“My Divine Heart so ardently loves men that, unable to contain within itself any longer the flames of its burning love, it must spread them with your assistance, and thus it will show itself that all men may be enriched with its most precious treasures.” – Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
For our monthly novena, join us in praying to the Sacred Heart of Jesus from June 7–15th, in preparation for the Sacred Heart feast day on June 16th.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus started in 1673 when Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French Visitation nun. During these apparitions, He explained to her the devotion to His Sacred Heart as He wanted people to practice it. He asked that Catholics receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays of the month and adore Him in the Holy Eucharist. As Jesus explained this desire along with His love for all people, St. Margaret was allowed to lay her head on His heart – an experience that we can only imagine would transform our lives.
In 1675, Jesus told St. Margaret that He wanted an annual feast in honor of His Sacred Heart. Finally, in 1856, Blessed Pope Pius IV designated the Feast of the Sacred Heart to be celebrated universally on the Friday after the Corpus Christi octave each year.
There are two things that are always found together in the devotion to the Sacred Heart: Christ’s Heart of flesh and Christ’s love for us. We see Jesus’ heart on fire because the flames of love for us cannot be contained. His heart indicates God’s relentless and unending love for humanity. We know this by the ultimate sacrifice. “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13
St. John Paul II, another great devotee of the Sacred Heart, said, “In the Sacred Heart, every reassure of wisdom and knowledge is hidden. In that Divine Heart beats God’s infinite love for everyone, for each one of us individually.”
We are closer to Jesus’ heart than we know.
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Deuteronomy, Chapter 32, Verse 26-27
26 I said: I will make an end of them and blot out their name from human memory, 27 had I not FEARED the provocation by the enemy, that their foes might misunderstand, and say, “Our own hand won the victory; the LORD had nothing to do with any of it.”
Meditate on the humility of Saint Joseph this day; ask for his assistance and special protection.
ST. JOSEPH was descended from the kingly line of David and was a kinsman of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Matt. i. 1-16). The Gospel gives him the praise of being just (Matt. i. 19), that is, a man distinguished for all virtues. And surely, as he was chosen from all other men by God to be the foster-father of His Son, he undoubtedly excelled, in virtues and sanctity, all saints then living. Of his youth nothing certain is known to us, and of his later life we know only what the Gospel relates. He was a carpenter (Matt. xiii. 55), and lived at Nazareth, in Galilee (Luke ii. 4). Being espoused to Mary, he was inclined, upon learning that she was with child, to put her away privately, not wishing to expose her to public reproach but being instructed by an angel, he took her to himself, in obedience to the command of God, went with her to Bethlehem, and afterwards, with Mary and the new-born child, fled, without timidity, to Egypt (Matt. ii. 13). At the command of the angel, he returned thence, and again dwelt in Nazareth (Matt. ii. 23). From this place they went every year to the feast at Jerusalem, where it happened that Jesus, then twelve years old, remained behind them in the temple, and was anxiously sought for by them. More than this is not told us. At the time of the marriage at Cana it would seem that he was no longer living, since there is no mention made of him. Though little is said of him, that little is rich in profitable instruction. How worthy to be admired and imitated is his example his chastity, his tenderness towards Mary, his forbearing to pronounce a judgment in regard to her condition when he could not explain it, his quick and unreserved obedience towards God and the commands of authority, his love for Jesus, and his care for both the mother and the child. On account of his sanctity God has specially distinguished him by miracles, and the Church honors him in a particular manner. In the Litany of the Saints he is named among the patriarchs, and the feast of his patronage is celebrated on the third Sunday after Easter. Venerate, therefore, St. Joseph choose him for your protector in life and in death, and make yourself worthy of his protection by following his example.
To encourage us to veneration for St. Joseph St. Teresa wrote “I do not remember to have asked St. Joseph for anything which he did not grant me. The great favors which God has granted me through him, and the many dangers of soul and body from which he has freed me, truly deserve admiration. It seems that God has granted to other saints the grace of assisting, in particular needs, those who invoke their intercession; but this glorious saint assists in all needs. The Lord seems thereby to indicate that, as He was subject to Joseph on earth, so now He grants him whatever he asks for. The same thing has been experienced by persons whom I have advised to recommend themselves to him.” “I would gladly advise everyone,” says St. Alphonsus, to have a great devotion towards this saint, since I have experienced what graces he can obtain from God. For several years I have asked him, on his feast, for some particular grace, and every time my petition has been granted. As we all have to die, we should have a particular devotion towards St. Joseph, that he may obtain for us a happy death for all Catholic Christians consider him to be an intercessor for the dying, and that he assists, at the hour of death, those who venerate him; and this for three reasons
1. Because Jesus loves him, not only as a friend, but as a father, on which account his intercession is more powerful than that of any other saint.
