Lanspergius: The Wound of the Heart Makes Known the Warm-Hearted Charity of Jesus Christ Monday, Jun 4 2012 

In order to manifest more clearly His infinite love, Jesus has opened to us His Heart.

It is to make us understand that all he has endured for us, He has endured just on account of the love with which His Heart was filled.

After showing to us the pains suffered in His Body, Jesus wishes us also the see the love of His most merciful, most faithful, most loving Heart, which inspired Him with the desire and the necessity of suffering for us.

Again, He has opened up for us His Heart in order that we might have a place of refuge in temptation, of consolation in sadness, of protection in trial, of safety in adversity and of light in doubt.

Indeed, to all who enter into this most beneficial Wound of His Heart, Jesus gives the sweetness of holy love, with salvation and eternal happiness.

This wound of the Sacred Heart of Jesus teaches us to pray unceasingly that our hearts may be so pierced with the spear of charity, that tears of compunction and of divine love may be as a river always flowing in our souls.

The Wound of the Side, which is the Wound of the Heart, therefore makes known to us the warm-hearted charity of Jesus Christ, a love which sheds an ineffable radiance over all His actions, all His words, and all His sufferings, filling them with unspeakable sweetness.

O most sweet Jesus in Heaven, shall I find my delight in Thy most sweet Heart?

How great, immeasurable, inexplicable, and incomprehensible is the joy of the elect who read in this most perfect book of Thy Heart the infinite love Thou hast for them.

They understand the fullness of Thy unfailing charity, which nothing can ever weaken, nothing ever destroy.

Oh, how happy and blessed is the mind to which Thou revealest so clearly and unconstrainedly the secrets of Thy most sweet Heart.

I will fall asleep in the Heart of Jesus, the source of true and supreme peace, the fountain whence springs and flows for my soul the endless tranquillity which will set me free for ever from the trials and sorrows of this life.

And since I must so soon leave this world, I place in Jesus my desires, my thoughts, and affections, by entering into His tender and loving Heart.

There I will hide myself as in a sepulchre, and will rest in a sweet sleep.

When, at length, I breathe my last, I will place my Heart in His opened side; I will confide my heart to His Heart.

Lanspergius [John Justus of Landsberg] (1489-1539): Ancient Devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Carthusian Monks of the XIV-XVII Centuries, pp. 39-41.

Gregory the Great: Doubting Thomas and the Healing of Our Wounds of Disbelief Saturday, Apr 14 2012 

St-Gregory-the-DialogistThomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.

He was the only disciple absent; on his return he heard what had happened but refused to believe it.

The Lord came a second time; he offered his side for the disbelieving disciple to touch, held out his hands, and showing the scars of his wounds, healed the wound of his disbelief.

Dearly beloved, what do you see in these events?

Do you really believe that it was by chance that this chosen disciple was absent, then came and heard, heard and doubted, doubted and touched, touched and believed?

It was not by chance but in God’s providence.

In a marvellous way God’s mercy arranged that the disbelieving disciple, in touching the wounds of his master’s body, should heal our wounds of disbelief.

The disbelief of Thomas has done more for our faith than the faith of the other disciples.

As he touches Christ and is won over to belief, every doubt is cast aside and our faith is strengthened.

So the disciple who doubted, then felt Christ’s wounds, becomes a witness to the reality of the resurrection.

Touching Christ, he cried out: My Lord and my God. Jesus said to him: Because you have seen me, Thomas, you have believed.

Paul said: Faith is the guarantee of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. It is clear, then, that faith is the proof of what can not be seen.

What is seen gives knowledge, not faith. When Thomas saw and touched, why was he told: You have believed because you have seen me?

Because what he saw and what he believed were different things.

God cannot be seen by mortal man. Thomas saw a human being, whom he acknowledged to be God, and said: My Lord and my God.

Seeing, he believed; looking at one who was true man, he cried out that this was God, the God he could not see.

What follows is reason for great joy: Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.

There is here a particular reference to ourselves; we hold in our hearts one we have not seen in the flesh.

We are included in these words, but only if we follow up our faith with good works. The true believer practises what he believes.

But of those who pay only lip service to faith, Paul has this to say: They profess to know God, but they deny him in their works. Therefore James says: Faith without works is dead.

Gregory the Great (c.540-604): Homilies on the Gospels 26, 7-9, from the Office of Readings for the Feast of St. Thomas, the Apostle, on July 3 @ Crossroads Initiative.  

Thomas à Kempis: “The Kingdom of God is Within You” Monday, Oct 25 2010 

“The kingdom of God is within you”, says the Lord (Luke 17:21).

Turn, then, to God with all your heart. Forsake this wretched world and your soul shall find rest.

Learn to despise external things, to devote yourself to those that are within, and you will see the kingdom of God come unto you, that kingdom which is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, gifts not given to the impious.

