Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Consoling the Heart of Jesus

 Consoling the Heart of Jesus

I've been reading this book over the past 2 1/2 weeks.
I'm almost done
It's actually written to be read in a retreat style weekend
but it can, of course be read like I've been reading
(every chance I get)
I've been wanting to write about this book,
but afraid of not doing it justice.
It's that good!

If you feel your faith life, or spiritual life is in the desert now,
this book is for you.
If you feel your faith life is right where it needs to be,
this book is for you.
If you feel there is no way you can add anything else,
 even one thing more,
this book is for you.
If you feel you need a change, or that God is calling you to a deeper
relationship with Him, 
this book is for you.

My copy is written on, marked up,
 highlighted, tabbed and has pieces of paper all throughout it.
I'm actually glad I am not doing it all in a weekend, 
I get to read some, contemplate it, 
pray about it,
and yearn for more!
(although, it would be very very nice to go to a hotel,
without the kids, and read all weekend!!)

It has been life changing, totally life changing, 
which has changed my soul.
My soul yearns like never before.
For Jesus.
To console Jesus.

Fr Michael E. Gaitley, quotes many saints,
 St Faustina, Saint Mother Theresa, 
St Maximilian Kolbe, St Louis de Montfort, 
Blessed John Paul II and St Therese to name a few.

I have been yearning more than I ever have
 to go to Mass
to go to Adoration, 
and just to pray and be close to Jesus.
(and to read more of this book!)

No wonder.
Fr. Gaitley talks about Christ's words from the Cross:
"I Thirst"
He tells us to tell Jesus,

I thirst for You, Jesus, 
help me to thirst for You more.
Please pour Your grace onto me, I beg You, 
fill me with Your Grace.

(those are my words, but that is what he explains to ask for)

He writes these meditations that take you right to Jesus.
He's really good at writing in terms you understand and can 
relate to.
I'm going to give you an example with the first meditation.
I was so on fire for our Lord after reading this, 
I could hardly contain myself.

(Beginning quote of Meditation)

We're at the bottom of the hill of Calvary, also known as Golgotha.  Look up the hill.  See Jesus at the top, hanging on the Cross.  He doesn't see us because he's surrounded by a huge crowd of people.
The people who surround the Cross laugh at Jesus.  They mock him and insult him right to his face.  They aren't afraid to go to him.  No, they go right up to him, laughing and even spitting at him.  The Lord loves them, but his Heart is broken because of their rejection, which means their own death, 
if they don't change, for he is Life.
Many dark shadows go in and out of the crowd.  They're demons.  They enjoy stirring up the crowd to mock and torture Jesus more.  Seeing us at the bottom of the hill, two of them approach.  The first one stands about seven feet tall, and his face is a featureless void.  He stops directly in front of you.  As he towers over you, he says in a terrible, hissing voice, "You jussst ssstay right where you are and everything will be jussst fine."  Meanwhile, the other demon, a ghost-like little creature no bigger than a sparrow, settles on your shoulder and whispers in your ear:

You don't belong here. Don't you have other things to do?
You don' tneed to be here.  This is much too painful for you to see.
  After all, aren't you the reason for that man's torture?
Don't you have some important business to take care of?
Isn't that television show you like so much going to start soon?
Go ahead.  Go take your mind off this.  There's nothing you can do.
Look at the huge crowd.  What difference is your being here going to make? 

These words are tempting.  Thoughts come into your mind: "Yes, what am I among so many?  Jesus won't notice if I go home.  He'll never even know I was here.  Besides, it's cold, and he'll probably be dead soon anyway."
So there you are at the bottom of the hill.  The crowd is overwhelming.  These demons are frightening.  You're a sinner aren't you?  Perhaps you've lost your right to be here since you've sinned so much, and really, what can one person do amid such a multitude of people?  Standing here, hesitating, you're stuck at the bottom of the hill.  Meanwhile, Jesus suffers alone.
What was that?  Did you hear it?  What's such a beautiful sound doing amid so much blasphemy and raucous laughter?  It's a woman's voice.  Sweetly, it begins to fill your soul, bringing it  light and peace:

Listen and put it into your heart, my dear little child. 
The thing that frightens you, the thing that afflicts you, 
is nothing.  Do not let it disturb you.  Am I not
here who am your Mother?  Are you not under my 
care and protection?  Am I not the source of your joy?
Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing 
of my arms?  Do you need something more?
Let nothing else worry you or disturb you.

