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제목 What's True Charity? - The Feast of the Sacred Heart(2015-06-12)
작성자 관리자 작성일 2015-06-18



What's the True Charity? - The Feast of the Sacred Heart (12th  June  2015)


My dear brethren,


 The feast of the Sacred Heart is the feast of the Love of God for mankind in general and for each one of us in particular, a love that is a merciful love. What is mercy? It is to look with compassion, with sympathy, upon the misery of someone in order to help that person out of misery.Now this is most marvellous, that the Almighty and Infinite God deigns to look upon our littleness and misery! Thus the psalmist exclaims: “What is man, that thou art mindful of him: or the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Ps. 8:5, Heb. 2:6). And again: “Lord, what is man, that thou art made known to him? or the son of man, that thou makest account of him?” (Ps. 143:3).


 Yet God would not be God if He would not know absolutely everything, and would not care for what He has made. An indifferent God, a blind God, a God “too high above to care” would not be perfect: such defaults are found in humans when they are proud of their high position; such defaults are not in God.


  “Who is like to the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high: and looketh down on the low things in heaven and in earth?” (Ps. 112:5-6). Precisely because God is so high, it is evident that the pride of man in His sight is absolute foolishness: He makes a special point to “resist the proud and to give His grace to the humble” (1 Pet. 5:5). God loves the little ones, the children, the poor, those who suffer, those whom the world despises.


 But there is much more marvellous: God does not only look upon the littleness of man, but much further down upon the sinfulness of man. Now sin in man deserves the punishment of God; sin is the greatest misery of man. Physical evil as suffering calls for compassion; however, moral evil, being wilful evil, calls for rejection: moral evil is stricktly speaking detestable; it ought to be detested.

 
 Yet God, willing to manifest his infinite goodness and power to heal, goodness and power to cleanse even sin, still loves the sinner though He detests sin. St Augustine explains: “it is as if there are two things in a sinner: the man created by God and the sin done by man. Destroy what you have made so that God may save what He has made! You need to detest in you your own work and love God’s work.” 


  True love desires true good for the beloved: God, Who can heal and cleanse the soul, would not really love the sinner if He would leave him in his sin. In this precisely He loves the sinner – no matter how deep in sin he is – that He wants his conversion and helps him to get out of sin and cleanse and heal his soul. From the deepest sinner, such as Mary Magdalen in which there were seven devils (Luke 8:2), or as Saul the persecutor of the Church, He can make very great Saints!

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 This Mercy of the Sacred Heart is a great encouragement for all: not only our misery but even our sins do not put off God; He is most willing to help us and get us out of sin. And He helps us either out of our earthly misery or at least He helps us to bear patiently with it, so that our temporary misery itself becomes a means to go to Heaven and obtain a greater glory in Heaven. “God, (who is rich in mercy,) for his exceeding charity wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together in Christ, (by whose grace you are saved,) and hath raised us up together, and hath made us sit together in the heavenly places, through Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:4-6).


 But He will not love you against your will; He does not force Himself with violence on a heart.  If someone refuses that love of God, refuses conversion, refuses the remedy prescribed by this best Doctor of the soul, then there is no more remedy. On the contrary, the wickedness to refuse such merciful Love of God is frightful.


 What is particularly horrible in our days is that some of the very ministers of the Sacred Heart, priests, bishops and even cardinals, propose a mercy without conversion, which is not the true Merciful Love of the Sacred Heart. When they themselves distort mercy, the sheep are led astray.


 We hear the slogans of the world: God loves us as we are. The truth is that He takes us as we are, but He does not leave us as we are; He heals us, He cleanses us, He justifies us, He sanctifies us, in order finally to glorify us. The sinner who wants that God loves him as he – the sinner – is, and does not want to change his evil ways, in fact that sinner refuses the love of God as He – God – is!


 This is a distortion of mercy, as if God could approve the sacriledges of those receiving communion while continuing to practice their sodomy or their adulteries (in their second “marriage”, which is not a valid marriage but just an adulterous union). Yes, God loves them, but God’s love for them inclines them to penance; if they refuse to do penance for their sins, they refuse the love of God for them! Indeed St Paul says: “despisest thou the riches of his goodness, and patience, and longsuffering? Knowest thou not, that the benignity of God leadeth thee to penance?” (Rom. 2:4).


 My dear brethren, let us never distort the merciful love of God, but rather open our heart to Him, and wholeheartedly accept a true conversion of heart by His grace, accept the sanctification that so much desires to give us as He said: “I am come to cast fire [the fire of divine love] on the earth; and what will I, but that it be kindled?” (Lk. 12:49).


 His merciful love went so far as to pay the price of our sins by offering Himself in the Sacrifice of the Cross! “Christ also hath loved us, and hath delivered himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God for an odour of sweetness” (Eph. 5:2). “He hath first loved us, and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our sins” (1 Jn. 4:10). “Jesus Christ … hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Apoc. 1:5).


 This is how much He loved sinners… and how much He hates sin! Sin is so bad that there is need of the death of the Son of God to make reparation for it; and God wants so much that it be corrected and repaired that He did not hesitate to send His only begotten Son so as to pay the price of our sins by His Sacrifice! By His death and Resurrection, we obtain the grace to “die to sin and to live unto God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:11). “That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.


 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name. Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (Jn. 1:9-13). The drama of mankind is in these few words: God loved us, He sent His Son to “enlighten every man”, but many men “receive him not”: yet, to those who receive Him by Faith He gave most marvellous gifts, the first of which being the new birth by Baptism, by which we are dead to sin and reborn children of God.


  “My dearest, if God hath so loved us; we also ought to love one another” (1 Jn. 4:11). We ought to be merciful to one another as God has been merciful to us. We must not hold grudges against others, but desire their conversion, pray for them and help them to convert – sacrificing ourselves for them! We must also help our neighbour in their physical miseries, help the sick, the weak ones especially those who are threatened by the modern world’s iniquities: children in the womb threatened by abortion, elderly people threatened by euthanasia, etc.


 Let us pray to our Lady, “Mother of Mercy”, whose heart is filled with compassion for all those who suffer and especially for the sinners, helping them to return to our Lord and to clean their soul in the Sacrament of penance.


 What to do to obtain mercy? “Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asketh, receiveth: and he that seeketh, findeth: and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened” (Mt. 7:7-8).


 Prayer is the great mean to obtain the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the mercy of God. There is nothing that He wants to give us more than His merciful love: when we ask for mercy, He is most willing to give it! Let us just be ready to accept it, to embrace His grace and change our life to please Him. May the Blessed Virgin Mary help us to obtain mercy, so that we can sing for ever with the psalmist: “The mercies of the Lord I will sing for ever” (Ps. 88:2). Amen.


Fr. F. Laisney (sspxasia)