Novena in Honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Day Nine – 18 June

Novena in Honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Day Nine – 18 June

day nine sacred heart novena 18 june 2020

Thank You, Jesus!

Today’s Scripture
Then Jesus asked, ‘Were not ten made clean?   But the other nine, where are they?   Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’ … Luke 17: 17-18

Reflection for the Ninth Day
Did you know that in the Old Testament the word ‘praise’ has only one object – God!
In the psalms, to praise is to live, not praising is the same as not living, not living the life which is God’s gift, to be returned in praise.
A Jewish rabbi has written, ‘It is difficult to feel depressed when you remember fairly constantly, that life is a gift.  Faith teaches us to make a blessing over life.   Making a blessing over life, is the best way of turning life into a blessing.’

Today’s Prayer
I want to say ‘thank You, Jesus’
for these nine days of prayer,
of talking and listening to You, more closely than usual.
Thank You, especially for all the things in my life
that I take for granted everyday,
forgetting, that they are pure gifts.
Most of all, I thank You for the gift of faith
and for making me one of Your own sheep,
within the folds of Your Church,
our Holy Mother, the Catholic Church.

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

Novena Prayer
Lord Jesus,
the needs of Your people open Your 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 where 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 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.

If you would prefer the Novena by St Alphonsus, go here:


Thought for the Day – 18 June – Belonging Entirely to God

Thought for the Day – 18 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Belonging Entirely to God

belonging entirely to god - bacci 18 june 2020

“Willing or unwilling, we belong entirely to God.
God created us from nothing and all that we have is His – soul and body, material and spiritual gifts and the world in which we live.

God has given us everything and, at any moment, He can take away the life which He gave us.
It is useless, indeed senseless, to rebel against Him, or to try and release ourselves from His absolute dominion.
Admittedly, He has given us free will and we can disobey and offend him but, even if we do so, we still belong completely to God and He has absolute power over us.

He has created us for Himself alone, for He is the final goal of all things.
We can never escape from His authority.

Do we rebel and hurl towards God, the cry of Satan: “I will not serve?”
Even if we do, whether we are in sin, or in the depths of hell, we still belong to Him.
We shall have to bear eternal witness to His infinite love and mercy, as well as, to His infinite justice.

We have been created for God’s glory and God is glorified, both in His goodness and in His justice.
We should meditate deeply, on this tremendous concept.
How much better it is for us to belong wholly to God in love and in obedience, than in the chastisement of His justice.
How much better it is, to obey and serve Him as our Sovereign Lord, to honour Him, as our Father and to love Him, as the Spouse of our souls.

All our thoughts and desires should, therefore, be directed to Him and all our plans and actions, should be offered to Him.
If we are attached to worldly possessions and persons, if we are vain and ambitious and, if we yield to our passionate inclinations, our hearts do not belong completely to God.
We are guilty of theft, if we do not offer our hearts entirely to God because, they are entirely His!
Moreover, we do ourselves a grave injury because, we can find nothing but disillusionment in the love of creatures and in the satisfaction of our senses.
God alone, can fully satisfy our hearts, which were made for Him alone.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci


Quote/s of the Day – 18 June – ‘Our Father who art in heaven …’

Quote/s of the Day – 18 June – Thursday of the Eleventh week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Sirach 48:1-14 (1-15), Psalm 97:1-7, Matthew 6:7-15

“Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.

Matthew 6:9-13

the-lords-prayer-matthew-6-9-13-20-june-2019 and 18 june 2020

“So, my brothers, let us pray as God our master has taught us.
To ask the Father in words His Son has given us,
to let Him hear the prayer of Christ ringing in His ears,
is to make our prayer one of friendship, a family prayer.
Let the Father recognise the words of His Son.
Let the Son who lives in our hearts, be also on our lips.
We have Him as an Advocate for sinners, before the Father,
when we ask for forgiveness for ours sins,
let us use the words given by our Advocate.
He tells us –
Whatever you ask the Father in my name, He will give you.
What more effective prayer could we then make,
in the name of Christ, than in the words of His own prayer?”

let-us-pray-as-god-our-master-has-taught-us-no 2 used on 16 sept 2019 memorial of st-cyprian-12-march-2019-lenten-thoughts-no-2- used again 20 june 2019

“As the Lord’s Prayer continues, we ask:
Give us this day our daily bread.
We can understand this petition in a spiritual
and in a literal sense.
For in the divine plan both senses
may help toward our salvation.
For Christ is the Bread of Life;
this Bread does not belong to everyone
but is ours alone.
When we say, our Father,
we understand that he is the Father
of those who know Him and believe in Him.
In the same way, we speak of our daily bread,
because Christ is the Bread of those who touch His body.”

