The tender mercies of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus are an inexhaustible treasure that our own hearts, stained by so many sins and our own disordered self-love and lack of meekness and humility, can fathom only faintly. To think that the very Co-Equal and Co-Eternal only begotten Son of God the Father condescended to become Man in Our Lady was Virginal and Immaculate Womb by the power of God the Holy Ghost so that He could pay back in that Sacred Humanity the debt that we owed Him in His Infinity as God, a debt that finite creatures could not pay back on their own. The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, formed out of the Immaculate Heart of Mary while He was developing inside the tabernacle of her Virginal and Immaculate Womb, beat for us with inexhaustible love from the moment of Its first beat, which was in unison with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and beats for us still in tabernacles of authentically Catholic churches in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
Our Lord has been intent on showering us with the tender mercies of His Most Sacred Heart from the time of His Incarnation. Although He has Ascended to the Father’s right hand in glory and will come in glory to judge the Living and the Dead on the Last Day, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s Most Sacred Heart beats in the Most Blessed Sacrament with incomprehensible, unmatched love for us erring sinners whose hearts are frequently so cold, so fickle, so lukewarm, so filled with earthly cares and considerations.
Imagine the patience and the forbearance and the meekness with which Our Divine Redeemer, through Whom all things were made and by Whose Sacrifice of the wood of the Holy Cross to the Father in Spirit and in Truth in atonement for our sins we have been remade as adopted sons and daughters of the living God, loves us and bears with us despite our infidelities and our ingratitude and the lack of charity we show to our fellow man as we engage in rash judgments and show hardness of heart by failing to forgive others as we ourselves have been forgiven so frequently in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance and as we fail to perform the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, especially by failing to seek the conversion of those who are outside of the true Church to her maternal bosom before they die. Imagine how much Our Lord’s Most Sacred Heart is filled with sorrow for the loneliness It experiences as It awaits our acts of love and humble prostration in the Most Blessed Sacrament as we consider ourselves “too busy” for even brief visits with Our Lord and Our God Who comes to us in Holy Communion every day and Who, though Our Divine Judge, wants to serve as Our Divine Physician in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance.
How do we repay the tender mercies of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus?
Usually by forgetting that others bear within themselves the Divine impress and that we must treat them as we would treat Our Lord Himself. We forget that we must hang on the crosses that God has fashioned from all eternity for us to be affixed so that we can unite our prayers and our sufferings and our sacrifices and calumnies and humiliations to those He experienced once during His Passion and Death, accepting each of our crosses with joy and with gratitude as we surrender freely whatever merit we might earn from bearing them to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as she, the very Mother of Divine Grace and Help of Christians, our Queen of Mercy, distributes those merits as pleases God for His greater honor and glory and for the good of souls, both those in the Church Militant on earth and those in the Church Suffering in Purgatory. We repay the tender mercies of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus by living according to the dictates of naturalism rather by attempting to view all things at all times through the eyes of the true Faith and as we seek to plant a few seeds for the restoration of the the Social Reign of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. We are, to be honest, ingrates as we fail to repay the tender mercies with even the smallest amount of acts of fervor and devotion.
Father John Croiset wrote of the pain we have caused Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s Most Sacred Heart by our failure to make room for Him in the “inns” of our hearts by our worldliness and our attached to vain pleasures and earthly amusements:
Consider that it was no less afflicting and sad for Jesus Christ to see the ingratitude of the majority of the faithful, who would have only coldness and indifference for Him in the Sacrament of His love. He saw the little esteem, nay, even the contempt with which they would treat this greatest proof of His love. He saw that no matter what He might do to be loved by the faithful, even dwelling always amongst them in the Blessed Eucharist, neither this excess of His love, nor His benefits, nor His very presence would be capable of making the greater part of them love Him or would prevent them from forgetting Him. he saw that those churches in which He was to be sacramentally present would be left for most of the time without adorers. He saw what little reverence, nay, what disrespect would be shown in His presence. He saw clearly how the greater part of His followers, who spend long hours in vain amusement and useless visits and complete idleness, would rarely find a quarter of an hour to spend before Him in the Blessed Sacrament. He knew how many others would visit Him only under compulsion and without either devotion or reverence. And finally, He saw the very small number who would eagerly visit Him and devoutly adore Him. He saw clearly that the greater number take no more notice of Him than if He were not really present in the Blessed Sacrament or than if He were a person of no consequence.
