SummaryDr. Mary Kay Clark offers that there may be no better way to know the Heart of Jesus than to contemplate His thoughts as found in ‘The Way of Divine Love’.
With all our parental duties and responsibilities, like homeschooling, shopping trips, doctors’ appointments, sporting events, plays, and music recitals, it is difficult to find time for reflection with Jesus.
Despite our frantic schedules, however, many of us homeschooling parents and grandparents try to attend daily Mass, contemplate the Gospel readings, and spend time reflecting on the mysteries of the Rosary.
Especially during Holy Week, we also search for opportunities to deepen our relationship with Jesus. There may be no better way to obtain an inside look at the Heart of Jesus than in contemplating the thoughts of Jesus as He suffered His crucifixion.
One such source for contemplation comes to us from a religious sister named Sister Josefa Menendez, a Sacred Heart nun who lived in a French convent in the 1920s. It was there and then that she obediently transcribed messages from Jesus, Who appeared to her frequently during the Holy Week of 1923. Pope Pius XII believed her visions to be heavenly visions and the messages to be from Jesus, and gave his approval for the publication of the book The Way of Divine Love.
The Way of Divine Love is a life-changing book for anyone who reads it with care and patience. It is not simply a story by Jesus about His sufferings as He carried His cross, but rather His thoughts and desires for those who wish to attain eternal life and happiness in Heaven with Him.
There are two parallel streams of thought expressed by Jesus as He dictated to Sister Josefa His concerns for souls during each aspect of His crucifixion. The first describes the incredible graces that flow to those who love Jesus and reflect on His sufferings, and the second conveys the heartbreak He suffers for those who do not love Him and those who ignore Him.
Jesus relates each aspect of His crucifixion, what He was thinking at the time, and His reflections about different kinds of sinners. He explains the kinds of sins for which He suffered, but also how those in temptation can escape sin by reflecting on a particular aspect of His crucifixion.
While I encourage homeschooling parents to read the book, I understand how hard it is to even consider reading something other than what directly relates to the homeschooling of your children. Consequently, I encourage homeschooling moms and dads to read just the single chapter “The Lent of 1923.” It is about 80 pages, and it is not for the faint of heart.
However, you will find yourself underlining passage after passage, and you will end by wishing to keep this book on your bedside table, with you when you do a Holy Hour, and for reflection on Good Friday afternoon.
A few of my favorite quotes include:
“My Cross will strengthen you and I will support you…When a soul comes to Me for strength, I do not leave her to herself; I hold her up, and if in her weakness she stumbles, I will raise her.”
“When an occasion of conquering human respect and accepting bravely either humiliation or suffering presents itself, a soul should answer ‘My Kingdom is not of this world, for that reason I do not seek human favor; …I will do my duty faithfully and make no account of the opinion of the world…I will listen to the voice of grace…’ ”
“You will not find peace and joy in a position more or less brilliant in the eyes of men, but only in the accomplishment of God’s will, and in entire submission to all He may require of you.”
“Hasten to My heart and be without fear for the past; all has been swallowed up in the abyss of My mercy, and My love is preparing new graces for you. The memory of your lapses will be an incentive to humility and a source of merit, and you cannot give Me a greater proof of affection than to count on My full pardon and to believe that your sins will never be as great as My mercy, which is infinite.”
“Adore the power and majesty of your God, but do not forget that if He is infinitely just and powerful, He is also infinitely merciful.”
Like the rest of the year, Holy Week is a busy time for many of you parents who work so admirably to teach your children. This year, ask God to help you find a few precious moments that you can spend together to deepen your love for Him.
Try to spend at least a few moments to contemplate how much Jesus loves you. And pass that joy onto your children!