2. Because St. Joseph obtained special power against the evil spirits who tempt us at the hour of death.
3. The assistance which Jesus and Mary gave to Joseph at the hour of his own death procured for him the right to obtain a holy and easy death for his dependents. If in their dying hour they invoke his aid, not only will he assist them, but he will obtain for them the assistance of Jesus and Mary. “Ought not these words of a great saint encourage you to venerate St. Joseph every day? Should not the hope of dying one day under the protection of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, move you to devotion to the foster-father of Jesus?”
Prayer to St. Joseph.
O most chaste Joseph, who, by thy purity and other exalted virtues, wast worthy to be chosen for the spouse of Mary and the foster-father of Jesus, I beseech thee, by the great graces of which thou wast made partaker, that thou wouldst, by thy intercession, obtain for all parents grace to rear their children piously; for all married persons who are distressed and afflicted through poverty and tribulations consolation and encouragement; for all unmarried persons who have devoted their chastity to God the grace of perseverance; and, finally, for all the dying the grace to come, after a happy death, to thy fosterchild, Jesus Christ, Who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth one God, world without end. Amen.
First Wednesday-St. Joseph Devotion
In 1994, while a student in Manaus, Brazil, 22-year-old Edson Glauber received an apparition of the Blessed Mother with Jesus and St. Joseph. The apparitions continued when he returned to his hometown of Itapiranga which is about 650 miles southwest of Sao Paulo and about 880 miles from Rio de Janeiro. Another 770-plus miles southwest happens to be the site of other approved apparitions in San Nicolas, Argentina. Edson’s mother Maria do Carmo would also receive some apparitions. Bishop Gritti, who died this past June, met with them several times. He celebrated Mass publicly at the site of the apparitions and helped to build the sanctuary there. Mary appeared under the title of “Queen of the Rosary and of Peace.” Much like Fatima, her messages stressed the need for conversion, praying the Rosary, Mass, Confession and Holy Communion and penance to save the world mired in unbelief and sin. She and Jesus urged devotion to St. Joseph’s Most Chaste Heart.
Revelations and Promises
St. Joseph’s major revelations began Mar. 1, 1998. He spoke about devotion to his chaste heart and made the first of several promises. He began, “My dear son, Our Lord God has sent me to tell you about all the graces the faithful will receive from my Most Chaste Heart which Jesus and my blessed spouse wish to be honored…Through devotion to my Chaste Heart many souls will be saved from the hands of the Devil. God our Lord has allowed for me to reveal to you the promises of my Heart.
“Just as I am fair and righteous in the sight of God, all who have devotion to my Heart will also be chaste, righteous and holy in His sight. I will fill you with these graces and virtues, making you grow every day on the road of holiness.”
Next day, St. Joseph came with the Child Jesus who reclined on his heart. Joseph revealed that God wanted to give countless graces through devotion to his heart. “My son and Lord Jesus, that I brought up here on earth, with a father's love, desires that all men practice devotion to my Heart, for all those in need of graces from heaven.”
In prior apparitions, the Virgin Mary and Jesus affirmed to Edson that Joseph has been given great power and glory and, in these times, God wants people and the world consecrated to the Heart of St. Joseph.
Then came a second promise.
“I promise to all that honor this Most Chaste Heart of mine and who do here on earth good deeds in favor of the most needy, especially of the sick and dying for whom I am a consoler and protector, to receive in their last moment of their lives the grace of a good death. I myself will be to these souls their petitioner to my Son Jesus and, together with my spouse, Most Holy Mary, we will console them in their last hours here on earth, with our holy presence and they will rest in the peace of our hearts.
“Just as you saw my Son Jesus repose His head on my heart, this way myself and my spouse Holy Mary will take these souls to the glory of paradise, in the presence of their Savior, my Son Jesus Christ, so that they may repose, and incline themselves to His Sacred Heart…”
St. Joseph did not shy away from the state of humanity’s hearts. He explained “how sin spreads in a such a strong way! Men let themselves be led by the most insidious wiles of the Devil. The enemy of salvation wants to destroy all men so that, this way, all will be lost. He is envious and hates the entire human race. So many go through trials and temptations that the enemy of God throws at every moment, this way trying to destroy men’s mortal souls that were created by God.”
