This document on the Sacred Heart of Jesus has six parts
I. History of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
IV. The teaching of Pope john Paul iI on the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the theology of reparation by Monsignor Arthur Burton Calkins
V. Quotes from Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
VI. The Sacred Heart and the Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
I. History of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
(1) From the time of St. John and St. Paul, there has always been in the Church something like devotion to the love of God, Who so loved the world as to give His only-begotten Son to die for us, and to the love of Jesus, Who has so loved us as to deliver Himself up for us. But, accurately speaking, this is not the devotion to the Sacred Heart, as it pays no homage to the Heart of Jesus as the symbol of His love for us.
(2) It is in the eleventh and twelfth centuries that we find the first unmistakable indications of devotion to the Sacred Heart through the wound in the side of the Heart that was gradually reached, and the wound in the Heart symbolized the wound of love. It was in the fervent atmosphere of the Benedictine or Cistercian monasteries, in the world of Anselmian or Bernardine thought, that the devotion arose, although it is impossible to say positively what were its first texts or were its first votaries. To Sr. Gertrude, St. Machtilde and the author of the "Vitis mystica" it was already well known. We cannot state with certainty to whom we are indebted for the "Vitis mystica". Until recent times its authorship had generally been ascribed to St. Bernard and yet, by the late publishers of the beautiful and scholarly Quaracchi edition, it has been attributed, and not without plausible reasons, to St, Bonaventure ("St. Bonaventura opera omnia", 1898, VIII, LIII sq.). But, be this as it may, it contains one of the most beautiful passages that ever inspired the devotion to the Sacred Heart, one appropriated by the Church for the lessons of the second nocturn of the feast. To St. Mechtilde (d. 1298) and St. Gertrude (d. 1302) it was a familiar devotion which was translated into many beautiful prayers and exercises. What deserves special mention is the vision of St. Gertrude on the feast of St. John the Evangelist, as it forms an epoch in the history of the devotion. Allowed to rest her head near the wound in the Savior’s she heard the beating of the Divine Heart and asked John if, on the night of the Last Supper, he too had felt these delightful pulsations, why he had never spoken of the fact. He replied that this revelation had been reserved for subsequent ages when the world, having grown cold, would have need of it to rekindle its love ("Legatus divinae pietatis", IV, 305; "Revelationes Gertrudianae", ed. Poitiers and Paris, 1877).
(3) From the thirteenth to the sixteenth century, the devotion was propagated but it did not seem to have developed in itself. It was everywhere practiced by privileged souls, and the lives of the saints and annals of different religious congregations, of the Franciscans, Dominicans, Carthusians , etc., furnish many examples of it. It was nevertheless a private, individual devotion of the mystical order.
(4) It appears that in the sixteenth century, the devotion took an onward step and passed from the domain of mysticism into that of Christian ascetism. It was constituted an objective devotion with prayers already formulated and special exercises of which the value was extolled and the practice commended.
(5) Nevertheless, the devotion remained an individual or at least a private devotion. It was reserved to Blessed Jean Eudes (1602-1680) to make it public, tohonor it with an Office, and to establish a feast for it. Pere Eudes was above all the apostle of the Heart of Mary; but in his devotion to the Immaculate Heart there was a share for the Heart of Jesus. Little by little the devotion to the Sacred Heart became a separate one, and on 31 August, 1670, the first feast of the Sacred Heart was celebrated with great solemnity in the Grand Seminary of Rennes. Coutances followed suit on 20 October, a day with which the Eudist feast was thenceforth to be connected. The feast soon spread to other dioceses, and the devotion was likewise adopted in various communities. Here and there it came into contact with the devotion begun at Paray, and a fusion of the two naturally resulted.
(6) It was to Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), a humble Visitandine of the monastery at Paray-le-Monial, that Christ chose to reveal the desires of His Heart and to confide the task of imparting new life to the devotion.
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, V.H.M. (French: Marguerite-Marie Alacoque) (1647-1690), was a French Roman Catholic nun and mystic, who promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in its modern form.
