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.
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!)
Fr. Gaitley talks about Christ's words from the Cross:
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
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!!
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?