Thoughts from the Book of Love

The Book of Infinite Love is a little-known treatise written by a French Visitation nun in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. As we approach the end of the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I thought you might like the following small essay from Mother Louise Margaret Claret, whose mission was to teach that the infinite love of God is manifested through the prodigious overflowing love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus through His priests.

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The religion of the Sacred Heart is not a simple devotion of sentiment; it is not even a special isolated dogma, it is the synthesis of all Catholic doctrine, of the whole Catholic moral law summed up in the love of Jesus Christ for us and of our love for Jesus Christ. There is then for us a theology of the Sacred Heart. This theology, according to St. Augustine and Bossuet, from the consideration that God is the eternal Heart, (“Deus est caritas” I John, IV, 8) finds in this Charity the purpose if not the explanation of the whole series of Christian mysteries.

. God loves: to love is to give. God has given us everything, and has given Himself to us. He commenced by giving existence to us and to all beings: that is creation!

. God loves: to love is to speak, to make oneself heard by the person who is loved, and that is Revelation, the Sacred Scriptures, God’s law!

. God loves: to love is to make oneself like the person loved; that is the Incarnation.

. God loves: to love is to save the person loved, cost what it may; to die for the person loved: that is the Redemption!

. To love is to wish to be perpetually present to the person loved: that is the Blessed Eucharist, the real presence, the altar!

. To love is to give oneself to each of those whom one loves; that is Holy Communion, the Last Supper!

. Finally, to love is to wish to make happy with oneself for ever all those whom one has loved; that is the eternal happiness of Heaven!—A vast synthesis of love, which is also a synthesis of our faith!

“As for us,” cries St. John, ” we believe in the love which God has for us ” (I John IV, 16). Everything is included in that. St. Francis de Sales was right when he said:  “In the Church of Jesus Christ everything belongs to love, everything is founded on love and everything is love. God, who has created man after His own image, wishes that in man, as in God, everything be regulated by love and for love.”

The devotion to the Blessed Eucharist and the devotion to the Sacred Heart are not only two sister devotions, in reality, they are only one and the same devotion. They complete each other and develop each other; they blend so perfectly together that one cannot stand without the other, and their union is absolute. Not only can one of these devotions not be prejudicial to the other but, because they complete each other and perfect each other, they also reciprocally increase each other. If we have devotion to the Sacred Heart, we will wish to find It, to adore It, to love It, to offer It our reparation and praise, and where shall we look for It but in the Blessed Eucharist where It is found eternally living?

If we love this adorable Heart, we will wish to unite ourselves to It, for love seeks union, we will wish to warm our hearts by the ardour of this divine fire, but to reach the Sacred Heart, to take hold of It, to put It in contact with our own, what shall we do? Shall we scale heaven to bear away the Heart of Jesus Who reigns triumphant in glory? There is no need to do so. We will go to the Blessed Eucharist, we will go to the tabernacle, we will take the white Host, and when we have enclosed it in our breast, we will feel the divine Heart truly beating beside our own.

The devotion to the divine Heart infallibly brings souls to the Blessed Eucharist, and faith in and devotion to the Blessed Eucharist necessarily lead souls to discover the mysteries of Infinite Love of which the divine Heart is the organ and the symbol. If we believe in the Blessed Eucharist, we believe in Love. It is the mystery of Love. But in itself love is immaterial and imperceptible; to fix our minds and our senses, we seek an outward form for love.

This form, this sensible manifestation, is the divine Heart. The Sacred Heart, the Blessed Eucharist, Love are one and the same thing. In the tabernacle we find the Host; in the Host Jesus; in Jesus His Heart; in His Heart, Love, Infinite Love, divine Charity, God, the principle of life, living and life-giving. But still more: The ineffable mystery of the Eucharist can only be explained by Love. By the love of God, yes, but by the Love of Jesus, God and man. Now the love of Jesus is the love of His Heart; to sum up all in one word, it is His Heart; therefore the Blessed Eucharist is explained only by the Sacred Heart. The Blessed Eucharist is the sublime completion of the love of Jesus for man; it is the highest, the last expression; the paroxysm, if I may so express myself, of this incomprehensible love.

Nevertheless, without the Blessed Eucharist we could have believed in love; the Incarnation would have sufficed for that; a single drop of the bitter chalice of Passion would have been more than superabundant to prove to us that love. We would have been able to love the Heart of Jesus, we would have been under the obligation of loving It, of believing that it is sovereignly good, even if It had not gone to this divine excess of the Blessed Eucharist. But, because It has invented this marvel, how we should love this Sacred Heart so divinely tender, so inexpressibly delicate and liberal; so—shall I dare to say it—so madly and so passionately fond of Its creatures!

Yes, the Blessed Eucharist augments and inflames our love for the divine Heart. But because we know that we shall find this Sacred Heart only in the Blessed Eucharist, because we are thirsty for union with this Heart so tender and so ardent, we go to the Blessed Eucharist, we prostrate ourselves before the Blessed Sacrament, we adore the Host radiating its influence from the monstrance. We go to the Holy Table with ardent avidity; we lovingly kiss the consecrated paten on which the divine Host reposes each day. We surround with honour, respect and magnificence the tabernacle in which Jesus, living and loving, makes His dwelling.

Oh! it is impious to say that the worship of the Sacred Heart can injure devotion to the Blessed Eucharist. What! will the knowledge of Him Who gives the gift, make us despise the gift? No, the more we love the divine Heart, the truer our worship of It is, the more extensive and enlightened it is, the more also will our worship and our love for the divine Eucharist develop and grow strong.

Mother Louise Margaret Claret, October 16, 1902.

The Book of Infinite Love: The Needs of Our Time – A Little Treatise of Infinite Love (Kindle Locations 1248-1296). TAN Books. Kindle Edition.

 

Please, Pray the Rosary and confound satan and those who serve him!

† . Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
† . Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
† . Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
† . St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
† . St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!