A PIOUS & LOVING EXERCISE ON THE SORROWS OF THE HEART OF JESUS ~ by St. John Eudes
0 GOOD JESUS, Lamb without spot, who didst suffer so many torments on Thy Cross, while beholding the virgin Heart of Thy dearest Mother plunged into an ocean of sorrows, teach me, I beg Thee, to accompany Thee in Thy sufferings and to feel Thy afflictions. What a sorrowful sight to see those two Hearts of Jesus and Mary, two Hearts so holy, so innocent, so full of graces and perfections, so enkindled with divine love, so closely united to each other, and so compassionate towards each other!
The holy Heart of the Mother of Jesus feels most keenly the terrible torments of her Son; the Only Son of Mary is wholly convulsed by the incomparable sufferings of His Mother. Jesus, the innocent Lamb, and Mary, His immaculate Mother, call to each other; the one weeps for the other, receiving no consolation; and the purer and more ardent their mutual love is, the more their sorrows penetrate and pierce. 0 heart of stone! why dost thou not melt with sorrow and tears seeing that thou art the cause of the unutterable sorrows of that spotless Mother and that most gentle Lamb of God? What have they done to suffer so many afflictions? 0 wretched sinner, it is you and your abominable sins that are the executioners of those most holy and innocent Hearts. 0 Hearts most kind, pardon me and exercise upon me the vengeance which I deserve. Since creatures obey you, command them all to punish me as I deserve. Send me your sorrows and sufferings, so that, as I have been the cause of them, I may succor you in your weeping and pain. 0 Jesus, love of my heart, O Mary, consolation of my soul, perfect image of Thy Son, stamp upon my heart a great aversion to the pleasures of this life, which thou hast spent in suffering. I am thine, belonging to thy house and thy service, although I am unworthy. Let me take no pleasure in this world except where thou dost find it. Grant that I may always bear thy sorrows in my soul, putting my glory and delight in being crucified with Jesus and Mary.
0 most holy Virgin, how are all thy joys changed into sorrows? If they had been like those of the world, it would have been fitting that they should have suffered these changes. But, 0 Queen of angels, thou hast never taken pleasure except in divine things. God alone possessed thy Heart and nothing was able to satisfy thee but what proceeded from Him and led to Him. Thou hast had the joy of seeing thyself a Mother, the Mother of God; of bearing Him in thy sacred womb; of seeing Him resting on thy sacred bosom; of waiting on Him with thy most pure hands; of offering Him in the temple to His Eternal Father; and of seeing Him recognized and adored by Simeon the Just and holy Anna the Prophetess. All thy satisfactions, throughout the thirty years of thy life with Him, were divine, inward and spiritual. They were the jubilant, spiritual and interior delights with which thy most holy soul, enkindled with love for Jesus, thy Son and thy God, was raised and transported into His divine majesty. Thy holy heart, transformed and united to Him, received therefrom favors greater than all the ranks of heaven, since thy love exceeded that of all the Seraphim. 0 Lady and Queen of angels, what can one find in satisfactions so pure and holy, in joys so spiritual and heavenly, that could turn into sorrows? Can it be that the wretchedness and the servitude of the poor children of Eve exiled and banished from paradise, in whose sin thou hast never had part, have reached even to thee? Hath that exile, then, not yet ceased to be for thee a land of sorrows and a Vale of tears?
0 poor sinner, who would persuade yourself to find pleasure in this life which has only false and deceitful pleasures. Behold the sufferings of the King and Queen of heaven, and perish with Confusion at the sight of your own disordered life and your aversion for crosses. The whole life of Jesus, who is innocence itself, is one continual suffering; the whole life of Mary, who is all holy and immaculate, is a perpetual Cross; and you, wretched sinner, deserving bell a thousand times over, you seek pleasure and comfort.
0 Queen of angels, in all the years of the hidden life with thy Son Jesus, thou didst await the sorrows which were prophesied by holy Simeon, sorrows without parallel, since the magnitude of thy love was the measure of thy sorrow. When the time of the Passion of that loving Saviour bad come, He took leave of thee to go forth to suffer, letting thee know that it was the will of His Father that thou shouldst accompany Him to the foot of the Cross and that thy Heart should be pierced with the sword of sorrow. St. John gave thee the warning, when he saw the time come for the divine Lamb to be sacrificed. Thou didst leave thy house to bathe Jerusalem's streets with thy tears. Thou didst find thy Son in the midst of an innumerable pack of human wolves and lions, howling and roaring at Him, shouting like madmen: Tolle, tolle, crucifige, crucifige(1) Thou didst see Him, now no longer adored by kings, but held up to the people as a false king, blasphemed, dishonored, condemned to death, shouldering His Cross, led to Calvary, whither thou didst follow Him, bathed in thy tears and overwhelmed with sorrow.
Thou didst hear the blows of the hammer as He was being fastened to the Cross: they pierced thy Heart. Thou didst suffer unspeakable tortures, awaiting that dire hour of the Crucifixion. Thou didst see Him lifted up, while so many shouts and blasphemies were hurled at Him by the evil tongues of the Jews that thy blood congealed in thy veins. Thou didst spend these sad hours at the foot of the Cross, hearing the awful insults heaped by these wretches upon thy Lamb and seeing the frightful tortures which they made Him suffer, until at last thou didst see Him expire under such obloquy and suffering.
