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The Holy Hearts I: The Sacred Heart

“Learn from Me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” (Gospel of St.Matthew 11:29)

Our Lord in the Gospels speaks of His heart, and the meekness of its eternal rhythmic beats of mercy. He asks us to learn from Him, because He is gentle, and profoundly humble, and wishes us to be so as well, for it is these virtues which God so loves. It is this Heart which has been pierced and abused for love of humanity, despite its faults and iniquities, and still, in anxiety wishes to mete out mercy and forgiveness to those who have pierced it. We see this Heart of Jesus plead and beg for sinful humanity to return and repent of the sins they commit, and in this, we see His mercy manifest itself.

This devotion, was revealed to humanity it seems in the 2 nd century, with St. Justin Martyr and the with Pope St. Gregory the Great in the 7th century, and spread through the world by the coming of St. Bernard of Clairvaux and St. Anselm in the 12th century, and later in the Middle Ages by Saints such as; Gertrude and Mechtild. Later on, by St. Margret Mary, St. Francis De Sales and St. Jane Frances de Chantal respectively. It would seem the heretical teachings of the jansenists attempted to destroy

much of man’s devotion to God, by turning love into pessimism and fear, such was the response of Our Gentle Jesus to St. Margret Mary; “My Divine Heart is so passionately in love with humanity, and with you in particular, that it cannot keep back the pent-up flames of its burning charity any longer. They must burst out through you.”

Can one truly imagine the words of God, who is infinite and eternal, without bounds to laws of reality and quantum understanding of our existence, describe His Heart as being almost out of control with love for us? Who can fathom the intensity of such a love, that if we were to be exposed to its fullness, we would certainly be wiped from creation it seems from the full power of its magnitude. Can one imagine the depths of wonder St.Margret Mary felt as she received this heavenly message?

I would like to also point out, that it was due to St. Claude la Columbiere S.J, who was St. Margret Mary’s spiritual director who believed these divine revelations and supported her. Due to this, her superior supported her and the devotion of the Sacred Heart was inaugurated into the Universal Church.

In point 54 of the encyclical, ‘Hauretis Aquas’ by Venerable Pope Pius XII, he states; “For these reasons, the Heart of the Incarnate Word is deservedly and rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that threefold love with which the divine redeemer unceasingly loves His eternal Father

and all mankind.”

A chief sign and symbol… of love! Eternal and unending, consummate love! It is love that this adorable Heart beats with, a love far beyond any angelic or human mind could possibly comprehend. A love that pierces sinners, shakes hell and makes demons fly.

“Father, forgive them; they know not what they do!” (Gospel of St. Luke 23:24) Even on the cruel wood of the cross, the shame of being exposed to a hateful crowd, reviling, spitting and cursing His name… He still begged forgiveness on our behalf. It was love that made Him stay on the cross, and it was love that spurred that adorable Heart with unyielding affection and mercy that cried to

heaven an appeal for clemency from God the Father.

“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Gospel of St. Luke 23:43) These are the words of Christ, who’s Heart is bruised and beaten, by us! He addressed the repentant thief, who is the soul that returns to Him in forgivness. A soul who had wounded and bruised Him, crowned Him with thorns and spat in His sacred face… is welcomed and loved like the little child Jesus sees within them, reaching out to a Father for mercy.

We see in line 4 of the encyclical, ‘Miserentissimus Redemptor’ by Pope Pius XI; “But assuredly among those things which properly pertain to the worship of the Most Sacred Heart, a special place must be given to that Consecration, whereby we devote ourselves and all things that are ours to the Divine Heart of Jesus, acknowledging that we have received all things from the everlasting love of God.” We can realizethat, from this Adorable Heart of Jesus, all good things come. It is from this furnace of charity that follows the graces and consolations of heaven. Why shouldn’t we hail and adore this divine heart so abused by men? Yet still so in love with us to the point of losing control?

Even in the suffering of Christ, His heart throngs for humanity, forgives and calls to repentance. “I thirst.” (Gospel of St.John 19:28) On the cross, He thirsts for souls! He thirsts for us, and all that we are, despite who we are in our littleness and wretchedness, He wants us to come to Him! “Come to me, all of you who are weary and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Gospel of St.Matthew 11:28) Like the Apostle Whom He Loved, let us recline and rest our heads on that Sacred Breast, and listen to the Divine Heart beat for love of us. Why do we shy away and choose to offend Him? His hands are stretched out, arms wide open to receive us in an instant! Without any hesitation, and without any consternation, and yet we offend. O, Sacred Heart of My Jesus, help us to love thee more!

This heart, so incandescent with love, foresees man’s folly, and still, with reckless abandon, loves him to the point of death! As St. Francis De Sales says in his ‘Treatise on the Love of God’; “He also clearly foresaw that the first man would abuse His liberty and forsaking grace would lose glory, yet He would not treat human nature so rigorously as He determined to treat the angelic.” (Treatise on the Love of God, Pg 75) Think on this for a moment… Our Father saw humanity fall, and the countless barbaric acts we would commit against each other, and how we would offend His Sovereign Majesty… and yet, by a condescension of Beatific Love, and with that blessed crucible of charity, He still willingly was immolated on the Cross on our behalf.

What sublime, unending love… truly there are now words in any tongue, be it of man or angel, that can describe the true love of His Sacred Heart for all of us. No, there is no adequate wording for it. Have you considered, dear soul, that this Sacred Heart of your Redeemer is also majestic? Kingly? If you haven’t before, I implore you to do so now. “And he hath on his garment, and on his thigh written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” (Apocalypse 19:16) Our Gentle Jesus is King of all Hearts, and His Sacred Heart wears the diadem of sovereignty amongst all creation. “I am certain that, even if I had committed every imaginable crime, I should lose nothing of my confidence, but would throw myself broken-hearted into the arms of my savior. I know how He loved St. Mary Magdalen, to the woman taken in adultery, to the samaritan woman, and no one could ever discourage me, for I abide by His mercy and His love. I know that the multitude of my sins would vanish in the twinkling of an eye, like a drop of water dropped into a blazing crucible.” (‘Jesus, King of Love, Pg 68)

The author of those words I have quoted are quite tender, and true. The late Fr. Mateo wrote extensively in his book; ‘Jesus King of Love,’ about the glories and mercies of His Sacred Heart. Truly, Jesus is the King of Kings, but in this sense, He is the King of Hearts. This king, with a rod of iron and a double edged sword proceeding from His mouth in Revelations, to the meek Lamb immolated on the Cross is more merciful than you could ever imagine. His kingdom is a kingdom without end, more splendorous than any land or nation, infinite more so than the universe is wide and old. He is the King reigning from the Cross, the King of Love on Calvary, the King of aboveall Hearts. He desires everything of you; Your heart, soul, body, woes, miseries, happiness, tears, pain and above all… your sins. As Fr. Mateo eloquently puts it; cast your sins, no matter how wicked they maybe, from the darkest secrets of the farthest recesses of your mind and heart, into this Crucible of Charity, into His Sacred Heart. Every hurt, pain, sorrow and tear you’ve ever wept, will be annihilated as if dropping a single drop of ink into an infinite, abyssal ocean.

This is the infinite love of that Crucible of Charity that is the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Word made Flesh. Why do you wait? He’s been there with open arms since the beginning, and He is more anxious to forgive you than you are to even ask of it. Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!


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