She worked to prove the genuineness of her vocation and her visions of Jesus and Mary relating to the Sacred Heart. She was initially rebuffed by her mother superior and was unable to convince theologians of the validity of her visions. A noted exception was Saint Claude de la Colombière, who supported her. The devotion to the Sacred Heart was officially recognized 75 years after Alacoque’s death. In his encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor, Pope Pius XI stated that Jesus Christ had "manifested Himself" to Saint Margaret and referred to the conversation between Jesus and Saint Margaret several times.\\
Alacoque was born in 1647 in L’Hautecour, now part of the commune ofVerosvres, then in the Duchy of Burgundy, the only daughter of Claude and Philiberte Lamyn Alacoque, who had also several sons. From early childhood, Margaret was described as showing intense love for the Blessed Sacrament, and as preferring silence and prayer to childhood play.
After her First Communion at the age of nine, she practiced in secret severe corporal mortification, until rheumatic fever confined her to bed for four years. At the end of this period, having made a vow to the Blessed Virgin to consecrate herself to religious life, she was instantly restored to perfect health. In recognition of this favor, she added the name Mary to her baptismal name of Margaret. According to her later account of her life, she had visions of Jesus Christ, which she thought were a normal part of human experience and continued to practice austerity.
Alacoque lost her father at a young age, and the family’s assets were held by a relative who refused to hand them over, plunging her family into poverty. During this time, her only consolation were frequent visits to pray before the Blessed Sacrament in the local church. When she was 17, however, the family regained their fortune and her mother encouraged her to go in society, in the hopes of her finding a suitable husband. Out of obedience, and believing that her childhood vow was no longer binding, she began to accompany her brothers in the social events of her society, attending dances and balls.
One night, after returning home from a ball for Carnival dressed in her finery, she experienced a vision of Christ, scourged and bloody. He reproached her for her forgetfulness of him; yet he also reassured her by demonstrating that his Heart was filled with love for her, because of the childhood promise she had made to his Blessed Mother. As a result, she determined to fulfill her vow and entered, when almost 24 years of age, the Visitation Convent at Paray-le-Monial on 25 May 1671, intending to become a nun.
In this monastery Alacoque received several private revelations of the Sacred Heart, the first on 27 December 1673, and the final one 18 months later. The visions revealed to her the form of the devotion, the chief features being reception of Holy Communion on the first Friday of each month, Eucharistic adoration during a "Holy hour" on Thursdays, and the celebration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart. She stated that in her vision she was instructed to spend an hour every Thursday night to meditate on Jesus’ Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. The Holy Hour practice later became widespread among Catholics.
On 27 December 1673, the feast of St. John, Margaret Mary reported that Jesus permitted her to rest her head upon his heart, and then disclosed to her the wonders of his love, telling her that he desired to make them known to all mankind and to diffuse the treasures of his goodness, and that he had chosen her for this work.
Initially discouraged in her efforts to follow the instruction she had received in her visions, Alacoque was eventually able to convince her superior, Mother de Saumaise, of the authenticity of her visions. She was unable, however, to convince a group of theologians of the validity of her apparitions, nor was she any more successful with many of the members of her own community, and suffered greatly at their hands. She eventually received the support of St. Claude de la Colombière, S.J., the community’s confessor for a time, who declared that the visions were genuine. In 1683, opposition in the community ended when Mother Melin was elected Superior and named Margaret Mary her assistant. She later became Novice Mistress, and saw the monastery observe the Feast of the Sacred Heart privately, beginning in 1686. Two years later, a chapel was built at the Paray-le-Monial to honor the Sacred Heart. Alacoque died on 17 October 1690.
