March 7 – HEART OF A FATHER
HEART OF A FATHER
The Superiors who practised devotion to the Sacred Heart the most, as we saw yesterday, manifested the finest paternal sentiments towards their suffering children.
Br. Eugene-Marie wrote in August 1866 to a former Brother exiled to Canada: “You can count me among your many best friends. I embrace you most eagerly! Your misfortunes and your tears have rendered you so dear to my fatherly and friendly heart. Let us pray for one another. Wherever we live let us meet each other from time to time in the heart of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the depth of which I hide with you in life as in death, dear suffering friend. I embrace you in Our Lord’s soul”. On 17 June 1867, he wrote to Br. Thomas Aquinas who had quit his principal’s post many a time: “I am writing to you because I love you, that is, very warmly and sincerely. I hide you in the Heart of Jesus”, and on 31 Octobr 1867: “I am waiting for you. Everything is open for you, my arms and my heart, where you were never restrained”.
Br. Hubert, in January 1898, thus counselled a Director concerning a young member he was sending to him: “The little brother who is coming to you is just out of the nest and doesn’t have sufficiently long wings. Take good care of him, follow him up, guide himAlso, he pleaded-the-cause of a Brother who-had promised to behave better: “I told F. M. his faults. He wept over them, asked pardon, asked your pardon too, and promised to live more religiously in the future. Let us hope he will benefit from this past, for basically he is good”.
Rev. Br. Martial, on 7 March 1901, wrote to a young Brother: “Tell me, my dear child, in what way I can console you. What is the reason for your suffering? Write to me, confidentially, whatever be the things that make you so desperate. I only want to be of help to you, to console you in your suffering, to extend to you always a helping hand. Speak to me without fear. Come to me with your past confidence. You won’t ever have to regret it”.
Fifteen years earlier, on 10 April 1886, while he was master of novices, he had written to another young Brother who was in a worse situation (unjustly accused by a pupil, he had been put in the Fontevrault prison, where he had to spend four years and where he behaved like a saint): “It is time that I come and give you a new sign of my sincere and old friendship. Yes, my dear Brother, I want today to tell you again, whether near or far from you, that I love you always with wholehearted and never diminishing Christian affection. So, your thought is very often present to my mind. And since I find it precious, I keep it as I would keep a treasure. Assure me once again that my love does not leave you untouched”.