St. Joseph revealed a prime attack against us, something which has increased since 1998.
“The means that he most utilizes are the sins against holy purity, because purity is one of the virtues most beloved by God, and in this way, Satan desires to destroy the image of God present in each creature through this virtue. And it is because of this, that God asks all humanity to have devotion to my Chaste Heart. He wants to give men the grace to overcome the temptations and attacks of the Devil in their day-to-day lives.”
St. Joseph can protect us in these attacks. His litany calls him ‘most chaste” and “terror of demons.” St. Joseph made this promise. “The invocation of my name is enough to make demons flee! I promise to all the faithful that honor my most Chaste Heart with faith and love, the grace to live with holy purity of soul and body and the strength to resist all attacks and temptations by the Devil. I myself will preciously protect you.”
He said the grace would also be for their family members in need of divine help.
Hope for Sinners
St. Joseph desires all sinners to be converted and saved. “Many are those who are distant from God because of their grave sins. Many of those, my children, are in that state because they let themselves fall to the wiles of the Devil. The enemy of salvation makes them think there is no solution, nor return, because they have despaired and have not trusted in divine mercy. These will be easy targets for the Devil.”
But he says to “all sinners, even those who have committed the most terrible sins, to trust in the love and in the forgiveness of God and to trust in me also, in my intercession. All those who trustingly have recourse to me will have the certainty of my help to recover the divine grace and mercy of God.”
Not wanting sinners to despair, he promised those who trust in his most pure Heart and devotedly honor it, “the grace to be consoled by me in their greatest afflictions of the soul and in the danger of judgment, when by misfortune lose divine grace because of their grave sins. To these sinners, who have recourse to me, I promise the graces of my Heart for the purpose of amendment, of repentance and of sincere contrition of their sins. Now, I say to all sinners: Do not be afraid of the Devil and do not despair because of your crimes, but come throw yourselves in my arms and take refuge in my Heart so that you may receive all the graces for your eternal salvation.”
Help with Today’s Problems
St. Joseph focused on life’s difficulties and offered consolation. “My Son Jesus, through my Heart, wishes to impart to all men his divine blessings. I know many of you suffer many great difficulties because, in these last times, men no longer love or help one another but live with their hearts full of pride, falsehood, lies, intrigue, ambition, backbiting, pettiness, and many wrong things that are the consequences of living far from God.”
St. Joseph said to all who honor his Heart and trust in him and his intercession, “I promise they will not be abandoned in their difficulties and in the trials of life. I will ask Our Lord to help them with his Divine Providence in their material and spiritual problems.”
To mothers and fathers consecrating themselves and their families to his Heart, St. Joseph assured help in afflictions and problems, and assistance with raising up their children.
Sin: Consequences & His Protection
The spouse of Mary did not ignore the current world situation which in 1998 was still 18 years from the multitude of today’s multiplying spiritual chaos.
He emphasized, “[M]y Son Jesus is very indignant with the sins of humanity.
“He desires to pour his divine justice upon all men that do not want to repent and continue obstinately in their sins. Look, my son, I hold his right hand, preventing Him from pouring out his justice upon all humanity. I ask Him, through the graces of my Heart and for being worthy to live by his side, taking care of him with the love of a father in this world, and for Him having loved me with the love of a son, to not chastise the world for its crimes, but for all my little ones who honor and will honor this Chaste Heart of mine, should pour out his mercy upon the world.”
The world’s many sins call humanity to repent and do penance, he said, “because God receives continued offenses from ungrateful men. Today there are so many outrages, the sacrilege and indifference by all men. It is because of this that so many calamities like war, hunger and disease occur and so many other sad things man has suffered because of man’s rebellion against God.”
St. Joseph made clear rebellion’s consequences. “God lets men follow their own paths to show them all, without him, they will never be happy. He lets men go through so much suffering, to also show them the consequences sin brings to their lives and so then the divine justice punishes humanity because of their obstinance in not being obedient to God's Will.
He pointed out humanity is “increasingly obstinate in their crimes” because of concern for worldly pleasures “rather than the love of God and his Commandments. But God's justice is close at hand in a way never seen before and will come about suddenly upon the whole world.”
That should shake us, yet this most powerful saint extends a hope-filled solution. All those who honor his Chaste Heart “will receive the grace of my protection from all evils and dangers. For those who surrender to me will not be slaughtered by misfortunes, by wars, hunger, by diseases and other calamities, they will have my Heart as a refuge for their protection. Here, in my Heart, all will be protected against the divine justice in the days that will come. All who consecrate themselves to my Heart, honoring it, they will be looked upon by my Son Jesus with eyes of mercy, Jesus will pour out his love and will take to the glory of his Kingdom all those I put in my Heart.”
