LITANY OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS, PART III
11. HEART OF JESUS, NEVER ENDING SOURCE OF ALL VIRTUES
In the life of a person, virtues are like streams of fresh water that delight the eye and make the surrounding area lush and fertile. The life and prosperity of a certain region depend to a great extent on the presence of such streams. But it can happen that streams of material water may gradually or even abruptly dry up. The devastating consequences of such a loss are soon visible and terrible. They spell misery for vegetation, animals and people.
All the virtues that enrich our lives derive from the Heart of Jesus as from their main source - a source that will never dry up. All virtues gush forth from Him for He, as the incarnate Son of God, is the Source of all good. There is no other. Any attempt to find "alternative sources" of outstanding moral/spiritual qualities (for this is what virtues are), is destined to fail. Only in the Heart of Jesus, do all virtues find their origin and the nourishment that ensures their preservation and development.
The application of this truth is clear: if we want to progress in our moral and spiritual life and thereby bring about our sanctification, we have to draw closer and closer to the Heart of Jesus. From our intimacy with Him, we will derive the freshness and vital energy that fill our existence with virtuous thoughts, aspirations and actions. Such has been the experience of all the Saints, starting with Mary Most Holy.
12. HEART OF JESUS, WORTHY OF ALL PRAISE
People are highly praised for their achievements. The most outstanding ones are given presitgious awards. Their names are engraved in markers and monuments. Of all the "awardees" no one is worthier than Jesus. Nay: no one can match Him, for He did everything perfectly.
"He has done everything well" proclaimed the crowds when they witnessed the wonderful miracles He was performing, as He cleansed the lepers, gave sight to the blind, speech to the dumb, agility to the crippled, and even restored life to the dead. But all the miracles that He performed were still nothing in comparison with the "wonder of wonders" which is the salvation of mankind - a salvation Jesus brought about through His Passion, Death, and Resurrection, and which is constantly and universally made present through the Sacraments, but especially through the Eucharist.
It is in the Sacrament of Christ's Love that His Heart fully reveals all its "resourcefulness" and perfection, as it encapsulates His divnity and humanity in the simplicity of bread and wine, which possess the unique power to nourish souls, transform, energize, and inspire lives. Rightly we acknowledge this "living wonder" as we sing, "O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine!"
13. HEART OF JESUS, KING AND CENTER OF ALL HEARTS
Jesus never claimed the title "King" though no one more than He deserved it. But He was, indeedm King, since He was the Son of the King of the universe, and to Him the Father had given all authority and power.
He implied His royal dignity in some of His parables where He speaks of the "Son of Man" (that is Himself) as the one who will come in glory to judge all human beings. This will take place at the end of time, in the majesty and glory that will characterize the decisive moment of human history. But it was in the Upper Room and on Calvary that Jesus revealed the "Kingly Love" of His Heart.
The former was the anticipation of the latter in the sacramental signs of bread and wine, broken and shed for love of all human beings. On Calvary, a poor human wreck - the repentant thief - proclaimed aloud his faith in the Kingship of Christ. And he, the innocent crucified "Lord Jesus" exercised the divine power of His love by promising heaven to the repentant crucified sinner who represented all sinful mankind. It was from the Cross that Christ proclaimed His kingship and exercised it as no simple mortal man could do.
It was the unmatchable love of His Heart that brought Jesus to endure the mockery of being crowned not with a gold crown but with a crown of thorns. It was his Kingly Love for us that brought Him to embrace the Cross as the most precious of all thrones. It is to His transfixed heart that all human hearts should direct their grateful love.
14. HEART OF JESUS, IN WHICH ARE ALL THE TREASURES OF WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE
Wisdom and Knowledge have always been sought after as precious treasures in all great civilizations. Outstanding among all is King Solomon, the young son of David, who, at the beginning of his reign, implored from God the gift of wisdom, rather than riches and power. In response to Solomon's prayer, the Lord God bestowed on him not only the knowledge and wisom he had aksed for, but all other blessings besides. So much so that even the Queen of the South traveled thousands of miles to be able to learn from the wisest of all kings.
Jesus is immensely greater than Solomon, as He himself declared. He has the knowledge that surpasses every other knowledge; He knows the Father at a depth and with a clarity that no creature wille ver be able to attain. And from this fundamental knowledge of the Father, Jesus derived the wisdom that enabled Him to always make the right choices - the choices that are perfectly in line with the Father's will.
There can be no more precious treasure than this. And this is the knowledge and wisdom we all should yearn for as devotees of the Heart of the One who said: "Learn from Me, for I am meek and humble of heart" and "I have given you an example that just as I have done, you may also do."
15. HEART OF JESUS, IN WHICH DWELLS THE FULLNESS OF THE DIVINITY
All creatures, and especially we human beings, bear the marks of the widom and glory of their Creator. This is not just an external and superficial mark. He actually dwells in us to the extent that we can mirror His Presence and attest to His wisdom and power.
Jesus alone, however, "is the Image of the Invisible God, the first-born of all creation" (Col 1:15). He is the refulgence of His glory, the very imprint of His being" (Heb 1:3). This is the reason why in the Heart of Jesus, in the very core of His being, dwells the ful;ness of the Divinity, as we proclaim in the Litany.
Due to the self-emptying effect of the incarnation, during His earthly life, the Son of God's splendor was concealed under the ordinary appearance of a mortal man. But at least once, at His transfiguration, the radiance of the Divinity that was in Him was revealed to some chosen Disciples on Mount Tabor.
That was the moment in which the fullness of the Divinity that was hidden in the man Jesus shone in all its power and brilliance. That was the instant when the new heaven and the new earth were created - an event and a new reality that is meant to be our constant inspiration and aspiration. For this is our calling and our challenge: to allow God to permeate our being ever more deeply that ever more clearly we may reflect the splendor of the Heart of Jesus.
LITANY OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS, PART IV
LITANY OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS, PART II
The Messenger of Divine Love
Volume II Number 2