16 April 2010

The Heart of Jesus Cannot Refuse Anything

This reflection on the Sacred Heart of Jesus was written by the Carthusian Dom Heinrich Arnoldi, who was Prior of the monastery at Basel, Switzerland until his death in the year 1487. In his handbook on mystical theology, he placed these astonishing words on the Lips of Jesus: ‘If the devout soul does what she can, namely, if she desires Me with all her innermost heart and spares no labour for love of Me. . . then at the time and place I choose, I will snatch her away in spiritual ecstasy’ (De modo perveniendi ad veram et perfectam Dei et proximi dilectionem). Like most Carthusian writings on mystical theology, Dom Heinrich Arnoldi follows the pattern of giving your all out of love for God, but also recognizes man’s weaknesses, thus relying on God’s grace to make something of oneself that one cannot do on his own. That pattern is evident in this piece on the Sacred Heart as he places words on the Lips of Jesus which suggest that our Divine Saviour cannot refuse us. If we jump ahead from the fifteenth century to the twentieth, Jesus Himself told Saint Faustina concerning the Hour of Mercy: ‘In this hour I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion’ (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska #1320). Here’s Dom Heinrich Arnoldi’s reflection on the Sacred Heart of Jesus:

'Has He not also, with Him, given us all things'? ~ Romans 8:32

Behold and see, says our Lord Jesus Christ, what a painful position I am in upon the Cross. My Arms are extended in order to be always able to receive and embrace you each time you come to Me. My Feet are nailed, that you may know that I cannot, will not be parted from you. My Hands, since they are pierced through and through, show you that it would be impossible for them, even when closed, to withhold the favours you desire from Me. But understand that it is not the nails that fasten Me to the Cross and keep me there, but My love. I have loved you from all eternity, and will love you eternally if on your side you never cease to love Me. I will never forget you. Deeply, carefully, and lovingly have I written you in the Wounds of My Feet and Hands. I have even gone further. As though I were not satisfied with this, I have had My Side pierced by a soldier's spear in order to open wide for you the entrance to My Heart, and to show you how great was the love which led Me to die for you.

Lastly, desiring more easily to attract and keep you close to Me by the bonds of love, I have caused Blood and Water to flow from My Side after death -- Blood to pay your ransom, Water to wash away your sins. In this way, by virtue of the Sacraments contained in this Blood and this Water, I have set you free and renewed your innocence.