Wildlife fills our life with joy and refreshment. Songbirds and birds of prey, squirrels and rabbits, butterflies and lightning bugs all carry a message worth discovering in early summer. Do we see and hear them, or do we overlook them, even despise them? Are they simply an annoyance, or do we come to know, love, and even serve these fellow creatures by providing protection and habitat?
June: The Sacred Heart of Jesus – The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the revelation of God’s immense love for us. It is often depicted as a fiery furnace, pierced and broken, but beating with love. The Sacred Heart is also a profound reminder of the humanity of our Lord, for his heart is not a mere symbol, but a true physical reality.
Overview of June
The month of June is dedicated to The Sacred Heart of Jesus. This month falls within the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. It is used in the offices and Masses of Ordinary Time.
As we begin to feel the warmth of summer, we can reflect that we celebrate the feasts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (June 11) and the Immaculate Heart of Mary (June 12). God is Love and the Sacred Heart of Jesus — present on earth in the Blessed Sacrament — is the human manifestation of God's Love for men.
Other principle feasts of this month are St. Justin (June 1), Sts. Marcellinus and Peter (June 2), St. Boniface (June 5), St. Ephrem (June 9), St. Romuald (June 19), Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More (June 22), the Birth of St. John the Baptist (June 24), St. Josemaria Escriva (June 26), the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul (June 29) and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome (June 30).
Appropriately June is considered the month for weddings where human hearts join and cooperate with the Creator in bringing forth new life. The family they create is a human reflection of the Blessed Trinity.
Following Pentecost, the Church begins her slow descent from the great peaks of the Easter Season to the verdant pastures of Ordinary Time, the longest of the liturgical seasons. Like the lush June growth all around us, the green of the liturgical season points to the new life won for us by the Redemption of Jesus Christ, the new life of Charity. For Our Lord came to cast the fire of His love on the earth, and to that end, sent His Holy Spirit at Pentecost in the form of tongues of fire. Ordinary Time is the hour to “go out to all the world and tell the good news.” The feasts of June highlight this expansion of the Church. At least ten times, the Church vests in the red of the martyrs whose blood is the very seed of her growth. She also celebrates the feasts of the apostles Peter and Paul, and the birth of St. John the Baptist, proto-disciple and prophet. We too are called to be witnesses like the apostles and martyrs. May the Heart of Jesus inflame our hearts so that we may be worthy of our Baptismal call to holiness. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
JUNE 1 Tuesday
Psalm 112, Verse 7-8
7 He shall not FEAR an ill report; his heart is steadfast, trusting the Lord. 8 His heart is tranquil, without FEAR, till at last he looks down on his foes.
This is the blessed state of the righteous. Yes, we are in a battle and yes in our modern world the news cycles are all in league with the unholy secularized world. Do not fear the ill reporters or the Facebook fanatics. Remember God tests those he loves yet during the trial those that are faithful can still hear the whisper of encouragement.
Leaders are not paralyzed by problems
Joseph was the 11th son of Jacob’s 12 sons, and he was despised by his brothers because of jealousy over Jacob’s favor. Yet, in the face of many troubles he accomplished much because he had:
1. Vision because he knew God had something special in mind for him.
2. Love of God and he walked in the spirit and God was with him.
3. Strong Character with each trial Joseph grew stronger.
4. Practical with his abilities and experience in all his trials.
5. Used his giftedness in interpreting dreams to make a difference in many lives.
6. Faith in the Blessing of God and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.
Friendship: key to sharing your spiritual gifts
Our triune God shares His truth, beauty and wisdom or personhood with each of us. God’s desire for us is that we thrive, and He takes action to ensure that we do. We can tap into God’s grace and power if we do His will for us and listen to Him. Matthew Kelly in his book “Rediscovering Catholicism” recommends that in order to share our spiritual gifts we need to have a real practical plan. Here is his Plan for evangelization via friendship:
1. It first starts with prayer taking time in the “classroom of silence” and ask God to point out two to five people in your life who would most benefit from a greater knowledge and appreciation of Christ and the church. Write down the names of those people. Mentally attach one of their names to a finger of your right hand and think what life would be like without those fingers.
