The Entire Fulfillment Of The Law
The Imitation of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Imitation of My Heart Depends on The Entire Fulfillment Of The Law
1. The voice of Jesus
My Child, all thy perfection consists in thy resemblance to My divine Heart. For My Heart, which is the Heart of the Word of God, is the standard of all virtues, is holiness itself.
Whoever, therefore, imitates My Heart, imitates God, his Savior, perfection itself.
Now, since My Heart is the model of sanctity and the source of every grace, thou shalt learn of My Heart, what it behooves thee to do, that thou mayst render thyself holy and thou shalt draw thence the necessary strength to effect this. If, then, thou wilt become perfect, imitate My Heart: the more conformed thou art to It, the more perfect shalt thou be.
2. My Heart is...
My Heart is humble: humility is the foundation of true sanctity. If thou do not learn humility of My Heart, thou shalt never possess this virtue; nor shalt thou know aught of it except the name. And if thou build the structure of perfection upon aught else, it cannot be solid; and it shall be overthrown by the least breath of wind, and great shall be the fall thereof.
Moreover, My Heart is meek, full of charity: now, charity is the perfection of holiness. But thy heart shall never be inflamed with charity, unless it be enkindled by that fire of love, wherewith My Own is burning.
Woe to thee, if thou enkindlest thy heart with any strange fire! Thou wilt indeed burn, but for thy destruction.
3. A pattern of perfection
Thou shalt never acquire solid virtues, nor attain true sanctity, except by imitating My Heart. Whatever signs of virtue thou mayst display, how devout soever thou mayst appear: so long as thy heart does not imitate Mine, all thy piety shall be nothing more than a mask thrown over thy features.
There is no hope of perfection, unless thou propose to thyself My Heart as a pattern of perfection.
4. Entire fulfillment
So it has been from the beginning of the world. For, in the Old Law, it was foretold and known of what sort My Heart would be; and no one was numbered with the Elect, unless he had foreshadowed in his heart the qualities of My future Heart.
And from the beginning of the Church to the present time, My Heart was ever the sanctification of the Apostles, the fortitude of Martyrs, the constancy of Confessors, the purity of Virgins, the perseverance of the Just, in short, the perfection of all the Saints.
Therefore, take courage, My Child, follow My Heart, whithersoever I may lead thee: the more closely thou shalt follow the same, the nearer thou shalt come to complete perfection.
On the Imitation of My Heart depends the entire fulfillment of the Law, all sanctity, the constant endeavor of imitating My Heart, is a sure sign of predestination.
5. The voice of the Disciple
O Sweet Jesus, fountain of life and grace! arouse me, help me to understand and imitate Thy Heart, the standard of virtue, the pattern of sanctity.
Free my heart from every illusion, from every obstacle: grant, that with a guileless and pure heart, I may seek Thee; that I may make Thy interior thoughts, the feelings of Thy Heart, my own; that I may make myself inwardly similar to Thee.
Alas! Lord, how unlike in heart am I to Thee! How little have I hitherto labored to portray the life of Thy Heart by my own! Would that I had not struggled to estrange my heart and turn it away from Thine!
Blindness! Madness of my soul!
Have Thou pity on me, Lord Jesus! Have pity on me, according to the great mercy of Thy Heart. How many there are, who have not lived so long, nor had so many means, and yet have sanctified themselves by becoming fervent Disciples of Thy Heart! And I have not yet begun to be holy: I am still a sinner!
It is time, Lord; it is time to begin the work of my sanctification, which I have so long neglected.
This arouses me, this spurs me on, that I can yet be made holy, that I can yet become the Disciple of Thy Heart, that I can yet be marked with that most joyous sign of predestination.
Cheer me up, Jesus most kind, give help, give courage: behold, now I begin.
“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