Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus: Reparation is a Fundamental Obligation of Christianity.
Why did Christ come upon earth? To make Reparation; for no other reason. He came to repair His Divine work which sin had ruined, to restore to man his supernatural life; to compensate, by His merits, for the insult offered to the Father in the garden of Eden and for those insults which man’s malice daily renews and multiplies. He came to expiate by His sufferings in the stable, during His Hidden Life and on the Cross the human selfishness which began with mans creation and never ceases.
Our dear Lord could have performed this work of Reparation alone, but He did not so will it. He has chosen as associates each one of us, every Christian. We must grasp this truth well, for it is the foundation of the doctrine of Reparation.
St. Paul, when speaking to the early Christians of their pre-eminent dignity of sharing the very life of the Son of God, tells them that as Jesus lives by the Father, so they live by Jesus; He snares that life in virtue of His Divine nature, they in virtue of their adoption. He is their Head; they are the living members, who, in virtue of His Sacrifice, possess a Divine life. They are ” divinely naturalised.” Union is only perfect when the members are united to the head and the head to the members. The Person of Christ is the Head, they are His members, His Mystical Body.
Hence, according to the teaching of our Lord “I am the Vine, you are the branches ” and that of St. Paul, the Catholic Church teaches that the personal Christ, consisting of the union of His Divine and human nature, such as, of old, He lived in Bethlehem, Nazareth and Jerusalem, such as He now lives in the Holy Eucharist, such as He lives and will live in Heaven until the end of time, does not constitute the whole Christ. He has willed it thus. The whole Christ consists of Himself the Head, plus ourselves, His Mystical Body. Our intimate union with His Life explains why our Lord has associated us so closely with His work of Redemption.
Yet, as we have said, our Saviour could have perfectly accomplished it alone. He does not need us to add to His merits, but He wills to make use of us, that He may increase ours. He is the Christ; we Christians are each of us alter Christus ” another Christ.” We must work together. The Redemption will only be brought about by the will of our Saviour the first Christ, and of all Christians those other Christs. Undoubtedly, His participation and ours differ immeasurably. His has an intrinsic, infinite value and is, of itself, infinitely sufficient. God could have dispensed with our co-operation, but because He loves us, He asks for it.
At the Offertory of the Holy Mass, the priest first puts wine in the chalice. Then, under pain of mortal sin, he has to add a few drops of water. Thus, our Lord s role and ours are symbolised, together with the proportional value of His action and ours. The wine alone would suffice for the validity of the Consecration. Nevertheless, the drops of water must be added, and by the effect of the Divine words of Consecration, they are changed, as well as the wine, into the Precious Blood.
Granted, our part in the Redemption of the world is infinitesimally small; what are a few drops of water? But God requires it and He transubstantiates this tiny addition by uniting it with His own offering. This mere nothing becomes all-powerful, in virtue of the power communicated to it by God.* * Every comparison requires some modification. The few drops of water are not required for the validity of the Sacrament, but for its licitness. ” nothing ” so intrinsically insignificant and yet so really precious, on account of our union with Christ many souls would probably be lost. The world needs all its potential saviors : it needs Jesus, its chief Savior, its Savior par excellence ; it needs each one of us, who are called to co-operate with Him in the redemption of the world.
Thanks to this “nothing” which has become “something,” souls will be ransomed. Without the offering of this. We are almost ignorant of our greatness as Christians, if we do not know our obligation of sharing in the work of Redemption. If we try to shirk our part, we are omitting a most noble duty.
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