This post is a part of the First Friday link-up at http://www.omostsacredheart.com/
There are people who think that devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is dead. Of course, there are people who think that the saints are dead, those men and women mentioned in the Book of Revelation:
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
On this First Friday, which coincidentally falls on the Solemnity of All Saints, the Catholic Church is here to tell you – the saints are unfathomably alive, and so is the devotion to the Sacred Heart of their Lord.
It is common knowledge that the Church holds up thousands of saints for emulation, a very biblical thing to do as St. Paul encouraged when he wrote, “Imitate me, as I imitate Christ.” Yet there is an even greater number of saints in the presence of God, faithful Christians who are never going to have a parish named after them or get their mug shot on a holy card, people like your great-uncle Joe and your grandma Theresa who died in God’s friendship, underwent purgation and now stand with the multitude before the throne and before the Lamb. On the first day of November, the Church asks us to remember not only the canonized saints, but Theresa and Joe as well, and to make sure that one day we join them….
Now, I never met your grandma or your great-uncle, but I can tell you for certain that if they are now in the presence of God, they share a vital organ with the canonized saints: the Heart of Jesus. As the Litany assures us, the Most Sacred Heart is the “delight of all saints.” All saints, the famous and the unknown, share the same important characteristic; they are not dead; their eternal lives began here on earth when He gave each of them a new heart – His Heart.
For His Heart is mine. I will say it boldly, for Christ is my Head, is not what belongs to my Head mine? Therefore as the eyes of my corporal head are truly my eyes, so is my spiritual heart my heart. Therefore, it is well with me: truly I have but one Heart with Jesus and what wonder that there should be but one heart with the multitude of believers. St. John Eudes
He brought me into such close intimacy with Himself that my heart was espoused to His Heart in a loving union, and I could feel the faintest stir of His Heart, and He of mine. The fire of my created love was joined with the ardor of His eternal love. St. Faustina Kowalska
When Mass was over I remained with Jesus in thanksgiving. Oh, how sweet was the colloquy with paradise that morning! It was such that although I want to tell you all about it, I cannot. There were things which cannot be translated into human language without losing their deep and heavenly meaning. The Heart of Jesus and my own—allow me to use the expression—were fused. No longer were two hearts beating but only one. My own heart had disappeared as a drop of water is lost in the ocean. Jesus was its paradise, its king. St. Pio of Pietrelcina
This Sacred Heart is the source of consolation for all the saints. They never tire of contemplating His pierced side from whence flowed water and blood, because they drink from that Fountain the waters of life:
It was a divine decree that permitted one of the soldiers to open his sacred side with a lance. This was done so that the Church might be formed from the side of Christ as he slept the sleep of death on the cross, and so that the Scripture might be fulfilled: ‘They shall look on him whom they pierced’. The blood and water which poured out at that moment were the price of our salvation. Flowing from the secret abyss of our Lord’s heart as from a fountain, this stream gave the sacraments of the Church the power to confer the life of grace, while for those already living in Christ it became a spring of living water welling up to life everlasting. Arise, then, beloved of Christ! Imitate the dove ‘that nests in a hole in the cliff’, keeping watch at the entrance ‘like the sparrow that finds a home’. There like the turtledove hide your little ones, the fruit of your chaste love. Press your lips to the fountain, ‘draw water from the wells of your Savior; for this is the spring flowing out of the middle of paradise, dividing into four rivers’, inundating devout hearts, watering the whole earth and making it fertile. St. Bonaventure
Then it was as if You opened the Heart in Your most holy body to me, so that I could look right inside of it there before me. You commanded me to drink from that source. You invited me to draw the waters of my salvation from Your fountains, You, my Savior. How strong at that moment was my desire that streams of faith, hope and charity might overflow from it into me. St. Peter Canisius
The saints give themselves up to be immolated in the Burning Furnace of Charity, and in thus losing their life, they find it:
Oh, if we could but understand the love that burns in the Heart of Jesus for us! He has loved us so much, that if all men, all the angels, and all the saints were to unite, with all their energies, they could not arrive at the thousandth part of the love that Jesus bears to us! – St. Alphonsus Liguori
Hail! O Sacred Heart of Jesus, living and quickening source of eternal life, infinite treasure of the Divinity, and burning furnace of divine love. You are my refuge and my sanctuary, O my amiable Savior. Consume my heart with that burning fire with which Yours is ever inflamed. Pour down on my soul those graces which flow from Your love, and let my heart be so united with Yours, that our wills may be one, and mine in all things be conformed to Yours. May Your divine will be equally the standard and rule of all my desires and of all my actions. St. Gertrude the Great
