BY THE REV. H. NOLDIN, S.J.
AUTHORISED TRANSLATION FROM THE GERMAN.
REVISED BY THE REV. W. H. KENT, O.S.C
The timid nun was not a little startled and abashed at receiving this commission. "Alas! Lord," she exclaimed, "whom hast Thou chosen for this purpose! The weakest of creatures, a poor sinner, whose unworthiness is in itself sufficient to frustrate Thy designs." "Knowest thou not," the Lord answered her, "that I make use of the weak to confound the strong, that My power is displayed most signally in the little ones and the poor in spirit?" "Then," rejoined Margaret, "provide me with the means of bringing to pass that which Thou desirest." Thereupon the Lord replied: "Ad dress thyself to My servant, Father de la Colombiere, whom I will send to thee, and tell him in My name that he must do his utmost to establish this devotion and thus rejoice My Heart. Let him not be discouraged by the difficulties which he will encounter; they will not be wanting, but he must remember that whosoever mistrusts himself and places all his trust in Me will prove omnipotent." Margaret communicated all that had occurred to Father de la Colombiere, who did not delay for a moment to do his Lord's bidding. First of all he consecrated himself wholly and irrevocably to the Heart of the Redeemer. 1 Thenceforth both Margaret Mary and Colombiere did all that was in their power to make the Sacred Heart of Jesus widely known and universally honored; and the greater the obstacles they had to surmount, the more painful the humiliations which they had to bear whilst engaged in this work, the more signal were the results they achieved. In the case of B. Margaret Mary particularly, we see one whose life was wholly and exclusively devoted to the fulfilment of the task assigned to her, the introduction and diffusion of the devotion to the Heart of Jesus.
1 This act of consecration and the occasion of it are given in Colombiere's "Spiritual Diary." This Diary is in general a real treasure for the Christian who seriously strives after virtue and perfection. From it we learn the secrets of a soul who was not from the outset the recipient of graces lavishly outpoured, nor did he find himself almost without a conflict against his corrupt nature admitted to the full possession of divine love; on the contrary we see one who, after a fierce struggle and hard-fought battle with his inherent frailties and evil tendencies, by long years of unremitting vigilance finally climbed to the height of sanctity on which we behold and admire him.