Sunday, June 01, 2008

Heart of Jesus, wounded for love of us!

"The designs of his Heart stand firm, generation after generation." (Introit.)

Christ's love embraces all men and all ages. When He hung, dead, upon the Cross "one of the soldiers opened His side with a spear; and immediately blood and water flowed out." (John 19, 34). He set His heart as e seal upon His life, His Passion, and His death, as a symbol for all time, telling us that love was the native of all his actions, all his sufferings. The Heart is, so to speak, the kernel, the centre of man's life; in it we find his spiritual personality. Do we not say that we have something at heart, meaning that we love it; or that we take something to heart, and suffer for it? The centre of Christ's being is His love...His humano-divine charity. The divine love of the Son, like in that, as in all things, to the Father, has become incarnate in his human love.
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father, have mercy upon us!
The God-made-man, who gave His life for us upon the Cross and allowed his Heart to be opened, is, as He Himself tells us, the image of His Father: "Whoever has seen me, has seen the Father." (John 14:9). The full meaning of St. John's word - "God is love" (1John 4:8) - is revealed to us through the door that was opened in the Sacred Heart. Because He is God, the Incarnate Word is also love; His Heart reveals, not His love only, but that of the Father who "so loved the world, that He gave up His only-begotten Son" (John 3:16), whose heart He permitted to be opened, thus manifesting to all, not the love of the Son only, but His own paternal love. Because the love of the Father is shown in the Heart of the Son, the Holy Ghost, their mutual love, is also poured into our hearts, and we become one with the Trinity.
Heart of Jesus, King and centre of all hearts, be ever the centre of mine!
Heart of Jesus, in which are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, teach me to what heights the love of God has raised me!
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwells all the fullness of the Divinity, make of my heart God's temple and the tabernacle of the most High!
In the vespers hymn for the feast, the liturgy bids us sing:
"To Thee, O Christ, all glory be,
From out whose Heart all grace doth flow."
"Qui corde fundis gratiam" - words which form part of the doxology, and are repeated at every Hour. Grace flow from it by the sevenfold stream of the Sacraments; it is also from that divine Heart that the Church, his chaste Bride, draws her life. The Master Himself had prophesied that living waters, waters of Baptism, would flow from His side, making of men the members of His Church. At Matins, the Heart of Christ is spoken of as well, from which
"Nations, putting trust above,
Draw pardon from this Fount divine."
Isaias promised his people: "Rejoicing, you shall drink deep of the fountain of deliverance." (Verse and response at Lauds). "Jesus stood....and cried aloud, If any man is thirsty, let him come to me, and drink." (John 7:37). What a privilage is ours! We worship a God who is love and whom we adore in a Heart as holy as it is loving. But we must never forget that love demands but one return - love! When we repeat the ejaculatory prayer: "Heart of Jesus, make my heart like unto thine" - may our intention be that thereby we may love him better! All praise to the Heart which brought us salvation! To him be honour and glory through all eternity!

After "With the Church" meditations on topics from Missal and Breviary - edited by Fr M. Goosens OFM