2. Pray for those people every day for the next month, by name, every day. Make yourself available to God for them. Tell God that you would like to help them discover the benefits of living a life of virtue and the adventure of walking with Him.
3. After you have prayed for them for a month, contact each of them and arrange to spend an hour or two with each of them personally. No agenda or preaching; just be present with each other. Take them to lunch, walk, golf, coffee make it fun and enjoy. Talk with them what is going on in their lives-listen.
4. Do this once a month with each person individually for three to six months; don’t talk about God, religion, or the Church, unless they bring it up.
5. After six months invite them to a local homeless shelter, soup kitchen or some other good work the Lord leads you to and after having formed a friendship; now would be a good time to discuss the place of God in our lives.
6. Over time if they seem to have an interest in drawing closer to God; give them a good book on the spiritual life that will challenge them to think, change, grow; become the best version of their self.
7. When you get together each month talk about the book ideas. What did they like about the book? Or didn’t like. What parts is a challenge? What parts is a comfort? How does it make you want to live differently?
8. When they are ready invite them to one of your church programs or outreaches. Afterward, invite them for a meal or coffee and talk.
9. Continue the five friendships and then invite them to do the same with five. Now go back to the Lord and ask for five more. This is how we bring about the new evangelization and build a Kingdom of God.
Veneremur Cernui – Down in Adoration Falling
of The Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of
to Priests, Deacons, Religious and the Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Phoenix
on the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist
My beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I. The Graces of Holy Communion
ii. We become “One Body and One Spirit in Christ”
46. In Holy Communion, Christ is present in us. Holy Communion allows Christ through us to go to every corner and alley of the world so that where there is division and hate, He will bring love; where there is suffering and pain, He will bring comfort and consolation; and where there is discouragement and sin, He will bring healing and forgiveness. Imagine if each of us Christians makes the Eucharist the source and summit of our life? We would set the world on fire with Christ’s love!
II. Faith perceives what our senses fail to grasp
47. What must we do then, to assure that Holy Communion bestows these life-giving and transforming effects in our soul? If we receive Holy Communion out of routine only, without openness to the Lord, then we will not receive all the graces that God wants to give. But if we receive the Lord with the right dispositions, God’s grace will strengthen our resolve to follow, love and imitate Him. Our Lord Jesus deeply desires our union with Him in Holy Communion and through it He wishes to bring about our transformation into Him and the transformation of our society in which we live. But we, on our part, must ardently desire this union with Jesus Christ as well.
48. In today’s superficial and fast paced culture that is driven by instant results and gratification, it is easy for us to lose our sense of wonder when we come face to face with the miracle of the Eucharist. Living in a culture that seeks sensational headlines and attention-catching spectacles, we can easily take for granted the Eucharist and receive Jesus in Holy Communion with little to no expectation. Contrary to what our culture offers and seeks, the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is so quiet, so gentle, and imperceivable.
To be continued…
Four Approved Eucharistic Miracles from the 21st Century
In his writings on the Eucharist, Fr. Spitzer reminds us that a Eucharistic miracle occurs every day, at every holy mass across the world, when the substance of bread and wine is transformed into the substance of Jesus’ body and blood.
However, the term “Eucharistic miracle" can also refer to extraordinary empirical signs of Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist, such as bleeding hosts or the transmutation of a consecrated host into a piece of cardiac muscle tissue.
Some notable Eucharistic miracles happened years and years ago (i.e. the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano, Italy in the 8th century and the Eucharistic Miracle of Santarem, Portugal in the 13th century). Others have happened in more recent history, such as the scientifically proven Eucharistic miracles of Buenos Aires in 1992-1996. However, there are a handful that have taken place in just the past 20 years. Below are four stories of approved and recent Eucharistic miracles.
1. Legnica: A Bleeding Host in Poland, 2013
On Christmas Day 2013, at the Church of Saint Hyacinth in Legnica, Poland, a consecrated host fell on the floor. The host was put into a container with water so that it would dissolve. Instead, it formed red stains. In Feb. 2014, the host was examined by various research institutes including the Department of Forensic Medicine in Szczecin who stated:
“In the histopathological image, the fragments were found containing the fragmented parts of the cross-striated muscle. It is most similar to the heart muscle.”
