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Give, then, thy heart to Me, Child: I will fill it with peace, 
and with gladness, and with bliss. I wish to possess
thy whole heart, Child: I am its Lord; I, a jealous
God, am its only end, its sole beatitude.

Statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Alas! my God, here is the labor, here is the difficulty:
there exist in my heart so many things ill regulated,
and these I have followed so long, that to live
according to them, has become to me,
as it were, a second nature.


(6.5 minute read…enjoy)

 

1. The Voice of Jesus

My Child, give Me thy heart.

To release thy heart from sin, and from the world, is not enough: thou must, moreover, disengage it from thyself.

As the complete renouncing of sin renders the friendship of God steadfast, and as the putting away of the world, and its vanities, prepares the soul for the interior life; so, the forsaking of one’s self, leads to union with Me.

It is, therefore, necessary to give Me thy whole heart, without reserving aught for thyself, if thou desirest to enjoy that blessedness, than which there is none greater in this life, and by which alone thou canst be truly happy.

 

2. Thy heart, Child, is Mine. For, when it had no being, I created it; when it was lost, I sought and ransomed it; when it lay an easy prey to the enemies, that were going to carry it off, I protected and preserved it. Thus, by giving Me thy heart, thou dost only give Me what is Mine.

But, on how many accounts do I deserve its every affection! What good dost thou possess, in thy body, or in thy soul, whether in the natural or the supernatural order, which thou didst not receive from My Heart?

How many years ago shouldst thou have been burning in hell, if I had either dealt with thee according to thy deserts; or had not preserved thee from sins which deserve hell and its just punishments!

But it was my love, Child, that dealt with thee in so sweet and wonderful a manner; the love of My Heart, with which I loved thee from eternity, and with which, even till now, I have never ceased to favor thee.

Thy whole life has been a succession of blessings, on My part, uninterrupted and manifold: nor has there been any point of time, which was not marked with some new favor.

 

3. And what, Child of My love, do I ask of thee in return for all these thousands of favors? Surely, whatever I might ask of thee, and whatever thou mightst be able to give, would be far below the greatness and the number of My gifts. Yet, one thing only I demand, thy whole heart; it is enough, if thou give Me that.

Thy heart excepted, I care naught for whatever thou mayst give; because, beyond all else, I long for thy heart.

 

4. Upon whom canst thou bestow thy heart with more advantage? Thou canst not live, without loving, and without giving the affections of thy heart to some object.

Wouldst thou give thy heart to the demon, thy sworn and relentless enemy? Or to the world, the demon’s corrupt and corrupting ally? Woe, My Child, a thousand times woe to thee, if thou givest it to either of these!

Art thou desirous of reserving the affections of thy heart for thyself? But, My Child, if thou lovest thyself only, thou shalt find requital in thyself alone. Now, what is the reward of self-love? Behold, self-love digs out a hell, and leads to the same.

Give, then, thy heart to Me, Child: I will fill it with peace, and with gladness, and with bliss.

 

5. Do not desire to reserve for thyself aught of thy affections: for if thou do this, thou shalt neither be admitted into the secrets of My Heart, nor shalt thou ever be able to taste the sweetness of My love: nay more, thou shalt not be able to keep thyself from the danger of being perverted.

Yet it is not unusual for many, even those who wish to be considered good and pious, to keep, through self-love, under a specious pretext, an affection for some one or other created object. What is there more frequent? What can be more dangerous? What more baneful?

I wish to possess thy whole heart, Child: I am its Lord; I, a jealous God, am its only end, its sole beatitude.

 

6. Love, then, My Child: it is given thee to love; to love is necessary: for this thy heart was made: but love thou what deserves to be loved; love Me; and, if thou cherish aught else besides, love it for love of Me alone.

When beside Me thou wilt love nothing, except for love of Me, when thou givest entrance into thy heart to nothing except to Me, or for love of Me, then, at last, shalt thou possess a heart wholly pure.

Wherefore, My Child, give Me thy whole heart, as a burnt-offering, for an odor of sweetness; nor do thou take it back, not even the least portion of the same: for I hate robbery in a holocaust.

Be ever mindful that, whether in prosperity or in adversity, there can be nowhere a better place for thy heart than with Me.

 

7. The Voice of the Disciple

It follows, then, Lord, that I must also disengage my heart from all self-love, from inordinate affection towards myself; so that I may wholly be filled with Thy love, and may live by Thy Spirit alone.

Alas! my God, here is the labor, here is the difficulty: there exist in my heart so many things ill regulated, and these I have followed so long, that to live according to them, has become to me, as it were, a second nature.

Hitherto, the natural disposition of my heart, either inclination or aversion, has been almost the sole rule of my life: this I have followed, in my dealings with others, in the undertaking and the execution of my actions; yea, in the very performance of my practices of religion and piety.

Hitherto, with grief I must own it, whatever pleased my natural inclination, I was wont to pursue: whatever displeased it, I abhorred.

Hence, I find my labors, for the most part, void: I see that well-nigh all my actions were those of self-love; and that they have given me, in return, the fruits only of self-love.

And, unless Thou, by the light of Thy grace, hadst showed me these things, I might have continued with them, without ever suspecting them. So much was I blinded by self-love.

But, since, by Thy gracious kindness, Thou hast laid open before my eyes these baleful evils lurking in my heart, grant me, I beseech Thee, a special help to remove them altogether.

