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.

Soli+Deo!

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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 Third Degree of the Spirit of Sacrifice – Love of the Cross and Oblation of Self .3

Ven. François-Marie-Paul Libermann, 1802-1852

(B) Motives for the Third Degree of Sacrifice

We shall adduce some special motives, taken from the writings of chosen victims of atonement, that should attract numerous Victim Souls to aspire to this third degree of the spirit of sacrifice, to a love for the cross and humilia­tions, even to the sacrifice of life for the salva­tion of others.

I. Crosses and sufferings are a pledge of the special love of our Blessed Lord towards us.

St. Margaret Mary, that most ardent lover of the Cross, tells us to rejoice if we are per­mitted to suffer, as sufferings are a proof of the special love of the Sacred Heart for us.

“Consider it a joy,” she writes, “if suffer­ings are your portion: whether they are caused by others or by yourself, accept them as a pledge of the love of the Sacred Heart.

“Because the Lord loves you, He will take care that opportunities may never he wanting to crucify you. No matter whence the cross, let us receive it with silence and submission, saying: ‘My Father in heaven wills it so, and that suffices for me.’ "

In a letter to one of her candidates, the Ven­erable Mother Dominica Clara Moes writes: “That the good God should visit you with many sufferings and trials is the best proof that Jesus loves you tenderly. The more you are sub­merged in the waters of suffering, the more I am convinced that Our Lord would draw you close to Himself. This is His Law, that those whom he foreordains as His chosen ones are overwhelmed with crosses and sufferings. To suffer for Jesus is indeed so sweet and pre­cious that you should never tire of offering yourself to Him in suffering.”

Father Libermann, the founder of the Con­gregation of the Holy Ghost and of the Sacred Heart of Mary, who died in the odor of sanc­tity in 1852, tells us: “The common universal means used by Our Lord to sanctify His own is the cross. Blessed, therefore, are those children of Jesus Christ who have a large share in the cross; they are the chosen children and are envied. Rejoice, therefore, if you have been thus favored. Only those are so highly blessed who are the objects of His predilection and predestination.”

II. Crosses and sufferings are the touchstone of our love for Christ

St. Margaret Mary says: “The desire to love God without suffering is a pure delusion. It is impossible to love truly without suffering; Our Lord Himself has given us the proof on the Cross, where He was consumed with love for us.”

To Father Croiset, S.J., she writes: “Let us never tire of bearing silently all bodily and mental sufferings; for the cross is effective, salutary at all times and in all places to unite us with the crucified Savior, and in the end to help us to die for love of Him. We must be­come His perfect images by suffering and dying, as He suffered and died from pure love. There can be no love without suffering. Hence I am wholly content to see others joyous and happy, but for my part I will choose no other joy than to he submerged in a sea of suffering.”

Hence Msgr. de Ségur says so aptly: “We never love Jesus more truly and intensely than when we suffer with Him and for Him. The height of love consists in being a victim of love. There is not a single saint who was not sub­jected to this ultimate test of love, and who has not crowned his sanctity by drinking the bitter chalice of complete renunciation. For this rea­son the saints have ever preferred bitterness of spirit to sensible consolations.”

Father Pergmayer, S.J., declares that souls who prove to a heroic degree, their love for Our Lord, by this love of the cross and suffer­ing, have thereby found “the key to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the portal to a most intimate union with Him.”

“Jesus loves such souls, enlightens them, re­veals to them His glory and beauty, comforts them and fills them with the sweets of His love; He favors them with the intimacies of His con­verse and leads them to a perfect union. They are those blessed souls in whom he verifies here on earth His sweet promise: ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if anyone hear My voice and open to Me. I will come in and sup with him and he with me.’ "

This brings us to the third motive for love of the cross:

III. Crosses and sufferings are excellent means of sanctification.

Again and again this truth is emphasized in the letters of venerable Father Libermann. “If quiet reigns within us,” he writes, “we are less occupied with heavenly things, and divine grace cannot exercise its full power in the soul, since self-love and attachment to the things of this earth are, as it were, a dam that checks grace and prevents its entrance. If, therefore, God in His infinite mercy wishes to act upon us, He employs the cross, humiliations and suf­ferings, that through self-denial and self-sacri­fice His divine life may he firmly established in the soul. Nothing is so conducive to the ac­quirement of perfect recollection as crosses and humiliations.

“The cross has this distinctive effect, that it subjugates the flesh with its inordinate inclina­tions, and substitutes the spirit of Christ. Wherefore, rejoice, if you are in pain and suf­fering, for then Jesus is alive within you and has begun to reign in your soul.

“The great, inestimable benefit accruing to the soul from participation in the sufferings of Christ is the death and annihilation of the carnal man. There is no more efficient means to detach our hearts from the world, from creatures, and ourselves. How benign and amiable Our Savior is to labor so powerfully at the sanctification of our souls! The means He uses are indeed terrifying, but how powerful a force is required to detach us from all things earthly, and from ourselves!

“The cross therefore serves to humiliate and to annihilate us so that we may cast ourselves at the feet of Jesus and of all those whom He appoints to persecute us, even though it be a Caiphas or a Pilate. Love will only then dom­inate us, when we joyfully kiss the feet of those who trample upon us and grind us in the dust.

“Sufferings lead the soul to great perfection. They render her pleasing to God and help her to persevere in the state of grace. Any soul that is not subject to sufferings and humilia­tions will find it very difficult to rid herself of selfishness. Unless God Himself lend us a helping hand we shall never succeed in master­ing the vice of egotism. It is therefore a sign of God’s great mercy towards us to be over­ whelmed with sufferings that force us to give up ourselves and seek him alone.”

St. Margaret Mary, too, assures us that apart from the cross there is nothing that unites us so intimately with the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Nay, she even does not hesitate to maintain that greater progress is made on the road to virtue and holiness in one month, nay one week, of pain, than in a whole year which abounds in consolations and spiritual joy. If, then, the choice be left to us we should without reflection give preference to crosses and pain.

IV. Crosses and sufferings save souls.

The salvation and the sanctification of souls, together with zeal for the honor and glory of God, formed the entire purpose of the life of our Savior, and hence must likewise be the aim of Victim Souls. “But,” as Msgr. de Ségur says, "to reach this aim suffering is in­dispensable. We can only save souls by suf­fering for them.”

Father Libermann once wrote to a mission­ary who was enduring hard trials: “Be com­forted; for the more you have to suffer, the more you merit for poor sinners. Surely you would not refuse to suffer when thereby you procure the honor of God and the salvation of poor sinners.”

At another time he wrote: “Be not discour­aged when trials and tribulations are heaped upon you. Rather consider yourself privileged to he allowed to suffer for the love of Jesus Christ. It was by suffering that He saved the world; by suffering you help Him to save souls."

Victim Souls ought to be able to rise to the noble sentiment expressed by St. Ignatius of Loyola, that, were the choice given him of either entering heaven immediately or of labor­ing and suffering longer for the salvation of souls even at the risk of his own salvation, he would unhesitatingly choose the latter alterna­tive.

The Venerable Curé d’Ars expressed the same sentiment. “What would you do,” he was asked, “if God gave you the choice either to go to heaven immediately or to remain on earth to work for the salvation of souls?” “I would remain here,” he answered. “But the saints in heaven are so happy; they have no more temptations and trials.” “That is indeed true,” the holy man replied, “but the saints can no longer glorify God by sacrifices for the sal­vation of souls.”

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