Theology of the heart- Counsels of the Saints

Apostle and Messenger of the Love of the Sacred Heart


To Her Brother, the Major

About April, 1687

Nothing could have pleased me more, dearest brother, than the happy news that the Sacred Heart fill your heart with such good dispositions. I fear that yours might have grown cold towards him. That would have pained me very much and I would not have dared speak to you about the Sacred Heart any more because piety is never really solid unless it come spontaneously from the movements of grace. Yours, I am sure, does, because it produces such good results. I had even hoped that things would turn out as you propose. But not believing that your love for this adorable Heart would make you want to sustain so great an expense as the one you speak of, I did not dare mention it to you. So I approached the people I had mentioned, thinking that if a greater number were involved the deficit could easily be supplied. But we clearly see now that we must carry out the plan as you proposed it. We shall not refuse you this. By this you will give me one of the greatest consolations I can have in this mortal life. For nothing can make me happy here except to see this divine Heart of my Lord Jesus Christ loved, honored, and glorified, and to have the good fortune of being able to consumed in suffering for His love. O my dear brother, how fortunate you shall be if He gives you so great a grace as to enable you to go through this undertaking!

I beg you, then, to be firm in following out the inspirations He gives you, so as not to frustrate His designs for making you holy. His grace shall not be wanting. But He expects faithful cooperation from you and me in return for His great love for us. I cannot tell you my full sentiments on this matter just now. I hope my brother (The priest) will not fail to do everything in his power to further a plan so much for the glory of this divine Heart as yours is, and which will draw upon you and your family any graces.

To Mother Louise-Henriette de Soudeilles, at Moulins

From our Monastery in Paray, May 1, 1687

Most Honored Mother,

You could not make me happier than by sending me news of the spread of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I am sure the devotion will prove no less useful to this fine gentleman than it will to all those who practice it with confidence. I shall beg our adorable Jesus with all my heart to shower His grace and love upon them. I hope your heart will be filled more and more with the love of this loving Heart, in which I am wholly yours.

Mary was conceived without sin.

To Mother Louise-Henriette de Soudeilles, at Moulins

From our Monastery in Paray, June 25 ( 1687)

I beg the loving Heart of Jesus to consume our hearts in the pure flames of His holy love, so that they may live and breathe only to love, honor and glorify Him. I assure you, dear Mother, that I have nothing but pleasure in thinking of the ardent zeal this Sacred Heart give you to make Him known and loved. I see in that a great sign of His love for your Charity . You must never let up in this holy work which will, I think, bring you a rich reward from God. In His presence I do not forget you in my unworthy prayers and beg you not to refuse the help of your prayers to one who is wholly yours in the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

To Sister Félice- Madeleine de la Barge, at Moulins

June, 1689

Yes, dearly beloved Sister, I did answer, and quite at length, the letter you mention. But you are not the only who complains about letter getting lost. I can see clearly that the best thing is not to write any more, since I think perhaps the Lord may be letting them get lost only because they are not pleasing to Him on account of my sins. Moreover, I must confess I feel repugnance in writing, seeing myself so far removed from practicing what I advise. Though your soul is becoming more and more dear to me in the Sacred Heart of our adorable Savior, I simply cannot repeat here what I said in my last letters. So I shall merely say a word on what you remark with regard to the love of your own abjection. It is what I think I have already said: accept and suffer in silence everything our divine Master sends you and never say it is enough, no matter how great repugnance nature may feel. That is all. Only one thing is necessary: pure love of God combined with the love of our abjection. We must abandon ourselves to the loving providence of the Sacred and lovable Heart of Jesus and let Him guide and rule us as He wishes. He will be sure to furnish us with all that is necessary for out sanctification if only we are careful to receive it according to His designs. That is sufficient.

Love, then, of our own abjection in the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ is sufficient for us, in order to honor the mysteries of His holy Passion and death. These He wishes us to honor. And we must observe a holy silence, as He did, in all humiliations and sufferings. I assure you that nothing appeals to me so strongly as the silence He kept so perfectly during the whole course of His Passion. In imitation of Him, we should not open our lips except to pray for those who cause us suffering.

You ask me which of the mysteries of His holy passion I like the best. Bearing in mind what I have just told you I would say that it is the Crucifixion. I like to stand with the Blessed Virgin at the foot of the Cross, or rather under the foot of the Cross, in order to attach myself to it and unite myself to all He did for us. But right now, dear friend, we must always find a place for ourselves in His adorable Heart and never leave it no matter what happens. It is a strong fortress and our place of refuge. He will not abandon us as I hope and beseech Hi, with all my heart. How indebted we are to this most loving Heart of Jesus for conducting us along a road as safe as that of humiliations and the love of our own abjection! Let us neither look for not desire any other, for none is more conductive to our sanctification. In the love of this Sacred Heart I am wholly yours.

