Second means of obtaining devotion to the Sacred Heart
Devotion to the sacred heart of Jesus is, properly speaking, an exercise of love. Now, it is sufficient to know what. Holy Communion is, to be convinced that there is no more certain means of’ being quickly inﬂamed with love for Jesus Christ, than that of frequently participating in it. “It is impossible to carry ﬁre in one’s bosom, and not to burn,” says the Wise man. This sacred ﬁre is the Adorable Eucharist, which is, as St Bernard says, the love of loves. Let us, then, often approach to this source of all good; it is there that, united and incorporated with Jesus Christ, the author of all holiness, grace shall be abundantly communicated to us; our passions, gradually weakened, will ultimately disappear; our inclination to evil will be changed into a sweet attraction for all the virtues of which the heart of Jesus is the sanctuary, and the model. It is’ there that, possessing the hidden treasure, we shall receive a pledge of that eternal happiness promised to those who shall worthily approach to this mystery of love; for he who possesses Jesus in his holy sacrament, can want nothing for his perfection and salvation. This is so true, that after participating therein, the faithful souls, as says St Magdalen of Pazzi, can exclaim, “All is consummated.” This celestial food contains all goods, and enriches the soul with all graces our souls in a state to communicate oftener? The primitive Chris tians approached the holy table daily, and hence their extraordinary faith and fervor. Ah! If we knew how indifference for the holy Eucharist pains the heart of Jesus! He complained of it, as we elsewhere said, to Sister M. Alacoque. Let us not be of the number ‘ of these ungrateful souls; let us approach to Jesus Christ often, and with the proper dispositions. But if we be a ready in the custom, why do we not make a better use of so powerful a means of perfection? Why, after so many communions, are we always the same? Why do We not cast our selves with faith and conﬁdence at the feet of our Lord, really present in us, and say, “I will not leave you, O Lord, until you have blessed me: I shall not let you go” till you have enabled me to surmount the inclinations which lead me so often from you, and give me an effectual and insatiable desire to do and suffer all for your love, and to accomplish in all your most holy will? And fear not a refusal. Having given you himself, he can refuse you nothing.
Say thrice: Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
On the image of the Sacred Heart
Great efficacy of converting people has been attached to the use of the image of the Sacred Heart.
“Even at the hour of death, incredulous, indifferent, hardened souls have been converted by simply showing them a picture of the Sacred Heart, which sufficed to restore these sinners to the life of hope and love, in a word, to touch the most hardened. It would, indeed, be a great misfortune to any apostolic man to neglect so powerful a means of conversion, and in proof of this I will mention a single fact which will need no comment. A religious of the Company of Jesus had been requested by the Blessed Margaret Mary to make a careful engraving of the Sacred Heart. Being often hindered by other occupations, there was much delay in preparing this plate. ‘ This good father,’ writes the saint, ‘is so much occupied by Monsignor d’Autun in the conversion of heretics, that he has neither time nor leisure to give to the work so ardently desired by the Heart of our Divine Master. You cannot imagine, my much-loved mother, how greatly this delay afflicts and pains me. I must avow confidently to you my belief that it is the cause of his converting so few infidels in this town. I seem constantly to hear these words: ‘ That if this good father had acquitted himself at once of his promise to the Sacred Heart, Jesus would have changed and converted the hearts of these infidels, on account of the joy He would have felt at seeing Himself honored in the picture He so much wishes for. As, however, he prefers other work, even though to the glory of God, to that of giving Him this satisfaction, He will harden the hearts of these infidels, and the labors of this mission will not be crowned with much fruit.”