Jesus only

4_ My beloved to me and I to HIm

+JMJ

This is a poem written by St Therese of Lisieux for a novice

Oh, how my heart would spend itself, to bless;

It hath such need to prove its tenderness!

And yet what heart can my heart comprehend?

What heart shall always love me without end?

All — all in vain for such return seek I;

Jesus alone my soul can satisfy.

Naught else contents or charms me here below;

Created things no lasting joy bestow.

My peace, my joy, my love, O Christ!

‘Tis Thou alone! Thou hast sufficed.

Thou didst know how to make a mother’s heart;

Tenderest of fathers, Lord! to me Thou art.

My only Love, Jesus, Divinest Word!

More than maternal is Thy heart, dear Lord!

Each moment Thou my way dost guard and guide;

I call — at once I find Thee at my side —

And if, sometimes Thou hid’st Thy face from me,

Thou com’st Thyself to help me seek for Thee.

Thee, Thee, alone I choose: I am Thy bride.

Unto Thy arms I hasten, there to hide.

Thee would I love, as little children love;

For Thee, like warrior bold, my love I’d prove.

Now, like to children, full of joy and glee,

So come I, Lord! to show my love to Thee;

Yet, like a warrior bold with high elation,

Rush I to combats in my blest vocation.

Thy Heart is Guardian of our innocence;

Not once shall it deceive my confidence.

Wholly my hopes are placed in Thee, dear Lord!

After long exile, I Thy Face adored

In heaven shall see. When clouds the skies o’erspread.

To Thee, my Jesus! I lift up my head;

For, in Thy tender glance, these words I see:

“O child! I made My radiant heaven for thee.”

I know it well — my burning tears and sighs

Are full of charm for Thy benignant eyes.

Strong seraphs form in heaven Thy court divine,

Yet Thou dost seek this poor weak heart of mine.

Ah! take my heart! Jesus, tis Thine alone;

All my desires I yield to Thee, my Own!

And all my friends, that are so loved by me,

No longer will I love them, save in Thee!

August 15, 1896.

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Canticle to the Holy Face

HE WHO HAS SEEN ME HAS SEEN THE FATHER

Another beautiful poem by St Therese – this time on the Holy Face of Jesus. (In public domain)

Canticle to the Holy Face.

“Dear Jesus! tis Thy Holy Face
Is here the start that guides my way;
They countenance, so full of grace,
Is heaven on earth, for me, to-day.
And love finds holy charms for me
In Thy sweet eyes with tear-drops wet;
Through mine own tears I smile at Thee,
And in Thy griefs my pains forget.
How gladly would I live unknown,
Thus to console Thy aching heart.
Thy veiled beauty, it is shown
To those who live from earth apart.
I long to fly to Thee alone!
Thy Face is now my fatherland, —
The radiant sunshine of my days, —
My realm of love, my sunlit land,
Where, all life long, I sing Thy praise;
It is the lily of the vale,
Whose mystic perfume, freely given,
Brings comfort, when I faint and fail,
And makes me taste the peace of heaven.
Thy face, in its unearthly grace,
Is like the divinest myrrh to me,
That on my heart I gladly place;
It is my lyre of melody;
My rest — my comfort — is Thy Face.
My only wealth, Lord! is thy Face;
I ask naught else than this from Thee;
Hid in the secret of that Face,
The more I shall resemble Thee!
Oh, leave on me some impress faint
Of Thy sweet, humble, patient Face,
And soon I shall become a saint,
And draw men to Thy saving grace.
So, in the secret of Thy Face,
Oh! hide me, hide me, Jesus blest!
There let me find its hidden grace,
Its holy fires, and, in heaven’s rest,
Its rapturous kiss, in Thy embrace!”
August 12, 1895.

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Looking at Our Lord – 2

Angels, tend you your chalice Receive this precious blood on the altar of my sacrifice Carry it to the heights of Heaven_ Letaille 669

+ JMJ

Cars and people pass by a church. People are running errands, shopping, meeting friends… everyone is so busy. How many know that Jesus waits for them? How many know that He is not only spiritually, but physically, substantially, present in the Blessed Sacrament? There, in the Church, within the Tabernacle… He is alone. Would any visit Him, even greet Him from outside? If only they would… He longs to meet this soul that just walked past. Or this other soul who just drove past quickly thinking of other things. How many thoughts are worthless, not about eternal things, but of the world, entertainment, fashions, temporary enjoyment… If only they would come in, and pour out to Him all their troubles and worries and heartache and weariness. He longs to give them grace… to have them recognize His love, – and this is like a thirst, which nothing else can quench. He longs immeasurably for them to finally receive His love, and His Mercy burns Him because He is forced to keep it within His Heart, and souls would not accept it (2). Blindly, they continue on the road that leads to the dark abyss… blind and not hearing His calling. Some, aided by the prayers of the Blessed Mother, the Saints, and other Christians, turn towards Him, and are enfolded in His Mercy… but so many are lost, and fall one after another into hell (4).

