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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Friday, June 23, 2017

FEAST OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS

(The Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi.) A celebration of God's love for all men, made manifest from Advent to Corpus Christi, and a thanksgiving for all the divine favors we have received.[1]

The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.

Judith, Chapter 11, Verse 1
Then Holofernes said to her: “Take courage, woman! Have no fear in your heart! I have never harmed anyone who chose to serve Nebuchadnezzar, king of all the earth.

Beauty meets the beast while he is reclining in bed. He wants her almost as much as Jerusalem.

Two Speeches[2]
Holofernes, servant of the King of Assyria, tells the apple of his eye assuming she serves his king to take courage. He is blinded to the fact that she serves the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords and is a servant of Yahwah. Holofernes promises good treatment for a servant of Nebuchadnezzar. Judith answer is a mixture of cunning and truth. She states, “If you follow the words of your maidservant, God will successfully perform a deed through you, and my lord will not fail to achieve his designs.” She flatters and he loves it. In truth she states:

·         As for Achior’s speech in your council, we have heard it…So then, my lord and master, do not disregard his word, but bear it in mind, for it is true. Indeed our people are not punished, nor does the sword prevail against them, except when they sin against their God.
·         But now their sin* has caught up with them, by which they will bring the wrath of their God upon them when they do wrong; so that my lord will not be repulsed and fail, but death will overtake them. Because their food has given out and all their water is running low, they have decided to kill their animals, and are determined to consume all the things which God in his laws has forbidden them to eat.
·         They have decided that they would use the first fruits of grain and the tithes of wine and oil, which they had consecrated and reserved for the priests who minister in the presence of our God in Jerusalem—things which the people should not so much as touch with their hands.
·         As soon as I, your servant, learned all this, I fled from them. God has sent me to perform with you such deeds as will astonish people throughout the whole earth who hear of them.

As the Israelites did indeed hunger and thirst for food and water; let us hunger and thirst for our Lord in the Eucharist.

Sacred Heart of Jesus[3]

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. 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.”

International Widows’ Day[4]

International Widows' Day serves to recognize widows and their unique situations worldwide. Widows are women whose husbands have died. After their husbands have passed, many widows are forced to fight for their human rights and overcome many obstacles to ensure their social and economic development. It is estimated that there are over 245 million widows worldwide, nearly half of which live in extreme poverty and are subject to cruel violence.

International Widows' Day was declared by the United Nations and first celebrated on June 23, 2011 in an effort empower widows and help them to regain their rights, which have long been ignored and violated.

Today do something to help a widow or single parent. Check out www.flyingscarfs.com

St. John Bonfires[5]

St. John’s bonfire is traditionally lit on the night before the Feast. The mood surrounding this solemn vigil is merry, since the day was regarded as a sort of summer Christmas. The Roman ritual even includes a special benedictio rogi, or blessing of the bonfire, for the birthday of the Baptist:

Lord God, Father almighty, unfailing Light who is the Source of all light: sanctify this new fire, and grant that after the darkness of this life we may be able to come with pure minds to Thee who art Light unfailing. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Domine Deus, Pater omnipotens, lumen indeficiens, qui es conditor omnium luminum: novum hunc ignem sanctifica, et praesta: ut ad te, qui es lumen indeficiens, puris mentibus post hujus saeculi caliginem pervenire valeamus. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

The bonfire, incidentally, is an excellent symbol for John, the untamed prophet who lived outside the city both literally and figuratively. It also makes an interesting contrast with the Paschal candle. On Easter vigil, a similarly "wild" fire representing Christ is made outside and is used to light the Paschal candle, which is then carried into the church. Significantly, in the Exultet the deacon praises this candle as the product of a beehive, symbol of a virtuous and harmonious city. The idea seems to be that Christ is also an outsider, though he succeeds through his death and resurrection in bringing the light of truth into the very citadel of darkness. On the other hand, John, who never lived to see Christ's triumph, can only bear witness to the light from the outside.

Fitness Friday


Recognizing that God the Father created man on Friday the 6th day I propose in this blog to have an entry that shares on how to recreate and renew yourself in strength; mind, soul and heart.


Daily Devotions/Prayers

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Novena to the Sacred Heart

Just in from catholicculture.org

The Global Rosary Relay for Priests begins at the stroke of midnight on June 23, this year, commencing in East Asia as it begins its journey around the world. We thank you for making this worldwide prayer event a success in the past as we now look forward to sharing in a greatly enhanced event for 2017, when over 100 lead shrines in more than 50 countries around the world will pray the rosary in their local language at their allocated time.

Here is a message to all priests for this important day: The Priesthood Is the Love of the Heart of Jesus and the Prayers for Priests, both for priests to say for themselves, and for lay people to say for priests.


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