Additionally, and similar to the findings of the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano, Italy, research found that the tissue had alterations that would appear during great distress.
The bleeding Host in Poland was approved for veneration in April 2016, by Bishop Zbigniew Kiernikowski of Legnica who said that it “has the hallmarks of a Eucharistic miracle.” Learn more here
2. Tixtla: Eucharistic Miracle in Mexico, 2006
In Oct. 2006, a parish in the Chilpancingo-Chilapa Diocese of Mexico held a retreat. During mass, two priests and a religious sister were distributing communion when the religious sister looked at the celebrant with tears in her eyes. The Host that she held had begun to effuse a reddish substance.
To determine the validity of the event, Bishop Alejo Zavala Castro asked Dr. Ricardo Castañón Gómez (who researched the Eucharistic miracle in Buenos Aires) and his team to conduct scientific research.
In 2013, the research concluded that:
“The reddish substance analyzed corresponds to blood in which there are hemoglobin and DNA of human origin… The blood type is AB, similar to the one found in the Host of Lanciano and in the Holy Shroud of Turin.”
Learn more about the Tixtla eucharistic miracle here.
3. A Eucharistic Miracle at Chirattakonam, India, 2001
Though most Eucharistic miracles have to do with a bleeding host, the one at at Chirattakonam, India was a bit different. On an April morning in 2001, Fr. Johnson Karoor, pastor at St. Mary’s parish in Chirattakonam, India, exposed the Blessed Sacrament for adoration. Soon Fr. Karoor noticed three dots on the host and shared what he saw with the people, who also saw the dots.
The priest then left for a week and came back to find that the host had developed an image of a human face. To ensure it wasn’t his imagination, he asked an alter server if he saw anything in the host.
“I see the figure of a man,” the alter server replied. After mass, Fr. Karoor had a local photographer capture the image of the host:
Read more about the Miracle at Chirattakonam here.
4. The Eucharistic Miracle in Sokolka, Poland, 2008
Before the bleeding host in Legnica, there was another Eucharistic miracle in Poland that occurred in the city of Sokolka.
The miracle took place in 2008 at the church of St. Anthony. That morning during Mass, a priest accidentally dropped a host while distributing Communion. The Host was then put in a small container of water. The pastor, Fr. Stanislaw Gniedziejko, asked the sacristan, Sister Julia Dubowska of the Congregation of the Eucharistic Sisters, to place the container in a safe in the sacristy. After a week, Sister Julia checked on the host. When she opened the safe, she smelled something like unleavened bread and the host had a red blood stain on it.
Immediately, Sister Julia and Fr. Gniedziejko told the archbishop of Bialystok, Bishop Edward Ozorowski, about the host. The Bishop had the stained host taken out of the container and placed on a corporal, where it stayed in the tabernacle for three years. During this time, the stained fragment of the host dried out (appearing more like a blood stain or clot) and several studies were commissioned on the host. The studies found that the altered fragment of the host is identical to the myocardial (heart) tissue of a person who is nearing death. Additionally, the structure of the muscle fibers and that of the bread are interwoven in a way impossible to produce by human means.
Learn more about the bleeding Host in Poland here.
For more on Eucharistic miracles, see “The Eucharistic Miracle Overseen by Archbishop Bergoglio (Now Pope Francis)” and Fr. Spitzer’s article, "Contemporary, Scientifically Validated Miracles Associated with Blessed Mary, Saints and the Holy Eucharist.” See also,
“For us believers what we have seen is something that we have always believed… If our Lord is speaking to us by giving us this sign, it certainly needs a response from us.” –
Bishop Cyril Mar Baselice, Archbishop of the diocese of Trivandrum on the Eucharistic Miracle at Chirattakonam, India
· Make reparations to the Holy Face-Tuesday Devotion
· Pray Day 8 of the Novena for our Pope and Bishops
· Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel
· Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus
· Drops of Christ’s Blood
· Universal Man Plan
· Pray for our nation.
John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible
Matthew Kelly. Rediscover Catholicism. 2010
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