacred Heart must insinuate itself by the unction of charity into the hearts of those whom God has chosen for Himself.

Practice: Employ a part of your means in procuring books and medals oi the Sacred Heart and try to spread them where you can. The wicked never fail to find means and resources for circulating their pernicious books. Shall we allow ourselves to be outdone by them?

Ejaculatory Prayer: O Heart of Jesus, grant that I may be consumed with a zeal for Thy glory.

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

* Prayer of Mother Marie of the Incarnation.

It Is by the Heart of my Jesus, my way, my truth, and my life, that I approach Thee O Eternal Father. Through this divine Heart, I adore Thee in behalf of those who adore Thee not, I love Thee in behalf of those who love Thee not, I acknowledge Thy goodness, in behalf of all those who, by voluntary blindness, slight Thy divine Majesty and acknowledge not Thy favors. I would fain satisfy through this divine Heart for the duty of all mankind. I traverse in spirit the whole world in search of every soul purchased by the most precious Blood of my divine spouse, in order that I may make reparation to Thee for all through this divine Heart. I embrace them all in order to present them to Thee through Him, and through Him I beg of Thee their conversion. Wilt Thou suffer them, Eternal Father, to refuse to acknowledge my Jesus, to refuse to live for Him who has died for all? Thou seest, O divine Father, that they have no life as yet. Give them life in this divine Heart.

Thou knowest, O Incarnate Word, my beloved Jesus, all that I would say to Thy Father by Thy divine Heart and by Thy holy Soul. In saying it to Him I say it to Thee, for Thou art in Thy Father and Thy Father in Thee. Grant, then, in union with Him. all that I ask. I present to Thee all these souls. Make them one with Thee.

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