H.E. Manning: Adore the Sacred Heart and Pass into the Worship of the Eternal Throne Friday, Jun 15 2012 

The Sacred Heart is the key of the Incarnation; the Incarnation is the treasure-house in which are all the truths of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

The Incarnation casts off two rays of light: on the one side, the mystery of the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar; on the other, the devotion due to the Blessed Mother of God.

Anyone who knows the Sacred Heart aright will know…the whole science of God and the whole science of man, and the relations between God and man and between man and man. These truths are the dogma of dogmas, the treasures hid in the Sacred Heart, the tabernacle of God.

Make yourselves, then, disciples of the Sacred Heart; learn to know it, and that knowledge will never pass away.

[…] Love…the Sacred Heart, and that love will pass into the Beatific Union; for charity is eternal, and the love of the Sacred Heart is the union of our faint weak charity with the fervent charity, divine and human, of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Adore the Sacred Heart, and it will pass into the worship of the eternal throne, where there will be prayer no longer and reparation no more; but praise for ever, and thanksgiving to all eternity.

Do not think that the science of the Sacred Heart is too deep for yon. It is the science of the poor and the science of the little child; they, by an infused light and by an implicit knowledge, know the Sacred Heart even more perfectly and more precisely than the cultivated intellect which, in its cultivation, is cold.

Therefore it is a science within the reach of all; and it comes more by love than by light, more by prayer than by study; most of all it comes by communion with the Precious Body and Blood of Jesus Himself.

Make yourselves, then, disciples of His Sacred Heart. Learn to love and to be like it; and in the measure in which you are like it you will know it; and in the measure in which you know it, you will love it; and it will be in you as rest and sweetness and light and strength.

You will walk with Jesus in this world as the two disciples walked with Him to Emmaus, but your eyes will not be holden: and your heart will bum within you as He talks with you by the way;.

And when you see Him in eternity He will not vanish out of your sight, but you will see Him as He is, and He will abide with you forever.

H.E. Cardinal Manning (1808-1892): The Glories of the Sacred Heart, pp. 97-99.

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H.E. Manning: Even Now to Dwell in Heaven, Where All Hearts Are Stayed Wednesday, May 16 2012 

Though He should seem to refuse all we ask, He will not refuse to give unto us Himself.

The more you converse with God, the more He will manifest Himself to you.

The very act of prayer will make you familiar with His presence.

Though He be pleased to take from you, one by one, as from His servant Job, all things you cleave to; yet as all other things are withdrawn, He will compass you about with a more sensible presence of His love.

Even as at the last, when there was nothing more to be taken away from the man of many sufferings, the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind;

so from the darkness and perplexity of His providence, there come forth, to those whom God chastens, such tokens of His presence, that they are constrained to say,

“I have heard of Thee with the hearing of the ear;” such was all my past knowledge, hearsay and a dream; “but now mine eye seeth Thee.”

Now all is clear; all stands out before me in full outline and completeness.

So shall it be with those that pray without fainting. By habitual converse with God, they are drawn within the veil through which His providence controls our mortal life.

They rise above it; and their “life is hid with Christ in God. ”Their “conversation is in heaven.”

They begin to see into the hidden meaning of His government over the Church, and of His dealing with themselves; into the secret of the secret, whereby “to principalities and powers in heavenly places is known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God.”

Whatsoever befalls them, they know to be better than they could choose; the best that can be chosen.

[…] To those who are His, all things are not only easy to be borne, but even to be gladly chosen.

All events and changes are the will of God in Christ Jesus. They are also the will of those who have fellowship with Christ, and through Him with God the Father.

Their will is united to that will which moves heaven and earth, which gives laws to angels, and rules the courses of the world.

It is a wonderful gift of God to man, of which we that know so little must needs speak little.

To be at the centre of that motion, where is everlasting rest; to be sheltered in the peace of God; even now to dwell in heaven, where all hearts are stayed, and all hopes fulfilled.

“Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee.”

