The Sacred Heart of Jesus by Saint John Eudes Translated by Dom. Richard Flower, O.S.B. (Kenedy & Sons, 1946)
A FURNACE of LOVE for US
THE MOST LOVING HEART of our benign Saviour is a burning furnace of most pure love for us; a furnace of purifying love, of illuminating love, of sanctifying love, of transforming love, and of deifying love. His love is a purifying love, in which the hearts of holy souls are purified more perfectly than gold in the furnace; an illuminating love, which scatters the darkness of hell with which the earth is covered and lets us into the wonderful brilliance of heaven; de tenebris vos vocavit in admirabile lumen suum (I Pet. 2.9) a sanctifying love, which destroys sin in our souls in order to establish there the kingdom of grace; a transforming love, which transforms serpents into doves, wolves into lambs, beasts into angels, children of the devil into children of God, children of wrath and malediction into children of grace and blessing; a deifying love, which makes gods of men, ego dixi dii estis, (I say you are gods – Ps 82.6; Lk 6.35) letting them share in the holiness of God, His mercy, His patience, His goodness, His love, His charity and His other divine perfections: Divinae consortes naturae. (2 Pet. 1, 4)
O divine love of my Jesus, I give myself wholly to Thee; purify me, enlighten me, sanctify me, transform me into Thee, that I may be naught but love for my God.
of the SACRED
of JESUS RADIATES LOVE to ALL BEINGS
The august Heart of Jesus is a furnace of love which spreads its fiery flames in all directions, in heaven, on earth, and throughout the whole universe. Its fiery flames would have consumed the hearts of the Seraphim and would have enkindled all the hearts of earth, if. the terrible chill of sin had not set in. Those divine fires transform all the hearts of heavenly lovers into so many furnaces of love for Him who is all love for them.
All creatures on earth, even those which are senseless, inanimate and irrational, feel the effects of the incredible goodnessof that magnificent Heart, since He loves all things that are and hates nothing that He has made, sin being the only thing that He did not make, the only object of His hatred: Diligis omnia quae sunt, et nihil odisti eorum quae fecisti. (Wis 2.25)
Jesus has an extraordinary love for men, as well for the good as the wicked, for His friends as for His enemies, for whom He has such intense charity that even the overwhelming torrents and floods of their innumerable sins are not able to extinguish it: Aquae multae non potuerunt extinguere charitatem.(Cant. 8.7) Not a moment elapses that He does not grant them manifold natural and supernatural favors, corporal and spiritual, even while they are offending Him and dishonoring Him by their misdeeds.
The divine fires of the precious Heart of the Son of God reach even into hell, to the devils and the damned, preserving their being, life, and the natural perfections which He gave them at creation and not punishing them as much as they have deserved for their sins, for which His divine justice might very justly chastise them much more severely than it does: Non est qui se abscondat a calore ejus. (Ps 18.7)
O sacred fires and flames of the Heart of my Saviour, rush in upon my heart and the hearts of all my brethren, and kindle them into as many furnaces of love for my Most Loving Jesus!
of the LOVE
of the SACRED HEART of JESUS
Imagine all the charity, all the affections, all the tender and intimate feelings of all the hearts that the omnipotent hand of God might fashion as being collected and united in one heart large enough to contain them. Would they not all be capable of forming one unimaginable furnace of love? But realize that all the fires and flames of such a furnace would not make one tiny spark of the immense love with which the infinitely loving Heart of Jesus is inflamed towards you, O Christian soul.
O furnace infinitely to be desired! Who will grant me to be plunged into that burning fire? O Mother of Jesus, O all ye angels, O all ye holy saints of Jesus, I give myself to you all and to each in particular, and I give you also all my brothers and sisters in Christ, and all the inhabitants of earth, that you may cast us all into the abyss of that sacred furnace! Attend and hear, O vast furnace of love! A tiny straw asks most humbly and earnestly to be plunged, buried, lost, devoured and consumed wholly in thy sacred flames and thy holy fires forever and ever!
Ejaculatory Prayer: O fire which ever burns and is never extinguished. O love which is ever fervent and never grows tepid, inflame me wholly that I may love You wholly.
O ignis qui semper ardes et nunquam extingueris. O amor qui semper ferves et nunquam tepescis, accende me totum, ut totus diligam te
NOTHING is easier than the proof of this truth. The ineffable graces with which our Saviour endowed His Blessed Mother clearly manifest that His love for her is a love without measure or limit. She is, after His Divine Father, the first and most worthy object of His love. He loves her incomparably more than all His angels, saints and other creatures together. The extraordinary favors with which He honored her and the wonderful privileges He conferred upon her, far beyond any other creature, are clear proofs of this truth. Let us examine these numerous and impressive privileges.