There is nothing to indicate that this pious religious had known the devotion prior to the revelations, or at least that she had paid any attention to it. These revelations were numerous, and the following apparitions are especially remarkable: that which occurred on the feast of St. John, when Jesus permitted Margaret Mary, as He had formerly allowed St Gertrude, to rest her head upon His Heart, and then disclosed to her the wonders of His love, telling her that He desired to make them known to all mankind and to diffuse the treasures of His goodness, and that He had chosen her for this work (27 Dec., probably 1673); that, probably distinct from the preceding, in which He requested to be honored under the figure of His Heart of flesh; that, when He appeared radiant with love and asked for a devotion of expiatory love —frequent Communion, Communion on the First Friday of the month, and the observance of the Holy Hour (probably June or July, 1674); that known as the "great apparition" which took place during the octave of Corpus Christi, 1675, probably on 16 June, when He said, "Behold the Heart that has so loved men . . . instead of gratitude I receive from the greater part (of mankind) only ingratitude . . .", and asked her for a feast of reparation of the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi, bidding her consult Father de la Colombière, then superior of the small Jesuit house at Paray; and finally, those in which solemn homage was asked on the part of the king, and the mission of propagating the new devotion was especially confided to the religious of the Visitation and the priests of the Society of Jesus. A few days after the "great apparition", of June, 1675, Margaret Mary made all known to Father de la Colombière, and the latter, recognizing the action of the spirit of God, consecrated himself to the Sacred Heart, directed the holy Visitandine to write an account of the apparition, and made use of every available opportunity discreetly to circulate this account through France and England. At his death, 15 February 1682, there was found in his journal of spiritual retreats a copy in his own handwriting of the account that he had requested of Margaret Mary, together with a few reflections on the usefulness of the devotion. This journal, including the account and a beautiful "offering" to the Sacred Heart, in which the devotion was well explained, was published at Lyons in 1684. The little book was widely read, even at Paray, although not without being the cause of "dreadful confusion" to Margaret Mary, who, nevertheless, resolved to make the best of it and profited by the book for the spreading of her cherished devotion. Moulins, with Mother de Soudeilles, Dijon, with Mother de Saumaise and Sister Joly, Semur, with Mother Greyfié, and even Paray, which had at first resisted, joined the movement. Outside of the Visitandines, priests, religious and laymen espoused the cause, particularly a Capuchin, Margaret Mary’s two brothers, and some Jesuits, among the latter being Fathers Croiset and Gallifet, who were destined to do so much for the devotion.
The death of Margaret Mary, 17 October 1690, did not dampen the ardour of those interested; on the contrary, a short account of her life published by Father Croiset in 1691, as an appendix to his book "De la Dévotion au Sacré Cœur", served only to increase it. In spite of all sorts of obstacles, and of the slowness of theHoly See, which in 1693 imparted indulgences to the Confraternities of the Sacred Heart and, in 1697, granted the feast to the Visitandines with the Mass of the Five Wounds, but refused a feast common to all, with special Mass and Office, the devotion spread, particularly in religious communities. The Marseilles plague, 1720, furnished perhaps the first occasion for a solemn consecration and public worship outside of religious communities. Other cities of the South followed the example of Marseilles, and thus the devotion became a popular one. In 1726 it was deemed advisable once more to importune Rome for a feast with a Mass and Office of its own, but, in 1729, Rome again refused. However, in 1765, it finally yielded and that same year, at the request of the queen, the feast was received quasi officially by the episcopate of France. On all sides it was asked for and obtained, and finally, in 1856, at the urgent entreaties of the French bishops, Pope Pius IX extended the feast to the universal Church under the rite of double major. In 1889 it was raised by the Church to the double rite of first class. The acts of consecration and of reparation were everywhere introduced together with the devotion. Oftentimes, especially since about 1850, groups, congregations, and States have consecrated themselves to the Sacred Heart, and, in 1875, this consecration was made throughout the Catholic world. Still the pope did not wish to take the initiative or to intervene. Finally, on 11 June, 1899, by order of Leo XIII, and with the formula prescribed by him, all mankind was solemnly consecrated to the Sacred Heart. The idea of this act, which Leo XIII called "the great act" of his pontificate, had been proposed to him by a religious of the Good Shepherd from Oporto (Portugal) who said that she had received it from Christ Himself. She was a member of the Drost-zu-Vischering family, and known in religion as Sister Mary of the Divine Heart. She died on the feast of the Sacred Heart, two days before the consecration, which had been deferred to the following Sunday. Whilst alluding to these great public manifestations we must not omit referring to the intimate life of the devotion in souls, to the practices connected with it, and to the works and associations of which it was the very life. Moreover, we must not overlook the social character which it has assumed particularly of late years. The Catholics of France, especially, cling firmly to it as one of their strongest hopes of ennoblement and salvation.
