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Dehonian Spirituality includes prayers and reflections based in spirituality of Fr. Leo John Dehon; it is published weekly by the US Province of the Priests of the Sacred Heart.
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PLEASE NOTE: This will be the last issue of Dehonian Spirituality for 2015. The next issue will be published on January 8 

December 18, 2015
 
 
 
Fr. Leo John Dehon: founder of the Priests of the Sacred Heart 
 
On coming into the world, Jesus said, “In the written scroll it is prescribed for me; to do your will, O my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart” [Psalm 40:8-9].  How great is this act of oblation of the Heart of Jesus!  It encompasses the most perfect acts of the most sublime virtues.
 
It is an act of profound adoration, an infinite homage rendered to the divine majesty.  “Behold, I come!”  It is an act of perfect love by which he devotes his life to the One from whom he has received it.  It is an act of reparation.  “I owe you the sacrifice of my life,” he said to his Father.  “Behold, I come!”  It is an act of perfect obedience.  “Where must I go?  I am ready.  Behold, I come.” 
 
This offering is an act of humility and of annihilation by which the Sacred Heart places himself in the state of victim.  Finally, it is an incomprehensible act of charity toward humanity.  If he offered himself to make reparation to his Father’s glory, if he is a victim of adoration, love, obedience, and humility before God, he is at the same time a victim of love for us.  The Heart of Jesus is entirely his Father’s and ours, because by saving us he works for the glory of his Father. 
 
The entire subsequent life of Jesus was no more than the development and the execution of this first act.  Jesus is entirely in this ecce venio with all his Heart, all his merits, all his future mysteries.  “I come,” he cried, “I go to Nazareth, to the crib, to exile, to my hidden life, to my public life, to my apostolate, to persecutions, to my agony, to the cross, and to the tomb.  Behold, I come.”
 
His oblation does not stop there; it is prolonged down through the centuries.  From the first moment of life he comes forth to enter into all the tabernacles of the world, where we silently hear his voice, “Behold, I come.”  His ecce venio will least of all stop on the threshold of eternity.  In heaven, as in the womb of Mary, as on Calvary, as in the Eucharist, it is always the same, “Behold, I come.” 
 
He is no longer the victim of suffering and humiliation; he is always a victim of love and glory.  The Heart of Jesus does not continue to suffer and to die; all the mysteries of his life have only a short duration and a passing existence; the mystery of his oblation alone does not pass.  The Heart of Jesus is, above all, a victim offered to God.  He will be an eternal offering.  He pronounced his ecce venio in the womb of Mary; he will realize it in eternity.
 
Leo John Dehon, SCJ, Crowns of Love for the Sacred Heart I, 1st Mystery, 5th Meditation
 
 
 
  
 
 

Oblation: the daily practice of offering oneself to God's will

As far as we are concerned, our oblation, after the example of our Lord, ought to be generous, entire, and eternal.  It ought to be generous and prompt; our Lord did not hesitate in pronouncing his ecce venio.  Coming into the world, he gave himself entirely to God from the first instant of his conception.  As his followers, we must put aside hesitation and delay.
 
Let there be no holding back.  Let us give ourselves entirely and without reserve.  Shall we dare to give ourselves only half-heartedly when the Holy Trinity gave itself entirely to us in creation and adoption?  After the heavenly Father gave us his Son entirely?  After the Heart of Jesus gave himself entirely to us?  Let us draw generosity from love. 
 
If we feel ourselves failing, let us return to the motive of love, to the ineffable gift that God has made of himself and of his Son, to the gift that the Son has made to us of himself.  Let us read and reread this book of love which is love itself, and when we are on fire with love our oblation will easily be generous, prompt, and unwearied.  Dare we refuse anything to God, when God refuses us nothing?
 
Let us give ourselves to the love of the Sacred Heart by nourishing this love through meditation of his oblation.  Let us give ourselves to the providence of the Sacred Heart, to whom his Father has confided everything.  Let us give ourselves to the guidance of his grace, which speaks ceaselessly to our heart and of his voice, of which our rule and the will of our superiors are the echoes.  Jesus is the oblation of his Father; may we be the oblation of his Heart. 
 
Leo John Dehon, SCJ, Crowns of Love for the Sacred Heart I, 1st Mystery, 5th Meditation

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Reflection Questions: seeds for personal understanding and growth

Behind the sentimentality of the nativity scene is Jesus’ commitment to be faithful to his identity as God’s beloved Son.  Reflecting on this gift of love during the Christmas holiday season, in what one, specific way might you express your commitment to be faithful to your identity as God’s beloved? 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Prayer: hands lifted in prayer; hands prepared to serve

In your kindness throughout the coming week, please remember in your prayer all Christians, that in celebrating the Incarnation, they may recommit themselves to “a generous, entire, and eternal” offering to God after the example of Jesus.  Fr. Dehon made the following resolution on his birthday, March 14, 1886.
 
I renounce my own glory
and from now on
I wish to live only for the glory of God.
Everything that I have I consecrate to God:
my body, soul, and intelligence,
my feelings and will,
all my material possessions and relationships.
 
From now on,
I must use everything solely for God’s glory
and for the joy and the angels and saints.
therefore, I want to live in Jesus:
in his presence and in his love.
I want to live through him:
through his grace and inspiration.
I want to live for him:
for his glory and his reign.
 

 
The backstory
 
Each week reflections and prayers based in the Dehonian charism are published on the Dehonian Spirituality page of the U.S. Province website of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. This is an email version of that update. 

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The Dehonian Spirituality updates are edited by David Schimmel, U.S. Province director of Dehonian Associates. Questions or comments for David? 
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