By VERY REV.ALEXIS M.LEPICIER,O.S.M. Consultor of the Sacred Consistorial Congregation, etc.
CHAPTER II. THE HEART OF JESUS, FOUNTAIN OF ALL GOOD, IS WORTHY OF BEING KING OF OUR HEARTS
THE Sacred Heart of Jesus epitomizes in itself all that the Saviour has done to redeem us, all He has suffered to start and guide us on the way of salvation, all that we expect from Him that we may be infinitely happy in the life to come. This divine Heart is the Victim immolated for our sins, Cor Jesu, Victima peccatorum; it is the pattern we must copy in order to arrive at supernatural virtue, Cor Jesu, virtutum omnium abyssus; it is the delight of all the saints, Cor Jesu, deliciae sanctorum omnium. Beginning, middle and end of our spiritual life and our eternal happiness —all this the adorable Heart of Jesus is for us.
Now, seeing that this divine Heart is for us the fount of all good, it is only just that it should be the King of all our Hearts. And this is the dignity to which the eternal Father has predestined Jesus Christ, a dignity which Jesus Himself exercised during His mortal life, and which He will exercise until the end of time. In the full sway of His regal power over our hearts, and in our entire submission to His strong and gentle rule, the practical meaning of devotion to the Sacred Heart of our loving Saviour consists. In this devotion, while we acknowledge the infinite love He bears us, we give solemn homage to Him whose hands hold the keys of our hearts and proclaim, in the face of the world, His right to rule over us.
This truth of the sovereignty of Jesus Christ over the heart of man recalls this other truth, that it is our strict duty to recognize, love and adore Him as Bang of our hearts, as indeed He is; submitting ourselves entirely to Him and conforming our whole lives to His desires.
Jesus Christ was by His eternal Father constituted King of all mankind, but His kingdom is not like that of earthly kings, who wield their power by force of arms and the display of troops. The rule of Jesus is much more powerful and efficacious because it is exercised by the irresistible force of love. Jesus reigns: but He wishes us to feel His power under the guise of love. His weapon is a charity unfeigned, and he who is conquered by this divine Heart is far more happy in his defeat than the proudest warrior is in his victory and triumph.
Happy is he who lets himself be conquered by the charm of Jesus Christ's personality, and surrenders to Him protesting himself His devout servant and subject. Nothing better could befall him. As this divine Sovereign of hearts is the noblest and most lovable of kings, so to be His subject is the highest dignity to which a man can aspire.
Never has the world seen a greater marvel of excellence and generosity than that dis played by our loving Saviour. His exalted dignity was never accompanied by arrogance or harshness, and His modesty and humility were without affectation or baseness. Al though He waged war against sin and reproved the pride of the Pharisee with out spoken freedom, His indignation was not, for that, allied to passion, nor His severity divorced from tenderness. He was gentle with out weakness and firm without ostentation; always kind and considerate toward the poor and unfortunate. He inspired all who approached Him in simplicity with unlimited confidence. Never, in word or deed, did He lose His peace of mind or part with that natural dignity and nobility of bearing which proved Him to be of more than human origin.
Above all, there breathed from the Sacred Person of Our Redeemer an ineffable kindness and sweetness. Although His benefits were extended to all, still the greater part of His affectionate care was for children, for the poor and for the afflicted. He was full of solicitude for His apostles. When He saw them at tacked He took their side. He wept over the sorrow of a poor widow and over the desolation of a sister bereaved of her fond brother. He wished children to come to Him, and delighted in their straightforwardness and simplicity, blessing them with the fullness of His Heart. For every misery, whether spiritual or material, He knew how to find solace and comfort; and even toward His avowed enemies He displayed extraordinary tolerance and meekness.
Although His wisdom astonished the multitude and His prudence confounded the most elaborate plots, He did not disdain to converse familiarly with His rough apostles. With in finite patience He made them masters of the things of God and lifted their hearts above this wretched world. After having worked the most stupendous miracles, He abased Himself with deep humility before the divine Majesty, now invoking it for Himself and for others, now adoring it with religious reverence and submitting Himself to it with perfect resignation. He never sought honors. Rather, did He look down on the world's esteem. His detachment from worldly goods was perfect, and His patience superior to all kinds of trial. He did not live to Himself, and His only wish was the honor of His Father and the good of His neighbor.
Who, considering so great and noble a King, at the same time so kind and gentle, could fail to enlist under His banner and choose Him for Sovereign Lord and Master, obeying His commands and serving Him with all loyalty?
As the magnet attracts iron, and amber straw, so we should let ourselves be attracted by this loving King of our hearts, whether we be like iron for hardness or straw for flimsiness and weakness of spirit. Let us always remain at the feet of this gentle Saviour, saying with the Spouse of the Canticles: "l found him whom my soul loveth. I held him: and I will not let him go" (Cant. iii, 4.)
O adorable Heart of Jesus, most loving Redeemer of the human race, give me to under stand this profound and consoling truth, that it is the will of Thy Father that Thou shouldst reign over my heart, taking entire possession and exercising absolute authority over me, leading me to a complete conformity to Thy desires. O Jesus, my supreme and powerful King, I wish Thee to be my King and my Lord always. To Thee I give my heart; do with me what Thou pleasest.