Christ will come to you offering His consolation, if you prepare a fit dwelling for Him in your heart, whose beauty and glory, wherein He takes delight, are all from within.

His visits with the inward man are frequent, His communion sweet and full of consolation, His peace great, and His intimacy wonderful indeed.

Therefore, faithful soul, prepare your heart for this Bridegroom that He may come and dwell within you.

He Himself says: “If any one love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and will make Our abode with him”. (John 14:23).

Give place, then, to Christ, but deny entrance to all others, for when you have Christ you are rich and He is sufficient for you. He will provide for you.

He will supply your every want, so that you need not trust in frail, changeable men. Christ remains forever, standing firmly with us to the end.

[…] Place all your trust in God; let Him be your fear and your love. He will answer for you; He will do what is best for you.

You have here no lasting home. You are a stranger and a pilgrim wherever you may be, and you shall have no rest until you are wholly united with Christ.

Why do you look about here when this is not the place of your repose? Dwell rather upon heaven and give but a passing glance to all earthly things. They all pass away, and you together with them.

Take care, then, that you do not cling to them lest you be entrapped and perish. Fix your mind on the Most High, and pray unceasingly to Christ.

If you do not know how to meditate on heavenly things, direct your thoughts to Christ’s passion and willingly behold His sacred wounds.

If you turn devoutly to the wounds and precious stigmata of Christ, you will find great comfort in suffering, you will mind but little the scorn of men, and you will easily bear their slanderous talk.

Thomas à Kempis (c.1380-1471): The Imitation of Christ, 2, 1.

John Paul II: Divine Mercy Reaches Human Beings through the Heart of Christ Crucified Tuesday, Oct 5 2010 

“Confitemini Domino quoniam bonus, quoniam in saeculum misericordia eius”;

“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his steadfast love endures for ever” (Ps 118: 1).

So the Church sings on the Octave of Easter, as if receiving from Christ’s lips these words of the Psalm;

from the lips of the risen Christ, who bears the great message of divine mercy and entrusts its ministry to the Apostles in the Upper Room:

“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you…. Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (Jn 20: 21-23).

Before speaking these words, Jesus shows his hands and his side. He points, that is, to the wounds of the Passion, especially the wound in his heart, the source from which flows the great wave of mercy poured out on humanity.

From that heart Sr Faustina Kowalska, the blessed whom from now on we will call a saint, will see two rays of light shining from that heart and illuminating the world:

“The two rays”, Jesus himself explained to her one day, “represent blood and water”.

Blood and water! We immediately think of the testimony given by the Evangelist John, who, when a soldier on Calvary pierced Christ’s side with his spear, sees blood and water flowing from it (cf. Jn 19: 34).

Moreover, if the blood recalls the sacrifice of the Cross and the gift of the Eucharist, the water, in Johannine symbolism, represents not only Baptism but also the gift of the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn 3: 5; 4: 14; 7: 37-39).

Divine Mercy reaches human beings through the heart of Christ crucified:  “My daughter, say that I am love and mercy personified”, Jesus will ask Sr Faustina.

Christ pours out this mercy on humanity though the sending of the Spirit who, in the Trinity, is the Person-Love.

And is not mercy love’s “second name” (cf. Dives in misericordia, n. 7), understood in its deepest and most tender aspect, in its ability to take upon itself the burden of any need and, especially, in its immense capacity for forgiveness?

John Paul II (1920-2005): Homily at Mass for the Canonization of Sr Mary Faustina Kowalska.

Ambrose of Milan: Christ’s Glorified Body Friday, Apr 16 2010 

Now whilst they were speaking these things, Jesus stood in the midst of them, and said to them: “Peace be to you; it is I, fear not” (Luke 24:36-47).

We see here the marvellous nature of the Lord’s glorified Body.

It could enter unseen, and then become seen. It could easily be touched, but Its nature is hard to understand.

The disciples were affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

And therefore the Lord, that He might show us the evidence of His Resurrection, said: “Handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have”.

Therefore it was not by being in a disembodied state, but by the peculiar qualities of the risen and glorified Body that He had passed through closed doors (John 20:19).

For that which is touched or handled is a body.

We shall all rise again with our bodies. “But it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body” (1 Cor. 15:44).

The spiritual body is the finer, and the natural body is the grosser, besodden as yet by the corruption of earth.

Was not that a real Body, wherein remained those marks of His Wounds, those holes of the nail-prints, which the Lord bade His disciples to handle?

Hereby, also, He hath not only strengthened our faith, but also quickened our love, since we know that it has been His will to carry to heaven those Wounds which He bore for our sake…and which He plainly showeth to His Eternal Father the price of our freedom.

It is as marked with these Wounds and embracing the trophy of our salvation that the Father hath said to Him “Sit Thou at My right hand”.

Ambrose of Milan (c.337-397): Commentary on St Luke, book 10 (from Mattins of Die III infra octavam Paschae in the Old Breviary,