To Mother Louise- Henriette de Soudeilles, at Moulins

From our monastery at Paray.
July 4,1686

I beg the Sacred Heart of our adorable Savior to vouchsafe to unite our hearts so intimately by the bonds of His pure love that they may never be separated for a single moment. I assure you, beloved Mother, that He has given me so great an esteem and friendship for your Charity that I think you are doing me a great injury when you cast any doubt on it by thinking I forget you. How could I ever do that, since you are so dear to the loving Heart of Jesus, love Him, and want to be entirely His so as to give Him, and to win for Him, and to win for Him, all the honor, love and glory you can. It is this I think He most of all desires of you, so that later on He may make you feel abundantly the effects of His liberality.

I do not know, dear Mother, whether you understand the nature of this devotion to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ f which I am speaking. The devotion produces rich fruit and makes a great change in those who are devoted to it and earnestly practice it. I earnestly hope that the members of your community may be among this number, perhaps this desire and my too great liberty with you displease you; but it is the love of my poor heart that makes me treat in this way one who, I flatter myself, loves me. I have even taken the liberty of sending you a little picture of this Sacred Heart to wear over your own. We found this devotion in the retreat book of Reverend Father la Colombière who is venerated as a saint. I do not know whether you have heard of it, or have the book of which I am speaking. But it would give me great pleasure to send it yo you. So do me a favor beloved Mother, of telling me what you think simply and frakly , so that I may do the same and talk to you openly of the devotion and love of this divine Heart. It is all I desire and aspire for myself and for those who do me the honor of loving me. In him I am completely and respectfully yours.

Most dearly beloved Mother, I beg the help of your holy prayers, so that Our Lord may convert me and not abandon me to my own devices, as I might oblige Him to do because of a life that is criminal and full of sin. All unworthy though I be. I shall not forget you in His holy presence. Once does not forget what one loves.

To Mother Louise- Henriette de Soudeilles at Mouslins

September 15, 1686

It gives me great pleasure, dearest Mother, to be able to make this little sacrifice for you and send, with the consent of our most honored Mother, the book with the Retreat of Reverend Father La Colombieré and the two pictures of the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ someone gave us as a present. I assure you, my dear Mother, that I must love you very much and be very much impressed by your goodness, to be able to act thus with you. But I cannot help doing so, thinking as I so that this divine Heart wishes to be absolute Master of yours, in order that you may have it honored, loved and glorified in your community. I trust He intends by this means to pour with greater abundance His graces, and the blessings of love and union, into your hearts , and sanctification into your souls. For He is the inexhaustible source of every good, which wants to diffuse and communicate itself, especially to faithful souls like those in your community. Moreover, I assure you that I am convinced that persons consecrated to this Sacred Heart will never perish. Neither will they fall under Satan´s dominion by mortal sin if, after having given themselves completely to the Sacred Heart, they strive to honor, love and glorify Him as much as they can, by conforming themselves completely to His holy maxims in everything. You would not believe the good results it produces in souls who have the happiness of knowing Him through the medium of this holy man (Father de la Colombière). He himself was completely dedicated to Him and lived only to make Him loved, honored and glorified. I think it is indeed which brought him to such high perfection in so short a time. O my dear Mother! How happy you make me by wanting to render special homage to this loving Heart. It has loved men so much that It utterly spend Itself on the tree of the Cross to prove Its love, and continues to so in the Blessed Sacrament. But your Charity knows all this better than I. I confess sincerely that I am very much wanting in humility to speak to you this way. I am really such a wicked and poor sinner, a mere composite of every kind of misery, capable only of drawing down the wrath of God and of stopping the flow of His Mercy. See, then , how much I am in need of the help of your holy prayers with this adorable Heart. He is my only hope. Do not refuse them to me, I earnestly beg, and I assure you that I shall not forget you when in His presence. If you wish our union and friendship in Him to continue, do not think of sending me any money for the book or the pictures. It is great enough reward to know that you want to love and belong completely to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ.