First of all, the Blessed Virgin is the only human being whom the Son of God chose from all eternity to elevate above all created things, to set on the highest throne of glory and grandeur, and to adorn with the most admirable of all dignities, the Motherhood of God.
Let us descend in spirit from eternity to the ullness of time, and we shall see this hallowed Virgin alone among the children of Adam in her preservation from original sin, through a very special privilege~ in testimony of which Holy Church celebrates annually throughout the world the Feast of her Immaculate Conception.
Not only did the love of God’s Son for His most holy Mother preserve her from original sin, but over and above that, He filled her from the moment of her conception with such eminent grace that, according to several great theologians, it surpassed the grace of the chief of the Seraphim and of the greatest of all die saints even taken in its perfection. She alone among all the children of Adam enjoyed this privilege.
Moreover, from the first moment of her existence, she possessed the privilege of the light of reason and faith, by which she began to know God, to adore Him, and to give herself to Him. In virtue of another privilege she alone began to love God from the initial moment of her life, and she loved Him more ardently than the most flaming of the Seraphim. She alone loved Him continuously, incessantly, throughout the whole course of her life. For this reason we say that her life was one single act of love from the first to the last moment, an act that was never interrupted.
She is the only creature who has always perfectly accomplished the first of the divine commandments: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy. Whole heart, with thy whole soul, andwith all thy strength.” (Deut. 6, 5) Hence several Doctors of the Church assert that her love was doubled with each hour, or even, according to some, with each moment. When a soul makes an act of love with his whole heart and according to the whole extent of the grace within him, his love becomes twice as great as it was before. The Blessed Virgin loved God continuously with all her heart and all her strength. If she had ten degrees of love at the first instant of her life, she had twenty at the second; if she had twenty at the second, she had forty at the third. Thus her love was doubled every moment or at least every hour throughout the course other life. You can imagine, therefore, what a furnace and what fires of divine love inflamed that virginal heart in the last days of her abode upon earth.
Let us pass on to the consideration of the matchless privileges by which the Only Son of Mary enriched His holy Mother. According to several eminent Doctors, He gave to her alone the grace to merit, by her prayers and tears, the accomplishment of His Incarnation. She alone gave human flesh, from her own substance, to Him who was born from all eternity in the bosom God of the substance of the Father. Yes, Mary gave a portion of her virginal substance and of her most pure blood to fashion the sacred humanity of the Son of God. In addition, she cooperated with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost in the union which was formed of her substance with the Person of die Son of God. Thus she participated in the accomplishment of the mystery of the Incarnation, and consequently in the greatest miracle –that God ever has or ever will or even ever can perform.
There is another privilege that contributes to the matchless honor of Our Lady. The most pure blood and the virginal flesh which she offered for this mystery will remain united forever, by the hypostatic union, to the Person of the Incarnate Word. The virginal blood and the precious flesh of Mary are, therefore, to be adored in the humanity of the Son of God with the same adoration that is due to that very humanity itself, and they will be forever the object of the adoration of all the angels and saints. O incomparable privilege! O ineffable love of Jesus for His most holy Mother!
There are still other prerogatives. That loving Mother also gave the flesh and blood from which the adorable Heart of the Child Jesus was formed. The Sacred Heart of the Son of God received its nourishment and its increase from that same blood, during the nine months of its abode in the holy womb of the Blessed Virgin.
The incomparable Virgin is alone in occupying the place of father and mother in respect to the God-Man, and hence in having paternal and maternal authority over Him, and in receiving the honor of being obeyed by the Sovereign of the Universe, an honor that is greater than she would receive from the homage of all created beings.
She alone is Mother and Virgin together, and according to some holy Doctors she made the vow of virginity from the moment of her Immaculate Conception. She alone bore in her womb for nine months Him whom the Eternal Father embraces in His bosom for all eternity. She alone gave life to Him who is eternal life and who gives life to all living things.
Accompanied by St. Joseph, she abode with that adorable Saviour for the space of thirty years. O wondrous thing! Our divine Redeemer came upon earth to save mankind. Yet He set aside only three years and three months of His life for the work of preaching and instructing. The other thirty years He devoted to the ever-increasing sanctification of His holy Mother. What a wealth of graces and blessings He incessantly poured into the soul of His Blessed Mother! With what flames of heavenly fire did the divine Heart of Jesus enkindle evermore and more the virgin Heart of His most worthy Mother, especially when those two Hearts were so close to each other and so firmly united, while she bore Him in her womb, nursed Him, and held Him in her arms; during the whole time that she lived with Him familiarly as a mother with her child, eating and drinking with Him, praying with Him, and hearing the divine words coming from His adorable lips as so many coals of fire ever enkindling more and more her most holy Heart with the sacred fire of divine love!
