2 Samuel, Chapter 12, Verse 26-28
26 Absalom then said, “If not you, then please let my brother Amnon come with us.” The king asked him, “Why should he go with you?” 27 But at Absalom’s urging, the king sent Amnon and with him all his other sons. Absalom prepared a banquet fit for a king. 28 But Absalom had instructed his attendants: “Now watch! When Amnon is merry with wine and I say to you, ‘Kill Amnon,’ put him to death. Do not be afraid, for it is I who order you to do it. Be strong and act like warriors.”
David’s family life after the murder of Uriah reads like a mafia tale with David being the Don and all his son’s vying for power.
Amnon was the heir-apparent to David's throne; Amnon though is best remembered for the rape of his half-sister Tamar, daughter of David with Maachah. Despite the biblical prohibition on sexual relations between half-brothers and sisters, Amnon had an overwhelming desire for her. He acted on advice from his cousin, Jonadab the son of Shimeah, David's brother, to lure Tamar into his quarters by pretending to be sick and desiring her to cook a special meal for him. While in his quarters, and ignoring her protests, he raped her, and then expelled her from his house. King David was angry about the incident, but could not bring himself to punish his eldest son, while Absalom, Amnon's half-brother and Tamar's full brother, nursed a bitter grudge against Amnon for the rape of his sister. Two years later, to avenge Tamar, Absalom invited all of David's sons to a feast, and then had his servants kill Amnon after he had become drunk with wine.
David’s sin had found him out. After he killed Uriah it was like killing his own self and now he was not holding his children accountable. They became monsters. David’s youthful heart of gratitude and love for God was sorely wounded. David never regained the law of the Sacrifice. Yet, from David’s line comes Jesus Christ; His sacrifice saves us all and you can, “Stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” (Lk. 21:28)
Cinco de Mayo
Today is Cinco de Mayo; sometimes referred to as Cinco de Drunko, due to the heavy consumption of alcohol connected with the hedonistic celebration. Cinco de Mayo is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico. However, in America it is up there with some of our most celebrated: like the Fourth of July and St. Patricks day. The holiday has reinvented itself in America, from celebrating Mexico's win at the Battle of Puebla, to celebrating Mexican culture, and beer, and tequila. If we're being completely honest though, the actual meaning of Cinco de Mayo in America is pretty lost on us, but so is the meaning of St. Patrick’s day. Today instead of following this hedonistic celebration try and make it to Mass today.
First Friday-Sacred Heart of Jesus
ALTHOUGH many pious souls had been accustomed, in the silence of their secluded lives, to venerate the sacred Heart of Jesus with great devotion, still our divine Savior desired that the boundless love of His Heart might be known by all men, and that a new fire of love should thereby be kindled in the cold hearts of Christians. For this purpose He made use of a frail and little-known instrument in the person of Margaret Mary Alacoque, a nun of the Order of the Visitation, at Parayle-Monial, France. One day, when, according to her custom during the octave of Corpus Christi, she was deeply engaged in devotions before the Blessed Sacrament, the divine Savior appeared to her, showed her His Heart burning with love, and said: “Behold this Heart, which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself, in order to testify its love. In return I receive from the greater part only ingratitude, by their irreverence and sacrilege, and by the coldness and contempt they have for Me in this sacrament of love. And what is most painful to Me is that they are hearts consecrated to Me. It is for this reason I ask thee that the first Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi be appropriated to a special feast to honor My Heart by communicating on that day and making reparation for the indignity that it has received. And I promise that My Heart shall dilate to pour out abundantly the influences of its love on all that will render it this honor or procure its being rendered. Margaret obeyed, but met everywhere the greatest opposition, until finally, when she became mistress of novices; she succeeded, by the help of her divine Spouse, in animating her young charges to venerate the sacred Heart of Jesus. But this was not sufficient for her zeal. She persevered until she softened the opposition of the nuns, and kindled in all an equal devotion towards the most sacred Heart. Thence the devotion spread to the adjoining dioceses, where confraternities in honor of the most sacred Heart of Jesus soon sprung up. Pope Clement XIII., after having instituted a most rigorous examination of the whole affair, commanded that the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus should be solemnly celebrated throughout the whole Catholic Church every year, on the first Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi.
