Also posted at The New Evangelist/Companions of the Cross
In this month of June which is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we remember St. Margaret Mary Alacoque who belonged to the Order of the Visitation. It was to her that Jesus revealed His Sacred Heart. He told her that she would be His instrument in propagating devotion to It. “My divine Heart is so inflamed with love for mankind … that it can no longer contain within itself the flames of its burning charity and must spread them abroad by your means.”
When St. Margaret Mary explained her visions to her Superior, she was met with disbelief and contempt. The stress of the situation made her ill but her Superior, looking for a divine sign, vowed that if St. Margaret Mary were healed, she would believe in the visions. St. Margaret Mary recovered and her Superior became convinced of the authenticity of her visions, although others remained skeptical. Theologians to whom St. Margaret Mary presented her visions believed her to be delusional.
St. Claude de la Colombiere, SJ, became the confessor of the convent and St. Margaret Mary recognized him as the spiritual advisor promised to her in the visions. Our Lord referred to him as His “faithful and perfect friend.” He pledged himself to the work of spreading devotion to the Sacred Heart. Since he played a major role in propagating the Sacred Heart devotion, we ought to remember him in June as well.
St. Claude de la Colombiere was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1992. His Feast day is February 15.
Among his writings is this beautiful prayer:
My God, I believe most firmly that Thou watchest over all who hope in Thee, and that we can want for nothing when we rely upon Thee in all things: therefore I am resolved for the future to have no anxieties, and to cast all my cares upon Thee.
People may deprive me of worldly goods and of honours; sickness may take from me my strength and the means of serving Thee; I may even lose Thy grace by sin; but my trust shall never leave me. I will preserve it to the last moment of my life, and the powers of hell shall seek in vain to wrestle it from me.
Let others seek happiness in their wealth, in their talents; let them trust to the purity of their lives, the severity of their mortifications, to the number of their good works, the fervour of their prayers; as for me, O my God, in my very confidence lies all my hope. “For Thou, O Lord, singularly has settled me in hope.” This confidence can never be in vain. “No one has hoped in the Lord and has been confounded.”
I am assured, therefore, of my eternal happiness, for I firmly hope for it, and all my hope is in Thee. “In Thee, O Lord, I have hoped; let me never be confounded.”
I know, alas! I know but too well that I am frail and changeable; I know the power of temptation against the strongest virtue. I have seen stars fall from heaven, and pillars of firmament totter; but these things alarm me not. While I hope in Thee I am sheltered from all misfortune, and I am sure that my trust shall endure, for I rely upon Thee to sustain this unfailing hope.
Finally, I know that my confidence cannot exceed Thy bounty, and that I shall never receive less than I have hoped for from Thee. Therefore I hope that Thou wilt sustain me against my evil inclinations; that Thou wilt protect me against the most furious assaults of the evil one, and that Thou wilt cause my weakness to triumph over my most powerful enemies. I hope that Thou wilt never cease to love me, and that I shall love Thee unceasingly. “In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped; let me never be confounded.”