Mary is with us.  Let's go with confidence to the foot of the Cross. Let's run there.  Nothing can harm us.  Mary is with us!  She'll teach us what to do.  Let's go console Jesus with Mary.
Filled with courage, we run up the hill.  Demons scream in horror as they're cast aside by some invisible force.  One cries out, "No! Don't let them!  Everything will be ruined!"  The ugly mob parts like the Red Sea, and some are struck dumb.  We arrive at the foot of the Cross.  Look up.  Behold that Heart which loves so much yet is so little loved.  Unfortunately, Jesus still doesn't see us.  His sorrowful gaze is on the crowd.
Turn to Mary.  Speak to her from your helplessness:
"Mary, what can I do?  I'm so weak, and I, too, have hurt Jesus and caused this."
Smiling, despite her tears, she tenderly speaks to you:

Just tell him.  Tell my Son that you love him.  Thank him for
what he is suffering right now out of love for you-
 he only sees the rejection of the crowd.
  You touch his cheek with your hand and direct his face toward yours. 
 Now he sees you.  You smile and speak to him from your heart:

Lord, don't look at them.
  Look at me...Lord Jesus, even though my sins are many,
 I know the mercy of your Heart
I'm sorry I was afraid to go to you.  
I'm sorry I left you alone.  But look, here I am
Please forgive me my sins.
I'm going to try to do better.
Please forgive them their sins, too. 
Lord, if only they knew you, they'd love you.
Lord, I can't offer much right now,
except for my weak trust and love.
Jesus, I do trust in you, and I love you.
Praise you Jesus, and thank you for everything, 
especially for what you're suffering right now
friend.  Don't be sad.  I love you, and there's nowhwere
else I'd rather be than right here, praising you, 
thanking you, and consoling your broken Heart. 

(End of Meditation)

This did it in for me!!
Wow, I was right there!!
Were you?

There are a lot more wonderful meditations 
in this great book! 

I want to keep that yearning 
and still take care of my family.
 I think they go hand in hand.
One makes the other stronger, if I let it.

It's that balance of my vocation as a wife and mother, 
and yet still a child of God.

Although, I'd rather go to Mass and stay for Adoration 
for hours, I know I must take care of my family.
and that makes me thankful to God that I have 
the opportunity to do so.


A main theme of the whole book is Trust, Praise and Thanksgiving 
in all things!
You know I love that, right?
That's what my "Thankful Thursdays" are all about
Seeing all the blessings in our life, no matter how small, 
and even sometimes the hard things, the struggles.
(like snow in October or messy houses)

Here's a quote that spoke to my heart:

"Jesus, I thirst for you. Help me to thirst for you more.
Use me, Jesus.  
Form me into a saint. 
Make up for all my faults.
I trust in you.  With Mary's help, I give you my yes."

"Form me into a saint."  !! 
Did you read that?
Lord, make me a saint. 
A prayer I pray often.

In fact a lot of the things in the book 
were things I do and pray all the time, 
but it was more.
More intense, deeper.  
So much more.

(the above picture is a picture of a Monstrance, which holds Jesus, in the Eucharist, we, as Catholics, believe once the bread and wine is consecrated during Mass, it becomes the Body and Blood of Jesus)
(John chapter 6--Jesus says it 6 times in a row)

Now, of course, if you've ever done daily Mass,
or weekly Adoration, you already know that 
somehow the Holy Spirit works in your soul 
and you start to yearn for more.
More often, more Jesus.

When we do the bare minimum, 
it seems our souls become content and 
the yearning is gone, the fire within extinguishes.
But not completely.

Something like this comes along 
and we are on fire again. 

Gaitley has a lot more in store for you in the book.
He has ways of thinking about prayer,
ways to imagine your soul and your spiritual life
so much so that you feel it.  
You feel the grace working in your soul.

We all need grace, right?

I love his spiritual book suggestions, and of course he 
suggests the Bible as the first book to read for your spiritual reading.
I admit, I struggle with what to read in the Bible.
I have my favorite quotes, I love the Sunday Gospels,
but to pick it up and just read...I struggle.
He gives suggestions where to start and how to do it.
(I can't wait!)

He also has an appendix that he includes 
selections from St Faustina's Diary.
I have her whole book 
and it's huge!!  
It's kind of nice to have it broken down
into selections like
 Knowledge/Love and Loneliness/Longing
 like he has done for you.

Have I convinced you yet to order this book?

And because Colleen and Madeline told me to, I'm linking up
Housewifespice has weekly book link ups,
Christine, you'd love it!


  1. This is so good Jamie! You should link up to Jessica's What We're Reading Wednesday at Housewife Spice:

  2. Great review, Jamie. I've read this book over and over. Get so much each time. Loaned it out a few times and then regretted not having it on hand. Now I just tell people to buy it!

    1. Oh, gosh, I have books like that, I have one on Purgatory right now that a friend has had for years...I should just write the books down and tell people to go buy them!! I'm sure I'll be re-reading this one too!

    2. Oh, and I saw your sweet mama at Mass yesterday! She's such a beautiful woman!

    3. She was one of the people I originally loaned my book to! Now she has her own copy ;)

  3. Colleen beat me to it! I love that link up for book ideas and here you are just playing along already.

    1. I should add that I am going to put this on my Christmas list. Seems like a book that would enhance my 2014. Thanks for the recommend.

