07 June 2011

What the Heart of Jesus Contains

The writer of this reflection on the Sacred Heart of Jesus is unknown. It was translated in the year 1552 from old German into Latin by Lawrence Surius, a Carthusian monk in Cologne. The original manuscript is dated from the first years of the fifteenth century. Its theme conforms very well to the many writings on the Sacred Heart that have been penned by Carthusian monks.

‘I have loved you with an everlasting love’ (Jeremiah 31:3).

In order that your soul may be inflamed with the fire of divine love, I will give you three burning coals which will kindle in you this very desirable flame. They are three meditations that you should make:

The first is on what Jesus Christ is to you as God and Man, namely, supremely worthy of your love. The second is on what Jesus Christ is to you if you consider what He has done for your sake; for in all His acts we find proofs of an incomprehensible love. The third is on what the Heart of Jesus feels for you; and that is a love which is transcendent and infinite.

We have not in any way deserved the love that Jesus our most affectionate friend gives us so freely. This love is incomprehensibly great. It is altogether boundless. That your soul may be more and more filled with the fire of divine love, know that the Sacred Heart, the tender Heart of Jesus, is filled for you with so immense, so excessive, so incomprehensible a love, both human and Divine, that it greatly surpasses all that men and angels could wish for or even imagine; for, I repeat it, this love is truly immense, being without limit and without end. The love of all mothers for an only son, compared to that of the Heart of Jesus, is but a little spark by the side of a vast conflagration. If all the love arising from natural attraction, relationship, or divine grace, which is to be found in the hearts of all men upon earth and of all angels and saints in Heaven were gathered together and put into the heart of one mother for her only son, it would not bear any comparison to the love of our God for us.

It is quite certain that nothing in Heaven and on earth is better, more perfect, more desirable, sweeter and more amiable than the very faithful love of Jesus Christ. Is it not then surprising and enough to make one weep bitterly, to see how seldom and in how small a degree the love of our Lord Jesus Christ is found even in the hearts of many Christians? Perhaps you, dear reader, may be suffering from this unfortunate and dangerous error, and may not know the happiness and sweet joy that the friends of God experience even in this world. I therefore conclude by begging you to recall to mind the numerous and wonderful proofs your Creator and Redeemer has given you of His love. I ask you to observe that this most loving and most tender Heart burned for you with a love so free and so generous that truly one can say with Saint John Chrysostom: ‘Plus quam amore tui ebrius et amens’. Jesus is inebriated with love. He is foolish, if I may so speak, and more than foolish with love of souls! Ah, if it were possible that during this life, your heart could contain for Jesus a mere nothing of the love with which His Heart burns for you, it could not hold it; but kindled suddenly by so ardent a heat, your heart would be in flames; it would be torn and would break. I earnestly invite you to meditate very often and very attentively on what I have been saying.