This is a replica of an
image of the Sacred Heart that was very much loved by Father Mateo.
Apostle of The Enthronement of the Sacred Heart
A LIFE OF FAITH
-It is the spirit of faith that we lack the most. We
ought to see Jesus everywhere: in our brothers, in the occurrences of
life, in good fortune and bad. Let us be even wiser than the blind man
in the Gospel who said to Jesus, "Lord, that I may see." Let us say,
"Lord, that I may see YOU, and be blind to all the rest." We are too
clever. We reason too much. We would be better off without a head. Then
we would have more faith and more light, and we would act in
consequence, especially if we had some cross to carry.
"There was once a poor girl confined to a bed of suffering in a Paris
hospital. Upon her request, they made the Enthronement of the Sacred
Heart in her room. Some time later she wrote to me: 'Father, it is so
good to have Jesus near me! I can't move any longer, but I wish I had
wings to go and preach to all those who suffer. But no, I don't need
wings to love and suffer. I know that suffering is also an apostolate,
and that from my bed, I can perhaps preach better than anyone else.' "
Father Mateo went on, saying, "You too have crosses-----happily
so! Accept them with faith, yes; but also make the most of them.
Suffering earns souls. Never forget it. If the sacrifice seems hard to
you, say to Jesus, 'I accept it just the same, and joyously, so that
You may reign.' Forget yourselves, think only of Jesus and His
interests, and He will take yours in hand and make Saints of you."
LIFE OF LOVE
It is sad but so true that Jesus Christ, Love personified, is not
loved. No, He is not loved, or very little. During His apparitions to
Saint Margaret Mary, Our Lord said, "Behold this Heart which has so
loved men that It has spared nothing, even going so far as to exhaust
and consume Itself to prove Its love to them. And in return, I receive
from the majority of men only ingratitude, by their irreverence,
sacrileges, and by the coldness and contempt with which they treat Me
in this Sacrament of love (the Holy Eucharist)."
Father Mateo said, "And you . . . do you want to love, do you want to
be hosts for the triumph of Jesus? Belong to Him without reserve. He is
the only reality in life; all the rest is nothing!
"Let me tell you about the love of Jesus Christ and His totally Divine
charity. I ask the Heart of Jesus that each word I speak may be like a
beat of His Merciful Heart . . . What will duplicate the miracle of
Cana? What will change the common and perhaps muddy water of our life
into generous wine? What will work this miracle? The charity of Jesus
Christ! It possesses the almighty power to change, transform and
transfigure our poor life and make it a wholly Divine life. His charity
urges us. It insists, it wants to have complete control of our heart;
it asks and implores us to give our hearts in exchange for His Heart!
"Let us have this science of sciences, the only great science of all
the great Saints, the science of the love of Christ. That is really
what matters most: to know Christ, His love for us, and to live by His
love . . . But how can we prove that we believe in the love of Christ?
By loving Him. The complement of faith is charity; for as Saint Thomas
says, sanctity does not consist in knowing much, meditating much,
thinking much. The great secret of sanctity is to love much. We know
that there are great doctors . . . frigid and glacial, erudite men,
walking libraries who have absorbed all the knowledge of the geniuses,
of Saint Bernard and Saint Thomas, but who do not love like Saint
Bernard and Saint Thomas. These frigid scholars have nothing of the
charity of Christ . . .
"The charity of the Heart of Jesus is not and cannot be merely a
savored joy, a sensation, an emotion. We must leave all of that to
false devotion . . . The love of Our Lord is a strong, integral will
that consists in wanting God's good pleasure, cost what it may. It is a
burning flame that proceeds from the light of faith. It is said, and
rightly so, that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. It is
all too true! Many souls are content with feeble desires, wanting and
not wanting, promising and not delivering, finally remaining midway
along the road or exposing themselves to very great chastisements.
"Nevertheless, there are beautiful souls everywhere that nothing can
separate from the love of Christ . . . How fine it is to find, even in
the world and in the midst of its vanities, hearts in love like the
illustrious lovers of Jesus: Lucy, Cecilia and Agnes. I have known one
of these privileged souls intimately, and I will take the liberty to
say something about it. There was nothing extraordinary about the piety
of this child, who was of high social standing, except her wonderful
docility to grace. Endowed with rare natural qualities, a fine mind,
many talents and a charming simplicity, she was the unique little queen
of her family. Her father especially was proud of his daughter. But
since he was a rich and worldly man, he never had a thought about the
obstacles to virtue his pious child might encounter in the world. He
wanted to enjoy her presence and make her the center of attention at
all costs. From the time she was barely fifteen, she had to accompany
him everywhere. He took his little queen to every ball, every worldly
gathering, every banquet, party and play.
"Now, along with her jewels, this young girl, dressed like a princess,
wore a rough hair shirt beneath her silken gown. Whenever she was asked
to go to a party, she would tearfully beg not to go, but her father
would issue his command. So with tears in her eyes, she would dress and
and put on her jewels for the occasion. Before leaving, she would cast
herself at the feet of the Sacred Heart and exclaim, 'O beloved Jesus,
I leave my heart in Your Heart!'
"Then she went where her father wanted her to, but it was the Master
alone Who lived in her. Nothing distracted her, nothing diverted her,
nothing disturbed her. Her union to Jesus was so deep that there were
moments amid hundreds of people, in a theater or at a dance, when she
seemed to be in ecstasy. She told me so without realizing it: 'I feel
overcome by something like sleep.' It was Our Lord rewarding her
courage and fidelity. When they returned at three o'clock in the
morning, she would begin a holy hour and remove the hair shirt that had
made her bleed . . . She was a holy child, as I can testify after
having followed her for many long years. Very rarely have I encountered
such a fervent soul. It puts us to shame! You can see, at least, the
result ot a great love For the Master in a heart that He has ravished
"Almost everywhere, even among pious persons, we find the Crucified One
separated from the Cross. People want to love the One Who is crucified
without loving His Cross, but the two are inseparable . . . It is
regrettable that so many souls are in illusion on this point. Saint
Teresa of Avila said that three-quarters of the prayers addressed to
God could be summed up in the following invocation: 'From the cross and
suffering, deliver us, O Lord!' And they want to be saints! People
listen willingly when someone talks about mortification; they admire
the penances of the Desert Fathers and can even say, 'My God, I love
You.' But let them receive a pin prick or undergo some contradiction,
let trials or sickness come their way, let the cross draw near, and
they tremble with dread and do not understand how God can let His
servants be so harshly tried . . .
"In conclusion, O apostles of the Heart of Jesus, be sources of life.
May each of you be able to say, 'I have given myself to God; I am
laboring and suffering so that all those I love may have life.' And you
will obtain it by living the faith and love I have spoken to you about.
Sacrifices, good works, little daily duties, prayers, trials, all
become a source of grace for you with far-reaching consequences; and
certain souls that Jesus knows and that you talk about to Him, receive
the needed and awaited help, comfort and joy, light, courage and
salvation. You act long-distance, like a Divine and very real
telepathy. Countless supernatural fruits are communicated by the
Communion of Saints and the reversibility of merits. You are
conquerors, all the while living in peace and silence, escaping from
the dangers of the exterior apostolate. And the principle of this
fruitful apostolate, which is the principle of the Saints, is the
intensity of a great love."
TAKEN FROM Visites et séjours du Père Mateo à l'Abbaye de Sept-Fons, August 1917
and February 1918.
VIEW THE PAINTING COMMISSIONED AND
DISPLAYED AT PARAY-LE-MONIAL, FRANCE