The Message of the Sacred-Heart of Jesus
to Sister Consolata
A Sermon Given in Avrillé,
and Published in “Le Sel de la Terre” 74, Autumn 2010
We would like to take advantage of this month of June, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, by saying a few words about the message of the Sacred Heart to Sister Consolata.
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Public and Private Revelations
Let us make clear here at the outset that we will be speaking about what are called “private revelations,” and that these should not be confused with public Revelation.
Public Revelation is the Revelation given by God to the prophets of the Old Testament, and by Our Lord Jesus Christ – and the Holy Ghost after Pentecost – to the Apostles in the New Testament. The Church’s mission is to transmit infallibly, and to offer to our faith, this public Revelation that we must believe in order to be saved. This public Revelation ended with the death of the last Apostle, St. John.
But God, who governs the world, reserves for Himself the right to intervene in the course of human history to help men to save themselves.
Private revelations are revelations given by God, by the Lord Jesus, by Our Lady, or even by saints. These revelations are given to private persons, whether for their own salvation or the aiding their own souls, or for a certain part of the Church, or even for the entire Church. Such revelations add nothing to the deposit of Faith.
Before reading books about private revelations or apparitions, we should read works on doctrine that explain public Revelation and strengthen our faith. It is faith that gives charity its purpose. If our faith is weak, the works of mystics risk giving us an appearance of charity that in reality will be only sentimentalism.
Of course, we must be careful about private revelations, especially today when false mystics and false apparitions are plentiful.
The revelations of the Sacred Heart to Sister Consolata have all the guarantees of authenticity: they have been approved by the local Church authorities, and several bishops have also attached indulgences to the invocation taught to Consolata by Our Lord.
Sister Consolata Betrone
Piérina Betrone – who would become Sister Consolata – was born in 1903 in Saluzzo, Italy. She was called home to God in 1946 at the age of 43, after only 17 years in religious life.
Wanting to devote herself since her youth, she first entered the Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians, founded by St. John Bosco in Turin for the education of young girls. Various interior trials, however, prevented her from remaining; and Providence then oversaw her entrance at the age of 26 into the Poor Clares – cloistered sisters dedicated to a very penitential life.
Nothing seemed more opposed to the active temperament of Piérina: “Nothing attracted me about the capuchin sisters,” she wrote. “The renouncement is complete.” But Our Lord only hid His servant so that He could give her a global apostolic influence, somewhat as with St. Therese of the Child Jesus. In fact, Sister Consolata considered herself as a spiritual daughter of St Therese.
The Message of Jesus to the World
Essential Highlights of the Message
— Mercy and Confidence
The message that Our Lord wants to transmit to the world through Sister Consolata as His intermediary is, above all, a message of mercy and confidence, as with all manifestations of the Sacred Heart:
“The devil has promised himself the destruction of the world,” said our Lord, “and I, its salvation. I will save it by the triumph of My mercy and My love. Yes, I will save the world in My merciful Love.”
But during the era when the Sacred Heart manifested Himself to Sister Consolata, there was an economic crisis and then World War II – which made it seem that Our Lord was proving His justice rather than His mercy. But this was not so.
What Our Lord said concerning the global economic crisis that started in 1929 also applies today, and especially if the crisis intensifies:
“The current misery that reigns in the world is not the work of My justice, but of My Mercy. A certain lack of money prevents many faults, and in the economic restrictions numerous are the prayers that rise up to Heaven. Do not think that I am insensitive to the sorrows of the earth. I love souls and I want to save them. For this purpose I use rigor, but believe Me, it is out of pure Mercy. In abundance, souls forget Me and are lost, whereas in times of misery they turn toward Me and are saved.”
Regarding the war (World War II), Our Lord told Sister Consolata in December, 1940:
— “Take heed, if I grant peace today, the world will return to its mire.”
— “But, Lord,” replied Consolata, “so many youths are being slaughtered!”
— “The greatest part of these young soldiers, remaining at home, will stagnate in vice,” responded Our Lord. “But on the battlefield, to the contrary and far from the occasions of sin, they will die with the help of their chaplain and will be saved. Two or three years of cruel and intense sufferings, crowned by an eternity of joy, is this not preferable to an entire life of sin that will finish in eternal damnation? How many young people will thank God in eternity for dying in this war that has saved them forever? The just (who suffer in the war) will see their merits increase.”
