ST. MARGARET MARY ALACOQUE, VIRGIN
Know the love of Christ
Born in France, St. Margaret (1647-1690) became a religious of the Visitation Order and had many mystical experiences and revelations concerning the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She endeavored to propagate this devotion to the whole Church.
A letter by St Margaret Mary Alacoque
We must know the love of Christ which surpasses all knowledge
It seems to me that our Lord’s earnest desire to have his sacred heart honoured in a special way is directed toward renewing the effects of redemption in our souls. For the sacred heart is an inexhaustible fountain and its sole desire is to pour itself out into the hearts of the humble so as to free them and prepare them to lead lives according to his good pleasure.
From this divine heart three streams flow endlessly. The first is the stream of mercy for sinners; it pours into their hearts sentiments of contrition and repentance. The second is the stream of charity which helps all in need and especially aids those seeking perfection to find the means of surmounting their difficulties. From the third stream flow love and light for the benefit of his friends who have attained perfection; these he wishes to unite to himself so that they may share his knowledge and commandments and, in their individual ways, devote themselves wholly to advancing his glory.
This divine heart is an abyss of all blessings, and into it the poor should submerge all their needs. It is an abyss of joy in which all of us can immerse our sorrows. It is an abyss of lowliness to counteract our foolishness, an abyss of mercy for the wretched, an abyss of love to meet our every need.
Therefore, you must unite yourselves to the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ, both at the beginning of your conversion in order to obtain proper dispositions, and at its end in order to make reparation. Are you making no progress in prayer? Then you need only offer God the prayers which the Saviour has poured out for us in the sacrament of the altar. Offer God his fervent love in reparation for your sluggishness. In the course of every activity pray as follows: “My God, I do this or I endure that in the heart of your Son and according to his holy counsels. I offer it to you in reparation for anything blameworthy or imperfect in my actions.” Continue to do this in every circumstance of life. And every time that some punishment, affliction or injustice comes your way, say to yourself: “Accept this as sent to you by the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ in order to unite yourself to him.”
But above all preserve peace of heart. This is more valuable than any treasure. In order to preserve it there is nothing more useful than renouncing your own will and substituting for it the will of the divine heart. In this way his will can carry out for us whatever contributes to his glory, and we will be happy to be his subjects and to trust entirely in him.
℟. Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I thank you because you have shown to the unlearned what you have hidden from the wise and learned.* Father, it has pleased you to grant this.
℣. God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.* Father, it has pleased you to grant this.
Let us pray.
God our Father, fill our hearts with the spirit of charity which you gave so abundantly to Saint Margaret Mary. May we experience the love of Christ which surpasses all knowledge, and attain to the fullness of life you destined for us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.