The harsh treatment which He received from the Jews, Gentiles and heretics was indeed very painful to Him, but they were His open enemies. But could we ever thought it possible that those who recognize His benefits, that those who make profession of being faithful to Him, that His own children should not only be insensible to His benefits and in no way touched with compassion at the sight of the grief caused by such contempt, but that they should treat Him with contempt by their irreverences and sacrileges? Our Saviour might well say: “If pagans and Turks and infidels had treated Me so, I might have endured it.” “for if my enemy had reviled me, I would verily have borne it”. (Ps. 54:13), but that Christians, Catholics whom I have not only redeemed, but have fed and nourished with my Body and Blood, should have nothing but contempt for Me, that they should treat Me with ingratitude, is too much. “But thou a man of one mind, my guide and my familiar: who didst take sweetmeats together with me! (Ps. 54: 14-15)
What must be the sentiments of this most generous and tender Heart of Jesus which has so loved men, and which finds in the hearts of those men only coldness and contempt? “I am become a reproach among my enemies.” (Ps. 30: 12). If after exposing Myself to the contempt and hatred of My enemies in the midst of the outrages which I suffer, I could at least find a large number of faithful friends who would console Me! But it is quite the contrary: “They that saw me without fled from me.” (Ps. 30:12) The greater number, seeing that I have disguised Myself under the feeble appearance of bread in order to have the pleasure of dwelling among men, abandon Me and forget Me as a person who has no place in their hearts, “I am forgotten as one dead from the heart.” (Ps. 30:13) (Father John Croiset, The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus: How to Practice the Sacred Heart Devotion, republished by TAN Books and Publishers.)
Even in this, however, the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus overflows with tender mercies for us ingrates. Our Lord beckons us to be conformed to the tender mercies of his own Most Sacred Heart through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
A kind word to a stranger.
An invitation to a passer-by placed into our lives by God’s Divine Providence to embrace the Faith.
A word of forgiveness offered to someone from whom we are estranged.
A prayer offered for those from whom we are separated as a result of the nefarious schemes of the conciliar revolutionaries, who have done a remarkable job of setting members of the household of the Faith against each other as they, the revolutionaries, have blasphemed God repeatedly and distorted and misrepresented His Deposit of Faith.
A prayer said for those very conciliar revolutionaries so that they will have the humility to abjure their errors publicly before they die.
An extra Rosary prayed in reparation for our sins and those of the whole world.
A dessert that goes unordered.
There are an endless variety of ways that we can let Our Lord conform our own hearts of stone into hearts of flesh as the consecrated slaves of His Most Sacred Heart through His Blessed Mother’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.
The tender mercies of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus overflow into our cold, indifferent hearts of stone especially during times of particularly difficult sufferings. So many are the cases known to us at this very time of Catholic men and women suffering the heartbreak of spouses who consider them to be “mentally ill” for their embrace of the Faith, for their desire to be less worldly than they had been in the past, for their desire to make more sacrifices of love to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for their willingness to suffer calumny from their own closest relatives and friends for coming to recognize that men such as Joseph Ratzinger expelled themselves from the Catholic Church decades ago by clinging to and propagating beliefs condemned solemnly by the authority of the Catholic Church, our spotless mother on earth who keeps the articles contained in the Deposit of Faith “intact for ever” so “that they might be brought with ease and security to the knowledge of men” (cf. Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928.) It is especially in times of such persecution from one’s own spouse that one must show forth the tender mercies of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Our Lord Himself taught us that we would be hated by members of our own household. Why are we so slow to believe Him. Why are we so reluctant to render unto the members of our household the tender mercies that are shown unto us by the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Itself?
The brother also shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the son: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and shall put them to death. And you shall be hated by all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved. And when they shall persecute you in this city, flee into another. Amen I say to you, you shall not finish all the cities of Israel, till the Son of man come.
The disciple is not above the master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the goodman of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household?
