We shall never be able to understand adequately and esteem at its full value the inconceivable grace Our Lord has granted us in giving us His divine Heart. Let us picture a man who was such a favorite of the king that he could truthfully say: “The king’s heart belongs to me.” What happiness and joy to be so favored! But we have infinitely more than the heart of an earthly king. We have the Heart of the King of kings, who loves us so ardently that each one of us can truly say: “The Heart of Jesus belongs to me.”
Yes, this admirable Heart is mine. It is mine because the Eternal Father has given it to me; it is mine because the Blessed Virgin has given it to me; it is mine because He Himself has given it to me, not only to be my refuge and shelter in my needs, to be my oracle and my treasure, but also to be the model and rule of my life and of my actions. I wish to study this rule constantly so as to follow it faithfully. I must consider what the Heart of Jesus hates and what it loves, in order to hate only what it hates and love only what it loves. The only thing it hates or ever shall hate is sin. Did His gentle Heart feel any hatred for the miserable Jews who persecuted Him so unjustly or for the executioners who treated Him so cruelly? No, He never experienced the emotion of hatred. On the contrary, He besought His Eternal Father to pardon His executioners and even excused the most outrageous of all crimes.
I wish to follow the Divine Rule for love of You, my Savior. I will hate nothing but sin; I will love all that You love, even my enemies. With the help of Your grace I will do all the good I can to those who seek to harm me.
My rule tells me that I must have in my heart what is in the Heart of Our Lord: “Have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil 2:5). These sentiments are:
1. His affection for the person and will of His Eternal Father. He so loves His Father that He has sacrificed Himself and is still prepared to sacrifice Himself a hundred thousand times for His glory. His love for the divine will is so great that never once in the course of His life did He prefer His own will but found His entire satisfaction in doing His Father’s will: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me” (Jn 4:34).
2. Another sentiment of His Heart is horror of sin. He hates evil to such a degree that He delivered Himself to the wrath of His enemies and to the torments of the Cross to crush the infernal monster.
3. A third sentiment is His esteem for the Cross and for suffering which He loves so tenderly that the Holy Spirit speaking of His Passion called it the day of His Heart’s joy: “On the day of the joy of his heart” (Song 3:11).
4. His love for His Mother is the fourth sentiment of His divine Heart. He loves her alone more than all His angels and saints together.
5. There is also a sentiment of charity for us. He so devotedly loves us that “it seems,” says St. Bonaventure, “that He hates Himself for us.”
6. Lastly there is the sentiment of His Heart towards the world. He hates it as something accursed and outcast, openly declaring that it has no part in His prayers: “I do not pray for the world” (Jn 17:9), and that His children are not of the world: “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (Jn 17:16).
Such are the Divine Rules I wish to observe for love of You, my Savior. I long to love God with all my heart, with all my soul and with all my strength. I long also to find my satisfaction in following in all things and everywhere His most adorable will. I long so to abominate all kinds of sin, that by means of Your holy grace I may rather die than ever consent to it. O my Jesus, make me love crosses and afflictions that I may seek all my joy in them for the love of You and that I may say with St. Paul: “I am filled with comfort, I overflow with joy in all our troubles” (2 Cor 7:4). Make me a sharer in Your very great love for Your holy Mother that she after Yourself may be the center of my veneration and fervent devotion. Impress upon my heart the hatred You have for the world. Make me detest it as a veritable antichrist which is always opposed to You and has crucified You so relentlessly. Grant, I beseech You, O God of my heart, the grace, that for the love of You I may always preserve in my soul an entire and perfect charity for my neighbor. This is the rule of rules: “And whoever follow this rule, peace and mercy upon them” (Gal 6:16).
The preceding excerpt is taken from St. John Eudes, The Sacred Heart of Jesus, P. J. Kenedy and Sons, 1946, pages 96-98, and edited by the Order of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary, at www.heartsofjesusandmary.org. The Order of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary is a contemplative community of lay and religious dedicated to serving the Hearts of Jesus and Mary through Eucharistic Adoration, contemplation, and corporal works of mercy.