St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258)
Bishop, Father of the Church and Martyr

An excerpt from his “On the Lord’s Prayer”as the lord's prayer continues we ask, give us this day our daily bread - st cyoprian of carthage 18 june 2020

“For the author and giver of divine blessings
could not but be our teacher as well,
providing the words of this prayer,
as precepts of life,
for those disciples who believe in Him
and follow the way He taught in the flesh.
Through these words,
He has revealed the hidden treasures
of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3)
that exist in Him as pure form.
And, in all who offer this prayer,
He kindles the desire to enjoy such treasures.”

St Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662)
Monk and Theologian

Interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer

matthew-6-9-Pray then like this Our Father -for-the-author-and-giver-of-st-maximus-the-confessor-on-the-lords-prayer-20-june-2019 and adapted 18 june 2020

“You see, my children,
the Christian’s treasure is not on earth,
it is in heaven (Mt 6:20).
So our thinking must go to where our treasure is.
The human person has a beautiful task,
to pray and to love. 
You pray, you love –
that is the human being’s happiness on earth.”

the-human-person-has-a-beautiful-task-to-pray-and-to-love-st-john-vianey-23-may-2020 18 june 2020

“Prayer is nothing other than union with God.
… This union of God with his little creature
is something beautiful.
It is a happiness that we cannot understand.
We had deserved not to pray
but God, in His goodness, allows us to speak to Him.
Our prayer is incense,
which He receives with tremendous pleasure.”

St John-Marie Vianney (1786-1859)

Catechism on Prayer]

prayer is nothing other than unon with god - st joh n vianney 18 june 2020

“Father, hallowed be thy name.”

Luke 11:2hallowed be thy name - 10 oct 2018

“I have an instinct within me,
which leads me to rise and go to my Father,
to name the Name of His well-beloved Son
and having named it,
to place myself, unreservedly in His hands, saying
“if Thou, Lord, will mark iniquity, Lord,
who shall stand it?
For with Thee, there is merciful forgiveness.”

St John Henry Newman

To My Fatheri-have-an-instinct-within-me-which-leads-me-to-rise-and-go-to-my-father-john-henry-newman-9-oct-2019 - adapted 18 june 2020

“God sees us always, for He is everywhere.
…He sees clearly, everything which we think,
desire or do, even our most secret hidden actions.
Do we perfectly grasp this tremendous truth?
Are we aware of it, at every moment of our lives
and do we make it the guide for our conduct?
If we were to live continually in the Presence of God,
our lives would be angelic, rather than human,
for we would not allow ourselves to commit even the slightest sin,
nor to be guilty of the least thought, word or action,
which might offend Him.
The more we fail in our awareness of the Presence of God,
the more disordered our actions become.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)god-sees-us-always-bacci-30-march-2020 and 18 june 2020


One Minute Reflection – 18 June – Delighting the Heart of God

One Minute Reflection – 18 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Thursday of the Eleventh week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Sirach 48:1-14 (1-15), Psalm 97:1-7, Matthew 6:7-15

“Do not be like them.   Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.  Pray then like this: Our Father … … Matthew 6:8-9

REFLECTION – “Engrave, pious soul, engrave this teaching deeply into your soul common to all masters of the spiritual life – after your infidelities you must turn back to God at once, even if you should fall a hundred times a day and, when you have done this, immediately set yourself at peace again. …   Between friends who love each other deeply, it is not uncommon, that a ruffled relationship is healed by humble apologies, which seals their friendship once more.   Act in such a way, that it is the same between yourself and God – use your faults to make your bond of love with Him even tighter.

It may happen to you, to be at a loss before a decision to be made, or advice to be given.   Here, too, don’t be afraid and do not neglect to act together with God as the faithful do amongst themselves.   In every event they consult among themselves – you, consult God, pray to Him to suggest the solution to you that will be most pleasing to Him, “Lord, set on my lips the word I am to speak and in my heart, the resolution to take!” (Jdt 9:18 Vg.)   Suggest to me what I have to do or answer and I shall do it.   “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening” (1 Sam 3:10).

