06 June 2009

All Graces Come From The Heart Of Jesus

Continuing with reflections on the Sacred Heart of Jesus from the Carthusian Order, this next installment is from Dom Dominic of Treves, born in Prussia in 1384, and a Carthusian of both Sierk and Treves.

Out of the good treasure of his heart he bringeth forth that which is good. (Saint Luke 6:45)

If you wish to be easily and thoroughly cleansed from sin, freed from all your imperfections, and enriched with many graces, you must cut off all unnecessary occupations, and surrender yourself to the eternal charity which is taught by the Holy Ghost, in order to become its disciple. Without any effort of the imagination, but by the sole force of the mind and the will, frequently offer, give up, and cast your heart and soul into the most sweet Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ, your Creator, your Redeemer, your crucified Friend -- into His Heart so full of love; into His Heart, the abode of the most Holy Trinity; into His Heart, where "dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead corporally" (Colossians 2:9); into His Heart, through which "we have access both in one Spirit to the Father" (Ephesians 2:18); into His Heart, finally, which, in Its infinite love, contains and embraces all the elect in Heaven and on earth.

Lift up your heart to the bountiful Heart of your God, taking care above all to be very recollected at all times and in all places, especially when you are singing the Divine praises, and during your prayers and other exercises. Thus God commands you in these or similar words: "Come unto Me, and take My yoke upon you (Saint Matthew 11:28,29). Give Me thy heart, and let thine eyes keep My ways (Proverbs 23:26). Put Me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arm…" (Canticle of Canticles 8:6). Let your humble reply be: "My heart is ready (Psalm 107:2), I will extol Thee, O God my King, and will bless Thy Name forever, yea forever and ever (Psalm 144:1); I will lift up my hands and my heart unto Thee." And is not this His right since all virtues are found in the Heart of Jesus? There we find mercy, justice, meekness, strength. There we find salvation, the fountain of life, perfect consolation, "the true light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world" (Saint John 1:9), especially the man who makes this Divine Heart his refuge in trials and sorrows. Truly, all the blessings we can desire come most abundantly from Jesus, and every grace we receive is poured out upon us from no other source than that of His Heart sweeter than honey. His Heart is the furnace of Divine love, always burning with the fire of the Holy Spirit and purifying, kindling and transforming into Himself all who yield themselves to Him, or who wish to be His.

Since all good flows from the most sweet Heart of Jesus, you must offer back to His Heart all the gifts, graces and blessings which have been bestowed upon you and upon all men. You should do this for the greater glory of God and for the benefit of the Holy Church, not attributing to yourself anything of the good you may have done, nor regarding with self-satisfaction the gifts of God, but ascribing all to Him, and returning all to their original Source, which is the Heart of Jesus. Make this offering especially when you say the Gloria Patri or recite psalms and hymns which speak of the glory of God.

Place all your sins in the Heart of Jesus. Through that Heart you should ask for grace and pardon, and should praise and bless God, not only for yourself, but for all who are committed to your care and for the whole Catholic Church, whose triumph you desire, invoking from the depth of your misery the depth of God's mercy ("Deep calleth on deep" Psalm 41:8). Out of gratitude you will then often kiss a picture of the Heart of Jesus, of this most kind Heart, of this Heart in which are hidden all the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God (Colossians 2:3). If you have not a picture of the Sacred Heart, you can make use of one of Jesus on the Cross.

Desire unceasingly to behold your Savior face to Face. Confide to Him your troubles. Draw His Heart into yours, with Its spirit and Its love, Its graces and Its virtues. Abandon yourself lovingly to It in sorrow and in joy. Confide in It and cling to It. Dwell in the Heart of Jesus, being "careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3), so that He in turn may vouchsafe to take up His abode within your heart. Lastly, sleep and take your rest in the Heart of Jesus. The hearts of mortals will prove false or will forsake you; but the most faithful Heart of Jesus will never abandon you.

Do not neglect moreover to honor devoutly and to invoke the glorious Mother of God, the Mother of mercy, the most sweet Virgin Mary, that she may vouchsafe to obtain for you from the most sweet Heart of her Son all that you need. Offer what you have received to the Heart of Jesus through the blessed hands of His Mother. Beseech her Maternal goodness to help you, so that, with all the saints and elect of God, you may praise and bless the Lord for all the benefits He has bestowed upon you down to the present time, and for all those He will grant to all eternity. Amen.