Therefore fear them not. For nothing is covered that shall not be revealed: nor hid, that shall not be known. That which I tell you in the dark, speak ye in the light: and that which you hear in the ear, preach ye upon the housetops. And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Fear not therefore: better are you than many sparrows. Every one therefore that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven. But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
And a man’s enemies shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for me, shall find it. He that receiveth you, receiveth me: and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me. (Matthew 10: 21-40.)
We have been told by Our Lord Himself, in whose breast beats His Most Sacred Heart, that others will hate us. We must note hate in return. We must never be bitter. We must never hold onto or nurse grudges. Nothing anyone says to us or does to us is the equal of what one of our least Venial Sins caused Our Lord to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death and caused His Most Blessed Mother to suffer as those Seven Swords of Sorrow were thrust through and through into her Immaculate Heart.
It was nothing other than the love that beats for us in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, aflame with a desire for our sanctification and salvation, that caused these words to issue forth from the mouth of Our Divine Redeemer during the Sermon on the Mount:
Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.. . .
You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thy enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust.
For if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have? do not even the publicans this? And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? do not also the heathens this? 48 Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5: 10-12; 43-48.)
To love as the Sacred Heart of Jesus loves us is not to overlook error or to make any compromises with heresy, which grieves the twin hearts of matchless love, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. To love with the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus requires us to pray for the erring and to recognize that many of us have been too frequently on the wrong side of eternal life and eternal death issues of our own salvation.We must forgive as we are forgive, defending the Faith firmly, to be sure, but always out of the motive of a pure a love for Love Incarnate that the graces sent to us through Our Lady’s loving hands can make possible in our own frequently cold hearts.
Saint Gertrude the Great was given to see clearly the mysteries of love contained in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. We could profit form partaking of the clarity with which Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ endowed her during her lifetime over seven hundred years ago now:
Now, as the end of time approaches, He says to us what He once announced by the beloved Apostle of His Sacred Heart [Saint Gertrude the Great]: “Let him who thirsts for happiness, grace, and peace, come to My Divine Heart, their source, and draw from it ‘gratis’ whatsoever he will. My merciful Heart, which desires before the end of time to glorify itself by a supreme manifestation, and to love men to the utmost bounds of affection, has arranged all for this end.
“Let these languid souls come only to Me, confide in My goodness, and abandon themselves to My love. Let them be at rest in the meekness of My Heart, unite themselves to My humility and obedience, and they will no longer feel the weight of My yoke through the abundant consolation with which I will favor them. Come, then, without fear or delay, and abandon yourselves lovingly and for ever unto Me.” (Father Andre Prevot, Love, Peace and Joy: Devotion to the Sacred Heart According to St. Gertrude, published originally in 1911.)
Father John Croiset noted the sufferings that Our Lord endured for us during His Passion and Death in order to redeem us. How wen our hearts refuse any suffering to be united with His own Most Sacred Heart through His Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Heart?
Consider what were the sentiments of Jesus Christ when he represented to Himself distinctly, on the one hand, the singular benefits which He had lavished on His chosen people, and on the other, the cruelties and outrages which He was about to receive from this same nation, notwithstanding so many benefits. All the graces which had preceded His coming had been given to them only in view of the merits of Jesus Christ. It was particularly for this people that he had become man; it was among them, in preference to all other people, that He had chosen His parents and His friends, that He had performed His miracles and preached His doctrine, and for all these benefits he received nothing but harshness, persecution and opprobrium. He was refused a lodging at birth; He was no sooner born than He was compelled to seek shelter in a foreign country. With what indignity was He not treated during His public life! But what has He not suffered at His death! He was seized like a robber. He was dragged like a criminal along the same streets through which He had been led in triumph a few days before as the Messiah. He was struck on the face as an insolent person; in the house of Caiphas, He was spat upon as a blasphemer. He was treated as a mock king and an imposter, He was delivered up to the terrible cruelty of the demon-possessed rabble during the while night in the dungeon of Caiphas, where He suffered innumerable outrages. he was treated by Herod as a fool; He was condemned to be scourged like a wretched slave, and the criminal, Barabbas, was preferred to Him as being less wicked than He. Finally, He was condemned to the most ignominious death and was nailed to a Cross on which He expired in the sight of a huge multitude of people, most of them witnesses of His miracles, and even some in whose favor He had wrought miracles, without finding a single one among that crowd to take His part, or to offer Him consolation. From insensibility to His sufferings, they even passed to contempt, and from contempt to execration. But perhaps these people were deceived? No; they knew that His life had been holy, exemplary; that it was spent doing good, working miracles for the afflicted; and it is even for that that they persecuted Him–for being too good.