At all times, the sinner must never despair of being pardoned. Our Lord told Sister Consolata the following – and this must be applied to all souls, even the greatest of sinners:
“Your miseries have a limit, but My Heart does not. If it happens that you commit a fault, do not allow yourself to sink into sadness, but come immediately and cast it into My Heart, while renewing in great calm your resolution to practice the opposite virtue. Thus, each of your faults will be as a step forward.”
Of course, this does not dispense from the obligation of confession, at least for mortal sins.
The Mercy of Our Lord for His creatures calls for a return of confidence without limits. On August 14, 1934, Sister Consolata would even make a vow of confidence written out on paper in her own blood:
“Starting today and until my death, I want never to open the door, oh Jesus, to any thought of discouragement or defiance.”
Jesus replied: “If you had placed your confidence in yourself alone, or if you had only relied on one of my creatures to reach the summits, you would have taken only ‘turtle steps.’ But since you put your trust in Jesus, you will be relying on His Omnipotence. I will thus accomplish marvels and we (together) will take the steps of a giant.”
“Honor God by your confidence,” Jesus would repeat often.
“Consolata, in the heart of the Church, you will be confidence.”
Even Judas would have been saved if he had had confidence. His greatest sin was not having had confidence in the infinite Mercy of the Heart of Jesus.
— The Call to Love
If the first part of the message of the Sacred Heart to Sister Consolata is a message of Mercy and confidence, the second part is a message of Love, and more precisely it is a call to love along the lines of the revelations of the Sacred Heart at Paray-le-Monial (i.e., to St. Margaret Mary.)
Our Lord came to light the fire of charity on earth. In exchange for the Love that He has shown for us, especially by dying on the Cross for us, He asks for a reciprocity of love. But as love is continuing to diminish in the world, Our Lord, through His servant St. Margaret Mary, came to ask of those who still loved Him, a compensation of love to make reparation for the coldness of men toward Him, and thus giving love to Him for those who do not love Him and obtaining their conversion. This was the purpose of the First Friday Communions of Reparation and the holy hour of adoration on the preceding (Thursday) evenings.
Our Lord had also asked the king of France – Louis XIV at the time – to consecrate himself and France to the Sacred Heart. This would have led to an immense surge in devotion to the Sacred Heart among his people – and from there it would have spread to the entire world, considering the great influence that France had at that time. But alas, the French kings did not heed the requests because they did not understand that this earth is a battlefield between the faithful people of Jesus and Mary on one side, and the devil and his adepts on the other. And that if in this battle we do not rely on divine powers, we cannot resist the diabolical and superhuman powers that unceasingly wage war against the Church and Christianity. Having preferred to organize politics according to their human ways, they left the field wide open for the devil and his henchmen to destroy the entire Christian social order: such was the French Revolution.
Ever since the Revolution (1789), as the world has accelerated towards its destruction, Our Lord’s pleas have become more urgent: He tried without success to have France consecrated to the Sacred Heart by Louis XVIII in order to save the Restoration; then it was the revelation of the scapular of the Sacred Heart to Estelle Faguette (a Dominican tertiary) at Pellevoisin; then there were manifestations of the Sacred Heart to a mother of a family, Madame Royer, and also to Claire Ferchaud of Loublande; then to sister Josefa Menendez at Poitiers. And we must not forget the vision at Tuy, Spain where Sister Lucia of Fatima saw the word Mercy that was written in fiery letters under one of the crucified arms of Our Lord.
To make a counterbalance to the sins of the world, and to allow mercy and pardon to flow down to souls, Our Lord had asked one very simple thing from sister Josefa Menendez: to multiply acts of love through all the actions of our everyday lives:
“I want you to give me souls. For this, I ask nothing more than love for Me in all your actions. Do everything out of love, suffer out of love, and above all give yourself to my divine Love.”
Charity, indeed, is given to us by God so that we exercise it.
St. Thomas Aquinas tells us: “Charity consists more in loving than in being loved.”
Thus, the first object of charity is God before our neighbor. To exercise charity we must, above all, make interior acts of the love of God.
We must make clear here, however, that this does not necessarily mean sensible acts; charity is not found in the senses but in the will. The acts of love of which we are speaking are interior actions through which we tell our Lord of our union with His will, even in the middle of the greatest dryness and aridity of the senses.
