Monday, March 25, 2013

A Review: Consoling The Heart of Jesus


Consoling the Heart of Jesus by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC is an "at home retreat" with the central theme of, as the title says, Consoling the Heart of Jesus. It is a response to Jesus' words that His Sacred Heart that loves souls so much is barely loved in return.
The retreat combines the teachings of Divine Mercy, the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, as well as St. Therese of Liseux's "Little Way".
Fr. Gaitley presents these important spiritual concepts in a way anyone can understand.
The retreat is designed with busy people in mind; Father offers a schedule so that it can be made in a weekend, but the reader can spread it out over a longer period of time. I used it as my spiritual reading for the season of Lent. He also stresses that it is for "little souls" which is why he incorporates St. Therese's Little Way.
Throughout the retreat, Fr. Gaitley presents some beautiful and powerful reflections and meditations that help the retreatant understand and delve more deeply into the Divine Mercy.
There are two appendixes at the end of the retreat. The first is on St. Ignatius' Discernment of Spirits, the good spirit which leads to spiritual joy, and the bad spirit which robs us of that joy. The second appendix is on the Diary of St. Faustina. It includes excerpts that arranged by category. (The Chaplet, Confession, Divine Mercy~For Sinners, etc,)
By the time the retreatant completes the retreat, he or she has the "tools" necessary for returning the love which Our Lord so desperately desires from us, in essence the ways and means for consoling the heart of Jesus.
I highly recommend this book for anyone, no matter where you are on your spiritual journey. Fr. Gaitley makes making the retreat easy and enjoyable. He also adds some humor along the way.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus burns with love for each of us, we owe it to Him to learn how we can return that love in a deeper and richer way. Making this retreat over five weeks of Lent has made my Lenten journey more blessed and I believe more fruitful. I will take what I have learned as we enter into Holy Week.
Thank you to Fr. Michael Gaitley for making Divine Mercy and St. Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises more accessible to all of us.

*This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Consoling the Heart of Jesus. The Catholic Company is the best resource for all your seasonal needs such as First Communion gifts as well as ideas and gifts for the special papal Year of Faith.

Comments welcome at The Front Porch.

Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.