All this presented itself clearly and vividly to Jesus Christ. He was perfectly conscious of the dignity of His Person, the greatness of His favors, the disinterestedness of His love, and the unworthiness, meanness, rage, and malice of those who treat Him such such cruelty.
A great soul, especially when it is possessed of great love and when it hopes by suffering to make that love known, is capable of giving itself willingly up to suffering; but the more generous and tender a person is, the more difficult he finds it to support injustice and ingratitude, especially when he seems himself sacrificed to the envy of his enemies and betrayed by those from whom he had a right to expect help in his affliction, and when he sees that his terrible sufferings and afflictions are not capable of inspiring these men with the least sentiment of compassion.
Never has any person more clearly and vividly represented to himself events in all their circumstances than Jesus Christ. Never had anyone a more generous heart, and consequently, no one was ever more sensible to ingratitude. With what torrents of bitterness was not that Sacred Heart of Jesus inundated when It represented to Itself what He had done for this people and what this people was going to do to Him. Let us, who are so sensible to contempt, especially contempt from people whom we have most obliged; let us judge what must have been the sentiments of Jesus Christ at the sight of this spectacle. (Father John Croiset, The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, republished by TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 274-275.)
Our Lord revealed the secrets of His Most Sacred Heart to Saint Gertrude the Great in the Thirteenth Century and to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in the Seventeenth Century at a time when the darkness of Jansenism had rendered the hearts of so many men as cold and as embittered as they are today in a world which is being chastised by a lack of true priests and thus of a lack of true Masses and thus of a lack of Sanctifying and Actual Graces. We must, as Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque prayed, make acts of reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus for our sins and those of the whole world, taking upon ourselves more and more voluntary penances and offering them to this Heart of Hearts that was pierced for our sakes with the lance of Saint Longinus as every single drop of the Most Precious Blood that had been generated therein.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque composed the following prayer to her Divine Visitor Who desires that each one of us approach the font of Mercy that is His Most Sacred Heart through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of His Most Blessed Mother:
O Divine Heart of Jesus, inexhaustible Source of love and goodness, ah! how I regret that I have forgotten Thee do much and loved Thee so little! O Sacred Heart, Thou dost merit the reverence and love of all hearts which Thou hast cherished so much and laid under infinite obligations. And yet Thou dost receive from the greater number nothing but ingratitude and coldness, and especially from my own heart which merits Thy just indignation. But Thy Heart is all full of goodness and mercy, and of this I wish to avail myself to obtain reconciliation and pardon. O Divine Heart, I grieve intensely when I see myself guilty of such cowardice and when I consider the ungrateful conduct of my wicked heart, which has so unjustly stolen the love that it owes to Thee and bestowed it on myself or on vain amusements.
O Heart most meek, if the sorrow and shame of a heart that recognizes its error can satisfy Thee, pardon this heart of mine for it is sorry for its infidelity and ashamed of the little care which it has taken to please Thee by its love. O Sacred Heart of my Saviour, what could I expect from all this but Thy displeasure and condign punishment if I did not hope in Thy mercy. O, Heart of my God, Heart most holy, Heart to which alone belongs to pardon sinners, do Thou in Thy mercy pardon this poor miserable heart of mine. All its powers unite in a supreme effort to make reparations to Thee for its wanderings from Thee and the disordered application of its love.
Ah! how have I been able hitherto to refuse Thee my heart, I who have so many obligations to make Thee its sole possessor, nevertheless I have done so. But now how I regret that I have wandered away from Thee, from the love of Thee who art the Source of all goodness, in a word, from the Heart of my Jesus, who although needing me not, hast sought me out and lavished Thy favors on me. O adorable Heart of Jesus, is it possible that my heart can have treated Thee thus, my heart which depends entirely on Thy love and thy benefits and which, if Thou shouldst take them from it, would fall into the utmost extremes of misery or be reduced to nothingness? Ah! how I am beholden to Thy goodness, O indulgent Heart of my Saviour, for having borne with me so long in my ingratitude! Oh! how timely Thy mercies come to pardon my poor, inconstant heart!
