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 The Imitation Of
The Sacred Heart Of Jesus

Photo of Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue

That No Object In This World
Can Set Our Heart Truly At Rest,
Or Make It Truly Contented

 

1. The Voice of Jesus.
My Child, thou art created for happiness. This experience affirms, this reason proves, this faith teaches.

Thou seekest incessantly for happiness, and thou dost well. But leave off seeking thy happiness in things created: in them thou shalt not find it.

No object of this world can satisfy the longings of thy heart; even shouldst thou alone possess at once all things created, thy heart should still be empty and wretched.

Things of this earth awaken the thirst of the heart, they cannot allay it: yea, the more thou dost possess, the more eagerly shalt thou thirst.

How canst thou find in creatures that which exists not in them? Can any one give what he does not possess?

 

2. Shalt thou obtain what no mortal was ever able to obtain? Behold, the wisest of men abounded in all good things, he was affluent with ever-fresh delights, he astonished nations with his boundless wealth, he had filled the uttermost lands with the renown of his glory.

Yet, on account of the void of his heart, he is forced to exclaim: Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity.

Grant that thou possess whatever thy heart may long for in this world : that thou be lord of the whole earth : that all men do thee honor: try all things; and thou shalt find that thou hast as yet found nothing, except vanity and affliction of spirit.

 

3. Do not wonder at this, My Child: thy heart is not made for this world. Therefore, whatever this world contains is unworthy of thy noble destiny and of thy heart’s affection.

Thou art created for greater things, thou art born for things everlasting, thou art destined to things without limit. Do not then give thyself up to what is low and mean, since thou art made to rule forever.

What could it avail thee to gain the whole world, if thou shouldst lose thy soul? Surely, thou wouldst be twice unhappy: here, on account of the wicked state of thy conscience, thou wouldst suffer a torturing agony; hereafter, thou wouldst have to undergo misery everlasting.

Blessed, therefore, is he who spurns whatever may mislead the heart; who nobly casts aside every obstacle to true felicity; who, mindful of his noble destiny, seeks happiness above all in his Creator.

 

4. The voice of the Disciple. My God, my Savior, Thou didst create me for happiness; hitherto I have not ceased to seek it, still I have never yet tasted, nor have I ever yet found happiness.

My passions were ever and anon crying to me: here it is, or there. In my madness, I believed them, and, blinded by my unruly desires, I ran hither and thither; but, instead of the sought-for bliss, I found wretchedness, and tasted its bitterness.

Ah, wretched me! created for happiness in Thee, my God! I toiled in vain, whilst I sought it in creatures outside of Thee; and behold! I strayed still further away from the bliss for which I was created, and I found wretchedness, for which I was not made, and perished therein.

God, my Savior! open my eyes, that now I may distinctly see this great mistake of mine; and grant that, free from error, I may effectually seek in Thee that beatitude which I cannot find in creatures.

 


 “Voice of Jesus” is taken from Arnoudt’s “Imitation of the Sacred Heart”, translated from the Latin of J.M. Fastre; Benziger Bros. Copyright 1866

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for November 19, 2019

It is better to say one Pater Noster (Our Father) fervently...

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November 19

 

It is better to say one Pater Noster (Our Father) fervently and devoutly
than a thousand with no devotion and full of distraction.

St. Edmund the Martyr


DEFEND Our Lady's HONOR !

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Nerses I of Armenia

King Arshak mixed poison with the Lord's Holy and Divine Bod...

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St. Nerses I of Armenia

Born of royal descent, Nerses was the son of At'anagenes and his mother was the sister of King Tigranes VII and a daughter of King Khosrov III. His paternal grandfather was St. Husik I whose paternal grandfather was St. Gregory the Illuminator, who converted the Armenian king to Christianity and became the first Patriarch of Armenia.

Nerses spent his youth in Caesarea and married a Mamikonian princess named Sanducht, who bore him a son, St. Isaac the Great. After his wife's death, he was appointed chamberlain to King Arshak of Armenia, but entered the ecclesiastical state a few years later. In 363, despite his protest of unworthiness, Nerses was consecrated Bishop of Armenia.

He was greatly influenced by St. Basil and, in effort to bring better discipline and efficiency to his diocese convened the first national synod in 365. He encouraged the growth of monasticism and established hospitals. His good deeds and promotion of religion angered the King, who was later condemned by Nerses for murdering his wife Olympia. It is said that Arshak mixed poison with the Lord's holy and divine Body, the Bread of Communion, and administered it to her, killing the queen in church.

