Monday, 29 August 2016

Devotion to The Sacred Heart, Its Theology, History and Philosophy part 8.

By  Rev. Joseph J. C. Petrovits, J.C.B., S.T.L.

The Convent of Paray, under the administration of the venerable Mother Hieronyme Hersant, sheltered from the world young girls from the most renowned families of Burgundy. These wise virgins voluntarily placed between themselves and the attractions of the world the barrier of a cloister, for in their estimation fame, riches, and admiration, were so many dangerous weapons which the evil spirit employs to work our spiritual ruin. Such was the religious atmosphere permeating this Community, when, on May 25, 1671, the doors of its Sanctuary were opened and, in the words of the biographer of Blessed Margaret Mary, " the King of Love entering into the dear Paray, introduced therein His well-beloved."

Space does not permit us to dwell at length on the life she led, the numerous humiliations that befell her by Divine Providence, the trying misconstructions and mortifications to which she was exposed. Amid all these difficulties, however, she participated in rare spiritual favors. The Divine Spouse signalled her out from among the rest, and destined her for a mission which was to be of inestimable benefit to mankind at large. No one can read her life without coming to the conclusion that Christ took a special delight in fashioning and moulding her character so as to make her a vessel of election. The simplicity with which she relates her conversation with Christ, the reports she gives of it to her Superiors, the extraordinary favors granted, the precaution taken to assure herself that she is not being misled by the evil spirit, the consultation she has with persons of learning and piety, are some of the factors which testify to the authenticity, reliability and credibility of the revelations narrated in her epistles. Her readiness to obedience and her submission are two most conspicuous and praiseworthy traits of her character. She is most eloquently and ably defended by the learned Bishop Languet. "For would the prince of pride," he says, " inspire humility? Would he prescribe obedience ? Would he endeavor to procure love toward Jesus Christ? Would he give the humble Heart of Christ for our model? "