Again, give God the testimony of friendly trust by discussing with Him, not just about your personal affairs but also about those of your neighbour.   What pleasure you give to His heart if, sometimes even going so far as to forget your own worries, you call to His mind the interests of His glory and the misfortunes of others! …   “O God, so worthy of all love, make yourself known and loved.   May your kingdom be adored and blessed by all, may your love reign in every heart!”

Let us conclude.   If you wish to charm the loving Heart of your God, set yourself to talk to Him as often as you can and, after a fashion, continually, together with the fullest and most confident liberty.   He will not hold aloof from answering you and participating in the conversation on His part.” … St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor – What should one converse about with God?matthew 6 8-9 pray then like this - our father - if you wish to charm the loving heart of your god - st alphonsus liguori 18 june 2020

PRAYER – Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
Amenthe-our-father-matthew-6-7-15-lenten-reflection-20-feb-2018 and 18 june 2020


Our Morning Offering – 18 June – Be the Heart of My Heart By St John Eudes

Our Morning Offering – 18 June – Thursday of the Eleventh week in Ordinary Time, Year A

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

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.

St John Eudes is the author of the Proper for the Mass and Divine Office of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ and the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin. St John was an ardent proponent of the Sacred Heart and dedicated himself to it’s promotion and celebration. The Masses he compiled for both the Sacred Heart of Jesus and for the Immaculate Heart of Mary, were both first celebrated during his lifetime. He preached missions across France, including Paris and Versailles, while earning recognition as a popular evangelist and confessor. St John Eudes was also a prolific writer and wrote on the two Holy Hearts despite opposition from the Jansenists.

St Eudes was Canonised on 31 May 1925 and his supporters are now petitioning to have him named, a Doctor of the Church.  Those of the Eudists, managing the process, collected evidence needed to support the idea and compiled it into a Positio dossier, which included the reasons for the proposal, as well as those spiritual works that would support it. This dossier was submitted to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in April 2017 for and 18 june 2020

Posted in MYSTICS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 18 June – Saint Elisabeth of Schönau (1129-1164)

Saint of the Day – 18 June – Saint Elisabeth of Schönau (1129-1164) Abbess, Mystic, Ascetic, Writer, Spiritual Adivisor – born in 1126 in Bingen, Germany and died on 18 June 1164 at Bingen, Germany of natural elisabeth-of-schnau-044b573c-331c-4fe3-827b-4be1050eb71-resize-750

In the mid 12th century, Elisabeth of Schönau blurred the conventional gender roles of the time, through the dissemination of her astonishing visions.   Elisabeth lived during a time when women were viewed as the weaker sex, both mentally and physically.   Unless a woman were to join a convent or a religious movement, she would be expected to marry and to bear children.   Elisabeth of Schönau, however, was far from powerless, as her visions led her to acquire enough fame to be known far and wide.   Elisabeth became, not only a local celebrity as a result of her visions but, gained popularity throughout other parts of Germany, as well as in France and England.   This enabled Elisabeth to have her own voice, to be known as an individual and to be sought after in an effort to acquire heavenly advice by high order men, including Bishops and Abbots.   For men of such high order to call upon Elisabeth, a mere woman, is extremely significant given the time period in which Elisabeth lived.   Elisabeth’s visions, as well as her twenty-two letters to Bishops, Abbots and Abbesses, enabled her to transcend the traditional gender roles of the time by making her widely known and giving her an individual Elisabeth_von_Schönau

Elisabeth was born about 1129, of an obscure noble family named Hartwig.   At the age of 12 she was given to the nuns for education in the St Florin double abbey founded a few years earlier.   At the age of 18 she entered the women’s Congregation.   She made her profession as a Benedictine in 1147.   In 1157 she became Abbess of the nuns under the supervision of Abbot Hildelin.

Her hagiography describes her as given to works of piety from her youth, much afflicted with bodily and mental suffering, a zealous observer of the Rule of Saint Benedict and of the regulation of her convent and devoted to practices of mortification.   In the years 1147 to 1152 Elisabeth suffered recurrent disease, anxiety and depression as a result of her strict asceticism.   St Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) Doctor of the Church admonished Elisabeth in letters to be prudent in the ascetic life.   St Hildegard here:

At Pentecost in 1152, she first had spiritual experiences of a visionary nature, which she and the nuns and monks understood as the authentic message of God.   These generally occurred on Sundays and Holy Days at Mass or Divine Office or after hearing or reading the lives of Saints.   Christ, the Virgin Mary, an angel, or the special Saint of the day would appear to her and instruct her; or she would see quite realistic representations of the Passion, Resurrection and Ascension, or other scenes of the Old and New elisabeth of schonau old image