The Prayer of Consecration to the Sacred Heart is a Roman Catholic prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII. It was included in the 1899 encyclical Annum sacrumissued by Leo XIII as he consecrated the entire world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
“Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thine altar. We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be; but, to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy most Sacred Heart.
“Many indeed have never known Thee; many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy sacred Heart. Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to Thy Father’s house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.
“Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.
“Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism, and refuse not to draw them into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Thine eyes of mercy towards the children of the race, once Thy chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.
“Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: "Praise be to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor for ever." Amen.”
1) ANNUM SACRUM
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII
ON CONSECRATION TO THE SACRED HEART
May 25, 1899
2) Pius XI – Miserentissimus Redemptor Encyclical of May 6, 1928
3) Pius XII – Haurietis Aquads May 15, 1956
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XII ON DEVOTION TO THE SACRED HEART
MAY 15, 1956
7. Indeed it follows that it is only under the impulse of love that the minds of men obey fully and perfectly the rule of the Supreme Being, since the influence of our love draws us close to the divine Will that it becomes as it were completely one with it, according to the saying, "He who is joined to the Lord, is one spirit."
97. Consequently, it is clear that the revelations made to St. Margaret Mary brought nothing new into Catholic doctrine. Their importance lay in this that Christ Our Lord, exposing His Sacred Heart, wished in a quite extraordinary way to invite the minds of men to a contemplation of, and a devotion to, the mystery of God’s merciful love for the human race. In this special manifestation Christ pointed to His Heart, with definite and repeated words, as the symbol by which men should be attracted to a knowledge and recognition of His love; and at the same time He established it as a sign or pledge of mercy and grace for the needs of the Church of our times.
107. And so we can easily understand that the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, of its very nature, is worship of the love with which God, through Jesus, loved us, and at the same time, an exercise of our own love by which we are related to God and to other men. Or to express it in another way, devotion of this kind is directed towards the love of God for us in order to adore it, give thanks for it, and live so as to imitate it; it has this in view, as the end to be attained, that we bring that love by which we are bound to God to the rest of men to perfect fulfillment by carrying out daily more eagerly the new commandment which the divine Master gave to His Apostles as a sacred legacy when He said: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you. . .This is My commandment that you love one another as I have loved you." And this commandment is really new and Christ’s own, for as Aquinas says, "It is, in brief, the difference between the New and the Old Testament, for as Jeremiah says, ‘I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel.' But that commandment which in the Old Testament was based on fear and reverential love was referring to the New Testament; hence, this commandment was in the old Law not really belonging to it, but as a preparation for the new Law."
118. But, in truth, hatred of God and of those who lawfully act in His place is the greatest kind of sin that can be committed by man created in the image and likeness of God and destined to enjoy His perfect and enduring friendship forever in heaven. Man, by hatred of God more than by anything else, is cut off from the Highest Good and is driven to cast aside from himself and from those near to him whatever has its origin in God, whatever is united with God, whatever leads to the enjoyment of God, that is, truth, virtue, peace and justice.
119. Since then, alas, one can see that the number of those whose boast is that they are God’s enemies is in some places increasing, that the false slogans of materialism are being spread by act and argument, and unbridled license for unlawful desires is everywhere being praised, is it remarkable that love, which is the supreme law of the Christian religion, the surest foundation of true and perfect justice and the chief source of peace and innocent pleasures, loses its warmth in the souls of many? For as our Savior warned us: "Because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold."