O Heart of my Jesus, I now consecrate to Thee and give Thee all my love and the source of my love, which is my heart; I give Thee both irrevocably, although with great confusion for having so long refused Thee Thine own possessions. O Divine Heart, my very capability of bestowing my poor hear on Thee is a proof of Thy great love for me, but alas! I have availed myself badly of such a favorable opportunity to merit Thy love and grace. Oh! how great is my confusion at the thought of this! O Heart of my Jesus, reform my faithless heart, grant that henceforth it may bind itself to Thy love by its own, and that it may approach Thee as much in the future as it has wandered away from Thee in the past, and as Thou art the Creator of my heart, may Thou, I beseech Thee, one day give it the crown of immortality.
We must show forth the tender mercies of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus at all times. We cannot show forth these tender mercies unless our hearts of stone are indeed turned into hearts of flesh as the Prophet Ezechiel wrote, prophesying the transformation of hearts that would take place as a result of the bright, burning love of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus that was formed out of and beats as one with the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
For I will take you from among the Gentiles, and will gather you together out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. And I will pour upon you clean water, and you shall be cleansed from all your filthiness, and I will cleanse you from all your idols.
And I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit in the midst of you: and I will cause you to walk in my commandments, and to keep my judgments, and do them. And you shall dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. And I will save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for corn, and will multiply it, and will lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the held, that you bear no more the reproach of famine among the nations.
And you shall remember your wicked ways, and your doings that were not good: and your iniquities, and your wicked deeds shall displease. It is not for your sakes that I will do this, saith the Lord God, be it known to you: be confounded, and ashamed at your own ways, O house of Israel. Thus saith the Lord God: In the day that I shall cleanse you from all your iniquities, and shall cause the cities to be inhabited, and shall repair the ruinous places, And the desolate land shall be tilled, which before was waste in the sight of all that passed by, They shall say: This land that was untilled is become as a garden of pleasure: and the cities that were abandoned, and desolate, and destroyed, are peopled and fenced. (Ezech. 36: 24-35.)
This is also a prophecy, I believe (speaking entirely without any claim to prophetic insight whatsoever as I have no such insight or mystical gifts in the slightest, just a plodding intellect that is slow to see plain truths on occasion), of the restoration of the Church Militant on earth that has been devastated by the apostasies and blasphemies of Modernity and Modernism, a Church Militant on earth that has been devastated as well, if we are really honest with ourselves, ladies and gentlemen, by our own sins and our own indifference and our own ingratitude towards the tender mercies of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and our forgetfulness to keep the Nine First Fridays of Reparation to that Most Sacred Heart and the Five First Saturdays of Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus was emptied of every last drop of Its Most Precious Blood. as Father Francois Charmot, S.J., wrote in In Retreat With the Sacred Heart, to show forth the love of the God the Father for us as God the Son gave up His life in obedience to His Father in Spirit and in Truth to make it possible for us to know an unending Easter Sunday of glory in Paradise before that same Most Holy Trinity:
If I did not have some knowledge of the Heart of Jesus, how little would I realize the love of the Father!
But, looking upon the pierced Heart of the Incarnate Word, I can say with assurance: blessed be Thou, O Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who, in Him, has heaped upon us all Thy spiritual blessings!
Before the creation of the world Thou hast chosen us in Jesus, in order that we may be holy with Him, through the love of the blessed Trinity.
Thy Son is charity, as Thou, Father, art charity.
He is all charity, as thou art all charity.
The charity of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is the same, equal in Three Persons.
There are not three charities, but one singe coeternal love.
With what love I have been loved infinitely, neither more nor less by Thee, Father, than by the Son and by Thy Holy Spirit, since before the creation of the world!
If I believe that Jesus loves me, I believe that His Father loves me just as much, and it is Thy Word who declares to me that Thou, Father, and Thy Holy Spirit wish to dwell in me.
All those whom the Heart of Jesus loved: His disciples, the children, the sinners, the diseased, the poor, the humble, the persecuted.
Thou, Father, also loved them with the same love.
