June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart
Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of June is set apart for devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. "From among all the proofs of the infinite goodness of our Savior none stands out more prominently than the fact that, as the love of the faithful grew cold, He, Divine Love Itself, gave Himself to us to be honored by a very special devotion and that the rich treasury of the Church was thrown wide open in the interests of that devotion." These words of Pope Pius XI refer to the Sacred Heart Devotion, which in its present form dates from the revelations given to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1673-75.
The devotion consists in the divine worship of the human heart of Christ, which is united to His divinity and which is a symbol of His love for us. The aim of the devotion is to make our Lord king over our hearts by prompting them to return love to Him (especially through an act of consecration by which we offer to the Heart of Jesus both ourselves and all that belongs to us) and to make reparation for our ingratitude to God.
O Heart of love, I put all my trust in Thee; for I fear all things from my own weakness, but I hope for all things from Thy goodness. Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART
Devotion to the Sacred Heart was the characteristic note of the piety of Saint Gertrude the Great (1256-1302), Benedictine nun and renowned mystic. She was, in fact, the first great exponent of devotion to the Sacred Heart. In our efforts to honor the Heart of Jesus we have this prayer as a model for our own: Hail! O Sacred Heart of Jesus, living and quickening source of eternal life, infinite treasure of the Divinity, and burning furnace of divine love. Thou art my refuge and my sanctuary, Oh my amiable Savior. Consume my heart with that burning fire with which Thine is ever inflamed. Pour down on my soul those graces which flow from Thy love, and let my heart be so united with Thine, that our wills may be one, and mine in all things be conformed to Thine. May Thy divine will be equally the standard and rule of all my desires and of all my actions. Amen. Saint Gertrude
FOR THE CHURCH
O most holy Heart of Jesus, shower Thy blessings in abundant measure upon Thy holy Church, upon the Supreme Pontiff and upon all the clergy; to the just grant perseverance; convert sinners; enlighten unbelievers; bless our relations, friends and benefactors; assist the dying; deliver the holy souls in purgatory; and extend over all hearts the sweet empire of Thy love. Amen.
A PRAYER OF TRUST
O God, who didst in wondrous manner reveal to the virgin, Margaret Mary, the unsearchable riches of Thy Heart, grant that loving Thee, after her example, in all things and above all things, we may in Thy Heart find our abiding home.
ACT OF LOVE
Reveal Thy Sacred Heart to me, O Jesus, and show me Its attractions. Unite me to It forever. Grant that all my aspirations and all the beats of my heart, which cease not even while I sleep, may be a testimonial to Thee of my love for Thee and may say to Thee: Yes, Lord, I am all Thine; pledge of my allegiance to Thee rests ever in my heart will never cease to be there. Do Thou accept the slight amount of good that I do and be graciously pleased to repair all m] wrongdoing; so that I may be able to bless Thee in time and in eternity. Amen. Cardinal Merry del Val
MEMORARE TO THE SACRED HEART Remember, O most sweet Jesus, that no one who has had recourse to Thy Sacred Heart, implored its help, or sought it mercy was ever abandoned. Encouraged with confidence, O tenderest of hearts, we present ourselves before Thee, crushes beneath the weight of our sins. In our misery, O Sacred Heart of Jesus, despise not our simple prayers, but mercifully grant our requests.
Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954
Thursday in Octave of Corpus
1 Kings, Chapter 17, Verse 13
Elijah said to her, “Do not be AFRAID. Go and do as you have said. But
first make me a little cake and bring it to me. Afterwards you can prepare
something for yourself and your son.
can be for the Lord during the good times; but can you still have a heart of
faith and love during the worst of times. Here Elijah asked the widow of
Zarephath to not be afraid and make a cake for him from the last of her food
during the worst famine in her lifetime. What she did was just that and by her
faith Elijah was able to multiply the oil and flour and later even raises her
son back to life. The lesson here is sin brings suffering fidelity brings
nourishment. The power of Yahweh to take away life and to restore it is here
demonstrated, as is Elijah’s confidence in the Lord.
The Widow’s Generosity
The widow of Zarephath was challenged by the prophet Elijah
to share what little she had, in spite of her desperate circumstances. Because
of this poor woman’s generosity and goodness, and Elijah’s faithfulness, God
strengthened the prophet’s faith and renewed his capacity for ministry. The
Lord used the prophet to bring consolation and peace of mind and heart to the
widow and her son. Authentic ministry is
always mutual: we set out to help others and we end up being helped and blessed
by the very people we set out to help! The Lord will provide for us, beyond
outward appearances of weakness, failure, fatigue, trepidation and fear. God
always does far more than we can ever ask for or imagine! This striking Old
Testament story forces us to ask some serious questions of our own lives. How have I responded to the needs of those
around us when we've felt that we’ve got little or nothing to give? Do we worry that there will not be enough
for us if we give away our money or our time? Elijah exhorted the widow
with the words, "Do not be afraid." This same admonition is repeated
in the Gospels and was also the refrain of St. John Paul II's long, fruitful,
prophetic Petrine ministry: "Be not afraid!" How does fear affect our lives and keep us from obeying the spirit of
the Lord? Do we cling to those things
that cannot help us, forgetting to trust in the goodness of God? The widow
of Zarephath was generous with Elijah. She gave to the limit of her resources,
and God rewarded both the widow and her son. Do we have that same radical faith and trust? Do we behave as if we are
owners of our talents and resources or simply as if we are God's steward?
This reading causes us to make some firm resolves with our own lives. Let me
suggest a few concrete actions based on this story from the First Book of
Kings. It is important to consider our own willingness to be generous with both
material goods and with our very being. Perhaps this week we can ask God for
the grace to respond charitably to those who ask of us, whether it is a worthwhile
charity or the neighbor, friend or colleague who simply needs to talk and to be
heard. The well-to-do who put money in the treasury were never condemned by
Jesus; he simply pointed out the nature of their contribution. They gave from
their surplus, and thus it did not "cost" them as much to give. Do we have a surplus from which to
contribute? If so, do we use this money in the best way possible? How do we
consider our charitable giving? Are
we concerned with the poor, the sick, the homeless, refugees and those on the
peripheries of society? Do we use our wealth to help create a culture of life?
Or are we more interested in building up our personal security? Perhaps we
can pray this week for wisdom and a spirit of generosity so that we will use
our money to help further the 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,
Loving and Adoring the Eucharistic Lord
II. Go to daily Mass, if possible.
76. The beauty of the Lord’s Day is meant to spill over into the rest of the week. Saint Augustine wrote of his mother, Saint Monica: “She did not let a day pass without being present at the Divine Sacrifice before Your altar, O Lord”. Regarding the harsh deprivations during his nine-month imprisonment, Saint John of the Cross said that the worst suffering was not being able to celebrate Mass nor receive Holy Communion. Of course, daily duties can make daily Mass impossible for some. But for many of us, it is simply a question of appreciating the immeasurable value of the Mass and organizing our time accordingly.
77. In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus taught us to ask Our Father to “give us this day our daily bread.” Like God raining down Manna in the wilderness with the morning dew, Christ nourishes his Church daily in the Mass. When we realize that the Lord desires to renew for us the gift of the Sunday Eucharist every day of the week, how can we not be overwhelmed with gratitude and a deeper spiritual hunger for more of the Bread of Life?
78. In this busy world, is it really possible to go to daily Mass? Or perhaps we are tempted to think that this is a luxury only for clergy or those persons who have extra time on their hands? Not at all. The Eucharist, as we have seen, fuels the mission of the members of Christ’s Body in the world. Christians who are active in the world have a great need for spiritual strength to bring Christ into the arena of their work. Perhaps we could even say that those who have the greatest demand in their secular pursuits are most in need of the great strength which comes from the daily Eucharist. Not long ago, the great Italian Saint Joseph Cottolengo encouraged daily Mass for the busiest of workers: doctors, nurses, manual laborers, teachers, parents, and so on. When they told him they didn’t have the time, he would tell them starkly that they had plenty of time – they just were not managing it properly. With so many distractions and demands competing for our attention, Mass can become a daily source of peace and strength. It turns us from “Marthas” into recollected “Marys”, who learn to choose the “better part” each day (cf. Lk 10:42). I challenge you to commit to at least one weekday Mass. I guarantee that you will notice within the next six months what a significant difference it will make in your life.
To be continued…
The Collegeville Bible Commentary, 1986.