In short, Jesus, His love, and His cross are all my happiness in this life. I feel so great a desire that my life remain buried in eternal oblivion that I earnestly begged our dear Mother not to have to write any more to anyone except now and then to Your Charity. I must tell you something that causes me great joy: our community has devoutly determined to place itself in a special manner under the protection of the Adorable Heart of Jesus. A chapel dedicated to its honor is being built. You would not believe how great devotion. Those who delight in honoring the Sacred Heart choose the first Friday of the month to show him some special honor, each one according to her own devotion. I think, my dear Mother, and I cannot help telling you, that those communities which render Him some special homage will enjoy special protection, love and fraternal charity. I must say I feel ashamed to tell you my thoughts so simply. You must give credence only to what Our Lord inspires you to.

In closing I pray that all of us may belong completely to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live only with His love, act and suffer only according to His holy designs, letting Him act in us and do with us as He chooses. I hope you may be completely consumed in His love. I cannot help thinking that the longing I felt to send you this picture of the Sacred Heart came from His desire to establish His kingdom in your community and His reign of love in our hearts. The hearts, my dear Mother, which are in the crown of thorns which encircles this loving Heart are the ones that love it and follow it in suffering. Those in the crown o love-knots ( Lacs d´amour) are the ones that love It with a joyous love.

To Sister Fèlice –Madeline de la Barge, at Moulins Short Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ

I.N.N., give and consecrate to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ my person and my life, my actions, trials and sufferings, so that I ay no longer wish to make use of any part of my being except to honor, love, and glorify Him. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to Him and to do everything for His love, and I renounce with all my heart anything that can be displeasing to Him. I take Thee, then, O sacred Heart, as the sole object of my love, the protector of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my infirmities, the reparation for all the sins of my life and my sure refuge at the hour of my death. Be, then, O Hear of Goodness, my justification with God the Father, and turn aside the blows of His just wrath. O Heart of Love, I place all my confidence in Thee. I fear everything from my malice but hope everything that can displease or resist Thee. May Thy pure love impress Thee so deeply in my heart that I can never forget Thee, nor never be separated from Thee. I conjure Thee by Thy boundless goodness to write my name in Thy Sacred Heart, for I wish to live and die as Thy slave. Amen.


You could find no surer bond, beloved Sister, to draw me into a more intimate union with Your Charity than to love the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I do not doubt that the sacrifice which you want to make yourself to Him so that you may be wholly His, to do and suffer everything for His love, so that you may be able to live completely unto Him according to His desires- I do not doubt , I say, that this sacrifice is very pleasing to Him. It is a life of sacrifice, of abandonment , and of love. Of sacrifice of all is most dear to you and of what will cost you the most. Of complete abandonment of yourself to His loving care, taking Him as your guide on the way of salvation. You will do nothing unless you ask Him for the help of His grace. And this I am sure He will give you to the measure in which you trust Him. Moreover, we must live the life of love. By our humble submission and complete self-effacement it will unite us with Him and make us altogether like Him in His life of sacrifice, abandonment, and love in the Blessed Sacrament. Love keeps Him there as a victim completely and perpetually our salvation. Unite yourself with Him, then, in all that you do. Refer everything to His glory. Set up your abode in this loving Heart of Jesus and you will there find all the good desires He inspires in you, and to avoid every deliberate fault. Place un this Heart all your sufferings and difficulties. Everything that comes from the Sacred Heart is sweet. He changes everything into love.

Let us love Him, then dear Sister, with all our might and strength. Let us belong to Him without reserve, because He wants all or nothing. And after we have once given Him everything, let us take nothing back. He will be sure to sanctify us in proportion as we are careful to glorify Him. It is for love of Him, beloved Sister, that I bed you to pardon this proud and wicked sinner the liberty your humility has asked her to take, in your letter to our dear Sister Cordier. That is why I have said quite frankly what I think. I have said it simply, too, asking this adorable Heart of Jesus to consume you in His pure love and to grant you my complete conversion. I beg you with all my heart to ask this of him.

To sister (Francoise- Lucrèce ) de Thélis, at Lyond
September, 1687

I beg the adorable Heart of Jesus, mot honored Sister, to make you fell the powerful effects of His merciful charity, and to give you Himself what you are seeking and cannot find in me, the most wicked and unworthy sinner imaginable. That is why, I did not answer you, and why I would not answer anyone else if obedience, an inviolable law with me, did not order me to tell you simply what I think. This I am going to do quite plainly, since you wish it.