I entreat Thee, Lord, suffer naught, which is not Thine, in my heart: if ever anything foreign appear therein, oblige me forthwith to cast it out; or do Thou, even against my will, take it thence.

 


“Voice of Jesus” is taken from Arnoudt’s “Imitation of the Sacred Heart”, translated from the Latin of J.M. Fastre; Benziger Bros. Copyright 1866

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for July 16, 2020

Today God invites you to do good; do it therefore today. Tom...

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July 16

 

Today God invites you to do good;
do it therefore today.
Tomorrow you may not have time, or
God may no longer call you to do it.

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Elias saw the cloud as a symbol of the Virgin mentioned in t...

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Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel can be traced back to the hermits living on Mount Carmel in Israel during the Old Testament. This ancient community prayed for the advent of the Virgin-Mother through whom salvation was promised to mankind. In Hebrew, “Carmel” means “garden”. In ancient times this mountain was celebrated for its lush, verdant, and flowery beauty.

It was also on Mount Carmel that the Prophet Elijah prayed to God for rain during a terrible drought afflicting Israel for its sins and idolatry of Baal. The first sign that his prayer was answered was a tiny cloud that appeared in the sky out over the Mediterranean, the precursor of a great rainfall.

Elias saw the cloud as a symbol of the Virgin mentioned in the prophecies of Isaiah (7:14). The hermits took after his example and prayed likewise for the advent of the much-awaited Virgin who would become the mother of the Messiah. Praying thus became their spiritual mission.

Theologians see in that little cloud a figure of Mary, bringing salvation in the seventh age of the world. As the clouds arise out of the sea without the weight and the salinity of the waters, so has Mary arisen out of the human race without its stains.

In the twelfth century, St. Berthold, a Frenchman, pilgrim or crusader, came to Mount Carmel seeking to visit Elijah’s cave, and ended by founding a community imbued with the Marian spirit of the holy prophet and the hermits of old.

St. Brocard, successor of St. Berthold, set their way of life to a Rule, which was approved by Pope Innocent IV in 1247. From the time of St. Brocard, these monks were known as the “Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.”

Our Lady of Mount Carmel cannot be mentioned without also mentioning her brown scapular. On July 16, 1251, Our Lady appeared to St. Simon Stock, an English Carmelite monk, and then General of the Carmelite Order. On one arm she held the Child Jesus and on the other a brown garment called a scapular, to be draped over the front and back of a person. As she showed him this garment she said, “This shall be the privilege for you and for all the Carmelites, that anyone dying in this habit shall be saved.”

This privilege is extended to lay persons who, wishing to participate in this promise, choose to be enrolled in a small version of the scapular by an officiating priest or deacon.

This practice must not be understood superstitiously or “magically”, but in light of Catholic teaching that perseverance in the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity are required for salvation.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protest...

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Walk to Conversion

In September, I brought the statue of Our Lady of Fatima to the home of Mr. John Black and his family in Kings City, California.  John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about thirteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California (though these are holy sites, they also serve as tourist attractions.)

“Who is this Junipero Serra anyways?”  he asked, as the tour guide shared the history of the mission. “Well,” the guide responded, “you are standing on his grave!”  Surprised, John looked down and read inscription on the stone. Sure enough, Blessed Father Junipero Serra was buried right there. “I became electrified,” John told me, “I had to learn more about this man and about the missions.”  The more he studied Blessed Serra, the founder of the first nine missions, the more impressed he became, and he decided to travel on-foot to all 21 missions. 

With the blessing of his wife, now left at home with their two infant sons, John left for his solo expedition, taking with him a single backpack, the bible and little money.  He told me that every mission he visited he felt the presence of someone receiving him, even if the mission was empty. He felt this ambiance in the missions so serene and uplifting, and began to realize it was the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament that made him feel so at home.

At one point, John collapsed from exhaustion near a mission run by Franciscans, who kindly hosted him for the night. Before he left the next day, one of the friars gave him a first-class relic of Blessed Serra. Since he was Protestant, John did not know what a relic was, but not wanting to appear rude, he accepted it. Not long after he left the Franciscans, John became lost in the wilderness in the middle of the night. Through his exhaustion and fear he heard a voice say, “Let’s help John.” He had the distinct feeling that Blessed Serra was guiding him, and gathered the strength and courage to continue. About six hours later, he stumbled upon the next mission. “It was kind of a miracle,” he said, “I was really lost!”

During his journey, John slowly came to a realization. “I know what you want from me, God,” he thought to himself one day, “you what me to became a Catholic. That is what this is all about!” However, he still had many questions about aspects of Catholicism that have been rejected by his Protestant faith – mainly about the Blessed Mother. Yet, from that point on he received answers to all of his questions, especially his reservations about devotion to Mary: he believed that it was once again Blessed Serra answering him.

With the help of Blessed Serra, one problem after another was resolved in the solitude of his travels. By the time John reached the final mission, he wholly decided to become a Catholic. “I realized that by having devotion to Mary, you love Our Lord even more,” he told me.

John returned home, filled with zeal and enthusiasm for his newfound faith. He shared his astonishing experiences with his wife, and she too converted. “I feel at home in the Catholic church,” John said, “and I have never loved Our Lord Jesus Christ more than I do now.”

by Joseph Ferrara

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John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about fourteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California 

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