Novena in honour of the Sacred Heart – Day Six – 24 June

Novena to the Sacred Heart
Day Six – 24 June

Sixth Day – Honesty in prayer

Today’s Scripture
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them about their brother.   When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home.   Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.   But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’   Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’...John 11:17-24

Reflection for the Sixth Day
St Ignatius Loyola said that we should always speak to Jesus in prayer just as one close friend would speak to another. Don’t be afraid to express your real feelings to Jesus – anger, hurt, joy, sorrow, etc. When you’ve made your complaint or expressed your joy, don’t forget one thing Listen for God’s response! It may come in surprising ways.

Today’s Prayer
Jesus, I have to be honest
and tell You that there’ve been times
when I’ve been angry with You
and I feel that You’ve let me down.
Help me to trust that You really do have
a loving plan for me and for everyone,
a plan that most times
I find hard to fathom.
For Your ways are not ours
and that makes it difficult for us.
But total trust, as a child trusts it’s parents,
is what I ask of You.

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.

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN the BAPTIST

Thought for the Day- 24 June – The tongue is loosened because a voice is born. 

Thought for the Day- 24 June – The Solemnity of the Birth of Saint John the Baptist Year C, Gospel: Luke 1:57–66

The Voice of One Crying in the Wilderness

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Bishop and Great Western Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Sermon 293the tongue is loosened because a voice is born 24 june 2019 birth of john the baptist.jpg

The Church observes the birth of John as a hallowed event.   We have no such commemoration for any other fathers but it is significant, that we celebrate the birthdays of John and of Jesus.   This day cannot be passed by.   And even if my explanation does not match the dignity of the feast, you may still meditate on it with great depth and profit.

John is born of a woman too old for childbirth, Christ was born of a youthful virgin.   The news of John’s birth was met with incredulity and his father was struck dumb.   Christ’s birth was believed and He was conceived through faith.

Such is the topic, as I have presented it, for our inquiry and discussion.   But as I said before, if I lack either the time or the ability to study the implications of so profound a mystery, He who speaks within you, even when I am not here, will teach you better, it is He whom you contemplate with devotion, whom you have welcomed into your hearts, whose temples you have become.

John, then, appears as the boundary between the two testaments, the old and the new. That he is a sort of boundary the Lord himself bears witness, when He speaks of the law and the prophets up until John the Baptist.   Thus He represents times past and is the herald of the new era to come.   As a representative of the past, he is born of aged parents, as herald of the new, he is declared to be a prophet while still in his mother’s womb.   For when yet unborn, he leapt in his mother’s womb at the arrival of blessed Mary.   In that womb, he had already been designated a prophet, even before he was born, it was revealed that he was to be Christ’s precursor, before they ever saw one another.   These are divine happenings, going beyond the limits of our human frailty. Eventually he is born, he receives his name, his father’s tongue is loosened.   See how these events reflect reality.

Zechariah is silent and loses his voice until John, the precursor of the Lord, is born and restores his voice.   The silence of Zechariah is nothing but the age of prophecy lying hidden, obscured, as it were and concealed before the preaching of Christ.   At John’s arrival, it becomes clear, when the one who was being prophesied is about to come.   The release of Zechariah’s voice at the birth of John is a parallel to the rending of the veil at Christ’s crucifixion.   If John were announcing his own coming, Zechariah’s lips would not have been opened.   The tongue is loosened because a voice is born.   For when John was preaching the Lord’s coming he was asked – Who are you? And he replied – I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness.   The voice is John but the Lord in the beginning was the Word.   John was a voice that lasted only for a time, Christ, the Word in the beginning, is eternal.i am the voice - the voice is john but - st augustine 24 june 2019 nativity of st john the baptist.jpg

St John the Baptist, Pray for Us!st-john-the-baptist-pray-for-us-2-29 aug 2017.jpg



Quote/s of the Day- 24 June – Love to the point of sacrifice

Quote/s of the Day- 24 June – The Solemnity of the Birth of Saint John the Baptist Year C, Gospel: Luke 1:57–66 and the Memorial of St Maria Guadalupe García Zavala (1878-1963) “Mother Lupuita”

“The true secret of love consists in this:
we must forget self
like St John the Baptist
and exalt and glorify the Lord Jesus.”

St Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868)the-true-secret-of-love-is-this-st-peter-julian-eymard-24-june-2018 and 24 june 2019

“Look today to John the Baptist,
an enduring model of fidelity to God and His Law.
John prepared the way for Christ,
by the testimony of his word and his life.
Imitate him with docile and trusting generosity.”

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)
(24 June 2001)look-today-to-john-st-john-paul-24-june-2018 and 24 june 2019

“With deep faith, unlimited hope
and great love for Christ, Mother “Lupita”
sought her own sanctification,
beginning with love for the Heart of Christ
and fidelity to the Church.
In this way she lived the motto
which she left to her daughters:
“Charity to the point of sacrifice
and perseverance until death”.

St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

On the Beatification of
St Maria Guadalupe García Zavala (1878-1963)
“Mother Lupuita”charity to the point of sacrifice - st maria guadalupe mother lupita - 24 june 2019.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 24 June – “The Benedictus”

One Minute Reflection – 24 June – The Solemnity of the Birth of Saint John the Baptist, Year C, Gospel:  Luke 1:57–66

“And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed and he spoke, blessing God.”…Luke 1:64

REFLECTION – “The Benedictus, is prayed every morning in the Breviary and so, the Church remembers this “forerunner of Jesus” at the beginning of every day.   The opening words of this Canticle are the source of its Latin title, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel”.
What does it mean for Catholics, that we sing this song about John the Baptists at the start of every new day?   After having been “silenced” by sleep throughout the night, God opens our mouths and one of the first things we do, is to sing this blessing of God, whose dawn breaks forth to shine on us and guide our way to peace.
In the Benedictus, we join ourselves to the mission of St John the Baptist, who came to prepare a way for the Lord by being a witness of God’s salvation, living a simple and penitential life and calling others to do the same.   Our work each day, then, is to use our voice – like Zechariah and his son – and the witness of our lives, to make God’s presence known wherever we go and to whom whomever we encounter.”the benedictus - 24 june 2019- the nativity of st john the baptist.jpg

The Benedictus – Canticle of Zechariah
Luke 1:68-79
The Messiah and His forerunner

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
He has visited His people and redeemed them.

He has raised up for us a mighty saviour,
in the house of David, His servant,
as He promised by the lips of holy men,
those who were His prophets of old.

A Saviour who would free us from our foes,
from the hands of all who us.
So His love for our fathers is fulfilled
and His holy covenant remembered.

He swore to Abraham, our father, to grant us,
that free from fear and saved from the hands of our foes.
we might worship Him in justice and holiness
all the days of our lives, in His Presence.

As for you, little child,
you shall be called the prophet of God, the Most High.
You shall go ahead of the Lord
to prepare His ways before Him,

to make known to His people their salvation,
through forgiveness of all their sins,
the loving kindness of the heart of our God,
who visits us like the dawn from on high.

He will give light to those in darkness,
those who dwell in the shadow of death
and to guide us into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever.
Amenthe benedictus 24 june 2019 NEW - 6.jpgthe benedictus 24 june 2019 NEW 2.jpg

St John the Baptist, Pray for Us!



Our Morning Offering – 24 June – Be the Heart of My Heart

Our Morning Offering – 24 June – The Solemnity of the Birth of Saint John the Baptist and the Month of the Sacred Heart

Be the Heart of My Heart
By St John Eudes (1501-1680)

O Heart all lovable
and all loving of my Saviour,
be the Heart of my heart,
the Soul of my soul,
the Spirit of my spirit,
the Life of my life
and the sole principle
of all my thoughts,
words and actions,
of all the faculties of my soul
and of all my senses,
both interior and exterior.
Amenbe-the-heart-of-my-heart-st-john-eudes-16-june-2018 24 june 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – St Maria Guadalupe García Zavala (1878-1963)

Saint of the Day – St Maria Guadalupe García Zavala (1878-1963) – born Anastasia Guadalupe García Zavala on 27 April 1878 in Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico and died on 24 June 1963 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico of natural causes – Virgin and co-foundress of the Handmaids of Santa Margherita and the Poor.   She is also known as “Mother Lupita”.  Patronages – Nurses, Handmaids of Santa Margherita Maria and the Poor.St Maria Guadalupe García Zavala (1878-1963)

María Guadalupe García Zavala was born on 27 April 1878 in Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico, to Fortino García and Refugio Zavala de García.   As a child she was known for her piety and made frequent visits to the Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan, which was located next to the religious goods shop run by her father  . Her love for God was particularly demonstrated in her love for the poor.