In all that Your Charity tells us I find that the best and most important sign is the strong importunity of grace you fell even in spite of so many relapses. This shows God’s burning desire to save your soul. But He will not save us without cooperation. So we must not be presumptuous. For if we think we can go on resisting grace, it will at length tire of pursuing us and leave us so imperceptibly that we will not even be aware of our loss. That is why if today you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your heart. Try to profit by this retreat which you are going to make for this purpose by a strong and efficacious determination to conquer yourself by doing continual violence to yourself, whether it be by detachment or by removing the other stumbling-blocks you well know to be in your path. There must be no more deliberate faults if you wish to enter again into the good graces of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Otherwise you will seek him in vain, for He will treat us even as we have treated His grace. May His goodness preserve us from this unspeakably great evil! For what goof can a soul possess that has lost its God?

I have no doubt that it was by the spirit of God that this virtuous priest dealt with you as he did, for I consider him as holy man. There is no use, of course, in calling a physician if we do not want to be cured or use the remedies he prescribes or of we are not willing to abstain from the things that make us sick. Since a disease once known is already half cured, all one needs is a firm “ I will” and everything will be all right. After all, there is question here of the salvation of your soul , so very dear to Our Lord Jesus Christ. I can assure you that there is nothing I would not be willing to do and suffer for it, sin apart, in order to make it wholly devoted to Him Who created it for His glory. No one, however, can work more efficaciously for this end than you yourself. This you will do by following the lights He gives you to do good and avoid evil. Do not, then , I urge you by the love of the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ, resist grace any longer.

When I spoke to you of devotion to this Heart I meant rather the devotion of perfect conformity with His perfect virtues, and not prayers only. As for your Communions, they must produce in you such good effects that you will no longer commit deliberate sins. If they do not, you must follow in this matter the advise given you. With regard to your being afraid, I think Our Lord will be pleased with you if you go to Him with the dispositions of the prodigal son, not letting fear destroy your confidence. It is not said, however, that this boy, once returned to his father, left him a second time! But forgive me! What will you say of the liberty your humility is causing my pride to take? I beg you not to be angry. I can add nothing more now, except to say that you will have a big share in my unworthy and feeble prayers. But because I am so wicked, my prayers will be useless for you.

These the are my thoughts simply presented. You do not have to agree with them, much less follow them. Follow them only in so far as Our Lord inspires you to do so. With all my heart I beg Him to make you ever faithful in doing the good He asks of you and in offering Him the sacrifice of everything of everything that costs you the most, as He shall make it known to you. There is no middle way, He wants everything or nothing. If only you knew the graces you are doing to receive from Him you would not refuse Him what He asks of you. For your whole peace of soul and all your happiness consists simply in this.

O, my dear sister, if only we could appreciate the great wrong we do our poor soul in depriving it of so many graces and by exposing it to such evident peril by our frequent voluntary faults! These make it lose the friendship of its God. He cannot hear it , nor even those who pray for it, as long as it itself refuses to listen to Him and to be completely converted to Him. He closes to it the entrance to His Sacred Heart because it casts Him out of its own heart. Let us make good use of the time He gives us, Let us delay no longer, And yet we ought not to worry, for all our worrying serves only to increase the difficulty. The spirit of God does everything peacefully. Let us have recourse to Him with love and confidence. He will receive us mercifully and with open arms. But after that let us try not to leave Him any more, for so many voluntary relapses are very dangerous, especially to the soul of a religious.

To Her Brother, the Major
End of June,1689

Would that time permitted me, beloved brother, to express my sentiments in your regard. You would see that the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ gives you these holy inspirations only because of the ardent love He bears you, which makes Him want to possess your heart unreservedly and completely. See to it that He can, in so far as your calling permits it. He asks no more. But although you are unable to carry out all these good desires. He is going to reward you just as though you had put them all unto effect. O, how this divine Heart loves you, my dear brother! And how far removed He is from what you say! I think He wants me to assure you that. You must never lose confidence in His goodness until you have exhausted His mercy. He is surrounding you with it on every side. What should you feat, then except the loss of this confidence in Him, which constrains and follows Him even to the throne of His omnipotence, and gets it bow down and help our weakness?

You would not believe what consolation you give me by having celebrated so well the feast of this adorable Heart. It is marvelous how people everywhere are celebrating it. Truly , dear Brother, it seems to me that this feast of the Sacred Heart is a day of salvation and eternal blessings for all those who honor It with a sincere and humble heart. So let us love this divine Heart, and try to conform ours to It in everything.

