An electronic reproduction of the Guide for Victim Souls of the Sacred Heart of Jesus compiled from various sources by the Very Rev. Joseph Kreuter, OSB.

Nihil Obstat: Arthur J. Scanlan, S.T.D., Censor Librorum. Imprimatur + Stephen J. Donahue, S.T.D., Administrator of New York; 1939.

According to the United States Copyright Office the copyright has expired on this book.

In your charity, please pray that the Sacred Heart draws many souls here to read, contemplate and be enkindled.


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From the Biography of Mo. Marie Deluil-Martiny: Immolation
by Abbe L. Laplace.
Nihil Obstat. Authur J. Scanlan, S.T.D.
Imprimatur +Patrick Cardinal Hays
New York, July 14, 1926.

Part II: The Second Degree of the Spirit of Sacrifice .6

I. Mortification of self-love

"Self-love is unfortunately to be found in every one of us. Like so much poison it seems to be spread throughout our system, penetrat­ing to the very root of our being, infecting body and soul. There is in man nothing pure which it does not stain; nothing holy which it does not desecrate; nothing exalted that it does not drag down; nothing enriched with grace that it does not abuse. And withal it is so disguised and works so secretly that it can only with the greatest effort be discovered.”

Self-love is always occupied with self. It thinks only of self, speaks only of self, acts only for self. It ever seeks its own convenience, but does not scruple about inconveniencing others. It is full of sympathy and pity for its own sufferings, be they ever so slight; but can be most unsympathetic and cold towards the sufferings of others.

It is most careful and sparing of self, lest too much be required of it, but exercises no consideration towards others, though they be overburdened with work. It likes to shift disagreeable tasks upon others, but is unwilling to assist others in their work, though it expects their help for itself.

It would always have abundance of good things without suffering even the slightest want. It expects that its every request be granted, without ever giving anything of its own; it even fancies that it is justified in com­plaining if even the smallest thing be refused it. It does not know what it means to over­come one's inclinations and to do violence to oneself.

Self-love is unwilling to obey, but wishes al­ways to act according to its own judgment. Dependence on others seems an unbearable burden. Hence it strives as far as possible to shirk obedience and acts with a thoroughly in­dependent spirit.

Self-love easily becomes attached to its fa­vorite employment, especially when it is agree­able to the natural man, while it has a veritable horror of work which is opposed to its per­sonal inclinations. Hence, it is most adept in inventing excuses when disagreeable tasks are assigned by superiors. This attachment is seen even in exercises of piety. Hence, it is quite upset and complains bitterly when considera­tion for others requires the omission of even the smallest religious exercises, or even only a slight change in the order of their performance.

Thus we discover traces of self-love at every turn. What a fruitful field it presents for the practice of mortification and the manifestation of the spirit of sacrifice! What excellent op­portunities for making reparation to the Sa­cred Heart of Our Savior and for contributing to the salvation of souls! Let it then be our constant endeavor to rise above our wretched self, and to busy ourselves with the interests of the Sacred Heart, which is the exalted aim we have set ourselves in becoming Victim Souls.

II. Mortification of pride.

Self-love has entered into an almost indis­soluble union with Pride; and the offspring of that union is a generation of children and descendants which cause unspeakable sorrow and suffering to mankind.

We will have a scrutinizing look at this family of pride as depicted by Father Meschler, S.J., in his book entitled Spiritual Life.

“Pride,” he says, “has several daughters. The first of them is Vanity, a rather harmless being and somewhat stupid, too. Vanity again has several children:

1. Self-complacency, which is full of self ­esteem, flatters itself that it is endowed with a thousand good qualities, contemplates itself with delight, and is consequently prone to be­lieve that everybody thinks of and occupies himself with it.

2. Coquetry, which adorns itself with showy and gay attire, and surrounds itself with pretty and elegant furniture.

3. Boastfulness, which never tires of talk­ing of itself; figures as the hero in every narra­tive, though often at the expense of veracity; thinks at least as highly of itself as of others, and more highly too; never ceases to bring its deserts to the knowledge of the world, and values its own deeds higher than those of any one else.

“The name of the second daughter of Pride is Ambition. She is a most boisterous person, as she pushes herself forward to be held in honor by everybody; she is full, moreover, of high-flying plans and intentions. Nearly all her endeavors and deeds are borne on the wave of her fellow men's favor and praise. She feels quite delighted at being applauded and works hard to make sure of it, while at the same time she endeavors to appear quite indifferent to any kind of praise. On the other hand she dis­likes to hear others praised, yet praises them sometimes herself whenever selfishness prompts her to do so. Because she shrinks from being despised, she slyly hides all her shortcomings; she conceals her defects and makes use of all possible tricks to minimize her faults. She is, however, gifted with a wonderful skill in show­ing off all that is likely to enhance her reputa­tion.

1. “Ambition, too, has several children, the chief of which goes by the name of Envy, which looks with a jealous eye upon the good qualities, the beautiful achievements and suc­cesses of its fellow creatures, and consequently is habitually inclined to carp at and criticize others, speaking of their faults, divulging their secret weaknesses and even untruthfully find­ing fault with them; of course, doing all this that it may itself shine in a more brilliant light.

2. “The second child of Ambition is known by the name of Sensitiveness, which is offended by not continually hearing its praises sung, more so of course when others neglect to pay it due respect, take no notice of it, or even wittingly or unwittingly put it in the background; most of all, however, when it meets with blame or reprimand, be it ever so fully deserved.

3. “The third daughter of Pride is Lust of Power. She imposes her will on everybody else and tries to domineer over all. Obedience, therefore, is an unbearable burden to her, as she thinks herself a born ruler. She is thus a veritable devil in the family, to whose attacks everyone is exposed, even God Almighty in heaven.

Lust of Power has two children, one of which they call Stubbornness. It never yields, clings to its own opinions with obstinacy, re­fuses to listen to counter-arguments, and gen­erally rejects them with solemn contempt; nay, delights in contradicting and arguing for the mere pleasure of it. The other child's name is Fault-finding. It stops short of nobody, superiors even, and it poses as the judge of the living and the dead.”

Truly, one who wishes to conquer Pride, with her children, need not go in search after opportunities for sacrifice, for they meet him at every turn.

Wherefore, O Victim Soul, there is offered to thee a source unlimited, inexhaustible, for thy spirit of sacrifice. Rejoice, then, for that day will never dawn when thou wilt not be able to surrender thyself as a living holocaust in reparation to the Sacred Heart of thy Savior.

Concluding Remarks

If in all the sacrifices described in this chap­ter, Victim Souls would in reality fulfill their threefold aim, they must perform them with the intention of making reparation to the Sac­red Heart; and since these sacrifices are really small when looked upon in the light of their exalted aim, they ought constantly to renew the intention of uniting them with the sac­rifice of infinite value which Christ is perpetually offering on the altar, that thereby they may avail for the salvation of poor sinners and draw down upon the labors of priests and Re­ligious the heavenly dew of God's grace. Al­though it is not required that they renew this intention at every action-for it suffices to make the intention during the daily morning prayer -still it remains true that the oftener they re­call their exalted aim to mind, the more they will be penetrated with the spirit of union, and the greater will be the ease and facility they will acquire in making sacrifices; and thus they will become all the more worthy of the name of Vic­tim Souls of the Sacred Heart.

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