Making Sense of Sensus Catholicus (jun7ssc.htm)

Tuesday
June 7, 2005
vol 16, no. 158

The Love of The Sacred Heart

        Blood and water poured forth from His Most Sacred Heart revealing why the Yoke is so Sweet: because of the ultimate Sacrifice offered for us, if we are to share in the infinite reward, we must be willing to share in the sacrifice and carry whatever crosses God has in store for us. We've seen the Love He has for us, now it is time for us to return that love. The yoke is only heavy when we forget the price of sacrifice and our role in salvation of souls.
by
Father James F. Wathen

    "His yoke does not seem sweet, to be sure, rather, very heavy and irksome. What does He mean? We find in the writings and sayings of the saints expressions which verify our dear Lord’s words. They who suffered at least as much as any of us, many of them considerably more, exclaimed how they loved the Lord’s yoke, how joyful they were under it, and the world’s harsh treatment, all the same to them. How can this be? The answer can only be in the strength of the love that they bore Him, which prompted them to want to offer Him more than words of love and devotion."


    Matthew 11:29-30: "Take up My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: And you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is sweet and My burden light."

    His yoke does not seem sweet, to be sure, rather, very heavy and irksome. What does He mean? We find in the writings and sayings of the saints expressions which verify our dear Lord’s words. They who suffered at least as much as any of us, many of them considerably more, exclaimed how they loved the Lord’s yoke, how joyful they were under it, and the world’s harsh treatment, all the same to them. How can this be? The answer can only be in the strength of the love that they bore Him, which prompted them to want to offer Him more than words of love and devotion.

    For them, words alone were too cheap an offering, and had to be accompanied by what the Scriptures call "works," which translate into everything that can be offered--physical sufferings, chronic illness, heavy and futile labors, deprivation of sleep, hours of prayers, fasting, poverty (which means not being able to afford thing that make life easier, or being without things for want of which life is much more difficult); the scorn of relatives and neighbors, betrayal and abandonment by trusted friends, unconcerned acceptance of the cold of winter and the heat of summer, tasteless food; to say nothing of years of living without complaint with difficult, inconsiderate, and selfish companions. The yoke of Christ always consists of things which violate the natural and carnal self and the human will. It is this last that must always be denied. As our Lord prayed in the Gethsemani: "But not what I will, but what Thou wilt" (Mark 14:36).

    These things are said with the love of the Sacred Heart in mind, for the Lord Jesus gave us an example of patience by taking on Himself the yoke of His Father’s hard will, which was severe and unyielding. He, the all-holy Second Person of the Godhead, bore with all patience His life on earth. He Who possessed all things lived with only the necessities. In His public life, He made nothing of the heat of semitropical Palestine. He walked everywhere, through all the towns and villages of Galilee, and numerous times back and forth to Jerusalem. On His missionary tours, He and the Apostles often spent the night under the stars. His days were filled with preaching and healing, followed by nights in prayer. He welcomed the poor, the sick, the diseased, and the possessed. From the early days of His preaching, He was dogged by his jealous enemies, who made no secret of their hatred and skepticism. He made it clear to all that it was out of loving obedience to His Father in Heaven, and for the sake of the salvation of the Jews (and ourselves) that He lived and labored.

    On Calvary, He was offered a drink of wine and gall, which had been prepared by the women of Jerusalem for all three of the condemned. This drink had the purpose of numbing to some small extent the bodies of those to be crucified. The Scriptures tell us that Jesus, "when He had tasted, he would not drink" (Matthew 27:34). Thus He, Whose Flesh had been torn to the bare bone by the merciless scourging, would not mitigate to the smallest degree the terrible torment of the crucifixion. This revelation gives us insight into how He lived His whole life, sparing Himself no pain or sacrifice in order that His offering to the Father be perfect and His love of us be exhaustive. Therefore, O Christian soul, gaze and reflect often on your holy crucifix. Ponder what it is that He suffered for you, to the limit of His endurance, for sheerest, purest love.

    St. John gives us further insight into the completeness and perfection of His sacrifice when he writes:

19:33-35: But after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.

19:34. But one of the soldiers with a spear opened His side: and immediately there came out blood and water.

19:35. And he that saw it hath given testimony: and his testimony is true. And he knoweth that he saith true: that you also may believe.

    Verse 35 is written to substantiate the miracle described in verse 34. The Evangelist assures his readers that he witnessed the event of the piercing of the Heart of Christ, that "there came out blood and water." Normally, blood does not flow from the body of a corpse, as, at death, the heart does not beat and the blood congeals. The significance of this miracle is much commented upon, but there is no disagreement that the Lord Jesus shed His blood to the last drop, and endured all the agony which accompanied such an ordeal. Symbolically, the water represents the water of Baptism, and the blood - the Blessed Eucharist; and, by extension, all the Sacraments, which received their power from the immolation of the Cross. Well might we all make our own the aspiration which the priest at Mass expresses to Christ, when, having taken the Sacred Host, he prays, "Quid retribuam Domino pro omnibus quae retribuit mihi?" "What shall I render to the Lord for all that He has given to me?"

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    Please accept my thanks for your continued prayers, which have surely saved my life and promise to restore me to a modicum of healthiness. Thank you also for your words of encouragement and contributions of money, which have helped immensely. With St. Paul, I pray that you may "comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth; to know also the charity of Christ" (Ephesians 3:18, 19).

In Christ,

Father James Wathen


    For past articles of Making Sense of Sensus Catholicus, see 2005ssc.htm Archives
    June 7, 2005
    vol 16, no. 158
    Making Sense of Sensus Catholicus