    2. That's a great idea for the new year! You will love it, and it will be a great winter read!! I linked up too, thank you!

  4. Great review Jamie! It's been a while since I read the book-nice to have this refresher. God bless you!

    1. Right after I commented on your post about this book, I read that part, and it meant so much more, so thank you!! God bless you too, Anne!

  5. I will be getting this, thank you for sharing your review - amazing!

    1. Yay! You won't be sorry. (it is amazing!)

  6. I am really in need of something like this, thanks for the review!

  7. I agree with you completely! I loved the book so much, I bought it for my kids' godparents as a thank you Christmas gift!

    1. That's a wonderful idea! I'm going to have to figure out what people are going to get this book as a gift this year!

  8. Hi Jaime Jo! I loved this book. It's so down to earth, no fancy language. But it sure doesn't pull any punches either. I have read it twice, and I always find something new that hits me.

    Bless you for getting the word out!

    1. Oh, Yes, Ceil! That is what I liked about it, I need simple in my life...yet it was complicated enough to make me contemplate and pray so much more. I'm sure I'll re-read and re-read each year too.

  9. This sounds like a wonderful book, Jamie, and I'm adding ti to my reading list. This speaks to the things that are really important to me, as I know they are to you.

    1. I hope you enjoy it and get out of it what God wants you to! It's these similar important things that bring us closer in heart and spirit! (my Texas friend)

  10. Sounds like a beautiful book! Better then my "dead in Alaska adventures" book!!!ha.

    I will get it for sure!!! ( I hate ordering stuff on-line)waaaaaa I am a big baby!

    1. probably won't find this one in the Library! I LOVE ordering stuff online. Maybe we, as the parents of your goddaughter should buy it for you, like Amy? (above)

  11. Thank you for sharing this, Jamie! I just finished Fr. Gaitley's 33 Days to Morning Glory a few months ago and have been looking for another spiritual retreat book. Obviously the focus of 33 Days is on Marian devotion, but I'm just curious: Is Consoling the Heart of Jesus very similar, simply encouraging a deeper relationship with Christ instead? Just curious :)

    1. Hi Lisa-
      I just did 33 days and loved it so much, (ended on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary) after just completing my St Louis De Montfort consecration, (for the 18th year in a row) I loved how different it was and how much more I felt things were explained. I still love the prayers in the other consecration, but enjoyed the things he wrote about and loved his style of writing. I was curious about his other books and so needed something for my soul, something that would challenge me.

      To answer your question, no, it's totally different. This book took him longer to write and is based on the spiritual exercises of St Ignatious. He does mention Mary sometimes, and there is one section where he answers "Why Mary?" but it's short. There's a lot about getting over the things that keep us from consoling Jesus.

      I hope that answers your question....

  12. A Do-It Yourself Retreat is such a neat idea! This could work for Advent, New Year, Lent, whenever! Thanks for linking up!

    1. Yes, you are right!! Great gift for those special times too! Thank you for allowing me to link up!

  13. Jamie Jo, thank you for the review. I have heard of the book, but now I REALLY want to read it. That excerpt has me wanting to go to Confession now. I need a spiritual kick in the pants, that is for sure. God bless you.

    1. Yay!! That is my hope and my prayer...well, not the kick in the pants! But that desire for God! (which I know you have already) God bless you too Nicole!

  14. This was my take to adoration book. Our Blessed Lord used this book to heal many of my wounds and to bring me to deeper knowledge of him. This book is for anyone who thinks that our God is a mean old bearded guy in the sky just waiting to send down lightening bolts on us ;)
    Speaking of being thankful.....I read the book "The Hiding Place" by Corrie TenBoom wayyyyyyy back in 1978. When ever I am so down in the dumps and my mood is so dark and I cannot think of anything to be thankful I am reminded of Corrie and Betsy conversation about being thankful for fleas!!!!

    1. OK, I just ordered that book!! I love World War II books! When I read it, I will be thinking of you, and blessing you!

      I take Consoling the Heart of Jesus to Adoration too!! I go tonite, and can hardly wait!

    2. Thank you !!! I promise you will not be disappointed with the book.

  15. My husband and I are reading 33 days to Morning Glory by the same author. It too is really good. Thank you for sharing!

  16. Jamie Jo, my husband and I heard Fr. Gaitley speak at a Catholic Writers Guild conference this summer. He was an amazing speaker--simply on fire. I remember thinking that if more young men could meet him, there would be increases in vocations. What a role model his is--such a holy and yet very human and approachable (and funny) priest. My husband and I were very impressed by him. He has taken on this project of creating faithful and affordable reproductions of the Divine Mercy painting on canvas (the original version, the one Sr. Faustina had painted over and over until the artist got the face just right) at a cost that people can afford. My husband and I went home with a copy, and it is just beautiful.

    After reading this review, I'm going to have to order this book. I think it would make a terrific Christmas present for my husband (and myself?).

    God bless you!


Thank you so much for stopping and commenting!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...