By VERY REV. ALEXIS M. LEPICIER, O.S.M. Consultor of the Sacred Consistorial Congregation, etc.
CHAPTER XIX. SPIRIT OF FORTITUDE IN THE KING OF OUR HEARTS, JESUS CHRIST
WE have seen hitherto how the Heart of our divine Saviour appears to us surrounded by a halo of heavenly wisdom, burning with the purest flame of love and filled with enlightened zeal for justice. We must now consider the spirit of fortitude with which Our Saviour was endowed.
Indeed, Jesus received from His eternal Father extraordinary strength and power, to be displayed by invisible arms which none, however, could resist. He was to conquer the proudest enemies opposed to the triumph of His work of Redemption. He Himself openly declared this when He said: "All things are delivered to me by my Father" (Luke X, 22.) and He repeated this expressly when He sent His apostles to preach the Gospel throughout the world, saying: "All power is given to me in heaven and in earth" (Matth. XXVIII, 18.)
The power with which the Father invested the spirit of Jesus Christ, had regard in the first place to the government of His own body and the control of His own actions* as became the Son of God and the King of all mankind. Therefore, there could be no movement of Our Lord's which was not in harmony with His double dignity of Son of God and King of men No act. no gesture in Him which was not at once worthy of the Deity and becoming to the most perfect of men. No word which could not find an echo in the bosom of the Most Holy Trinity or would not resound as sweet music in the choirs of angels as in the ears of men. In Jesus Christ all was peace, all was harmony, because that divine Heart which did not beat save under the influence of the Holy Ghost, gave an imprint, a divine cadence to all His thoughts, words and deeds.
In vain do artists strive to reproduce in painting the sweet majesty of that divine countenance, the grave and so attractive bearing of that august Personality. Those eyes shining with angelic penetration and seraphic love; those lips whence came forth floods of eloquence which moved all hearts; those features which kept men gazing into His face for days together, forgetful of hunger, thirst and weariness; those arms thrown open to embrace with unrestrained affection innocent children and repentant sinners; those hands raised to bless and to point out to the multitude the place of eternal happiness: all these things pass the ability of the most skillful artist. The brush of the best painter will ever be unequal to the task, for none can recapture the effulgent dignity, the strong and sweet majesty of Jesus, any more than a human tongue can re hearse the harmony of His whole wonderful Personality.
Blessed indeed are the holy angels, blessed are the inhabitants of heaven, followers and friends of this divine Heart, because they have the happiness of ever gazing on that ocean of beauty which is the sweet face of Our Redeemer, on which His most holy soul, itself, as it were, irradiated by the presence of the God head, has left an impress of supernatural splendor and comeliness. And blessed art thou especially, O blessed Mother who, for thirty-three years, didst drink draught upon draught of that fountain of pure joy, unweariedly admiring that sweet and divine Fruit of thy womb, which was so like thyself. For it was in thy womb, O Virgin Mary, that the Father clothed our loving King, Jesus, with that celestial power and with all those gifts that made thy Son the masterpiece of divine art.
But it was not only for His own sake that Our Lord was invested with supernatural strength which made Him the most powerful and at the same time the most glorious of men: "Beautiful above the sons of men."— "Speciosus forma prae filiis hominum" (Ps. XLIV, 3.) It was also for the beings subject to Him, rational or irrational, angelic or human, over which His power was to be exercised.
In the first place, our divine Saviour, by virtue of the marvelous power conceded Him by the Holy Spirit, can illuminate, out of the fullness of His knowledge, all and each reasonable being, whether man or angel. For even the angels are inferior in knowledge and grace to Jesus; and so not only men but even all the hierarchies of angels are illuminated by this divine Heart which, like a most brilliant sun, set in the firmament of heaven, shines with a most tender light: "There is no one that can hide himself from his heat." (Ps. XVIII, 7.)
By virtue of that same marvelous power, the Heart of Jesus conquers every opposition or reluctancy in men or angels. No man, how ever lofty his rank, no angel, however sublime his nature, can resist the will of Our Saviour or thwart His plans. All His enemies are doomed to certain defeat. What Jesus has determined, that must happen. He can truly say: "My enemies that trouble me, have them selves been weakened, and have fallen. If armies in camp should stand together against me, my heart shall not fear." (Ps. XXVI, 2, 3.)
Besides that, the soul of Jesus Christ, as an instrument of the Word, to which it was hypostatically united, had received from the Holy Ghost a special power ordained to produce all those miraculous occurrences which have for their end the fulfillment of the mystery of the Redemption. In fact, the soul of our divine Lord was, as it were, a most excellent instrument of the Godhead. Hence, it received co pious grace, not only to work every sort of miracle, but also to transfer to others the power of doing similar wonders and even greater, whenever such happenings should serve to further the salvation of mankind.
But our loving Saviour does not exercise this thaumaturgical power save in conformity with the impulses of His Heart full of wisdom and love, and only to the end of making heaven more accessible to men. Therefore, this supernatural power of which we speak is justly attributed to His most Sacred Heart, which we rightly invoke as the House of God and the Gate of Heaven: "Cor Jesu, domus Dei et porta caeli." For everything Jesus does is destined to procure the glory of His Father's House and to open to men the Gate of Paradise.
Heart of my Saviour, in virtue of that unbounded power which the Father has granted Thee, conquer, I beseech Thee, all the repugnance of my heart to the divine dispositions, that I may say with truth: "O Lord, for I am Thy servant: I am Thy servant, and the son of Thy handmaid." (Ps. CXV, 16.)