Ah, dear brothers, what returns shall we make to the Lord for the great blessings He gives us! It is not His fault that you are not a saint and that our family is not holy. I dare to say He wishes it, and we should spare no efforts on our part to second His designs. That is why He has revealed to us the devotion to His Sacred Heart. It contains treasures beyond comprehension which He wishes to communicate to all well-disposed hearts. For this is a last effort of the Savior to draw sinners to repentance and to give them abundantly efficacious and sanctifying graces to work out their salvation. By this means many will be saved from eternal damnation. Woe to those who do not want to profit by it! Let us contribute to that as much as be established in all hearts. Let us contribute to that as much as we can. Let us spare neither our goods nor our energies.

To Mother de Saumaise, at Dijon
December 22, 1689

With regard to what you say about my speaking frankly to you, I think the lovable Heart of Jesus would not permit me to do otherwise. Yet just at present He has quite annihilated and silenced everything within me, so that He permits me to see and know only in order that I may love and adore Him. I am reduced to nothingness and lost in Him. That is all I can say as to the condition in which HE has now placed me.

Do no let up, dear Mother, in your work. I am confident He will make it succeed for His glory in His own good time. For thins that pertain directly to God’s glory are much different from the things of this world. In these latter one must work hard. But in the things of God, one must be content to follow His inspirations, then let grace work and follow it will all one´s strength, as I see you are doing. The devotion to the Sacred Heart must not be forced. He wants to insinuate Himself into hearts gently and sweetly through charity, like oil, or, rather, like a precious balm, whose perfume and unction spread gently. Let us not worry if we do not see our desires for the glory of his divine Heart accomplished at once. He permits delay only because of the pleasure He takes in seeing our eagerness and longing for that increase. Also so that the fervor which comes from this holy devotion may last longer, by His granting us little by little the things we desire. Non the less, He urges me constantly to make Him known and loved. I offer myself to Him for this, so that He may sacrifice and immolate me as His victim for the accomplishment of all His designs according as His love and good pleasure dictate.

Ah my dear Mother, why are we not aflame with the divine fire He came to cast upon the earth? Yes , we must be consumed with it. I want to make a practice of loving Him and of being consumed in these holy flames. Let us love this Sacred Heat which will be the altar on which we offer our sacrifices. Oh, how powerful is this Heart to appease the wrath of God aroused against us by our many sins! They have drawn down upon as all these calamities that afflict us. We must pray let still worse things befall us. Prayer in common has great power with this Sacred Heart, which will turn aside the rigors of divine justice and place itself between God´s wrath and sinners and obtain mercy for them.

To Sister Jeanne- Madeline Joly, at Dijon
April 10, 1690

You would not believe, dear Sister, how delighted the adorable Heart of our good Master makes me with the zeal you show in making Him known and loved, and at the pains you take in doing so. He will never forget it , I am sure , but will Himself be your eternal reward. Eventually this divine Heart shall reign in spite of all those who oppose Him. Satan and all his followers will be confounded. Fortunate shall they be whom He uses to establish His empire! It seems to me He is like a king who does not think of giving rewards while he is making his conquests and overcoming his enemies, but only then indeed when he has come to reign victoriously on his throne. The adorable Heart of Jesus wishes to establish His reign of love in the hearts of all, to destroy and bring to ruin the kingdom of Satan. It seems to me He has so great a desire of doing this that He promises great rewards to men of good will who work for it with all their heart according to the strength and lights He gives them. Do not be afraid, then, of the difficulties and sufferings you will have to put up with in this holy undertaking. Rather we ought to think ourselves fortunate that He considers us worthy to work for so noble a cause. Yes, I say we ought to be willing to bear every kind of trial, contradiction, calumny, and suffering. The more of these I find the more encouraged I feel and the greater is my hope that this enterprise will succeed for the glory of this lovable Heart and the salvation of many souls. But this is the kind of devotion that cannot be forced or imposed on anyone. It is enough to make it known and then leave to this divine Heart the work of entering the souls He has prepared by His grace. Fortunate indeed are these.

We must love this divine Heart, beloved Sister, in such a way that we no longer live except for Him and through Him. I always say I do not want to write any more, but I cannot help doing so when there is question of speaking of the Sacred Heart of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. I must confess that, outside of this, everything torture. But in this divine Heart everything, even the bitterest suffering, is changed into love. Let is make there our real and continual dwelling. If only we abandon ourselves entirely to Him, nothing will trouble us any more. Let us not interfere with His acting in us and for us just as He wishes.

Ask of Him for me that He hide me so carefully in His heart that I remain forever forgotten and despised. Every torture, even death itself, will be a pleasure to me if only He may reign. I find no consolation in this life except in the progress and happy success of this devotion to the Sacred Heart, and in hearing news of it.

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