Monday, 12 December 2016

The Heart Of The Gospel. Part 20.

By Francis Patrick Donnelly


In applying this teaching to the Heart of Christ we are met with a difficulty. It is true that St. Paul, speaking of the love of Christ, declares: "He loved me and delivered Himself up for me." But is that not unjustifiable egotism for St. Paul to think that Christ singled him out as an individual for His love and for the supremest test of His love? We shall see that St. Paul was not egotistic. We must not measure the love of Christ by our imperfect standards. He comes to each and every one whole and entire in Communion, and the whole wealth and preference of His personality comes with Him. His Heart throbbed and shed Its contents for every man, woman and child from the first to the last, but had I been the only one in existence, there would not have been one beat less nor one drop of blood less in the exhibition of Christ's heartlove. 

God is a person and has personal love for us all. His love is showered from Heaven upon us individually as if each were all. The sun would be just as bright, just as warm, if it shone on one alone, and now we all share it. Scientists tell us that in one sense each one sees a different sun, because the rays that lead the vision back are not the same in any two cases. 

Yet each and every one sees the whole sun. God's love, too, comes to each, and each can and must feel that God loves him with a personal, individual love. St. Paul was right; God loves me.

It was, however, when Christ took a Heart that He made the personality of love tangible to us. To talk of the love of an infinite God is to talk in a somewhat unknown language. Our bodily nature is slow to understand what is spiritual and infinite. But tell us a human heart is interested in us, and we who have had friends and a father and a mother will know at. once what the personality of love means.

It is, then, in the Heart of Christ that the troubled heart will find its surest consolation, when it realizes that all of His love is centered upon it. The mother will bend her head and turn her ear and listen to her child, and in that action reveals her love. She soothes her child in sickness, and her love thrills through her touch. She looks upon her child, and the depth, the intensity, the light of her eyes speak more eloquently than ear or hand, or even voice, of the ardor of her love. What would men write, what convincing proof of the personality of her love would her children have, if they could see her heart which struggles for expression by means of the weak instruments of the senses! Now, in devotion to the Heart of Christ we are ever at the fountain-head of His love. Christ's life has become love; Christ's Heart has become in our language a person. We speak of It as of a person. The Sacred Heart is born; the Sacred Heart is crucified; the Sacred Heart dies. In every act and word and thought we think of His Heart. Everything speaks to us of His love for us. The King in European countries is an officer in different regiments, and honors them by wearing their uniforms. The many devotions which find their center in Christ behold Him, it might be said, clothed in varied garbs. But in devotion to the Sacred Heart we look upon Christ in life and death as clad in the red robe of love.

Therefore, troubled heart, Christ's whole life and activity is centered upon you, thinks of you. He listens to you; He touches you; He looks upon you, and you know His love. His life and sufferings are before you, and speak to you by His Heart, and your own heart is filled with the joy of that preference. "He loves me," is the refrain that should echo above all the din of trouble. "Peace be to you," is the cry of friends as they bid farewell. "Peace be to you," said Christ to the troubled hearts around Him the night before He died. "Peace be to you" is still the message sounding in our ears, the message of personal love, the message of a Heart to troubled hearts.