28 May 2010

The Holy of Holies

This reflection on the Sacred Heart of Jesus was written by Dom Lawrence Wartenberger. He was born in Magdeburg, Germany around the year 1590. He was a Lutheran before converting to Catholicism. He was Prior of the Carthusian Charterhouse in Koblenz, Germany (Kartause Sankt Beatusberg). Here’s is his reflection:

The veil of the temple was rent in two. ~ Saint Mark 15:38

Jesus will not be crucified privately in the court of the praetorium, but like a King bearing His weapons, He will be seen upon the battle field. He will be placed on the Cross outside the walls of Jerusalem, in broad daylight, exposed to the gaze of a very large number of persons, who have come from all parts of the land to celebrate the great feast of the Pasch.

If you have any love for our Lord, recall to mind the pains which He endured; kneel in the shadows of the Cross in contemplation; and the fruits of His bitter Passion will appear to you inestimably sweet. Do I ask anything too hard when I tell you to think of Him Who has satisfied for you? Let not the Saviour stretch out His Hands before you in vain. Seek no more for unprofitable joys here below, but reserve yourself for the joys of eternity. O man, hear today the Voice of the Lord, and harden not your heart. God asks for your heart, and He would have it humble, docile, full of good will and of distrust of self, and set free from every sinful affection.

O unfathomable abyss of the ungrateful human heart! The earth quakes, the rocks are rent, the graves are opened when Jesus expires on the Cross, while the heart of man remains insensible and hard as adamant!

The veil of the temple behind the altar of incense hiding the Holy of holies, was torn from top to bottom, and the mysterious and sacred objects of the Jewish worship were exposed to view. Thus were the mysteries of the New Law disclosed when the true Holy of holies opened His Breast and drew from His Heart a new Tabernacle not made with hands, rending forever the veil that separated us from His Father.

You, O my soul, are the dove, the beloved of God; enter then into the open Heart of Jesus. Enter into the holes of the mystical Rock, whence no one can drag you against your will. There will you feel the fire that constrained that Heart to love you with such great love. Through the lacerated Side of your Redeemer, as through a grating, you will discern the treasures of Divine Wisdom and knowledge. Keep near to your God; the shadow that falls from the tree of the Cross is of admirable sweetness, it affected the thief and sanctified him. Let the remembrance of the Passion be ever before you. This is what is called in the Apocalypse, washing one’s robes in the Blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:14). Then will you be able to reach the tree of Life, and through the door of the Wounds of Jesus, you will enter into the Eternal City. He is but a thief and a robber who goes not in through the opening made in the Side and the Heart of Jesus.