August 20-22, 2001
volume 12, no. 144

The Sacred Heart of Jesus:
Symbol of Combativity and the Restoration of Christendom

Part Five: The Sacred Heart and the Apostles of the Last Times: Unlimited Confidence and Unbounded Desires

    In the 13th Century, St. John, the beloved apostle of the Heart of Jesus, appeared to an early apostle of the Sacred Heart , St. Gertrude the Great. He invited her to repose her head alongside his own on the Heart of Jesus. "Why did you speak so little of the loving secrets of the Heart of Jesus?" She asked him. He answered: "My ministry in those early times of the Church was confined to speaking of the Divine Word, the eternal Son of the Father, some words of deep meaning upon which human intelligence might meditate forever, without ever exhausting their riches. But to these latter times was reserved the grace of hearing the eloquent voice of the Heart of Jesus. At this voice, the time-worn world will renew its youth, be roused from its lethargy and again be inflamed with the warmth of Divine love."

    The key to the Sacred Heart was given by Our Lord to His predilect daughter: that all can be won with unlimited confidence and unbounded desires. She understood that confidence is the key that opens the treasures of the infinite mercy of God. To her confidence alone, she attributed all the gifts she received. Our Lord Himself told her: "Confidence alone easily obtains all things." Once when St. Gertrude was troubled with temptation, she implored Divine assistance. Our Lord comforted her with these words:

    "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 … Confidence is the arrow which pierces My heart, and does such violence to My love that I can never abandon her."

    Hand in hand with confidence Our Lord desires that we become men and women of great desire - an unlimited desire for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary. St. Gertrude taught the great secret for our times: that Our Lord "accepts the will for the deed". "The goodwill in undertaking a work to fulfill My desire, notwithstanding the difficulty met with, is most agreeable to Me, and I accept the goodwill for the deed. Even if he be unable to succeed, I will reward him as if he had accomplished it," Our Lord revealed to her.

    Our Lord accomplished the desires of His friends in proportion to their earnestness and intensity. He accepts the desires of His friends as if they were realized. This is a key for the latter days, when men, weakened by sin and overwhelmed with the problems and chaos confronting them from every direction, feel incapable of an action proportionate to the need.

    Another devotee of the Sacred Heart, the great St. Catherine of Siena, spoke these prophetic words, perhaps in anticipation of our very days: "O my God, how wilt Thou be able in these unhappy times to provide for the wants of Thy Church? I know what Thou wilt do. Thy love will raise up men of desires. Their finite works joined to infinite desires, will make Thee hear their prayers for the salvation of the world."

    The graces that were shed over the Church and the world in the 17th Century with the apparitions of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque to spread devotion to the Sacred Heart established a new intimacy between men and Jesus Christ, whose delight is more to be with the sons of men than to rule the Seraphim. This new economy of grace certainly sought to make possible a profound - and easy - intimacy with Our Lord. A love for God until then unknown brings as its consequence a combativity until then unknown against the enemies of the Church of Christ. It is an indispensable reciprocal relationship.

    Thus has this devotion been given to the Church to help to form those indomitable warriors who will come to confront the Anti-Christ and his followers. These will be the Apostles of the last times, described by St. Louis Grignion de Montfort: "In a word, we know that they shall be true disciples of Jesus Christ, walking in the footsteps of poverty, humility, contempt of the world, charity, teaching the narrow way of God in pure truth, according to the holy Gospel, and not according to the maxims of the world; troubling themselves about nothing, not accepting persons; sparing fearing and listening to no mortal, however influential he may be. They shall have in their mouths the two-edged sword of the Word of God. They shall carry on their shoulders the bloody standard of the Cross, the Crucifix in their right hand and the Rosary in their left, the sacred Names of Jesus and Mary in their Hearts, and the modesty and mortification of Jesus Christ in their own behavior. These are the great men who are to come; but Mary is the one who, by order of the Most high shall fashion them for the purpose of extending His empire over that of the impious, the idolaters and the Muslims. But when and how shall this be? God alone knows."

    The Sacred Heart of Jesus wants to inspire the hearts of men of our days with a great combativity and a great desire to accomplish the deeds of which it can seem we are not even capable. These will be the sons and daughters of Blessed Mary: it was from Her Immaculate Heart that Christ drew His humanity. His Heart began its first beating within the chaste precincts of Mary's virginal womb. No human heart will ever be more closely attuned to the Heart of the God-Man than was, and is, that of His Mother. And just as the prayers and desires of Mary hastened the coming of Our Lord, so the prayers and desires of the just, in shortening the days of tribulation, will hasten the triumph of the Church.

Marian Therese Horvat, Ph.D. and Atila Sinke Guimarăes

For more details and books by both these authors, see

August 20-22, 2001
volume 12, no. 144
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