BY THE REV. H. NOLDIN, S.J.
AUTHORISED TRANSLATION FROM THE GERMAN.
REVISED BY THE REV. W. H. KENT, O.S.C
ii. They maintain an intimate intercourse with Jesus Christ. Familiar intercourse with Our Lord is the choicest, the sweetest fruit of the devotion to His Sacred Heart; for this all the saints longed, this was the object of their aspirations. It consists in consulting Him about all our affairs, both those that relate to time and to eternity. The work, the cares of our state and calling in life furnish abundant matter for constant and familiar converse with Our Lord. We may confide to Him all our joys and sorrows, all our difficulties and struggles. Our very indigence and weakness, our faults and transgressions are so many motives urging us to betake ourselves to Him. In Him, as in the heart of a true friend, we shall find sympathy, solace, and succour; for He wishes us to go to Him and unite ourselves to Him. At the same time let us not forget that unrepented sin is the one, the only hindrance to inter course and union with Jesus. Every step that takes us farther from some sin and brings us nearer to some virtue, binds us more closely to Him; and perfect justice is identical with perfect friendship, perfect union with Him.
12. They strive to make their heart more and more like to the Heart of Jesus. If the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord is to be productive of those fruits, those benefits for time and for eternity which are promised in such abundant measure, it must be under stood and practised as our divine Lord revealed it, and as B. Margaret made it known in His name. To perform some external devotional exercise in honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to offer it some tribute or other of reverence and love, is undoubtedly a laudable act which will not go unrewarded; but the interior devotion is and ever will be the main point. It only brings with it its full blessing when the inward devotion is united to the outward act of veneration, that inward devotion which consists in profound reverence and love for the person of the Saviour and His divine Heart, in an unremitting endeavour to make one's own heart ever more and more like to His Heart. Accordingly they strive to become purer, more mortified, more humble, more gentle, more patient, more obedient, more forbearing, more yielding, more recollected, more zealous, to cultivate likeness to Our Lord in all their thoughts, affections, actions, in a word, to form their heart after the pattern, the example of His divine Heart. In order to attain this end, it is essentially necessary to acquaint ourselves more closely, more accurately with the Heart of Our Lord and Master. In Holy Scripture He manifests Himself to us by the words He spoke, the actions He performed; and by meditation we penetrate more deeply into His Heart and acquire a knowledge of the most lofty dispositions, of the various virtues, in their highest perfection: "Learn of Me, for I am meek and humble of Heart."