The Longings of Your Heart
The Imitation of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
That No Object In This World Can Set Our Heart Truly At Rest, Or Make It Truly Contented
1. The Voice of Jesus
My Child, thou art created for happiness. This experience affirms, this reason proves, this faith teaches.
Thou seekest incessantly for happiness, and thou dost well. But leave off seeking thy happiness in things created: in them thou shalt not find it.
No object of this world can satisfy the longings of thy heart; even shouldst thou alone possess at once all things created, thy heart should still be empty and wretched.
Things of this earth awaken the thirst of the heart, they cannot allay it: yea, the more thou dost possess, the more eagerly shalt thou thirst.
How canst thou find in creatures that which exists not in them? Can any one give what he does not possess?
2. Shalt thou obtain what no mortal was ever able to obtain?
Behold, the wisest of men abounded in all good things, he was affluent with ever-fresh delights, he astonished nations with his boundless wealth, he had filled the uttermost lands with the renown of his glory.
Yet, on account of the void of his heart, he is forced to exclaim: Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity.
Grant that thou possess whatever thy heart may long for in this world : that thou be lord of the whole earth : that all men do thee honor: try all things; and thou shalt find that thou hast as yet found nothing, except vanity and affliction of spirit.
3. Do not wonder at this, My Child: thy heart is not made for this world
Therefore, whatever this world contains is unworthy of thy noble destiny and of thy heart’s affection.
Thou art created for greater things, thou art born for things everlasting, thou art destined to things without limit. Do not then give thyself up to what is low and mean, since thou art made to rule forever.
What could it avail thee to gain the whole world, if thou shouldst lose thy soul? Surely, thou wouldst be twice unhappy: here, on account of the wicked state of thy conscience, thou wouldst suffer a torturing agony; hereafter, thou wouldst have to undergo misery everlasting.
Blessed, therefore, is he who spurns whatever may mislead the heart; who nobly casts aside every obstacle to true felicity; who, mindful of his noble destiny, seeks happiness above all in his Creator.
4. The voice of the Disciple
My God, my Savior, Thou didst create me for happiness; hitherto I have not ceased to seek it, still I have never yet tasted, nor have I ever yet found happiness.
My passions were ever and anon crying to me: here it is, or there. In my madness, I believed them, and, blinded by my unruly desires, I ran hither and thither; but, instead of the sought-for bliss, I found wretchedness, and tasted its bitterness.
Ah, wretched me! created for happiness in Thee, my God! I toiled in vain, whilst I sought it in creatures outside of Thee; and behold! I strayed still further away from the bliss for which I was created, and I found wretchedness, for which I was not made, and perished therein.
God, my Savior! open my eyes, that now I may distinctly see this great mistake of mine; and grant that, free from error, I may effectually seek in Thee that beatitude which I cannot find in creatures.
“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