“I will console them in all their troubles.”

Sometimes we are tempted to believe that Jesus fulfills this third promise of the Sacred Heart by eliminating our troubles. Yet the promise of consolation in all of our troubles is peace in our hearts. As Jesus said at the last supper “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid (John 14: 27). Jesus allows us to have troubles so that we will have a deeper union with Him, and a better understanding of His true peace, and not the peace that the world gives us. There is also a double bonus for rising above our troubles through the peace of Christ – we are also better equipped to console others who are experiencing troubles. St. Paul the Apostle tells us that God can turn our afflictions into encouragement for others, which gets us outside of ourselves and stops us from excessive worry about our own difficulties:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God. For as Christ’s sufferings overflow to us, so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow” (2 Cor. 1: 3-5). Notice that both Christ’s sufferings and encouragement flow to us, and both are a means of purifying our love for God and for others. May the Sacred Heart comfort us in our times of difficulties and may we seek to do the same for others.