An Amiable Friend
by Monsignor Charles M. Mangan
In the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we find an amazing receptivity to us--His brothers and sisters. Christ loves us and wants to embrace, heal and strengthen us.
The month of June, whose thirty days are traditionally dedicated to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, is not long enough to consider well the astounding love that the merciful Jesus has for each of us. But it is a start. Perhaps the mere designation of June to the Sacred Heart may be enough to push us to reflect on that "Heart that has loved men so much but has been loved so little in return."
In his valuable "Our Best Friend" (Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Company, 1953), Jesuit Father Christian Pesch offered a helpful analysis of the amiability of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The author defined an amiable person as "one possessed of exquisite manners, thoughtful consideration for the requirements of pleasant companionship, considerate yielding to the wishes of others, the gift of conversation: in short, social adaptability without affectation or ignoble flattery. If, in addition to these qualities, their possessor has an attractive figure, he is the living embodiment of the ideal, amiable person."
Was Jesus the Messiah amiable? Yes, Father Pesch argued, in both moral excellence and attractiveness of manners. Yet, Christ "was compelled to hide His amiability under a veil in order that men might not be enslaved by His external attractiveness and lose sight of weightier considerations."
This last point is one we have heard before. Jesus did not allow the full force of His glory to be seen, realizing that it would overcome those who saw it. This was also the case after His Resurrection.
Indeed, Jesus is the most amiable of all persons. Again, Father Pesch: "It is our destiny to enjoy the unsurpassed amiability of Jesus for all eternity, and to draw therefrom unspeakable delights. How senseless it would be, then, to sacrifice this eternal joy or even to diminish it for the sake of some creature whose charm is doomed to return soon to the dust from which it came. Let us try, then, to form as perfect an image as possible of the amiability of our glorified Savior, and to impress this image so indelibly in our hearts that the allurements of creatures may not prevail against it. We must learn to enjoy our Savior."
To enjoy our Savior! The mere sound of such an utterance thrills our weary hearts. May the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus make this so! May we learn to enjoy Jesus and bask in His unparalleled amiability.
Father Pesch concluded his meditation on the amiability of the Sacred Heart by stressing: "The highest expression of love (and we could rightly add amiability) toward another is that a man offer him his heart. So loving is our Savior that, despite all our infidelities, He wishes to give us His Heart. Let us accept this gift, let us consider it as our most precious treasure, let us honor it and pay it homage! Let us live in this Heart, and living in It we shall 'taste, and see that the Lord is sweet' (Ps. 33:9)."
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love, have mercy on us!
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