He calls to souls: “Dearly loved son, I am Jesus, which name signifies Saviour! why else are My hands transfixed with nails which fasten them to a cross? On it, for love of you, I died. My feet are wounded, My Heart wide open, riven by the lance after death… Thus do I stand before you that you may know who I am and what My love is. But do not fear – My law is one of love… and in knowing Me you will find peace and joy. It is sad to live as an orphan: come, My sons, come to Your Father”. (Jesus’ words in “Way of Divine Love”, written down by Sr Josefa Menendez).

If someone walks into the church… do they think of Jesus? Do they recognize Him, waiting for them on the Altar? Jesus spoke to Sr Josefa Menendez of waiting for a chosen soul: “Still, I wait all night and watch in the tabernacle for that soul… fervently hoping that she will come and receive Me… that she will converse with Me with all the trust of a bride (…) Yet when she receives Me in Holy Communion she barely says a word to me (…) she is indifferent, bored… wishes it were time to go… Is it thus that you receive Me, O soul whom I have chosen and for whom I have watched with the impatience of love throughout the livelong night? Yes, I earned for her coming that I might rest in her share her anxieties.. I had prepared fresh graces for her, but she does not want them…” (Way of Divine Love).

Though these words were spoken about His brides, the religious, it shows the strength of His love and longing. All night, He waited for the soul, knowing she would come… looking at all her troubles, wishing to consume them all in His love, and to bring grace, peace, and perfect joy… all night He thought of this, and waited for her arrival (1).

When souls come to visit Him… would they say a word to Him? Would they come close and say “I love You Jesus..”. How much He earns to share this love with them, to hear these words from them. To hold them in His arms and bring them to the Father. How much it would hurt Him, if after such love, they would receive Him out of habit… or worse, in a state of mortal sin… or would come only to admire the architecture of the church and not think of Him at all… but still He is patient, longing, welcoming them, loving and waiting for them… So many Angels worship and prostrate themselves before the Holy Eucharist, giving their love and adoration to their Creator, yet He is there for us.. and so often, forgotten, and abandoned. Such humility on the part of God… that He would hide His own glory, the glory for which all things were made, and stay hidden under the appearance of a little Host.. and in this Host, His Heart is beating just as it does in Heaven. (3).

Then it is night… most cannot come and visit. It is dark in the church. Jesus has no one to comfort Him. It moves His Heart with love if someone remembers Him at home, and spends some time in prayer, wishing that they could visit and console Him in the Blessed Sacrament. He delights in their love if they seek to offer reparation for so many sins done throughout the night.

IF WE COULD SEE JESUS….

Then we would not want to ever look away. Can we come to Him in His suffering? We have come to adore His beautiful eyes, so kind and welcoming, but now filled with tears. We kiss His Face… but it is unrecognizable, covered in Blood and dirt… Judas gave a kiss of betrayal and others scorned Him, hit His Face, even spit at Him… when we lean to kiss Him, not as Judas did, but with love, do we feel the thorns? When we lean to embrace Him as Our Savior, do we feel the scourging, and when we are close to Jesus, do we feel the spear that pierced His Heart…(5). When Jesus is ignored and mocked, do we listen lovingly to His words, do we come close and listen to every beat of His Heart? Do our hearts beat for Him? Can we with humility lie down beside Him as He is on the ground when He fell, unable to get up; do we help to carry His Cross like Simon of Cyrene, or show Him compassion as St Veronica did when she wiped His Face with her veil. How can we shield His Face from those who want to hurt Him further, blaspheme, commit terrible sacriliges… (6,7)

