The Hearts of the Matter

As many of you know by now, HAPP sets hearts afire with love for God and neighbor by leading retreatants to consecrate themselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 33 Days to Morning Glory and living consoling spirituality in Consoling the Heart of Jesus. But without the legacy of St. John Eudes (1601-1680), there'd probably be no HAPP program at all.

Saint John Eudes, whose feast we celebrate on Aug. 19, was one of the first great promoters of devotion to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. He understood that the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the source of all grace, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the model for us all of the perfectly converted Christian heart, on fire with the love of God and neighbor, superabundantly full of every grace and virtue. He pointed out the path later walked by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, the great visionary who had the revelations from Jesus calling for devotion to His Sacred Heart, and the Fatima visionaries, who received from Our Lady the call to consecration to the Immaculate Heart.

Why are we to be devoted to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts? Because we are supposed to become like them. As St. Clare reportedly said, "We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. If we love things, we become a thing. If we love nothing, we become nothing. Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ; rather, it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation. This means we are to become vessels of God's compassionate love for others."

Our hearts are to become filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit, just as the Hearts of Jesus and Mary are alight. We are to have love for God and neighbor in imitation of our Savior and our mother. We are to become faithful brothers of Jesus, faithful children of Mary, and so resemble them in all ways.

Let us follow the lead of the great Saint John Eudes. Let us console the Heart of Jesus and consecrate ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, using these most effective means to become saints, great saints, and quickly.



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