— A Formula
With Sister Consolata, Our Lord added something very specific: he taught an invocation – a formula – that would tell God of our love. This formula is the following: “Jesus, Mary, I love you. Save souls.”
This is an easy formula to observe, and which can be used by all age groups, and in all conditions of life and even health.
And above all, when it is said with all one’s heart (and not in a mechanical manner of course) this formula is a perfect act of love as it contains the love of Our Lord, Our Lady and souls. It is the most perfect summary of our catholic religion.
Our Lord is indicating here a very simple spiritual path to transform our individual lives into acts of supernatural love, while helping us offer through this love all of our everyday actions and all the events of our lives.
Of course, it is not necessary to pronounce this invocation with our lips. It is sufficient to pray it interiorly.
This practice is certainly not obligatory. Spiritual paths are varied in the Catholic religion, corresponding to the differences in souls. But for those who embrace it, the fruits of this devotion are numerous.
Fruits of this Practice:
If we say often “Jesus, Mary, I love you. Save souls” this will first of all dispose our souls to receive new infusions of charity that will increase our love of God and neighbor. Then we will live in an entire abandonment to Providence and a total availability to our neighbor.
“One ‘yes’ to everything out of gratitude and appreciation; and one ‘yes’ to everyone with a smile, seeing and treating Jesus in everyone,” says Father Lorenzo Sales 1.
To say often “Jesus, Mary, I love you. Save souls” is also an apostolic formula that obtains fruits for all souls, said Our Lord: “souls in purgatory, as well as those in the Church militant; guilty souls as well as the innocent ones; those dying, and those who are atheists, etc.” Our Lord revealed to Sister Consolata that by her acts of love, she would harvest an immense number of souls.
As “the smallest act of pure love has more value in the eyes of God, and is more useful to the Church…than all exterior works [without this pure love] put together,” as St. John of the Cross said, so these acts of love also form a great power against the enemies of the Church and Christianity. This young Poor Clare, Consolata, deep in her convent in Italy, even played a decisive role in the victory of the Catholic Spaniards over communism in 1936. To Sister Consolata, who prayed for this intention, Our Lord said:
“Yes, I will give to you the victory over communism in Spain. But you, do everything possible to give Me the unceasing act of love. The victory over communism in Spain will say to the world how much Jesus concedes to the unceasing act of love.”
This must encourage us today. With little exterior means – and in fact we have hardly any – we can do a lot to counteract the current assaults of Satan against the Church and Christianity.
Lastly, when facing a task to accomplish, or before trials and crosses of every sort, if we say, “Jesus, Mary, I love you. Save souls,” this will allow us to respond “yes” to all the requests for sacrifice that Jesus makes of us, and it will permit us to endure our sufferings by offering them in love.
Answer to an objection, and conclusion
One will perhaps object that it is not so easy to think of saying this formula throughout the day. Father Lorenzo Sales gives an enlightening and inspiring response:
“A dozen acts of love during the day -– which is within everyone’s reach -– accumulate in an impressive way over the course of a month and a year. And as the habit grows, the numbers will increase, and union with Our Lord will be ever deepened.”
“There will thus form, in all parts of the world, a continuous wave of love that ascends toward Heaven so as to come back down to earth in a torrent of mercy and pardon 2.”
Whether or not we embrace this practice, let us take advantage in any case of this month of the Sacred Heart by rekindling our love for Our Lord and Our Lady, as well as our zeal for the salvation of souls.
Sermon by a Dominican Father of Avrillé
Translation by Mrs F.
From: “Le Sel de la Terre,” Number 74, Autumn 2010.
1 — Father Lorenzo Sales, biographer of sister Consolata, in La toute petite voie d’amour, Message abrégé du Cœur de Jésus à soeur Consolata Betrone, Sherbrooke (Québec), Editions Saint-Raphaël, 1995, p. 50. The biography of sister Consolata by Fr Lorenzo Sales, is called: Sœur Consolata Betrone, Mulhouse, Salvator, 1963; edited again by Résiac.
2 — Father Lorenzo Sales, Jésus parle au monde, Fribourg (Switzerland), Éditions Saint-Canisius, 1957, p. 185-186.