We are nothing, and He is everything. How incredible it is that something that we, mere creatures, can do – could actually console Jesus, or bring Him joy… Jesus said that when we say the Golden Arrow prayer, we “wound His Heart delightfully” in reparation for blasphemy (11). Our Lord also said to St Gertrude that turning to Him with strong confidence, amidst temptations, moves Him to help this soul. Actually, Jesus used incredibly strong words to describe this, which are so moving and beautiful: “Anyone suffering from human temptations, who flees to My protection with firm confidence, belongs to those of whom I can say: ‘One is My dove, My chosen one out of thousands, who has pierced My Heart with one glance of her eyes.’ And this confidence wounds My Heart so deeply that were I unable to relieve such a soul, it would cause My Heart a sadness which all the joys of heaven could not assuage . . . The confidence that I truly have the power, the wisdom and the goodness to aid a soul faithfully in all her miseries, is the arrow which pierces My Heart, and does such violence to My love that I can never abandon her.” (8). He also said of St Gertrude, that He takes pleasure in gazing at her because she desires the perfection of every virtue, in her heart (8). How incredible is this!

If we could see Jesus, we would look at Him with so much love, but when we look at the Host, Jesus is looking at us. So amazing – Jesus is looking at us! If we could see Jesus looking at us, such love would pierce our hearts, and we could never forget Him. What joy it is to kneel before Him in the Blessed Sacrament, at Holy Mass or Adoration, and look at smile at Him, – knowing that He sees this and it somehow, despite our unworthiness, delights His Heart.

Jesus told Sr Josefa Menendez: “I love souls and I look for a response of love. What is so wounding to My Heart is that often instead of love I meet with indifference. Give Me love and give Me souls… unite all your actions to My Heart. Stay with Me who am with you. I am Love and desire only love. O! if souls only realized how I wait for them in mercy. I am the love of all loves, and it is My joy to forgive”. (Way of Divine Love).

Sources

1. Way of Divine Love by Sr Josefa Menendez
2. Divine Mercy in My Soul by St Faustina
3. He and I by Gabrielle Bossis
4. Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima
5. St Gemma Galgani: http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/tes/a7.html http://www.lovecrucified.com/saints/gemma/gemma_crucifix.html
6. http://godisatworkinyou.blogspot.ca/2013/03/kissing-sacred-face-of-jesus-profoundly.html
7. http://godisatworkinyou.blogspot.ca/2013/06/a-prayer-during-holy-communion-while_8.html
8. http://www.tanbooks.com/doct/gertrude_great.htm
9. Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich
10. “I thirst for you”, by Bl. Mother Teresa, http://www.osv.com/OSV4MeNav/BlessedMotherTeresa/SecretFireGuidedMeditation/tabid/6864/Default.aspx
11. GOLDEN ARROW PRAYER: http://www.catholicplanet.com/catholic/arrow.htm

“May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified, in Heaven, on earth and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar.”

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Looking at Our Lord

Blessed be the most holy Sacrament Sers

+JMJ

A Reflection on the Holy Face of Jesus

“Look at My face, Josefa, it is sin that has thus disfigured it. The world precipitates itself into pleasures of all kinds; such a multitude of sins are committed that My soul is drowned in bitterness and grief… Where shall I find relief for My sorrow? I come here seeking shelter and love in order to forget for awhile the ingratitude of men.” (Way of Divine Love).

Looking upon Our Lord must be an unimaginable joy of the saints in Heaven. Once we look upon God…how could we want to look away, and not love Him? Forever, for all eternity… everything: His Holy Face, His eyes, Sacred Heart, the wounds that He bore for us with infinite love – all inflame our hearts to love Him more and more, the longer we spend gazing upon Him. Here on earth, people find joy in looking at those they love, and we hear of a person memorizing the face of their beloved. How beautiful to memorize His Face, to memorize every detail. After a thousand years, it would not be enough, every moment would be like the first time, that first moment and joy of knowing that we are His, forever and ever, resting in His embrace.

But to see Him looking back at us? God, our Creator, looks at us… with infinite compassion, love, and mercy in His eyes. Who are we, that we can look into His Face, His eyes. And if we can behold not a Judge, but a Merciful Savior, who says “your sins are forgiven, go in peace”. How can we hope, that He would smile at us… we cannot deserve this. It is only His Mercy, His love… such amazing love. We do not comprehend. What can we do in return? Nothing would be enough… not any of our good works, not any suffering, can be enough, it is only in Mercy that God accepts them. We can spend eternity lovingly thanking Him, kissing His holy wounds, thinking of the pain He endured to redeem us. He could have suffered much less and still saved us… He gave everything, everything He had, He suffered like no one has ever suffered, before or since. His love is such that even for one person, He would do this… His love is such that He would be ready to go through torments thousands of times. He died and rose again and now lives forever and ever. His love is infinite.