The Blessed Virgin was loved no less by Thee than by Thy Son, her Son, and by Thy Spirit.
O Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, blessed be Thou for having foreordained that we should be Thy Sons in thine only begotten Son, sons of adoption through Thy Son incarnate
Thou hast willed, by this gracious predestination, that the Heart of Thy well-beloved Son should make us sharers in the love of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
For this Heart encompasses all that the charity of the Three Persons could communicate from its Fire to the Incarnate Word.
In this Heart we possess by heritage such an effusion of the Holy Spirit, such a furnace of love, such an ocean of mercy, such an outpouring of tenderness, that it is impossible to imagine any others in some perfect creature which would be closer to infinite charity.
That is why, O Father, we know thy love through the Heart of Jesus.
Kind Father, kindest of Fathers, incomparably kind Father, Thou hast willed that through the pierced Heart of Thy Son, we should know the extent of Thy charity, Thy goodness, Thy paternity, Thy longanimity, Thy mercy, Thy pardon, Thine eternal remission of sin.
And when this Heart which has so loved men–even to the shedding of all Its blood for them–finally ceased to beat, the death of Thy Son bore witness, even as the sacrifice of His Father who had delivered Him, that the love of the Three Persons for us outweighs the very life of the Man-God.
Through the pierced Heart of Thy Son, O infinitely good Father, grant me the grace to believe implicitly in Thy love, to love Thee as a Son, as Thy Son Jesus, who abandoned Himself to Thee in the agony and on the cross in utter helplessness and total destitution, solely because Thou were His Father.
I cast myself into Thy paternal arms, as a prodigal son, knowing that Thou art more kind even than my Mother Mary, moving loving even than the Heart of Jesus, through whom I have come to know the immensity of Thy love.
Pater, in manuas tuas commendo spiritum meum.
Father, in life and in death, in dangers, in temptation, in sin, in doubt, in error, in the folly of my heart, in grief, in discouragement, everywhere and always, whatever may happen, united with the Heart of Jesus, I abandon myself to Thy paternal goodness, source of all goodness. (Father Francois Charmot, S.J., In Retreat With the Sacred Heart, The Newman Press, 1956, pp. 16-19.)
We can come to know, love and serve God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Ghost more and more fully is we permit our hearts of stone to be turned into turned into hearts of flesh after the pattern of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus if we make the time to spend with Our Beloved in His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament. And our time before Our Lord’s Real Presence will help us to love others more purely as we will their good, the ultimate expression of which is the salvation of their immortal souls as members of the Catholic Church.
The readings for Matins on today's Divine Office contain reflections from Saint Bonaventure, whose feast is celebrated this year on Friday, July 14, 2017, on the river of love that flowed forth from the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus after It was pierced by Saint Longinus's lance:
In order that the Church might be taken out of the side of Christ, in his deep sleep on the Cross, and that the Scripture might be fulfilled which saith: They shall look on him whom they pierced: it was divinely ordained that one of the soldiers should pierce his sacred side with a spear, and open it. Then forthwith there came flowing out blood and water, which was the price of our salvation, pouring forth from its mountain-source, in sooth, from the secret places of his Heart, to give power to the Sacraments of the Church, to bestow the life of grace, and to be as a saving drink of living waters, flowing up to life eternal for those who were already quickened in Christ. Arise, then, O soul beloved of Christ. Cease not thy vigilance, place there thy lips, and drink the waters from the fount of salvation.
Because we are now come to the sweet Heart of Jesus, and because it is good for us to be here, let us not too soon turn away therefrom. O how good and joyful a thing it is to dwell in this Heart. What a good treasure, what a precious pearl, is thy Heart, O most excellent Jesu, which we have found hidden in the pit which hath been dug in this field, namely, in thy body. Who would cast away such a pearl? Nay, rather, for this same I would give all my pearls. I will sell all my thoughts and affections, and buy the same for myself, turning all my thoughts to the Heart of the good Jesus, and without fail it will support me. Therefore, o most sweet Jesu, finding this Heart that is thine and mine, I will pray to thee, my God: admit my prayers into the shrine of hearkening: and draw me even more altogether into thy Heart.
