Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus: Revelations and Reparation
We have seen how greatly our Lord values Reparation; leaving the Gospel, let us now turn to the great revelations handed down to us in the history of the Church.
In the revelations made to St. Margaret Mary our Lord s one object appears to have been to ask for Reparatory sacrifices. Let us take a few examples from her life: On one occasion Jesus said to her: ” Behold the Heart, which has so loved men and in return only receives ingratitude and contempt. That is why I ask thee to make Reparation.”
The Saint tells us: “The Sacred Heart wills that souls should make Reparation by returning Him love for love, and that they should humbly implore pardon of God for all the insults that are offered to Him.”
Again, Jesus said to her: “My daughter, it is true that My Heart has sacrificed everything for men, without receiving from them any return. I feel this more acutely than the torments of My Passion. In spite of all My eagerness to do them good, they treat me with coldness and contempt. Give Me the pleasure of making up for their ingratitude.”
In 1669 in the month of February, at the time of the Carnival, St. Margaret Mary wrote: “The loving Heart of Jesus seems to make me this request, namely, that I would stay with Him, close to His Cross, in these days during which all rush madly after pleasure, and that by the bitterness which He will make me taste, I should, in some measure, compensate for the bitterness with which sinners immolate His Sacred Heart. He wishes me to grieve unceasingly with Him to prevent sinners from filling up the measure of their guilt.”
In order that Reparation might be made by devout souls, our Lord asked for a special feast to be instituted in honour of His Sacred Heart, for the Communion of Reparation on the first Friday of each month, and at other times for this same object; and for the practice of the Holy Hour. Most of Christ s instructions to St. Margaret Mary tended to train her and through her ourselves in a spirit of Reparation.
This is what He asked of her for the Holy Hour : “Every week from the Thursday night to the Friday morning, I will cause thee to share in the deadly sadness which I allowed to overwhelm My soul in the Garden of Olives. Thou wilt rise between eleven o’clock and midnight and remain prostrate flat upon the ground for one hour, that thou mayest satisfy the Divine justice, by imploring mercy for sinners and likewise, in some measure, mitigate the sadness I felt when my Apostles abandoned Me and could not watch even one hour with Me.”
It is impossible to misunderstand our Lords meaning. The first time the Sacred Heart appeared to this Saint on December 27, 1673, He was seen upon the altar, the chosen place of sacrifice, with the face of one in pain. He asked her to draw a picture of His Sacred Heart, with the wound made by the lance, surrounded by a crown of thorns and surmounted by a cross. Hence we can well understand the fiery utterances of St. Margaret Mary. She exclaims: ” If only you knew how our Sovereign urges me to love Him with a love that will share His life of suffering! I know of nothing that is more fitted to ease the tiresomeness of our lives, than patient endurance with love. Let us suffer lovingly without complaining and count as lost all moments passed without suffering.” The whole life of this Saint is one hymn of Reparation, of love that begets conformity to His suffering life. It is useless to give copious citations from her life or works, they must be read through.
The Rev. Pere Terrien in his well-grounded book on Devotion to the Sacred Heart, says : “To make Reparation is to love, but above all to suffer, to sacrifice self through love “* (T. iii., ch. iii.).
” It is in the Heart of Jesus that we obtain the precious supplement of love, which alone can render our reparations really pleasing to Him.”
Jesus knocks at the door of our heart, asking us to make Reparation, but our poor alms have no value unless they pass through His Heart. There is a blessed ebb and flow of the tide of love, it originates with Him and invites us, and our love must return to that centre if we are to correspond effectually with His advances.
This love does not, however, take away our instinctive horror of pain. Thus we find our Lord saying to Saint Teresa: “My daughter, thou askest Me for suffering and then complainest when I send it. . . . Nevertheless, I answer thy prayer considering thy set will and purpose, rather than the natural repugnances of thy nature ” (Life of St. Teresa). Mark well the words thy will. It is a question of will and not of feeling. True piety, the piety that makes reparation, has nothing to do with feeling. This truth should be printed at the foot of every page of this book.
David said that he had found his heart that he might speak to God; we can do better than find ours, seeing that we have the Heart of the Son of God. St. Bonaventure s sole desire was to dwell therein. He pitied the blindness of those who do not know how to find entrance into Christ, through His open wounds, especially that of His Heart.