She died on 18 June 1164 at the age of only 35 and was buried in the St Florin Abbey Church.   It is extremely remarkable that she was not buried in the Monastery cemetery or in the Chapel of the nuns but in a prominent place in the Abbey Church itself.   This was unusual and testifies to absolute acceptance of her mystical life, writings and deep veneration.   There has never been a formal Canonisation process (pre-congregation) but every year on the day after her death, that is, on 19 June her memory is celebrated in the Monastery and surrounding towns.   It was not until the late 16th century that she was officially included in the list of Saints at the request of the Archbishop of Mainz and the monks of Schönau (Martyrologium Romanum).

st elisabeth - Schoenau_kirche_004
Shrine and Altar of St Elisabeth of Schönau (with the reliquary in which Elisabeth’s skull is kept – see below) in the Monastery Church of St Florin, Kloster Schönau im Taunus.

433pxst -Kleaster_Schönau,_Strüth,_relykkast_mei_plasse_fan_Elisabeth_fan_Schönau


What Elisabeth saw and heard she put down on wax tablets.   Her Abbot, Hildelin, told her to relate these things to her brother Eckbert, then a cleric at Saint Cassius in Bonn, who acted as an editor.   At first she hesitated fearing lest she be deceived or be looked upon as a deceiver but she obeyed.  COMPLETE WORKS OF ST ELISABETH 0F SCHONAUEckbert (who became a Monk of Schönau in 1155 and eventually succeeded Hildelin as second Abbot) put everything in writing, later arranged the material at leisure and then published all under his sister’s name.

While this relationship between brother and sister allowed for Elisabeth’s wide broadcasting of her visionary experiences, it is evident that Eckbert attempted to have a degree of authority over Elisabeth.   Elisabeth’s response to Eckbert’s efforts regarding certain visions is just one example of how Elisabeth’s actions blurred the conventional gender roles.   The works are published in English in a Collected Works edition.

st elisabeth statue
Statue of St Elisabeth on the south wall of the choir room of St Florin.

Schönau Monastery is a popular place of pilgrimage today.   The Franciscan Minor Monastery is picturesquely situated in the Saale Valley in a river arch on the Franconian Saale.   Steep mountain slopes flank the Monastery and the small town of Schönau.

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Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints -18 June

St Abraham of Clermont
St Alena of Dilbeek
St Amandus of Bordeaux
St Arcontius of Brioude
St Athenogenes of Pontus
St Calogero of Sicily
St Calogerus of Fragalata
St Calogerus the Anchorite
St Colman mac Mici
St Cyriacus of Malaga
St Demetrius of Fragalata
St Edith of Aylesbury
St Elisabeth of Schönau (1129-1164)
St Elpidius of Brioude
St Equizio of Telese
St Erasmo
St Etherius of Nicomedia
Bl Euphemia of Altenmünster
St Fortunatus the Philosopher
St Gerland of Caltagirone

St Gregory Barbarigo (1625-1697)
About St Gregory:

St Gregory of Fragalata
St Guy of Baume
St Jerome of Vallumbrosa
St Marcellian
St Marina of Alexandria
St Marina of Bithynia
Bl Marina of Spoleto
St Marcus
Bl Osanna Andreasi OP (1449-1505)
St Osanna of Northumberland
St Osmanna of Jouarre
St Paula of Malaga
Bl Peter Sanchez

Hermits of Karden:   A father (Felicio) and his two sons (Simplicio and Potentino)who became pilgrim to various European holy places and then hermits at Karden (modern Treis-Karden, Germany).   (Born in Aquitaine (in modern France.  ) Their relics transferred to places in the Eifel region of western Germany at some point prior to 930. They were canonised on 12 August 1908 by Pope Pius X (cultus confirmation).

Martyrs of Ravenna – 4 saints: A group of four Christians martyred together.   We have no details but their names – Crispin, Cruciatus, Emilius and Felix.   They were martyred in Ravenna, Italy, date unknown.

Martyrs of Rome – 3 saints:   Three Christians martyred together . We have no details but their names – Cyriacus, Paul and Thomas. In Rome, Italy, date unknown.

Martyrs of Tripoli – 3 saints:   Three imperial Roman soldiers, at last two of them recent converts, who were imprisoned, tortured and executed for their faith.   Martyrs – Hypatius, Leontius and Theodulus. They were Greek born and they died c135 at Tripoli, Phoenicia (in modern Lebanon).