I Fly To Meet Him
The Imitation of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
If, at last, he resolves to return to Me; I fly to meet him...
...I press him to My bosom, whilst My Heart leaps for joy; In My joy, I call together all heaven, that they may congratulate Me, and exult with Me.
1. The voice of Jesus
Come to Me, all ye that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you.
He that is just, let him come, that he may be made still more just: he that is lukewarm, let him come, that he may become fervent: he that is a sinner, let him come, that he may be cleansed and made holy.
Alas for human frailty! Where is the man that has not sinned? For, whosoever shall say that he has no sin, deceives himself, and the truth is not in him.
2. The friend of sinners
My Child, if thou feelest thyself burdened with sins, or troubled with defects, hasten to My Heart: here thou shalt be made free; here thou shalt breathe again.
Let not the greatness of thy sins hinder thee, nor the grandeur of My Majesty: I came not to call the just to repentance, but sinners.
The greater the miseries to which thou art subject, the greater the pity I feel for thee: and the more thou art ill, the greater need thou hast of a physician.
I am not astonished at thy infirmities; for I know thy frame and thy heart. That thou didst not fall into greater evils, thou owest chiefly to My grace.
But at this I wonder, that, when I present Myself to heal thee, thou art unwilling to be healed; or, if thou art willing, thou seemest to doubt My goodness.
Ah! My Child, do not offer this most bitter insult to My Heart. For My Heart loves to forgive, and does not grow weary with pardoning.
Behold, with what kindness I treat truly repentant sinners, so that I have even been called the friend of sinners.
3. The effects of My love
Where is the heart that loves as My Heart?
No man has a greater love, than that he lay down his life for his friends; but I, the Son of God, have a greater one than this, for I laid down My life for My enemies.
Who ever loved Me first? or who ever bestowed his affections upon Me, who did not first experience the effects of My love?
4. The Charity of My Heart
Since many lose their innocence before they understand clearly what innocence is, or how great its price, it is a great glory of My Heart to triumph also over their hearts; and of sinners to make them Saints.
O, didst thou but know the charity of My Heart, thou mightst then be able to understand how dearly It loves faithful souls, and how sweetly It invites sinners.
Who is suffering, and My Heart is not suffering with him? Who sins, and My Heart is not thereby affected? Who is ill, and My Heart does not afford a remedy? Who is unhappy, and My Heart does not feel it? Who, in fine, is there in the world, to whom My Heart does no good?
5. I fly to meet him
I am a good Father; and My children, begotten on the cross, I embrace with the love of My Heart which remains open for them, that, at all times, they may have a place of refuge; nor this a common one, but the very center of My affections.
Whilst they sleep, My Heart is awake to watch over them; whilst they are watching, It is occupied with their preservation.
So great is the love wherewith My Heart is inflamed for them, that I love and cherish each, as if he were My only one.
And if some one, misled by the enemy, wanders away, My Heart wails over him, as over the death of an only-born. I pursue him with My love, I invite, I press, I promise. But if he be unwilling to hearken to Me, I have patience; I stand at the door of his heart, and knock again and again.
If, at last, he resolves to return to Me; I fly to meet him, I press him to My bosom, whilst My Heart leaps for joy; because I see the child, whom I had bewailed as dead, alive and safely restored to Me.
In My joy, I call together all heaven, that they may congratulate Me, and exult with Me.
6. Trust in Me
If, therefore, thou desirest to delight My Heart, to gladden heaven, and to refresh thy soul, be converted to Me with thy whole heart.
It matters not how much, or how little, thou mayst have sinned, come to My Heart, and thou shalt find a cure for all thy ills.
Trust in Me, My Child, and fear nothing: I call thee, not to upbraid thee with thy faults: but that I may wash them away.
Come, Child, come: I await thee, with open arms, and a burning Heart.
7. The voice of the Disciple
Behold, most sweet Jesus, behold, I come, aroused and reassured by the exceeding goodness of Thy Heart.
Coming, I beseech and exclaim: Kindly receive Thy prodigal child, returning from a far-off country, squalid with sin, filled with misery.
I am not worthy to be called Thy child, since I left Thee in a manner so unbecoming, dishonored Thee so shamefully, and grieved Thee so much.
I have sinned against heaven and before Thee: guilty as I am, I dare not now throw myself into Thy arms: behold, I prostrate myself in the dust before Thy feet, appealing to Thy paternal Heart, imploring pardon.
Lo, Thou didst recall me when I fled away: Thou didst seek me, when I was lost: Thou didst bear with me, when I was abusing Thy goodness: with wonderful mildness Thou didst induce me to return: when, at last, I come in this pitiful state, Thou dost not only receive me, but, O goodness! Thou dost even embrace me! O Jesus! O never was there such a father!
Let all the Angels and Saints be glad, and rejoice with me: let them praise and extol Thy mercy forever!
Behold, now I am Thine for evermore: ever faithful I will love Thee, Lord, and, through love for Thee, I will comply with all Thy wishes.
“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