After this who can estimate how ardently the blessed Heart of the Mother of the Saviour was afire with love for God? Certainly there is great reason to believe that, if her Son had not miraculously preserved her until the decreed hour of death, she would have died of love, not only once, like St. Teresa, but a thousand times, since her love was immeasurably more than that of the great Carmelite mystic. From earliest childhood her love was sufficiently intense to have caused her death and, when her Beloved Son did call her, she died of love that He might give her, after His own, the happiest and most glorious life possible.
Let us repeat concerning the marvelous Virgin that she is the only one, after her Divine Son, to have been transported body and soul into heaven. In accordance with the tradition of Holy Church, Mary’s Assumption is solemnly celebrated throughout the world. She alone is raised on high above all the choirs of angels and saints and sits at the right hand of her Son. She alone is crowned Queen of heaven and earth, of angels and men, the Sovereign Empress of the universe. She alone has all power over the Church Triumphant, Militant, and Suffering. In Jerusalem potestas mea. (Eccles. 24, 15 2) She alone has more influence with her Divine Son Jesus than all the citizens of heaven together: Data est tibi omnis potestas in coelo et in terra (to you is given all authority in heaven and on earth), says St. Peter Damian.
There is yet another particular privilege, emphasized in these words of St. Anselm: Te, Domina, tacente, nullus orabit, nullus adjuvabit; te autem orante, omnes (nempe Sancti) or omnes adjuvabunt: “O my Queen, if thou prayest not for anyone or for anything, no one shall proffer help, but when thou prayest all the saints pray with thee, all the saints put forth their aid.”
Is it not true then that here is a great number of privileges and advantages with which our Saviour has honored His most holy Mother? What has constrained Him to do so? The burning love with which His filial Heart is all on fire for her. Why does He love her so much?
1. She is His Mother, from whom He received anew being and anew life by the new birth which she gave Him on earth.
2. He loves her alone more than He loves all creatures together because she loves Him more than all created things.
3. He loves her most ardently because she cooperated with Him in the accomplishment of His great work of the Redemption of the world. Her cooperation was to, give Him a mortal body capable of suffering and of sustaining the torments of His Passion. She also imparted to Him the Precious Blood which He shed for us, and she offered that body, that blood, and that life as a sacrifice at the foot of the Cross.
As our Saviour’s love for His Blessed Mother is so great, we must be obliged to love and serve her to the best of our ability. Let us then love her with her Son Jesus, and if we love them let us hate what they hate and love what they love. Let us have but one heart with them, a heart detesting what they detest, that is, sin, especially the sins against charity, humility and purity, and a heart that loves what they love, particularly the poor, all Christian virtues, and trials. O Mother of goodness, obtain for us these graces from Thy Son!
O GOOD JESUS, Lamb without spot, who didst suffer so many torments on Thy Cross, while beholding the virgin Heart of Thy dearest Mother plunged into an ocean of sorrows, teach me, I beg Thee, to accompany Thee in Thy sufferings and to feel Thy afflictions.
What a sorrowful sight to see those two Hearts of Jesus and Mary, two Hearts so holy, so innocent, so full of graces and perfections, so enkindled with divine love, so closely united to each other, and so compassionate towards each other! The holy Heart of the Mother of Jesus feels most keenly the terrible torments of her Son; the Only Son of Mary is wholly convulsed by the incomparable sufferings of His Mother. Jesus, the innocent Lamb, and Mary, His immaculate Mother, call to each other; the one weeps for the other, receiving no consolation; and the purer and more ardent their mutual love is, the more their sorrows penetrate and pierce.
O heart of stone! why dost thou not melt with sorrow and tears seeing that thou art the cause of the unutterable sorrows of that spotless Mother and that most gentle Lamb of God? What have they done to suffer so many afflictions? O wretched sinner, it is you and your abominable sins that are the executioners of those most holy and innocent Hearts. O Hearts most kind, pardon me and exercise upon me the vengeance which I deserve. Since creatures obey you, command them all to punish me as 1 deserve. Send me your sorrows and sufferings, so that, as I have been the cause of them, I may succor you in your weeping and pain. O Jesus, love of my heart, O Mary, consolation of my soul, perfect image of Thy Son, stamp upon my heart a great aversion to the pleasures of this life, which thou hast spent in suffering. I am thine, belonging to thy house and thy service, although I am unworthy. Let me take no pleasure in this world except where thou dost find it. Grant that I may always bear thy sorrows in my soul, putting my glory and delight in being crucified with Jesus and Mary.
