Review by Dr Pravin Thevathasan
This is an ideal retreat book, combining as it does the spirituality of St Ignatius with the teachings of Saints Therese, Faustina, Margaret Mary and Louis de Montfort. Although it runs to over four hundred pages, the retreat section is only half of this and so could be easily read over a couple of days or longer if need be.
In the spirit of St Ignatius, the retreat begins with laying down the first principles: man is made to praise, reverence and serve God and by this means to save his soul.
The second part is about overcoming obstacles to living the foundations and these obstacles include our sins and our fears.What the author has done with great success is to order the retreat so that each chapter flows from the previous one. Saints Faustina and Therese wrote autobiographies and their spiritual gems needed to be collected and ordered in accordance with Ignatian spirituality.
The author asks the question that so many of us ask: why does the Heart of Jesus need consolation if He is happy in Heaven? In part, following the teachings of the Gospels and St Paul, we wound Jesus when we wound our neighbour. Above all, we are reminded that Jesus is God and not limited by time. In His Sacred Passion, He suffered for all the sins we commit for all time. So He is affected by the sins and indifferences we commit today.
Our Lord revealed His Sacred Heart to St Margaret Mary at a time when the heresy of Jansenism had led to religious indifference. Jansenism may not be a current problem but religious indifference most certainly is. The Heart of Jesus is wounded by this indifference.
Jesus is also wounded by our lack of trust. This theme runs constantly throughout the retreat.
We are called to praise and thank God in all things.