122. It is likewise Our most fervent desire that all who profess themselves Christians and are seriously engaged in the effort to establish the kingdom of Christ on earth will consider the practice of devotion to the Heart of Jesus as the source and symbol of unity, salvation and peace. Let no one think, however, that by such a practice anything is taken from the other forms of piety with which Christian people, under the guidance of the Church, have honored the divine Redeemer. Quite the opposite. Fervent devotional practice towards the Heart of Jesus will beyond all doubt foster and advance devotion to the Holy Cross in particular, and love for the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. We can even assert — as the revelations made by Jesus Christ to St. Gertrude and to St. Margaret Mary clearly show — that no one really ever has a proper understanding of Christ crucified to whom the inner mysteries of His Heart have not been made known. Nor will it be easy to understand the strength of the love which moved Christ to give Himself to us as our spiritual food save by fostering in a special way the devotion to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, the purpose of which is — to use the words of Our predecessor of happy memory, Leo XIII — "to call to mind the act of supreme love whereby our Redeemer, pouring forth all the treasures of His Heart in order to remain with us till the end of time, instituted the adorable Sacrament of the Eucharist." For "not the least part of the revelation of that Heart is the Eucharist, which He gave to us out of the great charity of His own Heart."
123. Finally, moved by an earnest desire to set strong bulwarks against the wicked designs of those who hate God and the Church and, at the same time, to lead men back again, in their private and public life, to a love of God and their neighbor, We do not hesitate to declare that devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the most effective school of the love of God; the love of God, We say, which must be the foundation on which to build the kingdom of God in the hearts of individuals, families, and nations, as that same predecessor of pious memory wisely reminds us: "The reign of Jesus Christ takes its strength and form from divine love: to love with holiness and order is its foundation and its perfection. From it these must flow: to perform duties without blame; to take away nothing of another’s right; to guide the lower human affairs by heavenly principles; to give the love of God precedence over all other creatures."
IV. The teaching of Pope Paul II on the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the theology of reparation by Monsignor Arthur Burton Calkins
The Sacred Heart of Jesus as the Source of Reparation
Virtually every Pope since Pius XI has followed him in emphasizing that our primary response to the love of God manifested in the Heart of Jesus is the twofold work of consecration and reparation. In his magisterial encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor Pope Pius XI explicitly called the entire Church to embrace the practice of reparation. Here is the way he put it: Whereas the primary object of consecration is that the creature should repay the love of the Creator by loving him in return, yet from this another naturally follows — that is, to make amends for the insults offered to the Divine Love by oblivion and neglect, and by the sins and offenses of mankind. This duty is commonly called by the name of "reparation."
John Paul II’s Magisterium on the Heart of Jesus
First of all, it should be acknowledged that Pope John Paul II has bequeathed to the Church a remarkably rich patrimony of teaching on the Sacred Heart of Jesus which continues unabated. For instance, he has devoted numerous discourses in whole or in part to the Heart of Jesus, he has given three series of Angelus addresses covering all thirty-three petitions in the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,< he made fascinating allusions to the Heart of Jesus in his first two encyclicals, Redemptor Hominis and Dives in Misericordia, and is particularly fond of emphasizing #22 of Gaudium et Spes as a reference to the Heart of Christ which is contained in the Council documents. He also wrote a notable Message for the Centenary of the Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to the entire Church on 11 June 1999.
This first and most fundamental way in which reparation is understood theologically may also be described as the atonement, expiation, propitiation or satisfaction which Christ has made for us to the Father in his redemptive sacrifice. Each of these words emphasizes with a slightly different accent the profound truth that once man fell into sin he was incapable of "making up" for the offense which he had caused to God and the disorder which he had introduced into the universe. Only Jesus could repair the damage done by sin and make the reparation owed to God in justice. The Catechism of the Catholic Church neatly synthesizes this concept thus:
It is the love "to the end" (Jn. 13:1) that confers on Christ’s sacrifice its value as redemption and reparation, as atonement and satisfaction. He knew and loved us all when he offered his life. Now "the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died" (2 Cor. 5:14). No man, not even the holiest, was ever able to take on himself the sins of all men and to offer himself as a sacrifice for all. The existence in Christ of the divine Person of the Son, who at once surpasses and embraces all human persons and constitutes himself as the Head of all mankind, makes possible his redemptive sacrifice for all.
V. Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque Quotes
Conform yourself as closely as possible to His humility and gentleness in dealing with your neighbor. . . Love those who humble and contradict you, for they are more useful to your perfection than those who flatter you.
Hope in His goodness and redouble your confidence in proportion as your troubles increase.
We should always look to God as in ourselves, no matter in what manner we meditate upon Him, so as to accustom ourselves to dwell in His divine presence. For when we behold Him within our souls, all our powers and faculties, and even our senses, are recollected within us. If we look at God apart from ourselves we are easily distracted by exterior objects.
Love to be looked at as a mere nothing in the house of God.
I think that this fear which Our Lord makes you feel is the result of His very great love for you; for seeing that your love for Him is not powerful enough to make you do good and avoid evil, He mingles fear with love, that the two together may make you do what He desires of you.
Crosses, contempt, sorrows and afflictions are the real treasures of the lovers of Jesus Christ crucified.
You see plainly that I do not mean to advise you to perform great austerities, but rather generously to mortify your passions and inclinations, detaching your heart and emptying it of all that is earthly, and exercising charity towards your neighbor and liberality towards the poor.
Though Jesus [in His Sacred Humanity] is solitary in the Blessed Sacrament, He is always communing with God. Therefore, in order to be conformed to Him, I will make a solitude in my heart, so that everywhere I may converse alone with Jesus.
I believe that He will confirm these words which His unworthy slave continually heard in the depths of her heart, amidst all the difficulties and opposition that beset the beginning of this devotion: "I shall reign in spite of My enemies and all those who would oppose Me."
Keep your heart in peace and let nothing trouble you, not even your faults. You must humble yourself and amend them peacefully, without being discouraged or cast down, for God’s dwelling is in peace.
I think He intends to try you like gold in the crucible, so as to number you amongst His most faithful servants. Therefore you must lovingly embrace all occasions of suffering, considering them as precious tokens of His love. To suffer in silence and without complaint is what He asks of you.
You know that there is no middle course, and that it is a question of being saved or lost for all eternity. It depends on us: either we may choose to love God eternally with the Saints in Heaven after we have done violence to self here below by mortifying and crucifying ourselves as they did, or else renounce their happiness by giving to nature all for which it craves.
If you wish to pray well, be faithful in the practice of mortification, avoid dissipation of mind during the day, and never commit any willful faults.
On coming away from prayer I used to say: "O my Jesus, as I cannot remain in Thy presence, I would rather die than be separated from Thee by sin. Come Thou with me to sanctify all my actions, since all are done for Thee."
When we give ourselves up entirely to His guidance and allow Him to do as He pleases with us, He enables us to make great progress in a short time, almost without our knowing it, except for the struggles in which His grace continually engages our non mortified nature.
He only asks of you abandonment and perfect submission. Nothing displeases Him so much as your uneasiness and despondency. What do you fear? Is He not powerful enough to support you? Why, then, are you so reserved with Him? Let Him act!
I was greatly consoled by the pleasure you gave our Lord in embracing His cross with joy and submission. It is true that He covered it entirely with roses, lest it should frighten you. But it is not so much in this that you should rejoice, but rather that you feel the pricks of the thorns hidden beneath.
This divine heart is an abyss filled with all blessings, and into the poor should submerge all their needs. It is an abyss of joy in which all of us can immerse our sorrows. It is an abyss of lowliness to counteract our foolishness, an abyss of mercy for the wretched, an abyss of love to meet our every need.
Our Lord would fain be your sole Support, Friend and Delight, provided you seek neither support nor delight in creatures. Nevertheless, you must not be ill at ease or constrained in your intercourse with your neighbor, but always humble, bright, kind and gracious in your manner.
Our Lord Jesus Christ desires that we should, for sanctifying ourselves, glorify His all-loving Heart; for it was His Heart that suffered the most in His Sacred Humanity.
Keep your heart in peace and let nothing trouble you, not even your faults. You must humble yourself and amend them peacefully, without being discouraged or cast down, for God’s dwelling is in peace.