“No’ to matrimony, “yes’ to Jesus:st maria guadalupe garcia
With uncommon transparency and simplicity, María treated everyone with equal love and respect.   Although as a young woman she planned to marry Gustavo Arreola, she suddenly broke off her engagement when she was 23 years old.   The reason: María “understood” that Jesus was calling her to love Him with an undivided heart as part of the religious life and she fully believed, that she was called to do this, by giving assistance to the poor and sick.

Foundress of the “Servants’:
When María confided to her spiritual director, Fr Cipriano Iñiguez, her “sudden change of heart”, he told her that for some time he had the inspiration to found a religious congregation that would provide assistance to the hospitalised.   He invited María to join him in this foundation.

The new Congregation, which officially began on 13 October 1901, was known as the “Handmaids of St Margaret Mary (Alacoque) and the Poor”.st maria guadalupe garcia diocesan approval.JPG

“Poor with the poor’:
María worked as a nurse, giving assistance to the first patients that were welcomed into “their hospital”. Regardless of the poverty and lack of material goods of the patients, compassion and care for the physical and spiritual well-being of the sick were the primary concerns and María gave of herself wholeheartedly to carry out this task of love.

Sr María was named Superior General of the quickly-growing Congregation and taught the Sisters entrusted to her, mostly by means of her example, the importance of living a genuine and joyful exterior and interior poverty.   She was convinced that it was only through loving and living poverty that one could be truly “poor with the poor”.

Indeed, Mother María was known for her simplicity, humility and willingness to accept all that came from the hand of maria guadalupe garcia older

In times of “dire straits”, Mother María asked her spiritual director for permission to go begging in order to collect money for the hospital.   Together with other Sisters, she would seek offerings until the needs of the hospital and patients were me, and would ask no more than was necessary.   The Sisters also worked in parishes to assist the priests and to teach catechism.

Risking life to help those hiding:
From 1911 until 1936, the political-religious situation in Mexico became uneasy and the Catholic Church underwent persecution.   Mother María put her own life at risk to help the priests and the Archbishop of Guadalajara to “go into hiding” in the hospital.

She did not limit her charity simply to helping the “righteous” but also gave food and care to the persecutors who lived near the hospital, it was not long before they, too, began defending the sick in the hospital run by the Sisters.

The last two years of Mother María’s life were lived in extreme suffering because of a grave illness and on 24 June 1963, she died at the age of 85.

During the lifetime of the foundress, 11 foundations were established in the Republic of Mexico.
Today, the Congregation has 22 foundations and is present in five different Nations: Mexico, Peru, Iceland, Greece and Italy.

Her Beatification cause began in mid-1984 and her formal Beatification was celebrated on 25 April 2004.   Pope Francis later Canonised her as a saint on 12 May 2013 in Saint Peter’s Square.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist and Memorials of the Saints – 24 June

The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist (Solemnity) 

St Aglibert of Créteil
St Agoard of Créteil
St Alena of Brussels
St Amphibalus of Verulam
St Bartholomew of Farne
Bl Christopher de Albarran
St Erembert I of Kremsmünster
St Faustus of Rome and Companions
St Festus of Rome
St Germoc
St Gohardus of Nantes
Bl Henry of Auxerre/the Hagiographer
St Ivan of Bohemia
St John of Rome
St John of Tuy
St Joseph Yuan Zaide
Bl Maksymilian Binkiewicz
St Maria Guadalupe García Zavala (1878-1963)
St Rumold
St Simplicio of Autun
Bl Theodgar of Vestervig
St Theodulphus of Lobbes

Martyrs of Satala:  Seven Christian brothers who were soldiers in the imperial Roman army.   They were kicked out of the military, exiled and eventually martyred in the persecutions of Maximian.   We know little more about them than their names – Cyriacus, Firminus, Firmus, Longinus, Pharnacius, Heros and Orentius.   The martyrdoms occurred in c 311 at assorted locations around the Black Sea.