They proclaim His Most Sacred Heart to be their hiding place:
O Jesus! draw me into Thy Sacred Heart; and that I may dwell there, wash me from my iniquities, purify me from every stain. O most beautiful of the children of men, Thy Sacred Heart has been opened only that we may be able to dwell in it in safety and in peace. St. Bernard of Clairvaux
My Lord, I desire nothing but Thee, and never shall I find rest until I succeed in concealing myself entirely in Thy Divine Heart St. Catherine of Genoa
I wish, oh Jesus, that my voice could reach to the ends of the world, to call all sinners and tell them to enter into Thy Heart….Oh, if only all sinners would come to Thy Heart!… Come! Come sinners, do not be afraid! The sword of Justice cannot reach you Here! – St. Gemma Galgani
They expound upon His Sacred Heart, extolling It in sermons, in poetry and in prose:
To celebrate the Heart of Christ means to turn toward the profound center of the Person of the Savior, that center which the Bible identifies precisely as his Heart, seat of the love that has redeemed the world. If the human heart represents an unfathomable mystery that only God knows, how much more sublime is the heart of Jesus, in which the life of the Word itself beats. In it, as suggested by the beautiful Litanies of the Sacred Heart that echo the Scriptures, are found all the treasures of wisdom and science and all the fullness of divinity. In order to save man, victim of his own disobedience, God wished to give him a “new heart,” faithful to his will of love . This heart is the heart of Christ, the masterpiece of the Holy Spirit, which began to beat in the virginal womb of Mary and was pierced by the lance on the cross, thus becoming for all the inexhaustible source of eternal life. That Heart is now the pledge of hope for every man. How necessary for contemporary humanity is the message that flows from contemplation of the heart of Christ. Where, indeed, if not from that source will it be able to attain the reserves of meekness and forgiveness necessary to heal the bitter conflicts that bloody it? Bl. John Paul 2
In the heart of Jesus, which was pierced,
The kingdom of heaven and the land of earth are bound together.
Here is for us the source of life.
This heart is the heart of the triune Divinity,
And the center of all human hearts
That bestows on us the life of God.
It draws us to itself with secret power,
It conceals us in itself in the Father’s bosom
And floods us with the Holy Spirit. St. Edith Stein
My God, my Savior, I adore Thy Sacred Heart, for that heart is the seat and source of all Thy tenderest human affections for us sinners. It is the instrument and organ of Thy love. It did beat for us. It yearned over us. It ached for us, and for our salvation. It was on fire through zeal, that the glory of God might be manifested in and by us. It is the channel through which has come to us all Thy overflowing human affection, all Thy Divine Charity towards us. All Thy incomprehensible compassion for us, as God and Man, as our Creator and our Redeemer and Judge, has come to us, and comes, in one inseparably mingled stream, through that Sacred Heart. O most Sacred symbol and Sacrament of Love, divine and human, in its fullness, Thou didst save me by Thy divine strength, and Thy human affection, and then at length by that wonder-working blood, wherewith Thou didst overflow. Bl. John Henry Newman
May thy heart dwell always in our hearts!
May thy blood ever flow in the veins of our souls!
O sun of our hearts, thou givest life to all things by the rays of thy goodness!
I will not go until thy heart has strengthened me, O Lord Jesus!
May the heart of Jesus be the king of my heart!
Blessed be God.
Amen. St. Francis de Sales
The Heart of Jesus is the comfort and the strength of all the saints:
No matter what my sufferings may be, I will never complain, and if I have to undergo any humiliation I will seek refuge in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. St Alphonsa Muttathupadathu
And when all earthly succor is withheld, their belief in the Love that burns in the Heart of their Savior transcends the darkness:
In my heart there is blind trust in the Sacred Heart. – Bl. Teresa of Calcutta
The grace to live and die in the Sacred Heart was granted these men and women, as their holy lives bear witness. They lived and they died, and yet they live now even more fully, because it was the Heart of the One Who conquered death which beat, and still beats, in their breasts. As He promised, those who believe in Him shall never die. Neither shall devotion to that Sacred Heart, that one Heart shared by all believers, weaken or die. St. Josemaría Escrivá, lover of Jesus’ Heart, put it so simply:
True devotion to the Sacred Heart has always been and is still truly alive, full of human and supernatural meaning. It has led and still leads to conversion, self-giving, fulfillment of God’s will and a loving understanding of the mysteries of the redemption.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Delight of All Saints
I put my trust in You!
On the Solemnity of All Saints
Deo omnis gloria!
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