Whereupon they restored Him to thy loving arms, that thou mightest wrap His body in a shroud and bury Him and, just as thou hadst given Him at birth the first attentions, thou mightest now perform for Him the last rites; but with sorrows so heavy and anguish so sharp and desolation so penetrating to thy Mother's Heart that, if we are to comprehend anything of them, we should have first to comprehend the degree of thy well nigh infinite love for thy Son. An things distressed thee. Wherever thou didst turn thou didst see only reasons for sorrow and tears. Thy Mother's Heart was rent the more with wounds bleeding and innumerable because thy Dear Jesus was also being wounded in Heart and body. It is true that thy faith was not diminished and that thy obedience kept thy Heart perfectly resigned to the divine will, but thou didst not cease to suffer inconceivable pain, even as thy beloved Son, in spite of His most perfect submission to all the commands of His Divine Father. Lastly, no heart with a lesser love than thine will ever be able to comprehend what thou didst suffer at that time.
When thy faithful servants and thy true friends consider these things, they give way to tears and are filled up with sorrow at seeing thy divine consolations changed into such cruel sufferings, thy most holy innocence falling prey to such inhuman sorrows. If they could only be torn asunder and consumed to console thee, most willingly would they suffer it. What a martyrdom of blood for the Heart of thy divine Lamb, the Only Son of God and thy Son, in seeing so clearly all the sorrows Penetrating thy Heart, the desolation in which thou art, the anguish necessarily caused by Thy absence, and the fact that thou canst neither speak to Him nor He to thee, because no words can be found capable of appeasing such great sorrows!
0 Father of mercies and God of all consolation what are those two Hearts that Thou art keeping thus crucified? Why dost Thou not succor Thy Only Son and Thy loving daughter? Why dost Thou not break the law that Thou hast made that one shall not sacrifice in the same day on Thy altar the Lamb and its Mother? And yet here, in one and the same day, at the selfsame hour, on the same Cross and with the same nails, Thou dost keep fastened the Only Son of sorrowing Mary and the virgin Heart of His most innocent Mother. Can it be that Thou dost care for the dumb animals, unwilling that the mothers should be sacrificed on the day they suffer the loss of their lambs, more than Thou dost for this most pure Virgin, grieving over the sorrows and the death of her divine Lamb? Thou dost will that she should have no other executioner of her martyrdom than her tender love for her Only Son. Nevertheless, in the midst of such cruel tortures, the sight of the sufferings of His most worthy Mother were known to her Beloved Son even as He filled the cup of her affliction and torture. Immortal praise and blessing, 0 my God, for the incomprehensible love that Thou hast for sinners! Thanksgiving, infinite and eternal, for all the works of that divine love
0 Jesus, Only Son of God, Only Son of Mary, divine light of my soul, I beseech Thee, for the infinite love Thou hast for me, to enlighten my mind with Thy holy truths, to drive from my heart the desire for the consolations of this life, and to instill into it the desire to suffer for love of Thee. Thy love was the cause of Thy torments. Thy love for Thy holy Mother and her love for Thee were for her the source of a torrent of tribulations. How great my blindness when I fancy I can please Thee by walking in any other way! How long, 0 love, shall I be thus blinded and deceived? How long shall this earthy man refuse to enter into Thy divine plans? Why do I want life if not to employ it for Thee, as did Thy most holy Mother, since Thou hast given Thy life for me on the Cross? What more vivid enlightenment do I desire or need? 0 divine wisdom, let Thy heavenly light everywhere be my guide; let the strength of Thy love possess me utterly and work in my soul the transformation it operates i n hearts obedient to it. I surrender myself, I offer myself, I give myself all to Thee; may it be with a heart pure and entire, 0 Lord. Take from me the pleasure I find in earthly things, that I may find my pleasure only in loving Thee and suffering with Thee.
0 God of my heart, I adore Thee and render Thee infinite thanks for turning to my advantage those sufferings which Thou endurest in being confronted with those of Thy holy Mother, giving her to me as Lady and Mother, and showing that Thou lovest me so much that Thou desirest her to love me as her son in place of Thee. As my heavenly Mother she will have compassion on me in my need and will succor me, help me, protect, keep and govern me as her child. Perhaps Thou hast not found, 0 my Redeemer, any greater consolation for Thy most holy Mother than to give her evil and sinful children to Thyself that she may use her power and charity to obtain their conversion and salvation. Blessed and praised be Thou forever that Thou hast willed that nothing should perish, but that all things should be used to cure my ills and to shower me with true blessings. Therefore, 0 good Physician, do not allow me, in the midst of such great remedies, to remain without relief. Receive me as Thine own and make me a worthy servant and a faithful child of this great Queen and kindly Mother.
0 most holy Mother of God, remember that the pains which thou didst not suffer in the virgin birth of thy Only Son thou now dost suffer doubly at the foot of the Cross, in the spiritual birth whereby all sinners become thy children. I have cost thee so much, receive me as thy son. I am infinitely unworthy of it; perform for me, 0 most holy Virgin, the office of Mother, protecting me, succoring and guiding me in all things, and obtaining for me the grace of Thy Son, so that 1, worthless and miserable child, may not be lost. 0 citizens of heaven, blessed and holy fruit of the spiritual maternity and the mother's Heart of this most pure Virgin, pray that she will always be a most kind Mother to me, and obtain for me from Jesus faithfully to serve and love the Son and the Mother i n this world, and to be reckoned among those who shall bless and love them eternally in the other. Amen.
Taken from The Sacred Heart of Jesus BY SAINT JOHN EUDES, Free PDf of the rare, out of print book below