Novena in honour of the Sacred Heart Day Three – 21 June

Novena to the Sacred Heart
Day Three – 21 June

Third Day – When I find prayer difficult

Today’s Scripture
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.   And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.   We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose….Romans 8: 26-28

Reflection for the Third Day
St Thérèse of Lisieux (1873-1897) once said, that love was her vocation in life.   Never was this vocation tested more than in the last nine months of her life as she lay dying with tuberculosis.   She wrote a note to her sister Céline:  ‘Here is great love, to love Jesus without feeling the sweetness of His love – that is love pushed to the point of heroism.’

Today’s Prayer
Jesus, I believe.   Help my unbelief!
Jesus, You are the real bedrock of my hope.
Help me always to rely on You,
especially in times of doubt and trouble.

Daily Invocation
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

Novena Prayer
Lord Jesus, the needs of Your people,
open Your Sacred Heart in love for each of us.
You care for us when we are lost,
sympathise with us in loneliness
and comfort us in mourning.
You are closest to us when we are weakest.
You love us most, when we love ourselves least,
You forgive us most, when we forgive ourselves least
and You call us to spread Your love
in whatever way we can.
Lord Jesus, Your Sacred Heart
is moved with compassion
when we are suffering,
when we need Your help
and when we pray for each other.
I ask You to listen to my prayer during this Novena
and grant what I ask.
(Mention your intention silently.)
If what I ask, is not for my own good
and the good of others,
grant me what is best,
that I may build up Your kingdom
of love in our world.
AmenDAY THREE NOVENA SACRED HEART - 21 june 2019.jpg

Posted in JESUIT SJ, SAINT of the DAY, Ven Servant of God John A Hardon

Thought for the Day – 21 June – ‘God comes through.’

Thought for the Day – 21 June – The Memorial of St Aloysius de Gonzaga SJ (1568-1591)

Excerpt from Ven Servant of God John A Hardon’s SJ (1914-2000)

‘Life of St Aloysius’

“To the one virtue which the Church has chosen and on account of which has chosen him ‘the universal patron of youth,’ was his chastity.   All the evidence we have, indicates that he had very strong sexual passions.   We know that from his own writing, we know that from people who knew him and we know that from what is called penance from one view-point, what is really, you might say, ‘preventive austerity’ from another.   He simply believed that unless he mortified his body and I didn’t tell you one tenth of what he did, he just would not get that passion under control.

The lesson for us in a sex-mad world is obvious.   You do not control that passion without mortification, you just don’t.   As a result, the Church has held him up as a model of what even the most passionate personality can achieve, always with God’s grace.   We may not be able to, given our temperament of the circumstances in which we are living, be able to cope with temptation–we need grace.   Very well, how do you get the grace? –through prayer and mortification.   And Christ’s words about a certain demon not being able to be driven out except through penance.   Well, it’s a non-title to give the devil but, he is the demon of lust, though being without a body himself, he knows how, by stirring this passion, he can lead people into any kind of sin.   That’s the first and towering lesson of the life of St Aloysius.

As we look at the short life of Aloysius, depending on the person’s view point, it may seem oppressive.   It shouldn’t be but, in modern jargon, it has so much (pardon the expression) of the negative, you know, penance, mortification, sin–and a world that has gone mad, drunk with sin, doesn’t realise, that already this side of eternity, we are to be what Aloysius was literally, we are to be, if it is God’s will, ecstatically happy of that.  We are not to be sad.   We are not, God forbid, to be unhappy.
The secret and what an open secret it is in the life of Aloysius, is to find the happiness in the right place.   That’s all, yes but that’s everything.
In other words, as a closing observation, Aloysius showed that’s why the Church Canonised him, that when Christ gave us the eight Beatitudes, which are eight promises of happiness, He meant it.
The condition for being happy, well, that’s part of the Covenant, that’s what we do but if we do our part, God comes through.

St Robert Bellarmine who knew him well, observed he was sure that Aloysius had never committed a mortal sin.

Saint Aloysius, pray for us.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”st aloysius gonzaga pray for us 21 june 2019.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 21 June – St Aloysius Gonzaga

Quote/s of the Day – 21 June – The Memorial of St Aloysius de Gonzaga SJ (1568-1591)

“I am a piece of twisted iron,
I entered the religious life
to get twisted straight.”i am a piece of twisted iron - st aloysius gonzaga 21 june 2019.jpg

“He who wishes to love God
does not truly love Him,
if he has not an ardent
and constant desire
to suffer for His sake.”acts-5-41-he-who-wishes-st-aloysius-gonzaga-21-june-2018.jpg

“Take care above all things,
most honoured lady,
not to insult God’s boundless loving kindness,
you would certainly do this,
if you mourned as dead,
one living face-to-face with God,
one whose prayers,
can bring you in your troubles,
more powerful aid,
than they ever could on earth.”take-care-above-all-things-st-aloysius-gonzaga-21-june-2018

“When He takes away
what He once lent us,
His purpose is to
store our treasure elsewhere,
more safely and bestow on us,
those very blessings,
that we ourselves
would most choose to have.”