H.E. Cardinal Manning (1808-1892): Sermons, vol. 3, serm. 13 (“A Life of Prayer a Life of Peace”).

H.E. Manning: Anxiety of Heart and the Presence of Christ Thursday, Jun 23 2011 

The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:5-7).

St Paul…bids the Christians in Philippi to carry all their sorrows and fears to the throne of Christ.

He specially bids them remember the nearness of our Lord; and the freedom we may use in speaking with Him.

And in so doing he has taught us a great and blessed truth, needful for all men, in all ages: I mean, that a life of prayer is a life of peace.

It is not in times of persecution only, but at all times, that the presence and fellowship of Christ are the peace and consolation of the Church.

We are born into a world of perturbations; we carry them in our own heart.

The world is the counterpart of man’s fallen nature, turbulent, restless, and distracted.

Every man gives in his contribution of disquietude; and the life of most men is made up of cares and doubts, perplexities and forebodings, of fruitless regrets for follies past, and of exaggerated thoughts of trials yet to come.

On men who live without God in the world these things press sorely. They fret and wear them without alleviation.

This is the “sorrow of the world” that “worketh death.” It is a bitter and embittering disquiet of heart.

The plague of evil thoughts, inordinate cravings, disappointments and losses, vain hopes and wearing fears, these are by nature the portion of us all.

[…] St Paul here tells us, first of all, that there is One, ever near us, who can fulfil all our desire, and over-rule all things in our behalf. “The Lord is at hand.”

How soon He may reveal Himself in person we know not; but soon or late, it is certain, that although unseen, He is ever near us.

His presence departed not from the Church when He ascended into heaven.

He is withdrawn from the eyes of our flesh; but in the sight of our hearts He is always visible.

Though He be at the right hand of God, yet He is in the Church, and in our secret chamber.

Though He is the Lord of heaven and earth, yet He is ever in the midst of us, watching and guiding, disposing all things for the perfection of His kingdom, and, in it, of each one of us.

He is both able and willing to fulfil all our hearts’ desires; and nothing is hid from His sight.

H.E. Cardinal Manning (1808-1892): Sermons, vol. 3, serm. 13 (“A Life of Prayer a Life of Peace”).

H.E. Manning: Consciousness of Sin and the Sanctifying Grace of the Spirit Tuesday, Oct 19 2010 

“My soul cleaveth unto the dust” (Psalm 118:25).

A growing consciousness of sin is no certain sign of growing sinfulness; but, on the contrary, a probable sign of growing sanctification.

As sinfulness grows, insensibility increases; as the soul is sanctified, its keen discernment of sin is strengthened and enlarged.

[…] What reveals our pride, and makes us hate it, but the beginnings of humility? What makes anger a torment, but the love of meekness?

[…] What makes want of love, or coldness in prayer, an affliction, but a sense of the blessedness of God’s presence?

What makes the thought of declension, or standing still, or cleaving to the dust, to be a misery and a sorrow, but the aspiration of a heart quickened with the spirit of perseverance, and panting to press onward to the face of God?

This is the secret way in which the presence of God, sanctifying the soul in man, reveals Itself; not by direct self-manifestation, but by its effects.

As in sight and hearing: we perceive external objects, and not our own faculties: the eye does not see itself, but lights and shades; the ear does not hear itself, but harmonies and discords; still less can the eye or ear perceive the true percipient within, which is ourselves.

So is it with the Holy Spirit of God. He reveals all things besides, while He conceals Himself.

He reveals past sins of thought, word, and deed: the unholiness of childhood, youth, and after years;

present sinfulness of imagination, heart, and will; pride, hardness, impurity, impatience, sloth, softness, anger; want of zeal, thankfulness, love, and devotion: all these He sets before the soul in clear array.

But He hides meekness, gentleness, self-mistrust, self-contempt, charity, sorrow for sin, self-accusation, and the like: these things are most hidden from those who have them in the largest measures.