The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
1. Object of this Devotion.
In the divine Heart of Our Savior we must not imagine an inanimate heart, separated from the person of Christ, but the living heart of the God-Man, the center of all His affections, the fountain of all His virtues, the most touching emblem of His infinite love to man. The Church venerates the cross, the blood, and the wounds of the divine Savior, by feasts which have their proper masses and lessons, in order, by meditation upon these objects, to awaken in us a more fervent devotion to the Redeemer. How much more worthy, then, of our devotion is the sacred Heart of Our Savior, since all its thoughts, movements, and affections aim at our salvation, and it is always ready to receive truly penitent sinners, to pardon them, to restore them again to God s favor, and make them partakers of eternal happiness!
2. Excellence of this Devotion.
It is, writes the venerable P. Simon Gourdan:
a. A holy devotion, for therein men venerate in Christ those affections and motions of His Heart by which He sanctified the Church, glorified His Heavenly Father, and showed Himself to men as a perfect example of the most sublime holiness.
b. An ancient devotion of the Catholic Church, which, instructed by St. Paul, the great apostle, has at all times acknowledged the great beneficence of the divine and sacred Heart of Jesus.
c. An approved devotion, for the Holy Scriptures everywhere admonish us to renew the heart, by changing our lives ; to penetrate it with true sorrow, to inflame it with divine love, and to adorn it by the practice of all virtues. When, therefore, a new heart is promised us, by which to direct our lives, that can be no other than the Heart of Jesus, which is to us the pattern of all excellence, and which we must follow if we would be saved.
d. A perfect devotion, as being the origin of all other devotions. For the Heart of Jesus is the inexhaustible treasury from which the blessed Mother of God, and all other saints have derived their graces, their virtues, their life, their spiritual goods. Filled first with treasures from this source, different servants of God have instituted and established other devotions.
e. A profitable devotion, for thereby we have brought before our eyes the very fountain of life and grace, and can draw directly from it, increasing in ourselves all virtues, by adoring this divine Heart, meditating on its holy affections, and endeavoring to imitate them.
f. A devotion pleasing to God, for thus we adore God, as Christ requires, in spirit and in truth, serving Him inwardly in our hearts, and endeavoring to please Him. Finally it is:
g. A useful devotion, since its whole object is to unite us most intimately with Christ as members of Him, her head, to make us live by and according to His spirit, to have one heart and soul with Him, and through grace finally to become one with Him, which is and must be the object of all devotions.
As this devotion is, then, so excellent, we cannot sufficiently recommend it to all who are anxious for their salvation. While everyone can practice this devotion, and adore the sacred Heart of Jesus, by himself, there is a greater blessing when pious souls unite and form a confraternity for practicing the devotion. Of such confraternities there were in the year 1726 more than three hundred, and they are now established throughout all Catholic countries. Hesitate not, Christian soul, to engage in this devotion, and to join in the adoration of that sacred Heart of Jesus in which all men find propitiation, the pious, confidence; sinners, hope; the afflicted, consolation; the sick, support; the dying, refuge ; the elect, joy and delight.
An Offering to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Whoever says the following prayer before the image of the most sacred Heart of Jesus, with sincere sorrow for his sins, gains each time an indulgence of one hundred days; and by saying it daily for a month, he can on any one day gain a plenary indulgence, if he makes his confession, receives communion, and prays according to the intention of the Church:
“My loving Jesus, I (N.N.) give Thee my heart; and I consecrate myself wholly to Thee, out of the grateful love I bear Thee, and as reparation for all my unfaithfulness; and with Thy aid I purpose never to sin again.”
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
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