devotion-to-sacred-heart

The Necessity of Imitation of the Sacred Heart

The voice of Jesus—My Child, one thing above all others is necessary, to save thy soul. For if she is lost, all is lost; but if she is saved, all else is saved. Yet, thou shalt not attain thy eternal salvation, if thou do not imitate My Heart. For those whom God did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son. Which is this image of the Son of God, whereunto all those that will be saved are to be conformed, if it be not My Heart? It is not given to every one, to imitate My outward actions; nor does it depend on man to do the wonderful works, which I have wrought. Besides, by reason of the diversity of men’s conditions in life, all cannot follow My exterior manner of living; but the interior dispositions of My Heart can be imitated by all, the great and the small, the learned and the ignorant, in whatever condition they may live. If then thou desirest to be saved, be conformed to My Heart; and do thou reproduce in thy heart, whatever sentiments animate Mine.

Though thou shouldst distribute thy possessions among the poor; though thou shouldst give up thy body to the greatest penances; though thou shouldst understand all mysteries; though thou shouldst work astonishing miracles; if thy heart be not after the likeness of Mine, thou art nothing, and all those things shall avail thee nothing forever. By the likeness of thy heart to Mine art thou to be judged, and thence is thy eternal state to be determined. But, at the judgment, many will say: Lord, have we not in Thy name prophesied? Have we not cast out devils? have we not wrought many wonders? And I will say to them: I know you not: do ye see the wounds which ye have inflicted? Do ye recognize the Side, which ye have pierced, and which for your sake remained open; yet ye would not enter into the same? Whatever, therefore, thou mayst do, it avails thee nothing, unless thou do it according to My Heart.

Not the outward appearance of piety, but a devoted heart makes a man truly good, and dear to Me. Thou wilt place thy salvation in security, in proportion as thou dost conform thy heart to My Heart. Do for thy salvation whatever thou art capable of doing: no zeal can be too great, when an eternity is at stake. When thou art about to die, thou shalt find that everything is lost, whatsoever thou mayst have done; unless thou didst direct it to Me, and to thy salvation. If, then, thy everlasting salvation is of the greatest importance, remember, as much as thy salvation is worth, so much is the imitation of My Heart to be prized.

The voice of the Disciple. O eternal salvation of the soul! important affair, thou alone art to me supremely necessary! Why am I in this world if not to save my soul? Why was I redeemed, why furnished with so many means, why loaded with divine favors, if it was not that I might, with more ease and pleasure, secure my soul’s salvation?

But alas! I did not yet begin earnestly, that for which I am placed in this world. Ransomed as I was, I sold myself again into a more disgraceful slavery, and perished by misusing the very means and blessings, whereby I might so easily have secured my salvation and my happiness.

O Lord my God! Thou couldst most justly have permitted that I should perish forever, and suffer that neverending destruction, which my wickedness and the wasting of Thy gifts have deserved for me.

Yet, since the infinite goodness of Thy Heart did not allow this; nay more, since by a new and exceedingly great blessing, Thou hast induced me to value and love the salvation of my soul; I will no longer be ungrateful, I will no longer expose my soul to everlasting ruin.

I resolve and promise to co-operate with Thy Heart’s most sweet designs of saving my soul, and rendering her forever happy.

This article is taken from a chapter in Imitation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Fr. Peter J. Arnoudt, which is available from TAN Books.

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