Give, then, thy heart to Me, Child: I will fill it with peace,
and with gladness, and with bliss. I wish to possess
thy whole heart, Child: I am its Lord; I, a jealous
God, am its only end, its sole beatitude.
Alas! my God, here is the labor, here is the difficulty:
there exist in my heart so many things ill regulated,
and these I have followed so long, that to live
according to them, has become to me,
as it were, a second nature.
(A 6.5 minute read…enjoy.)
1.) The Voice of Jesus
My Child, give Me thy heart.
To release thy heart from sin, and from the world, is not enough: thou must, moreover, disengage it from thyself.
As the complete renouncing of sin renders the friendship of God steadfast, and as the putting away of the world, and its vanities, prepares the soul for the interior life; so, the forsaking of one’s self, leads to union with Me.
It is, therefore, necessary to give Me thy whole heart, without reserving aught for thyself, if thou desirest to enjoy that blessedness, than which there is none greater in this life, and by which alone thou canst be truly happy.
2.) Thy heart, Child, is Mine. For, when it had no being, I created it; when it was lost, I sought and ransomed it; when it lay an easy prey to the enemies, that were going to carry it off, I protected and preserved it. Thus, by giving Me thy heart, thou dost only give Me what is Mine.
But, on how many accounts do I deserve its every affection! What good dost thou possess, in thy body, or in thy soul, whether in the natural or the supernatural order, which thou didst not receive from My Heart?
How many years ago shouldst thou have been burning in hell, if I had either dealt with thee according to thy deserts; or had not preserved thee from sins which deserve hell and its just punishments!
But it was my love, Child, that dealt with thee in so sweet and wonderful a manner; the love of My Heart, with which I loved thee from eternity, and with which, even till now, I have never ceased to favor thee.
Thy whole life has been a succession of blessings, on My part, uninterrupted and manifold: nor has there been any point of time, which was not marked with some new favor
3.) And what, Child of My love, do I ask of thee in return for all these thousands of favors? Surely, whatever I might ask of thee, and whatever thou mightst be able to give, would be far below the greatness and the number of My gifts. Yet, one thing only I demand, thy whole heart; it is enough, if thou give Me that.
Thy heart excepted, I care naught for whatever thou mayst give; because, beyond all else, I long for thy heart.
4.) Upon whom canst thou bestow thy heart with more advantage? Thou canst not live, without loving, and without giving the affections of thy heart to some object.
Wouldst thou give thy heart to the demon, thy sworn and relentless enemy? Or to the world, the demon’s corrupt and corrupting ally? Woe, My Child, a thousand times woe to thee, if thou givest it to either of these!
Art thou desirous of reserving the affections of thy heart for thyself? But, My Child, if thou lovest thyself only, thou shalt find requital in thyself alone. Now, what is the reward of self-love? Behold, self-love digs out a hell, and leads to the same.
Give, then, thy heart to Me, Child: I will fill it with peace, and with gladness, and with bliss.
5.) Do not desire to reserve for thyself aught of thy affections: for if thou do this, thou shalt neither be admitted into the secrets of My Heart, nor shalt thou ever be able to taste the sweetness of My love: nay more, thou shalt not be able to keep thyself from the danger of being perverted.
Yet it is not unusual for many, even those who wish to be considered good and pious, to keep, through self-love, under a specious pretext, an affection for some one or other created object. What is there more frequent? What can be more dangerous? What more baneful?
I wish to possess thy whole heart, Child: I am its Lord; I, a jealous God, am its only end, its sole beatitude.
6.) Love, then, My Child: it is given thee to love; to love is necessary: for this thy heart was made: but love thou what deserves to be loved; love Me; and, if thou cherish aught else besides, love it for love of Me alone.
When beside Me thou wilt love nothing, except for love of Me, when thou givest entrance into thy heart to nothing except to Me, or for love of Me, then, at last, shalt thou possess a heart wholly pure.
Wherefore, My Child, give Me thy whole heart, as a burnt-offering, for an odor of sweetness; nor do thou take it back, not even the least portion of the same: for I hate robbery in a holocaust.
Be ever mindful that, whether in prosperity or in adversity, there can be nowhere a better place for thy heart than with Me.
7.) The Voice of the Disciple
It follows, then, Lord, that I must also disengage my heart from all self-love, from inordinate affection towards myself; so that I may wholly be filled with Thy love, and may live by Thy Spirit alone.
Alas! my God, here is the labor, here is the difficulty: there exist in my heart so many things ill regulated, and these I have followed so long, that to live according to them, has become to me, as it were, a second nature.
Hitherto, the natural disposition of my heart, either inclination or aversion, has been almost the sole rule of my life: this I have followed, in my dealings with others, in the undertaking and the execution of my actions; yea, in the very performance of my practices of religion and piety.
Hitherto, with grief I must own it, whatever pleased my natural inclination, I was wont to pursue: whatever displeased it, I abhorred.
Hence, I find my labors, for the most part, void: I see that well-nigh all my actions were those of self-love; and that they have given me, in return, the fruits only of self-love.
And, unless Thou, by the light of Thy grace, hadst showed me these things, I might have continued with them, without ever suspecting them. So much was I blinded by self-love.
But, since, by Thy gracious kindness, Thou hast laid open before my eyes these baleful evils lurking in my heart, grant me, I beseech Thee, a special help to remove them altogether.
I entreat Thee, Lord, suffer naught, which is not Thine, in my heart: if ever anything foreign appear therein, oblige me forthwith to cast it out; or do Thou, even against my will, take it thence.
“Voice of Jesus” is taken from Arnoudt’s “Imitation of the Sacred Heart”, translated from the Latin of J.M. Fastre; Benziger Bros. Copyright 1866
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