Friday, 18 November 2016

The Heart Of The Gospel. Part 3.

By Francis Patrick Donnelly

One more question, and everything on this point will, we think, be clear. What has the Apostleship of Prayer, then, to do with Devotion to the Sacred Heart? "It is in league with the Sacred Heart," is the full answer. They are allied forces in the same cause, partners in the same work, engaged in the same important business, fighting for the same great end. If, indeed, there can be an alliance or partnership where one of the two parties concerned does almost everything and the other almost nothing. Yet little as the Apostleship of Prayer does in the great work of saving souls, that little must be done. Christ's grace does everything, but it does it, so Christ willed, through Sacraments and prayer. By prayer it is that we league ourselves with the Sacred Heart for the salvation of souls.

Again, the Apostleship of Prayer is in league with the Sacred Heart because devotion to that Heart is the great means by which it carries on its campaigns.

From that devotion it draws its weapons and the strength to wield them; by that devotion it unites its forces and wins its victories. That devotion, too, it propagates with all its power and keeps alive by its essential practices. The motive, we said, makes the devotion. "For Christ, my wounded friend," is the motive of devotion to Christ's Heart. But how do we put that motive into our life? By willing it. And when do we will it? When we think of it; and we must often think of it and will it, if the flame of our devotions is not to fail. It is just here that the Apostleship of Prayer comes in with its Morning Offering, and makes us say every morning of our lives: "This day and all that is in it for the Heart of Christ, for Christ, my crucified friend." The Morning Offering is the daily birth of conviction and determination; it is the new making of the fire of devotion; it is the tightening of the belt as we go where duty calls us. In the Morning Offering we catch sight, "by the dawn's early light," of our glorious standard, our unexampled trophy, and plunge once more into the fray.

Finally, the Apostleship of Prayer in its divine ambition to enlist all souls in a union of prayer for the salvation of men, is trying to infuse into every soul the purpose that was in Christ's Heart, to warm every heart with Its warmth, and color every heart with Its color; to make of mankind, we may be so bold as to say, one great, throbbing heart, another Heart of Christ, doing by the countless acts of prayer what He did by His countless drops of blood, building up the Kingdom of God with the redeemed. All the rays of sunlight that fall every day upon the great globe of the earth are but a few rills of light from the fathomless ocean of the sun. The banded millions of the League are far from what they would like to be; they are a shadow to their Model's substance; their limited love compared to His is like the slight lift of the tide far up some inland river when compared with the mighty wave that rises in the central seas; yet if all hearts upon earth respond even faintly and far off to the pulsings of Christ's tide of love, they will be what the Apostleship of Prayer wants them to he—they will form a throbbing, loving, world-wide Heart of Christ.