Since God wishes it – there is nothing to be done. . . Why should you thus torment yourself? Get rid of whatever He shows you to be an obstacle to His love, for His only desire is that you should live stripped of all that is not Himself.
If we wish to have the love of the Divine Heart as our guest, we must empty and detach our heart from its affection for creatures and for ourselves.
We can tell Him all the secrets of our heart, disclosing our want and misery to Him Who alone can remedy them, and saying: O Friend of my heart, she whom Thou lovest is sick. Visit and heal me, for I well know that Thou canst not love me and yet leave me alone in my distress.
Be humble towards God and gentle with your neighbor. Judge and accuse no one but yourself, and ever excuse others. Speak of God always to praise and glorify Him, speak of your neighbor only with respect — do not speak of yourself at all, either well or ill.
VI. The Sacred Heart and the Society of Jesus
There are five letters of St. Margaret Mary in which she refers to the commission from Christ to the Society of Jesus to propagate devotion to His Sacred Heart. The first two, dated July 4, 1688, and June 1689, were addressed to her former superior, Mother de Saumaise; the third was to Father Croiset, S.J., on August 10, 1689; the fourth again to the superior on August 28 of the same year, as also the last, to Father Croiset, on September 15. Quotations which follow are in sequence from these letters, citing the pertinent passages and omitting items which overlap. When St. Margaret Mary speaks of the "Fathers of the Society of Jesus," we know from the context and from the tenor of her other statements that all the members of the Society are concerned.
1."Then turning to Father la Colombiere, this Mother of Divine Goodness said: ‘As for you, faithful servant of my divine Son, you have a great share in this precious treasure. For if it is given to the daughters of the Visitation to know and distribute it to others, it is reserved to the Fathers of your Society to show and make known its utility and value, so that all may profit from it by receiving it with the respect and gratitude due so great a benefit. In proportion as they give Him this pleasure, this divine Heart, source of blessings and graces, will shower them so abundantly on the works of their ministry that they will produce fruits far beyond their labors and hopes, even for the salvation and perfection of each of them in particular.’ "
2."Our good Father Colombiere has obtained that the holy Society of Jesus be blessed … with all the graces and special privileges of this devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus … He promises that He will bless abundantly, even profusely, their labors for souls and the works of charity in which they are engaged."
3. Although this treasure of love is a good everyone can claim and to which everyone has a right, it has hitherto been little known… . It is reserved to the Reverend Fathers of the Society of Jesus to make known the value and advantages of this precious treasure, of which the more one takes the more there is to take. All they have to do, then, is to enrich themselves abundantly with every grace and blessing from it. For it is by this efficacious means which He is entrusting to them that they will be able to carry out perfectly according to His desire the sacred ministry of charity committed to them. This divine Heart will so spread the sweet unction of His charity on their words that they will penetrate like a two-edged sword the most hardened hearts and make them susceptible to the love of this divine Heart. The most sin-ladened souls will be brought by this means to salutary repentance… . He expects much of your holy Society in this regard and has great designs upon it. That is why He made use of the good Father la Colombiere to begin the devotion to this adorable Heart."
4."This Sacred Heart will shower upon it [the Society of Jesus] grace and blessings in abundance… . To the daughters of the Visitation He has given the commission of revealing His Heart and making it known by establishing the devotion to this all-lovable Heart. He wants the Reverend Jesuit Fathers to make known its utility and worth. This is reserved for them."
5."If it is true that this most attractive devotion is to take its origin in the Visitation, it will be spread through the efforts of the Reverend Jesuit Fathers… . There is nothing more attractive or gentle and at the same time stronger or more efficacious than the unction of the ardent charity of this lovable Heart… . It will melt by His love the coldest hearts. This applies especially to the holy Society of Jesus, to which He offers His graces in order to give its members effective means for worthily and perfectly fulfilling the duties of their ministry of charity, for the glory of God, in the conversion of souls. The members of the Society ought frequently to exhort souls to avail themselves of the great treasures contained in this devotion to the Sacred Heart."
SACRED HEART OF JESUS, HAVE MERCY ON US.