They are seen of angels, confessed by men; but unknown, disbelieved by those in whom they dwell; the gift of humility by itself alone conceals them all:

so that such persons are sure to think themselves to be the least advanced, who, in truth, are most advanced; as they are ever the first who believe themselves to be the last.

Speaking, then, still of sincere Christians, it may be said that…this increased sense of inward sinfulness, is no sign of cleaving to the dust; but rather that God in love is drawing them on.

He is making known to them the fall as it exists in their inmost life, in prelude to making them conscious partakers of the bliss for which they are already unconsciously being prepared.

H.E. Cardinal Manning (1808-1892): Sermons, vol. 3, serm. 8 (“Slowness in the Spiritual Life”)

 

H.E. Manning: Follow His Drawings with a Free and Willing Heart Thursday, Mar 25 2010 

All of you has He been drawing; and if you look back, you can see the links in the chain by which He has drawn you until now.

A word, a thought, a chance, a sickness, a sorrow, a burden of sadness in the day-time, or a dream of the past in the night-season, alone, or in the throng of men, in your chamber, or at the altar, something pierced deep into your soul, and there abode; and you carried it about like a barbed arrow, which no hand could draw but the same that launched it.

And then He has led you, little by little, with gentle steps, hiding the full length of the way that you must tread, lest you should start aside in fear, and faint for weariness.

And as it has been, so it must be: onward you must go: He will not leave you here: there is yet in store for you more contrition, more devotion, more delight in Him.

A few years hence, and you will see how true these words are. If by that time you have not forsaken Him, you will be nearer still, walking in strange, it may be solitary paths, in ways that are “called desert”; but knowing Him, as now you know Him not, with a fulness of knowledge, and a bowing of heart, and a holy self-renouncement, and a joy that you are altogether His.

What now seems too much, shall then seem all too little; what too nigh, not nigh enough to His awful cross.

How our thoughts change! A few years ago, and you would have thought your present state excessive and severe; you would have shrunk from it then, as at this time you shrink from the hereafter.

But now you look back, and know that all was well. In all your past life you would not have one grief the less, or one joy the more. It is all well; though, when it happened, you knew it not.

[…] Therefore shun all things which may hinder your approach to Him: follow His drawings with a free and willing heart. Though restless and perplexed at first, yield to His mysterious will.

[…] Wait for the end. Men mar their whole destiny in life by prescribing to God’s providence. They either thwart it by outrunning it, or hinder it by hanging back.

What we are to be He has determined, and in due time will reveal it. Your place, your crown, your ministry, in His unseen kingdom, are all marked out for you. He is drawing you towards your everlasting portion.

H.E. Cardinal Manning (1808-1892): Sermons, vol. 1, serm. 19 (“The Hidden Power of Christ’s Passion”)

H.E. Manning: Because Thou Art Lukewarm Saturday, Oct 24 2009 

Next to wilful sin, indecision is the most pitiable state of man.

To hang in doubt between time and eternity, the world and God, a sin and a crown of life, is, we may believe, if possible, more incensing to the divine jealousy, than open disobedience.

It implies so much light, and so much sense of what is good, that doubt has no plea of ignorance. The irresolution is not in the understanding or in the conscience, but in the will.

The fault is in the heart. It convicts them of the want of love, gratitude, and all high desires after God: it reveals the stupor and earthliness which is still upon the soul.

It proves the absence of faith; of a living consciousness of things unseen, and an active power of realising what they believe, without which faith is dead.

There is upon them a spiritual insensibility, a kind of mortal apathy, a listless inattention to any thing which does not make itself felt by forcing its presence upon the senses of the body. And this at last deadens the perceptions of the soul.

Such is the moral character of indecision in religion – surely most guilty and ungrateful in His sight Who was pierced for us.

To be a member of Christ, without an earnest and kindled heart. To look unmoved on Him whom we have wounded. For this our Lord has reserved a warning of almost unexampled severity:

“These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works: that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would that thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:14-16)

H.E. Cardinal Manning (1808-1892): Sermons, vol. 3, serm. 4 (“Halting between God and the world”)