“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me” – Luke 9:23
REFLECTION – “What joy to live in the Cross of Christ! Who could complain of suffering? Only the insensate man who does not adore the Passion of Christ, the Cross of Christ, the Heart of Christ, can in his own griefs, give way to despair… How good it is to live united with the Cross of Christ. Christ Jesus… teach me that truth, which consists in rejoicing in scorn, injury, degradation; teach me to suffer with that humble, silent joy of the saints; teach me to be gentle towards those who don’t love me or who despise me; teach me that truth, which from the mound of Calvary You reveal to the whole world. But I know: a very gentle voice within me explains it all; I feel something in me which comes from You and which I don’t know how to put into words; so much mystery is revealed that man cannot apprehend it. I, Lord, in my way, do understand it. It is love. In that is everything. I know it, Lord, nothing more is needed, nothing more, it is love! Who shall describe the love of Christ? Let men, creatures and all things, keep silent, so that we may hear in the stillness, the whisperings of love, meek, patient, immense, infinite, which from the Cross, Jesus offers us with His arms open. The world, mad, doesn’t listen.” – St Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938) a Spanish Trappist Monk – Spiritual writings 07/04/1938
PRAYER – God of mercy, teach us to live as You have ordained. Help us to follow Your commandments with courage and steadfast devotion. Let our Saviour be our Master, help us to learn from Him, the ways of prayer in silence, the ways of love. Fill us with the fire of the Holy Spirit, that we may learn. Grant blessed Trinity, that by the prayers of St Theotonius, we may grow in holiness. Through Jesus our Lord, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 18 February – Thursday after Ash Wednesday
Jesus, Pierce My Soul with Your Love By St Bonaventure OFM (1221-1274) The Seraphic Doctor
Jesus, pierce my soul with Your love so that I may always long for You alone, the fulfilment of the soul’s deepest desires. May my heart always hunger and feed on You, my soul thirst for You, the source of life, wisdom, knowledge, light and all the riches of God. May I always seek and find You, think about You, speak about You and do everything for Your honour and glory. Be always my hope, my peace, my refuge and my help, in whom my heart is rooted, so that I may never be separated from You. Amen
Mother of Mercy, Our Lady of Pellevoisin, France (1876) – 13 February: Pellevoisin is a little village not far from Tours in France. In 1876, a young woman, Estelle Faguette, lay dying from tuberculosis, at the aged of 33 – only five hours to live in the opinion of the doctors. With childlike faith, Estelle composed a letter to the Blessed Virgin Mary in which she asked for a cure. The letter was laid at the feet of a Statue of the Virgin in Montbel, the summer chateau of the Rochefoucaulds, about 3 km from Pellevoisin.
And, on the 13th of February, when all were expecting her death, Our Lady appeared near the sickbed. This occurred on three successive nights and then, as Our Lady had promised, the sick woman was instantly cured on a Saturday. During the visits, Our Lady of Pellevoisin frequently spoke to Estelle, her theme being that which she so often has expressed during the past hundred years:
“I am all-merciful and have great influence over my Son. What distresses me most is the lack of respect for my Son. Publish my glory.”
For some months after her miraculous cure, Estelle continued to live quietly at Pellevoisin. She was at a loss to find the means of fulfilling the mission entrusted to her by Our Lady. Her heavenly visitor, however, was watching over her and Estelle was to see her again and receive more minute instructions as to what was required of her. On the feast of Our Lady’s Visitation in the same year, 1876, as Estelle was praying in her room, she was granted another vision. Our Lady, robed in white and wearing on her breast a white scapular with the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, appeared to her favoured friend. This was the first of a series of wonderful visions enjoyed by Estelle, ten in all. Again and again Mary pointed to the great need for penance and expiation – a return to God. During one of these apparitions, Our Lady of Pellevoisin, taking her white scapular in her hand, held it before Estelle saying,
“I love this devotion.”
Immediately Estelle knew that her life’s work was to propagate devotion to the Sacred Heart by means of a scapular modeled on Mary’s. On her last appearance, December 8th, Our Lady commanded Estelle to approach her Bishop and give him a copy of the new scapular.
“Tell him to help you with all his power and that nothing would be more agreeable to me, than to see this badge on each one of my children, in reparation for the outrages that my Son suffers in the Sacrament of His Love. See, the graces I pour upon those who wear it with confidence and who help to make it known.”
The Prelate in question, the Archbishop of Bourges, Mnsgr de La Tour d’Auvergne, gave Estelle a favourable hearing and immediately set up a commission to investigate the whole matter. The result of all this was the establishment at Pellevoisin in 1894 by Pope Leo XIII of an Archconfraternity under the title of Mother of Mercy, Our Lady of Pellevoisin. The membership of this Confraternity has gone on increasing year after year, while Pellevoisin itself has become a centre of pilgrimages for thousands of Mary’s friends. Estelle lived her quiet and peaceful life at Pellevoisin, neither desiring nor receiving any personal credit. She died in 1929. Her miraculous cure was recognised in 1983 by Monsignor Paul Vignancour. Although no formal approval has been granted acknowledging the authenticity of the events at Pellevoisi, either by the local bishop at Bourges or by the Holy See, numerous acts of secondary level of approval, including recognition of Mary’s scapular request, have been granted. Pope Leo XIII, by a Motu Proprio, granted indulgences to encourage the pilgrimage to Pellevoisin on 20 December 1892, and on 4 April 1900, The Congregation of Rites issued a decree granting approval to the Scapular of the Sacred Heart.