We then will say: “I will enter humbly, but resolutely, even to the altar of my God.” This holy sanctuary of His Heart, where Jesus continually renews His Sacrifice, shall likewise be mine: there I will offer my humble share in His work of Redemption. How can I do this? By striving to unite my sentiments with those of His Adorable Heart, in conformity with the spirit of the Apostleship of Prayer, which is one of many methods and ranks with the best.
Two ardent desires continually flow from the Heart of Jesus. First, He is consumed by an insatiable thirst to do the Will of His heavenly Father; secondly, He thirsts continually for the baptism of blood which is to save us from eternal death. Now this twofold desire extends, in Jesus, to all that constitutes Jesus.
It is indisputable that in His personal Humanity, our Blessed Lord can no longer humble Himself or suffer. But we constitute His Mystical Body, and He desires that each Christian should give himself wholly to the fulfilling of Gods will. The Sacred Heart desires each one to offer those Acts of Reparation which have to be united to His own Sacrifice. If Jesus can no longer humble Himself in Himself, He can do so in us, for we are one with Him. This is why He asks for our share and our offerings.
Alas, how few understand His appeal, how few accept! Nevertheless, all true devotion to the Sacred Heart goes as far as this. It even constitutes its very essence and those who interpret it otherwise either diminish or distort it.
In the Eucharist, Jesus is with us under the form of the “host,” i.e., victim, thus clearly expressing His ardent desires. Under the species of the Sacrament, our Lord does not actually suffer from the indifference, irreverence, immortification, pride, revolt and sacrilege of men. But when He trod this earth He foresaw all these and suffered unspeakable tortures on account of these insults and outrages offered to the Divine Majesty and from man s horrible neglect of God s laws. He foresaw every single sinful act and atoned for each in detail.
He asks us to console Him now for all His Sacred Heart suffered in those hours of trial; He wills that, by our piety, we should make Him some compensation. Since He has chosen to perpetuate by the Holy Eucharist the Sacrifice which He consummated upon the Cross, how can we better satisfy His desire than by continuing His sacrifice as He Himself does i.e., by becoming victims in union with Him? And since, in this Sacrament of love, Jesus still mystically hungers unspeakably and suffers an unquenchable thirst to accomplish the Will of God and save souls, what can we do better than enter into the sentiments of the Divine Guest of our tabernacles?
We shall emphasise this point farther on, when explaining the nature of the love for the Blessed Sacrament which should animate a soul devoted to Reparation. Let what has been said suffice for the present. When we rightly understand true devotion to the Sacred Heart, our Eucharistic life becomes the union of two hosts or victims in the union of one perfect oblation; and when we truly grasp the meaning of our Eucharistic life, that is of our union with Jesus as Victim, our devotion to the Sacred Heart then becomes practically one sustained effort of self-renunciation in order to become a living ” appearance,” under which Christ alone lives. We aim at becoming a living “appearance,” that He may use us as an instrument to continue the accomplishment of His Divine work; a living “appearance ” that is unceasingly sacrificed with Him in the unity of the same sacrifice for the glory of the Adorable Trinity and for the salvation of souls.
We have dwelt somewhat on the revelations of Saint Margret Mary and the devotion to the Sacred Heart because they bear on the subject of Reparation. This holds good of the great apparitions of our Lady in France to mention only those of the nineteenth century. In all these it seems as though their sole object was to remind men of the need for Reparation. To Bernadette, our Blessed Lady expressed her grief at the invasion and flooding of the world by sin, and as some compensation, she asked that men should pray and do penance. She told Bernadette to recite the Rosary and asked that a church should be built at Lourdes in which God would be glorified by the public homage of the ardent acclamations of countless pilgrims boldly vindicating their living faith in an age characterised by blasphemy and forgetfulness of God. Above all, she insisted upon the necessity of doing penance, saying sorrowfully : ” Penance, penance, penance.”
When she appeared to two children at La Salette she urged them to pray and do penance. She told them sorrowfully that God was about to chastise men severely unless they prayed and did penance. She mentioned blasphemy and the desecration of the Sabbath as the two sins that especially cried to Heaven for vengeance.
What are we to learn from all this? The need of souls souls devoted to reparation. God is saddened by men’s sin. It will fare badly with us if there are not voluntary victims forthcoming to fling into the other scale of Divine justice their sacrifices to God.
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This work is an abrigement of a Chapter from the book The Ideal of Reparation by Father Raoul Plus SJ or more details on how this work was abriged please visit the Audiobook page
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