Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Devotion to The Sacred Heart, Its Theology, History and Philosophy part 39.

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

II. Be that as it may, the work of Father Croiset, who was the immediate exponent of this Devotion after the demise of Blessed Margaret Mary, fails to shed more light on the subject under discussion. The first chapter of his work contains words which might justly induce one to believe that he considered the uncreated love as a partial formal object of the Devotion. " By the Devotion to the Sacred Heart'' he says, " we understand the ardent love which we conceive for Jesus Christ in remembrance of all the miracles He wrought for us to testify His tenderness, and, above all, in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, which is the miracle of His love."  If we are to worship His love in commemoration of all the miracles He performed for us, then the uncreated love seems to be included, for the first miracle was His Incarnation and the created love that accompanied it and followed from it. All the consequent miracles are to be attributed to this, for it was their incipient cause.

This is the only passage in Father Croiset's writings which would permit one to consider the love of Christ under such a comprehensive aspect, all the rest confine themselves to the immense love which in-duced the Son of God to embrace death for us, and to give Himself to us in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, without being deterred from such a miracle at the sight of the ingratitude and outrages which in this state as an immolated victim He was to receive to the end of time. 

III. Only a very indefinite idea of the uncreated love can be traced in the writings of Father From-ment, a contemporary of Father Croiset, though he does not leave us in doubt as to the created love.

IV. Father Galliffet in one of his chapters speaks of the love of Jesus for men. " What is man by nature'' he asks, " in the sight of God? Dust and ashes. But what did he become through sin? The enemy of God, the slave of the demon, condemned to eternal death. In this condition, deserving only the contempt and hatred of the Saint of Saints, Jesus loved him and formed the design of rescuing him from the evils which beset him, and of bestowing on him infinite benefits. And in what way did He manifest the greatness of His love ? He offered Himself to His Father for these criminals, to bear in their stead the torments they had merited." The love of Jesus which formed the design of rescuing man is differentiated here from the love which induced Him to offer Himself to His Heavenly Father. The distinction between the two is quite apparent. The former is the uncreated love, the latter is the created love. This is the only passage in the whole work of Father Galliffet where the two loves are pointed out with such precision.

V. Bishop Languet did not fail to express himself on this subject. "If it were imperative," he says, " to point out in detail the object of this Devotion, I would say that by the Heart of Jesus Christ, the God-man, we understand principally the desires, affections, and sentiments with which this divine Heart was filled while on earth, and which still stimulate it in Heaven, whether towards God, for whose glory He became man, or towards men, whose salvation He wished to procure by His Incarnation and death."  The sentiments and affections which actuated the Son of God to become man for the glory of God and for our salvation imply a pre-existent agent, in other words, they refer to the uncreated love.