For to this end was thy side pierced, that an entry might be open unto us. To this end was thy Heart wounded, that in it we might be able to dwell secure from alarms from without. And it was wounded none the less on this account that, because of the visible wound, we may perceive the wound of love which is invisible. How could this fire of love better shine forth than for him to permit that not only his body, but that even his Heart, should be wounded with the spear? Who would not love that Heart so wounded? Who would not, in return, love one who is so loving? Who would not embrace one so chaste? Wherefore let us who are in the flesh love in return, as much as we can, him who so loveth, embrace our wounded one, whose hands and feet, side and Heart, have been pierced by wicked husbandmen; and let us pray that he may deign to bind our hearts, still hard and impenitent, with the chain of his love, and wound them with the dart thereof. (Saint Bonaventure, Matins, The Divine Office.)
We must return love for Love Himself with every beat of our own hearts, consecrated as they must be to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary out of which It was formed and from which It took Its Most Precious Blood.
Although Paschaltide ended after the Mass on the Whit Saturday on Saturday, June 10, 2017, our devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament extends the glories of Paschaltide as we remember the love that Our Lord had to redeem us, the love that He showed to the Apostles in the forty days between His Resurrection and His Ascension, the love that He showed at the Ascension as He commissioned the Apostles to preach the Gospel to all men and to all nations so that each would be converted to the Catholic Faith unconditionally, the love that the Father and the Son showed upon us as God the Holy Ghost descended in tongues of flame on Pentecost Sunday, the love that is made possible by our regeneration in the very inner life of love of the Most Blessed Trinity at the moment of our Baptism, the love that is infused into our souls every day that we receive Holy Communion worthily, the love that grows all the more as we spend more and more time in His Real Presence.
Saint Gertrude the Great herself explained how we sought to show forth our love for Love Incarnate in the Most Blessed Sacrament:
Hail, Most Glorious Body, a most precious Blood of my Lord Jesus Christ, here truly present beneath these sacramental species; I adore Thee with all that devotion and awe wherewith the nine choirs of angels worship and adore thee. I prostrate myself before Thee in the spirit of humility, believing and professing that Thou, my Lord and my God, are herein most truly contained.
Hail, most glorious Body of Jesus Christ my Saviour, true Victim immolated upon the cross. I adore Thee in union with that adoration with which Thy Humanity adored Thy Godhead, and I give Thee thanks with all the love of all thy creatures, that Thou dost deign to remain hidden in this tabernacle for our salvation.
Hail, compassionate Jesus, Word of the Father, Brightness of His glory, Ocean of pity, Salvation of the world, most august and sacred Victim. Hail, Jesus Christ, Splendour of the Father, Prince of Peace, Gate of Heaven, True Bread, Son of the Virgin, Shrine of the Godhead.
I most firmly believe that Thou, my God, are here present, and that Thou are looking out upon me from behind the veil of the sacrament, and dost behold all the most secret recesses of my heart. I believe that under this species of bread are contained not only Thy Flesh and Thy Blood, but also Thy Divinity and Thy Humanity. And although this mystery surpasses my understanding, I nevertheless believe it so firmly that I am ready to give my life and my blood in defense of its truth.
We must meditate this day and every day on the tender mercies of the Sacred Heart that beat for us with such love in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
The effulgence of the Most Sacred Heart is poured out over us as a laver of redemption in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance as the merits of Its Most Precious Blood are washed over our hearts to sign the lintels of their doorposts, making them ready for a true and eternal passover at the moment of physical death to our life in eternity.
How can we refuse others the mercies that are given unto us so gratuitously?
How we can we refuse our acts of tender love in gratitude for as an exchange with the tender mercies of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus that was formed out of and beats as one with the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
A blessed Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus to you all. May we know the tender mercies of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in life so that we can the eternal glories of the love of the Most Blessed Trinity in Heaven in the company of Our Lady, Saint Joseph, our Guardian Angels and Patron Saints and all of the saints and angels forever and ever!
Isn’t it time to pray a Rosary of reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
Cor Jesu Sacratissimum, miserere nobis.
Cor Jesu Sacratissimum, miserere nobis.
Cor Jesu Sacratissimum, miserere nobis.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Ireneneus (whose feast is suppressed today), pray for us.