Arshak died in battle against the Persians shortly thereafter. Nerses discovered that Pap, the king’s successor, was more ungodly than his predecessor. On account of his sinfulness, the holy man forbade Pap from entering the church until he repented of his ways. Angered, Pap feigned repentance and invited Nerses to dine at the royal table where he poisoned and killed him in 337.

Photo by: Adelchi

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared stan...

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The Conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne

Born in 1814, Alphonse Ratisbonne was from a family of wealthy, well-known Jewish bankers in Strasbourg, France. In 1827, Alphonse’s older brother, Thèodore, converted to Catholicism and entered the priesthood, thus breaking with his anti-Catholic family whose hopes now lay in the young Alphonse. At 27, Alphonse was intelligent and well mannered. He had already finished his law degree, and decided to travel to Italy before marrying and assuming his responsibilities in the family business. However, God had other plans for him.

While in Rome, Alphonse visited works of art, and strictly out of cultural curiosity, a few Catholic churches. These visits hardened his anti-Catholic stance, and nourished his profound hatred for the Church. He also called on an old schoolmate and close friend, Gustave de Bussières.

Gustave was a Protestant and several times had tried, in vain, to win Alphonse over to his religious convictions. Alphonse was introduced to Gustave’s brother, Baron de Bussières, who had recently converted to Catholicism and become a close friend of Father Thèodore Ratisbonne. Because of the Baron’s Catholicism and closeness with his turncoat brother, Alphonse greatly disliked him.

On the eve of his departure, Alphonse reluctantly fulfilled his social obligation to leave his calling card at the Baron’s house as a farewell gesture.

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Hoping to avoid a meeting, Alphonse intended to leave his card discreetly and depart straight away, but was instead shown into the house. The Baron greeted the young Jew warmly, and before long, had persuaded him to remain a few more days in Rome. Inspired by grace, the Baron insisted Alphonse accept a Miraculous Medal and copy down a beautiful prayer: the Memorare. Alphonse could hardly contain his anger at his host’s boldness of proposing these things to him, but decided to take everything good-heartedly, planning to later describe the Baron as an eccentric.

During Alphonse’s stay, the Baron’s close friend, Count de La Ferronays, former French ambassador to the Holy See and a man of great virtue and piety, died quite suddenly. On the eve of his death, the Baron had asked the Count to pray the Memorare one hundred times for Alphonse’s conversion. It is possible that he offered his life to God for the conversion of the young Jewish banker.

A few days later, the Baron went to the church of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte to arrange for his friend’s funeral. Alphonse reluctantly went with him, all the while making violent criticisms of the Church and mocking Catholic practices. When they arrived, the Baron entered the sacristy to arrange the funeral while Alphonse remained in the church.

When the Baron returned just a few minutes later, the young man was gone. He searched the church, and soon discovered his young friend kneeling close to an altar, weeping.  Alphonse himself tells us what happened in those few minutes he waited for the Baron: “I had only been in the church a short while when, all of a sudden, I felt totally uneasy for no apparent reason. I raised my eyes and saw that the whole building had disappeared. Only one side chapel had, so to say, gathered all the light. In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared standing on the altar. She was grandiose, brilliant, full of majesty and sweetness, just as she is in the Miraculous Medal. An irresistible force attracted me to her. The Virgin made a gesture with her hand indicating I was to kneel.”

When de Bussières talked to Alphonse, he no longer found a Jew, but a convert who ardently desired baptism. The news of such an unexpected conversion immediately spread and caused a great commotion throughout Europe, and Pope Gregory XVI received the young convert, paternally. He ordered a detailed investigation with the rigor required by canon law, and concluded that the occurrence was a truly authentic miracle. 

Alphonse took the name Maria Alphonse at baptism, and, wishing to become a priest, was ordained a Jesuit in 1847. After some time, and at the suggestion of Pope Pius IX, he left the Jesuits and joined his brother Thèodore in founding the Congregation of Our Lady of Sion, dedicated to the conversion of the Jews. Father Theodore spread his congregation throughout France and England, while Father Maria Alphonse went to the Holy Land. In Jerusalem, he established a house of the congregation on the plot of land where the praetorium of Pilate had formerly stood.

The two brothers died in 1884, both famed and well-loved for their exceptional virtues.  

By Armando Santos  

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In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared standing on the altar"

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