(From A Letter to His Mother)

More of this letter here:

St Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-1591)when he takes away what he once lent us - st aloysius gonzaga 21 june 2019


One Minute Reflection – 21 June – “…A free heart…”

One Minute Reflection – 21 June – Friday Eleventh week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel:  Matthew 6:19–23 and the Memorial of St Aloysius de Gonzaga SJ (1568-1591)

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”….Matthew 6:19-21matthew-6-19-21-17-june-2017.jpg


REFLECTION – “This is really Jesus’ message – have a free heart.   Otherwise, if your treasure is in wealth, in vanity, in power or in pride, your heart will be chained there, your heart will be a slave to wealth, to vanity, to pride.   On this line of reasoning, have a free heart, precisely because Jesus speaks to us about freedom of the heart.   And one can only have a free heart with the treasures of heaven – love, patience, service to others, worshipping God.   These are the true riches that cannot be stolen.   The other types of treasures — money, vanity, power — weigh down the heart, chain it, don’t allow it freedom.”…Pope Francis (Santa Marta, 20 June 2014)one can only have a free heart- pope francis - 21 june 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Father almighty, as we wait and work and pray and fast in joyful hope of our eternal life with You, grant we pray that we may always remain steadfast in Your love. Let your light so penetrate our minds, that walking by Your commandments, we may always follow You, our leader and our guide.   St Aloysius Gonzaga, pray for us that we will fully utilise the many gifts our Almighty God has bestowed on us as we journey home.   We make our prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord, in union with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever,

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 21 June – Steer the Ship of my Life, Lord

Our Morning Offering – 21 June – Friday Eleventh week in Ordinary Time, Year C

Steer the Ship of my Life, Lord
By St Basil the Great (329-379)

Steer the ship of my life, Lord,
to Your quiet harbour,
where I can be safe from
the storms of sin and conflict.
Show me the course I should take.
Renew in me the gift of discernment,
so that I can see the right direction
in which I should go.
And give me the strength
and the courage to choose the right course,
even when the sea is rough
and the waves are high,
knowing that through enduring
hardship and danger in Your name
we shall find comfort and peace.

Posted in JESUIT SJ, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 21 June – St Aloysius de Gonzaga SJ (1568-1591)

Saint of the Day – 21 June – St Aloysius de Gonzaga SJ (1568-1591) Jesuit Seminarian, Mystic, Marian devotee, Apostle of Charity. Patronages – Catholic youth, Jesuit scholastics, the blind, eye ailments, AIDS patients, care-givers, Jesuit students, for relief from pestilence, young people, Castiglione delle Stiviere, Italy, Valmonte, aloysius blk wht

The Lord can make saints anywhere, even amid the brutality and license of Renaissance life.   Florence was the “mother of piety” for Aloysius Gonzaga despite his exposure to a “society of fraud, dagger, poison and lust.”   As a son of a princely family, he grew up in royal courts and army camps.   His father wanted Aloysius to be a military hero.

At age 7 Aloysius experienced a profound spiritual quickening.   His prayers included the Office of Mary, the psalms and other devotions.   At age 9 he came from his hometown of Castiglione to Florence to be educated, by age 11 he was teaching catechism to poor children, fasting three days a week and practising great austerities.   When he was 13 years old, he travelled with his parents and the Empress of Austria to Spain and acted as a page in the court of Philip II.   The more Aloysius saw of court life, the more disillusioned he became, seeking relief in learning about the lives of saints.

A book about the experience of Jesuit missionaries in India suggested to him the idea of entering the Society of Jesus and in Spain his decision became final.   Now began a four-year contest with his father.   Eminent churchmen and laypeople were pressed into service to persuade Aloysius to remain in his “normal” vocation.   Finally he prevailed, was allowed to renounce his right to succession and was received into the Jesuit novitiate.

st aloysius gonzaba
This is a detail of a painting by Guercino, titled the Vocation of St Aloysius.   St Aloysius is shown renouncing the crown for the Cross.

Like other seminarians, Aloysius was faced with a new kind of penance—that of accepting different ideas about the exact nature of penance.   He was obliged to eat more and to take recreation with the other students.   He was forbidden to pray except at stated times.   He spent four years in the study of philosophy and had Saint Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621), Doctor of the Church, as his spiritual aloysius gonzaga adoration

In 1591, a plague struck Rome.   The Jesuits opened a hospital of their own  . The superior general himself and many other Jesuits rendered personal service.   Because he nursed patients, washing them and making their beds, Aloysius caught the disease.   A fever persisted after his recovery and he was so weak he could scarcely rise from bed.   Yet, he maintained his great discipline of prayer, knowing that he would die within the octave of Corpus Christi, three months later, at the age of aloysius gonzaga unsual

As a saint who fasted, scourged himself, sought solitude and prayer and did not look on the faces of women, Aloysius seems an unlikely patron of youth in a society where asceticism is confined to training camps of football teams and boxers and sexual permissiveness has little left to permit.   Can an overweight and air-conditioned society deprive itself of anything?   It will, when it discovers a reason, as Aloysius did.   The motivation for letting God purify us is the experience of God loving us in prayer.


Feast of Our Lady of Miracles and Memorials of the Saints – 21 June

Feast of Our Lady of Miracles – 21 June – the patron of the town of Alcamo, Sicily.
About this Title of Our Lady:

St Aloysius Gonzaga S.J. (1568-1591) (Memorial)
About St Aloysius:

St Agofredus of La-Croix
St Alban of Mainz
St Apollinaris of Africa
Bl Colagia
St Corbmac
St Cyriacus of Africa
St Demetria of Rome
St Dominic of Comacchio
St Engelmund
Bl Jacques-Morelle Dupas
St John Rigby
St José Isabel Flores Varela
Bl Juan of Jesus
St Lazarus
St Leutfridus
St Martia of Syracuse
St Martin of Tongres
Bl Melchiorre della Pace
St Mewan of Bretagne
Bl Nicholas Plutzer
St Ralph of Bourges
St Raymond of Barbastro
St Rufinus of Syracuse
St Suibhne the Sage
St Terence
St Ursicenus of Pavia

Martyrs of Taw – 3+ saints: Three Christians of different backgrounds who were martyred together – Moses, Paphnutius, Thomas. They were beheaded in Taw, Egypt, date unknown.