First Wednesdays — Request & Promise
When St. Joseph appeared on the first Wednesday of March 1998, he had a special request. With the First Friday and First Saturday devotions, he was giving us a companion devotion. He said,
“On every first Wednesday of the month, my Chaste Heart pours numerous graces on all who rely on my intercession. On these Wednesdays, men will not receive a shower of simple graces, but very strong torrents of extraordinary graces! I will share them with those who honor me and rely on me, all the blessings, all the virtues, and all the love I received from my Divine Son Jesus and my spouse the Blessed Virgin Mary while still living in this world and all the graces that I continue to receive in the glory of paradise.”
The request came with his great “promise to intercede before him for those who come to me, honoring this Heart of mine. I will give them the graces to be able to resolve the most difficult problems and urgent necessities, that to the eyes of man seem impossible, but that, through my intercession to God, will be possible. I grant the graces of my Heart to all sinners so they may convert.”
(St. Joseph had made this same request during Our Lady of America’s apparitions in March 1958, asking us to recite the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary in memory of his life with Jesus and Mary and the love he bore them and sorrow he suffered with them, plus receive Holy Communion with the love which he received the Savior and each time he held Jesus in his arms.)
Confirmed by Wife Mary
At the end of her husband’s appearances, the Blessed Virgin Mary made a promise herself. “All who honor the Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph will benefit with my maternal presence in their lives in a special way.”
“To those who ask of his Heart with trust, I promise to intercede before the Eternal Father, my Divine Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I will obtain for them, from God, the grace to reach perfect sanctity in the virtues of St. Joseph, this way reaching the perfect love in which he lived. Men will learn to love my Son Jesus and myself with the same love as my Most Chaste Spouse Joseph, receiving the most pure love from our Hearts.
“My Son Jesus, my Chaste Spouse Joseph and I are at your side. Fear nothing, because our hearts will protect you always.”
Reward for Spreading Devotion to St. Joseph
There is yet something else St. Joseph said that’s we shouldn’t disregard.
“[A]ll those who propagate the devotion to my Heart, and practice it with love, have the certainty of having their names engraved on it just as my Son Jesus' cross and the "M" of Mary are engraved on it…”
After all, “That all may spread devotion to my Heart, it is God Himself who asks it.”
Veneremur Cernui – Down in Adoration Falling
of The Most
Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix,
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
82. The expression “waste time in front of the Lord” should be understood only through the lens of love, of which the saints are constant reminders. Blessed Charles de Foucauld wrote in the presence of the Eucharist: “What a tremendous delight, my God! To spend over fifteen hours without having anything else to do but look at you and tell you, ‘Lord, I love you.’ Oh, what sweet delight.” True, this impressive duration of time may have been an extraordinary gift to this holy man and hermit. But the faith and love he bore in his heart for the Eucharist is a supernatural gift available to every one of us, poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit to those who ask.
83. To all fathers and mothers, let your children see that devotion to the Eucharist in adoration is an essential, life-giving part of your schedule! As every parent knows, children learn from consistent actions more than words. When I was a boy, I was deeply impressed by the sight of my father genuflecting before the tabernacle. His humble and straight-forward witness communicated more to me about the truth of the Eucharist than even the best of catechists. When it comes to the Eucharist, every child’s heart secretly asks: does Dad believe it? Does Mom believe it? Tell them you do! But above all, show them you do. Eucharistic adoration does this in a powerful way. It is never too late to start this practice, no matter the age of your children.
84. There are a host of ways to increase the time we spend in Eucharistic adoration. I’ll suggest just a few for your consideration.
· Make a ten-minute visit to the tabernacle in a church or chapel on the way back from work, on the way to a family gathering, or even on the way to a simple daily errand. It’s not about the length of time spent; it is about the faith, hope, and love with which you spend those moments in the Lord’s presence.
· Find out when your parish has Eucharistic adoration and schedule a weekly or monthly time (perhaps 30 to 60 minutes) and stick to it. Consider inviting your spouse, family, or a friend to accompany you.
· During your time of adoration, consider praying the liturgy of the hours, the rosary, prayerfully reading the Scriptures, reading a good spiritual book, or using a collection of prayers for use in the adoration, or gazing on the Sacred Host in silence.