How can it be, that God not only accepts our love but delights in it? What is our love? It is only what we have received from Him… and our cooperation, is often so weak, so lukewarm. He gives us the power to love, and we love so feebly, so little, and still we find this is like a treasure to Him, which He delights to look at, which brings joy to His Heart. It is His love that makes it so… our love is less than an atom compared to an ocean. His Heart is an abyss of love. He takes us into His Heart and unites us with Him, and our poor little hearts are consumed in His love.

Do we let Him?

Behold Jesus as He suffers… how much we want to see Him happy, joyfully speaking to His disciples, His friends… but He is all alone. Longingly, He looks at the people gathered around Him… would any comfort Him? He healed them of illnesses, cast out demons from them, with God’s power He helped them all… earnestly, He prayed to the Father for His disciples, for all who would follow Him. But He sees so many cold looks in return. There’s a hatred in their eyes, and for what? Gladly, He would give His life for them… they strike Him, and spit in His Face. One who was among those counted as His own – comes up to Him and kisses Him… but it is not a kiss of love, but of betrayal. Is there not one who would comfort Him? He prayed in the Garden and His sweat became drops of Blood. He saw the many souls throughout the ages, rejecting Him, persisting in sin, rejecting the gift that He is about to make for them, the gift of His own life… going into the darkness, ignoring His hand stretched out to rescue them, ignoring His pleas to turn their hearts towards His, even for an instant (9). Even if they show a little willingness, He could give them grace and do what they cannot (2)… but they refuse repentance, turn away and fall down into the dark abyss forever. Each soul, unique and unrepeatable, a soul made in the image and likeness of God, that can give God something no other soul can – is now forever set against Him, unable to love.

Our Lord’s love is met only with scorn, laughter… they pierce His Head and mock Him. The King of all and Creator of the universe, through whom all things were made, who is one with the Father in eternity – is crowned in mockery with thorns, a purple robe put around His shoulders… and so many souls throughout time join, mocking His kingship, ignoring His laws, preferring to make ones of their own over already set by the Father. So many not believing Him, denying God’s existence, blaspheming…

Shortly before, He is scourged. His pure and divine Body is cut, over and over, till His Blood covers the ground. They laugh and mock as they scourge Him. Why do they not have compassion? Their faces are only full of fury and hatred for Him. They strike over and over, His back, chest, shoulders… His flesh is torn off and you can see the bones and still they do not stop. He offers this suffering to the Father… and once again so many souls though out time, join to scourge Him as they commit sins of impurity, and prefer ‘a moment of enjoyment to His love’ (1).

“What struck me most was the expression of His tortured eyes – those eyes usually so beautiful and so expressive… to-day they were closed, swollen and filled with blood, especially the right eye” (Sr Josefa Menendez, Way of Divine Love – describing her vision).

Jesus falls and the only response from others is to hit Him harshly, and yell at Him to get up. His Blood is flowing from His many wounds… and as He carries His Cross, He falls again and again. He is trying to find the strength to raise Himself up, though it means more suffering, but He is ready to give it all… and the Creator of everything is on the ground, His wounds made more painful by repeated blows. (7)

He struggles to stand up again, and as He once again carries the weight of the Cross – and the weight of our sins – it wounds His shoulder and causes unknown anguish… how often do we think of this wound?

The Roman soldier bends down beside Jesus. Jesus looks at him… this is a man that He created. One day he was born, and lived as a child. Jesus sees everything about this man. If only he would turn, would meet His eyes, and understand the love shown there… but neither does he respond to Love, and – holding the nail to His hand, raises the hammer… a pain like thunderbolts goes through His Body. The other arm… then the feet… Jesus raises His eyes to the Father. Abba!

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!”

The soldiers cast lots for His garments.

Jesus looks into the eyes of His Mother, standing near the Cross… He beholds her suffering, as she sees her Son’s Body so torn, as to shreds, as she sees Him nailed to a cross before her, His Precious Blood flowing down… the Sorrowful Mother, and she weeps and her grief is as none can describe. How dear she is to Him. Mother and Son both suffering, her heart and her pain joined to His.

Incredible thirst overtakes Jesus. Not just thirst for water… but thirst for compassion, and for souls. How many would come to Him? How many would be willing to become one with Him, as He is one with the Father?

A darkness covers the whole earth… and Jesus looks to the Father but His Face cannot be found. “Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabachtani”?

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