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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 24, 2021

It is easy to infuse a most fervent devotion into others, ev...

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July 24

 

It is easy to infuse
a most fervent devotion into others, even in a short time;
but the great matter is
– to persevere.

St. Philip Neri


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Charbel Makhlouf

Multiple times, he successfully lit an oil lamp which was fi...

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St. Charbel Makhlouf

Youssef Antoun Makhlouf was born in the village of Bekka Kafra in Lebanon on May 8, 1828 and was one of five children born to Antoun Zarrour Makhlouf and Brigitta Chidiac. His father was a mule driver who died when Youssef was only three years old, leaving his widow to bring up their children alone.

Although Brigitta was left nearly destitute, she reserved a profoundly religious atmosphere in their home and instilled in her children a deep spirit of piety. Because of this fidelity, Youssef became unusually devoted and inclined to prayer and solitude at a very young age. He was greatly attracted to the life and spirituality of hermits; and as a young boy tending his family’s small flock, he would often go to a nearby grotto where he had erected a little shrine to the Holy Mother of God and would spend his whole day there in prayer.

When he was twenty-three years old, Youssef, feeling the call to the religious life, left his home and family to join the Lebanese Maronite Order at the Monastery of Our Lady in Marfouq. Here he began his formation as a monk before later being transferred to the Monastery of St. Maron near Beirut. There he received the religious habit of the Maronite monk and took the name Charbel. He made his final profession as a religious brother on November 1, 1853 – he was twenty-five years old.

Brother Charbel immediately began his studies for the priesthood under the instruction of Father Nimattullah Kassab, who was also later declared a saint by the Church. Charbel was ordained on July 23, 1859, following which he returned to the Monastery of St. Maron where he lived a life of great austerity. In 1875, he was granted permission by his superiors to live a solitary life in the Hermitage of Sts. Peter and Paul, which was under the jurisdiction of the monastery; and there he resided for the remaining twenty-three years of his life until his death on Christmas Eve, 1898.

St. Charbel is renowned for his many miracles both during his life and after his death. His most famous miracle – which was also his first – occurred when, multiple times, he successfully lit an oil lamp which was filled with water. He is also credited with many healing miracles.

After his death, he was interned at the Monastery of St. Maron, now a famous pilgrimage site. His tomb was often witnessed surrounded by a dazzling light, and to this day his remains are incorrupt and an unexplainable blood-like fluid flows from his body. He was canonized on December 9, 1977, by Pope Paul VI, who held him up as an example to help us understand “in a world, largely fascinated by wealth and comfort, the paramount value of poverty, penance and asceticism, to liberate the soul in its ascent to God.”

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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