To be continued…
Which are the fruits of the Holy Ghost? They are the twelve following:
These fruits should be visible in the Christian, for thereby men shall know that the Holy Ghost dwells in him, as the tree is known by its fruit.
Notice I have placed the Fruits of the Holy Spirit in stairstep fashion so we may reflect on them seeing that by concentrating on each step of our growth in the spirit we may progress closer and closer to our heavenly Father. Today we will be focusing on the sixth step which is goodness.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
SECTION ONE-"I BELIEVE" - "WE BELIEVE"
CHAPTER TWO GOD COMES TO MEET MAN
Article 3 SACRED SCRIPTURE
IV. The Canon of Scripture
120 It was by the apostolic Tradition that the Church discerned which writings are to be included in the list of the sacred books.
This complete list is called the canon of Scripture. It includes 46 books for the Old Testament (45 if we count Jeremiah and Lamentations as one) and 27 for the New.
The Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, the Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zachariah and Malachi.
The New Testament: the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the Acts of the Apostles, the Letters of St. Paul to the Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, the Letter to the Hebrews, the Letters of James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2 and 3 John, and Jude, and Revelation (the Apocalypse).
The Old Testament
121 The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred Scripture. Its books are divinely inspired and retain a permanent value, for the Old Covenant has never been revoked.
122 Indeed, "the economy of the Old Testament was deliberately SO oriented that it should prepare for and declare in prophecy the coming of Christ, redeemer of all men." "Even though they contain matters imperfect and provisional, The books of the Old Testament bear witness to the whole divine pedagogy of God's saving love: these writings "are a storehouse of sublime teaching on God and of sound wisdom on human life, as well as a wonderful treasury of prayers; in them, too, the mystery of our salvation is present in a hidden way."
123 Christians venerate the Old Testament as true Word of God. the Church has always vigorously opposed the idea of rejecting the Old Testament under the pretext that the New has rendered it void (Marcionism).
The New Testament
124 "The Word of God, which is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, is set forth and displays its power in a most wonderful way in the writings of the New Testament" which hand on the ultimate truth of God's Revelation. Their central object is Jesus Christ, God's incarnate Son: his acts, teachings, Passion and glorification, and his Church's beginnings under the Spirit's guidance.
125 The Gospels are the heart of all the Scriptures "because they are our principal source for the life and teaching of the Incarnate Word, our Savior".
126 We can distinguish three stages
in the formation of the Gospels:
1. the life and teaching of Jesus. the Church holds firmly that the four Gospels, "whose historicity she unhesitatingly affirms, faithfully hand on what Jesus, the Son of God, while he lived among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation, until the day when he was taken up."
2. the oral tradition. "For, after the ascension of the Lord, the apostles handed on to their hearers what he had said and done, but with that fuller understanding which they, instructed by the glorious events of Christ and enlightened by the Spirit of truth, now enjoyed."
3. the written Gospels. "The sacred authors, in writing the four Gospels, selected certain of the many elements which had been handed on, either orally or already in written form; others they synthesized or explained with an eye to the situation of the churches, the while sustaining the form of preaching, but always in such a fashion that they have told us the honest truth about Jesus."
127 The fourfold Gospel holds a unique place in the Church, as is evident both in the veneration which the liturgy accords it and in the surpassing attraction it has exercised on the saints at all times:
There is no doctrine which could be better, more precious and more splendid than the text of the Gospel. Behold and retain what our Lord and Master, Christ, has taught by his words and accomplished by his deeds.
But above all it's the gospels that occupy my mind when I'm at prayer; my poor soul has so many needs, and yet this is the one thing needful. I'm always finding fresh lights there; hidden meanings which had meant nothing to me hitherto.
The unity of the Old and New Testaments
128 The Church, as early as apostolic times, and then constantly in her Tradition, has illuminated the unity of the divine plan in the two Testaments through typology, which discerns in God's works of the Old Covenant prefigurations of what he accomplished in the fullness of time in the person of his incarnate Son.
129 Christians therefore read the Old Testament in the light of Christ crucified and risen. Such typological reading discloses the inexhaustible content of the Old Testament; but it must not make us forget that the Old Testament retains its own intrinsic value as Revelation reaffirmed by our Lord himself. Besides, the New Testament has to be read in the light of the Old. Early Christian catechesis made constant use of the Old Testament. As an old saying put it, the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New.
130 Typology indicates the dynamic movement toward the fulfilment of the divine plan when "God [will] be everything to everyone." Nor do the calling of the patriarchs and the exodus from Egypt, for example, lose their own value in God's plan, from the mere fact that they were intermediate stages.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus