The Imitation of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
My Child, there thou shalt behold Me as I am, and gaze upon Me face to face, in the most entrancing splendors of My Majesty
1. The Voice of Jesus
My Child, the eye has not seen, the ear has not heard, nor has the heart of man conceived, what things I have prepared for them that love and serve Me faithfully to the end.
Who can portray for those who have not experienced it, what heaven is, that blissful abode, from which all ills are banished, in which there is an overflowing of all good things?
No labor shall be there, no sorrow, no temptation, no danger: all these things have passed away with mortal life; they have given place to perfect rest, to endless joy, to a peace that cannot be disturbed, to a security that none can take away.
2. My everlasting glory
There shall be neither cold, nor heat; neither inclemency, nor change of seasons; neither unpleasant days, nor gloomy nights. Those realms of bliss are illumined by My everlasting glory, softened by the divine serenity of My countenance, enlivened by the infinite sweetness of My Heart, so that everything smiles in the purest light, in the newness of a heavenly spring, for evermore.
Blessed are they that dwell therein! They neither hunger, nor thirst, nor are they subject to aught that is unpleasant; nor shall they be weakened in vigor forever.
There they are replenished and inebriated from the torrent of the delights of God; they nourish in perpetual youth, and, immortal, they shine brighter than the sun for all eternity.
3. My Majesty
My Child, there thou shalt behold Me as I am, and gaze upon Me face to face, in the most entrancing splendors of My Majesty.
There, by the intuition of My infinite perfections, thou shalt be rapt with admiration, and overflow with bliss; in the excess of thy joy thou shalt, of thy own accord, burst forth in boundless praises and exaltation of My most lovely Attributes.
Then also thou shalt understand the mysteries of faith, and the secrets of nature.
All the science of philosophers is but ignorance, when compared with the knowledge possessed by the least of the Elect.
Then shalt thou view all the display of My everlasting kingdom, its unbounded treasures, its ever enduring dignities.
At the contemplation of a loveliness so varied, and so great, thou shalt be inflamed with an ineffable love for Me.
4. An ocean of Love
Then, My Child, then wilt thou love Me, in a perfect manner, without any division of thy affections, without remissness, without end.
Now, thou art sometimes in trouble, because thou knowest not whether thou art worthy of love or of hatred: then, to thy unutterable joy, thou shalt know with certainty, that thou lovest Me. and wilt love Me forever; and that, in return, thou art loved, and shalt be loved by Me, throughout eternity.
Then shalt thou repose on My Heart, with perfect security; and thou shalt taste how delightful it is, to love Me, and to melt away in My love.
Thou shalt be inebriated with an exceeding great sweetness, and rapt above thyself; thou shalt swim in an ocean of love, with the Angels and the Saints, amid jubilant hymns of love, for evermore.
Thus shalt thou spend ages, and while-away eternity, ever wishing, and ever longing, to love; and, at the same time, ever sated, and ever blissful, with love.
5. Adornment of the Heavens
Then, at last, Child, shalt thou possess Me, and enjoy Me forever: which is the completing of beatitude.
Thou shalt be wholly Mine, and I will be wholly thine: thou shalt enjoy Me, in a manner ever new, ever most delightful.
In Me thou shalt possess every good, and have whatever thou canst wish or desire.
Let thy mind conceive, if possible, how beautiful, how wonderful, how charming, all things are there: how rapturous to behold the glory and exquisite adornment of the heavens, to be present among the choirs of the Angels, to exult unceasingly with the Saints, to contemplate and love the most Blessed Virgin, the glorious Queen of the heavenly kingdom and, in return, to attract Her sweet looks, and gain Her love.
What delightful dwellings, O My Child what pleasant companionship! what charming beatitude! and all to endure forever and ever!
Behold, My Child, behold the exceeding great reward of those that serve Me with their whole heart. Can the world give such things? or even promise them?
Lift up thy eyes, therefore, and see what awaits thee, if thou art faithful to Me even to the end.
Be of good cheer, My Child; and as much as thou art able, with the divine grace and thy own co-operation, cleanse thy heart and preserve it pure. For nothing defiled, be it ever so little, shall enter into heaven.
But the purer thou art here, the more glorious shalt thou be there; and the nearer to Me, and the dearer to My Heart.
6. The Voice of the Disciple
O Jesus, how blessed are they, that dwell in heaven with Thee!
O happy mortals they, who serve Thee with a clean heart! What ineffable beatitude shall they enjoy in eternity! yea, who is more happy than they, even in time!
O bliss-creating service of Jesus, which gains such a reward! Thou renderest easy and pleasant all things that lead to so great a glory and blessedness.
O most sweet Jesus, bid me do, bid me suffer, for Thy sake, whatever Thou wilt: willingly and gladly do I embrace everything, that I may please Thee in time, and possess Thee in eternity.
By Thy most Sacred Heart, do I entreat Thee, lead me safe, through whatever way Thou mayst choose, into Thy kingdom; that, with the Angels and Saints, I may behold Thee, love Thee, enjoy Thee, for evermore. Amen
"Voice of Jesus" is taken from Arnoudt's "Imitation of the Sacred Heart", translated from the Latin of J.M. Fastre; Benziger Bros. Copyright 1866