To commemorate this date (the most significant of the year for the disciples of André Coindre), we are posting today his words about the Sacred Heart:
The Heart of Jesus
Reason tells us and revelation reaffirms that for over four thousand years, out of love, God never stopped creating and preserving the human race. For over four thousand years the earth and all upon it gave him ceaseless glory. Nevertheless the history of these four thousand years has been a long saga of ungratefulness and indifference towards our creator on the part of his human creatures. A stronger way was needed, a way capable of motivating every soul and of energizing every heart. Scripture reveals to us that God’s own son, the Incarnate Word, was that way. For God so loved us his human creatures, that he sent his son, his only son, to live among us. Sic enim Deus dilexit mundum ut Filium suum unigenitum daret (Jn 3: 16).
What words can I find to give to you a true and just notion of the love of an Incarnate God? Shall I tell you that this love, so volatile and so great, lay within the bosom of God; that he whom scripture teaches us is higher than the heavens, deeper than the deepest cavern, unequaled, unrivaled splendor and grandeur, whose greatness extends beyond infinity; that that being burst forth from the inaccessible depths of his solitude, broke through the might of his celestial defenders to share our humanity, to become accessible and lovable [so as to] show that he loves us? But even this is only the first step of his love, a foreshadowing of what it would later become.
What words can I find to give to you a true and just notion of the love of an Incarnate God? Shall I tell you that he abandoned his inexpressible glory, his almighty majesty and power, his claims upon eternity and his transcendent sovereignty in order to become an ordinary child, weak, suffering, obedient, mortal? Yes, Jesus loved us enough to be reduced to that state. But that does not show the full scope of the love of Jesus.
What words can I find to give to you a true and just notion of the love of an Incarnate God? Shall I sketch him for you lavishing miracles, sowing good deeds as he walks, giving sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf, restoring speech to the mute, breathing life into those he found dead? Shall I describe his delight to be among men, offering forgiveness and not condemnation to sinners; causing springs of living water to flow into the heart of the Samaritan woman; pardoning the woman taken in adultery, absolving Mary Magdalene of all her sins; conferring as the head of his Church Peter who three times denied him? Yes, all of this is proof of his goodness and gentleness, but this is not the fullness of his goodness or the depth of his tenderness.
What words can I find to give to you a true and just notion of the love of an incarnate God? Shall I depict his ignominious passion, his bloodstained agony, his grisly scourging? Shall I reveal to you his pale, blood-streaked body and have you gaze in horror on his sealed lips, his languid eyes, his lifeless features? Yes, these are the effects of love on his body, but they fail to express the love aflame in his Sacred Heart. O divine heart of my Jesus, abode of divinity and happiness of all the saints, heart whose love throws off light a thousand times more brilliant, more explosive than the sun, who am I to dare speak of you? Who could ever describe you burning with love without being consumed, dying of love without ceasing to love? O treasure house always open and always full, to enable me to speak of you pour down into our hearts tides and torrents of love aflame! Christians, since I must say something of this mystery, I ask you to gather in your imagination the hearts of all the mothers who ever existed, along with those of all the san ints who are seeing God face to face, and all the angelic choirs adoring Him. Be convinced that even all these motherly hearts together could not have loved their children more, nor could all the united hearts of the elect have loved God to the extent and in the way the heart of Christ has loved us. For all these hearts have loved only with a creature’s love, while the heart of Jesus has loved us in God. For who but God could have loved Judas even unto offering him to drink from the chalice of his blood and to take for food the bread of his body? Who other than God himself could have loved enough to pray for his accusers and his executioners? Who other than God could have died for sinners whom death itself had not the power to save? Who but Jesus, who went to his death for all men? Qui omnes da vult salvos fieri (1 Tim 2: 4). Oh the incomprehensible love of the heart of Jesus! Love stronger than death! Lord Jesus, you died out of love, love for us! Is it possible that we should refuse to return that love? Yes, it is possible and it is for the sake of those who choose not to love that his heart suffered and died. It was for sinners, for all men and women, for your sake and for mine, for all the ungodly of all ages and unto the end of the time that Love chose death. Vult omnes salvos fieri. Yes, Christian sinners. Yes, atheists—should there be any here—however numerous your trespasses and your blasphemies, even if you should be living in contravention of the laws of God and the laws of the Church, even if you should profane your bodies and lose your own souls and the souls of your brothers for whom Jesus died, your enmity will always be overcome, your blasphemies, your evil ways, will never win out. The heart of Jesus has loved you more and still loves you more than you could ever hate him. This heart died, yes, he died for you who do not want to live for him. Let us all turn again towards that heart, there in the tabernacle, hidden, alone, waiting for you. He is praying to his Father, now at this very instant when you are hesitating about giving yourselves to him. His heart is there, full of tender love. Today, understand how ungrateful it is if you leave this place without loving him, if you do not make a one generous resolution to fall on your knees before one of his ministers so as to be restored to grace with him. Ah! should there be a single Christian who resolves to leave this place his heart still filled with sin, I would say to him: My brother, let us cease to bemoan our misfortunes, let us cease to complain about wars, about disease and about all the calamities which befall us. We deserve them because of our transgressions. Let us rather, with Saint Therese, rail against the greatest of travesties: Amor non amatur. Love goes unloved. Prophets, cease your weeping! Hold back the currents of tears which you wept over the misfortunes menacing Jerusalem. And you, all you fervent souls, cease your groaning over the torments of the damned. Jerusalem had indeed been ungrateful; the damned deserved their agonies. Weep floods of tears; tears of blood would not be eloquent enough to proclaim it to all the world: Love goes unloved! You who boast of sensitive hearts, who allow yourselves to be stirred for the hero of a novel, who shed tears as you read the account of mythical exploits, save your crying and your love for the only love that goes unloved. Amor non amatur. Christians that we are, we have no time to lose. Today is the day for us to choose: heaven or hell! Yes, I repeat, heaven or hell. There is no middle ground. Anyone who here in this life does not love the one who is infinitely lovable must accept to hate him in the hereafter. Anyone who is not touched by eternal Love will spend eternity in agony.
But what am I doing, Lord? Look where my misguided zeal has brought me! Am I a true minister of your mercy and of your love? I have I forgotten that I was not to use language of retribution. Alas, forgive me, Lord! For I know that your love is enough for my hearers. They love you and desire to love you always. Complete your work in them. Yes, loving Lord, what springs of living grace are flowing in all the hearts that are listening today! Eternal Father, we set before you this heart burning with love for you and in whose name we never pray in vain. How well you know the wounds which love has inflicted upon him! And are not its flames ardent enough to consume our iniquities? Are not the cries of this victim-lamb loud enough to drown out our crimes? My God, I am certain of it, you want to pardon us. You love us. You love us, each one. Yes, at this moment we join in one single voice to proclaim: “Love for love, life for life. All our hearts belong to God!” Ah, these poor hearts of ours! Would that they were as deep as the chasms in the sea so as to love you with the most ardent love! May we be so filled with love that we reflect love back to you. May we abandon ourselves to your love!
May our tears never cease to water your blessings, and may we yearn and sigh for you until the day when we dwell safe in our eternal homeland forever. This is my prayer for you. [Ms 30]