O most holy Virgin, how are all thy joys changed into sorrows? If they had been like those of the world, it would have been fitting that they should have suffered these changes. But, O Queen of angels, thou hast never taken pleasure except in divine things. God alone possessed thy Heart and nothing was able to satisfy thee but what proceeded from Him and led to Him. Thou hast had the joy of seeing thyself a Mother, the Mother of God; of bearing Him in thy sacred womb; of seeing Him resting on thy sacred bosom; of waiting on Him with thy most pure hands; of offering Him in the temple to His Eternal Father; and of seeing Him recognized and adored by Simeon the Just and holy Anna the Prophetess. All thy satisfactions, throughout the thirty years of thy life with Him, were divine, inward and spiritual. They were the jubilant, spiritual and interior delights with which thy most holy soul, enkindled with love for Jesus, thy Son and thy God, was raised and transported into His divine majesty. Thy holy heart, transformed and united to Him, received there from favors greater than all the ranks of heaven, since thy love exceeded that of all the Seraphim. O Lady and Queen of angels, what can one find in satisfactions so pure and holy, in joys so spiritual and heavenly, that could turn into sorrows? Can it be that the wretchedness and the servitude of the poor children of Eve exiled and banished from paradise, in whose sin thou hast never had part, have reached even to thee? Hath that exile, then, not yet ceased to be for thee a land of sorrows and a Vale of tears?
O poor sinner, who would persuade yourself to find pleasure in this life which has only false and deceitful pleasures. Behold the sufferings of the King and Queen of heaven, and perish with Confusion at the sight of your own disordered life and your aversion for crosses. The whole life of Jesus, who is innocence itself, is one continual suffering; the whole life of Mary, who is all holy and immaculate, is a perpetual Cross; and you, wretched sinner, deserving hell a thousand times over, you seek pleasure and comfortf
O Queen of angels, in all the years of the hidden life with thy Son Jesus, thou didst await the sorrows which were prophesied by holy Simeon, sorrows without parallel, since the magnitude of thy love was the measure of thy sorrow. When the time of the Passion of that loving Saviour bad come, He took leave of thee to go forth to suffer, letting thee know that it was the will of His Father that thou shouldst accompany Him to the foot of the Cross and that thy Heart should be pierced with the sword of sorrow. St. John gave thee the warning, when he saw the time come for the divine Lamb to be sacrificed. Thou didst leave thy house to bathe Jerusalem’s streets with thy tears. Thou didst find thy Son in the midst of an innumerable pack of human wolves and lions, howling and roaring at Him, shouting like madmen: Tolle, tolle, crucifige, crucifige (John 19, 15) Thou didst see Him, now no longer adored by kings, but held up to the people as a false king, blasphemed, dishonored, condemned to death, shouldering His Cross, led to Calvary, whither thou didst follow Him, bathed in thy tears and overwhelmed with sorrow.
Thou didst hear the blows of the hammer as He was being fastened to the Cross: they pierced thy Heart. Thou didst suffer unspeakable tortures, awaiting that dire hour of the Crucifixion. Thou didst see Him lifted up, while so many shouts and blasphemies were hurled at Him by the evil tongues of the Jews that thy blood congealed in thy veins. Thou didst spend these sad hours at the foot of the Cross, hearing the awful insults heaped by these wretches upon thy Lamb and seeing the frightful tortures which they made Him suffer, until at last thou didst see Him expire under such obloquy and suffering.
Whereupon they restored Him to thy loving arms, that thou mightest wrap His body in a shroud and bury Him and, just as thou hadst given Him at birth the first attentions, thou mightest now perform for Him the last rites; but with sorrows so heavy and anguish so sharp and desolation so penetrating to thy Mother’s Heart that, if we are to comprehend anything of them, we should have first to comprehend the degree of thy well- nigh infinite love for thy Son. An things distressed thee. Wherever thou didst turn thou didst see only reasons for sorrow and tears. Thy Mother’s Heart was rent the more with wounds bleeding and innumerable because thy Dear Jesus was also being wounded in Heart and body. It is true that thy faith was not diminished and that thy obedience kept thy Heart perfectly resigned to the divine will, but thou didst not cease to suffer inconceivable pain, even as thy beloved Son, in spite of His most perfect submission to all the commands of His Divine Father. Lastly, no heart with a lesser love than thine will ever be able to comprehend what thou didst suffer at that time.
When thy faithful servants and thy true friends consider these things, they give way to tears and are filled up with sorrow at seeing thy divine consolations changed into such cruel sufferings, thy most holy innocence falling prey to such inhuman sorrows. If they could only be torn asunder and consumed to console thee, most willingly would they suffer it. What a martyrdom of blood for the Heart of thy divine Lamb, the Only Son of God and thy Son, in seeing so clearly all the sorrows Penetrating thy Heart, the desolation in which thou art, the anguish necessarily caused by Thy absence, and the fact that thou canst neither speak to Him nor He to thee, because no words can be found capable of appeasing such great sorrows!
O Father of mercies and God of all consolation what are those two Hearts that Thou art keeping thus crucified? Why dost Thou not succor Thy Only Son and Thy loving daughter? Why dost Thou not break the law that Thou hast made that one shall not sacrifice in the same day on Thy altar the Lamb and its Mother? And yet here, in one and the same day, at the selfsame hour, on the same Cross and with the same nails, Thou dost keep fastened the Only Son of sorrowing Mary and the virgin Heart of His most innocent Mother. Can it be that Thou dost care for the dumb animals, unwilling that the mothers should be sacrificed on the day they suffer the loss of their lambs, more than Thou dost for this most pure Virgin, grieving over the sorrows and the death of her divine Lamb? Thou dost w i 1 1 that she should have no other executioner of her martyrdom than her tender love for her Only Son. Nevertheless, in the midst of such cruel tortures, the sight of the sufferings of His most worthy Mother were known to her Beloved Son even as He filled the cup of her affliction and torture. Immortal praise and blessing, O my God, for the incomprehensible love that Thou hast for sinners! Thanksgiving, infinite and eternal, for all the works of that divine love
O Jesus, Only Son of God, Only Son of Mary, divine light of my soul, I beseech Thee, for the infinite love Thou hast for me, to enlighten my mind with Thy holy truths, to drive from my heart the desire for the consolations of this life, and to instill into it the desire to suffer for love of Thee. Thy love was the cause of Thy torments. Thy love for Thy holy Mother and her love for Thee were for her the source of a torrent of tribulations. How great my blindness when I fancy I can please Thee by walking in any other way! How long, O love, shall I be thus blinded and deceived? How long shall this earthy man refuse to enter into Thy divine plans? Why do I want life if not to employ it for Thee, as did Thy most holy Mother, since Thou hast given Thy life for me on the Cross? What more vivid enlightenment do I desire or need?O divine wisdom, let Thy heavenly light everywhere be my guide; let the strength of Thy love possess me utterly and work in my soul the transformation it operates i n hearts obedient to it. I surrender myself, I offer myself, I give myself all to Thee; may it be with a heart pure and entire, O Lord. Take from me the pleasure I find in earthly things, that I may find my pleasure only in loving Thee and suffering with Thee.
O God of my heart, I adore Thee and render Thee infinite thanks for turning to my advantage those sufferings which Thou endurest in being confronted with those of Thy holy Mother, giving her to me as Lady and Mother, and showing that Thou lovest me so much that Thou desirest her to love me as her son in place of Thee. As my heavenly Mother she will have compassion on me in my need and will succor me, help me, protect, keep and govern me as her child. Perhaps Thou hast not found, O my Redeemer, any greater consolation for Thy most holy Mother than to give her evil and sinful children to Thyself that she may use her power and charity to obtain their conversion and salvation. Blessed and praised be Thou forever that Thou hast willed that nothing should perish, but that all things should be used to cure my ills and to shower me with true blessings. Therefore, O good Physician, do not allow me, in the midst of such great remedies, to remain without relief. Receive me as Thine own and make me a worthy servant and a faithful child of this great Queen and kindly Mother.
O most holy Mother of God, remember that the pains which thou didst not suffer in the virgin birth of thy Only Son thou now dost suffer doubly at the foot of the Cross, in the spiritual birth whereby all sinners become thy children. I have cost thee so much, receive me as thy son. I am infinitely unworthy of it; perform for me, O most holy Virgin, the office of Mother, protecting me, succoring and guiding me in all things, and obtaining for me the grace of Thy Son, so that 1, worthless and miserable child, may not be lost. O citizens of heaven, blessed and holy fruit of the spiritual maternity and the mother’s Heart of this most pure Virgin, pray that she will always be a most kind Mother to me, and obtain for me from Jesus faithfully to serve and love the Son and the Mother in this world, and to be reckoned among those who shall bless and love them eternally in the other. Amen.
This Webpage was created for a workshop held at Saint Andrew's Abbey, Valyermo, California in 1990