Saturday, 20 August 2016

"O sweetest Jesus, what riches Thou hast stored up in Thy Sacred Heart!

The words of St. Bernard not only express his own beautiful sentiments about this adorable Heart, but show that the devotion to the Sacred Heart was known and practiced before the time of St. Margaret Mary. He writes in his book Vitis Mystica: "O sweetest Jesus, what riches Thou hast stored up in Thy Sacred Heart! Can it be that men are indifferent to the loss which they suffer by the neglect and indifference which they show to this amiable heart? As for me, I will spare no pains to gain It and possess It. Henceforth I will consecrate to It all my thoughts; Its sentiments and desires shall be my sentiments and desires. I will give everything to possess this precious treasure. But what need have I to buy It since It is truly mine? Yes, I say with assurance, the Heart of Jesus is mine, since It belongs to my Head, and does not what belongs to our Head belong also to all His members? Henceforth this Sacred Heart will be both the temple where I shall never cease to adore Him, and the Victim which I shall unceasingly offer to Him; and the altar on which I shall offer my sacrifices, on which the same flames of divine love with which It burns, will consume mine; in the Sacred Heart I shall find a model to regulate all the movements of mine, a source of wealth with which to pay all my debts to divine justice, and an assured place of refuge where I shall be protected from shipwreck and storms. I will say with David: 'I have found my heart to pray to my God' [2 Kgs. 7: 27]; Yes, I have found this Heart in the adorable Eucharist when I have found there the Heart of my Sovereign, of my Friend, of my Brother, that is to say, the Heart of my amiable Redeemer. And after that, who will prevent me from praying with a confidence and obtaining all that I ask? Come, my brethren, let us enter into this amiable Heart never again to go out from It. My God, if we feel such consolation at the bare remembrance of the Sacred Heart, what will it be when we love It with tenderness, what will it be if we enter into It and make our dwelling there always? Draw me completely into Thy Heart, O my amiable Jesus. Open to me this Heart which has so many attractions for me! What! does not this pierced Side leave an entrance open for me, and does not the open wound of this Sacred Heart invite me to enter there?" [Vitis Mystica, Cap. III].