St Julian of Lyon St Lucinus of Angers St Marice St Martinian the Hermit St Maura of Ravenna St Modomnoc St Paulus Lio Hanzuo St Peter I of Vercelli St Phaolô Lê Van Loc St Stephen of Lyons St Stephen of Rieti
Thought for the Day – 28 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Blessed Eucharist
“By means of this wonderful gift, we can live the life of Jesus Himself.
It is Our Lord Himself, Who says to us: “As the living Father has sent me and as I live because of the Father, so he who eats me, he also shall live because of me” (Jn 6:58). In other words, as He draws His divine and human life from the Father and lives by means of Him, to Whom as God, He is substantially united and equal, so anyone who partakes of the Eucharist, is united closely to Jesus, lives His life and is transformed by His supernatural grace. When Holy Communion is received, therefore, as it ought to be and as the Saints received it, it leads to the mysterious union of which St Paul speaks: “To me to live is Christ” (Phil 1:21). “It is now no longer I that live but Christ, lives in me” (Gal 2:20).
The effect of Holy Communion on us, should be similar to that of a graft upon a tree, whose life is thereby transformed and which begins to produce the fruit of the new shoot instead of the old trunk. We should no longer live the life of the old man but, that of the new, which is Jesus. We ought, therefore, to produce His divine fruits. Our actions will have a supernatural value because they are performed in Jesus and through Jesus. We should be very grateful to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for this gift of His infinite love and goodness. We should approach Holy Communion with humility, love and complete self-surrender. Our hearts should be fused in the Heart of Jesus and our love should be fused in His infinite love.”
O Most Compassionate Jesus! By Bl Pope Pius IX(1792-1878) Indulgence of 100 days, once a day 6 October 1870
O Most compassionate Jesus! Thou alone art our salvation, our life and our resurrection. We implore Thee, therefore, do not forsake us in our needs and afflictions but by the agony of Thy Most Sacred Heart and by the sorrows of Thy Immaculate Mother, succour Thy servants, whom Thou hast redeemed by Thy most Precious Blood. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 29 October – Thursday of the Thirtieth week in Ordinary Time and the Memorial of St Gaetano Errico (1791-1860), Founder of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary
Prayer to the Two Loving Hearts By St John Eudes (1501-1680)
O Jesus, only Son of God, only Son of Mary, I offer You the most loving Heart of Your divine Mother which is more precious and pleasing to You than all hearts.
O Mary, Mother of Jesus, I offer you the most adorable Heart of your well-beloved Son, who is the life and love and joy of your Heart.
Blessed be the Most Loving Heart and Sweet Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the most glorious Virgin Mary, His Mother, in eternity and forever. Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 16 October – The Memorial of St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart”
“Announce it and let it be announced to the whole world, that I set neither limit nor measure to my gifts of grace, for those who seek them in my Heart.”
Revelations of Our Lord to St Margaret Mary Alacoque
“The Sacred Heart is the symbol of that boundless love which moved the Word to take flesh, to institute the Holy Eucharist, to take our sins upon Himself and, dying on the Cross, to offer Himself as a victim and sacrifice to the eternal Father.”
“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.”
“Let every knee bend before You, O greatness of my God, so supremely humbled in the Sacred Host. May every heart love You, every spirit adore You and every will be subject to You!”
The Twelve Promises of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary or those Devoted to His Sacred Heart:
I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
I will establish peace in their families.
I will console them in all their troubles.
They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of their death.
I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
Tepid souls shall become fervent.
Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honoured.
I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.
Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be effaced.
The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.
From Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque’s Vision of Jesus
St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart“
Our Morning Offering – 9 October – Friday of the Twenty Seventh Week in Ordinary Time and the Memorial of St John Henry Newman C.Orat (1801-1890)
O Heart of Jesus, All Love By St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
O Heart of Jesus all love, I offer You these humble prayers for myself and for all those, who unite themselves with me in spirit to adore You. O holiest Heart of Jesus most lovely, I intend to renew and to offer to You, these acts of adoration and these prayers, for myself, a wretched sinner and for all those, who are associated with me in Your adoration, through all moments which I breathe, even to the end of my life. I recommend to You, O my Jesus, Holy Church, Your dear spouse and our true Mother, all just souls and all poor sinners, the afflicted, the dying and all mankind. Let not Your Blood be shed for them in vain. Finally, deign to apply it in relief of the souls in Purgatory and of these in particular …………………..…. Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 15 July – The Memorial of St Bonaventure (1221-1274) Doctor of the Church
“Bonaventure so united holiness and theological knowledge that he rose to the heights of mysticism, while remaining a very active preacher and teacher, one beloved by all who met him. To know him was to love him; to read him is still for us today to meet a true Franciscan and a gentleman.”
“If you learn everything, except Christ, you learn nothing. If you learn nothing, except Christ, you learn everything.”
“When we pray, the voice of the heart must be heard, more than the proceedings, from the mouth.”
“Men do not fear a powerful hostile army, as the powers of hell, fear the name and protection of Mary.”
“If you do not know your own dignity and condition, you cannot value anything at its proper worth.”
“In everything, whether it is a thing sensed, or a thing known, God Himself is hidden within.”
St Bonaventure (1221-1274)
Seraphic Doctor of the Church
Thought for the Day – 30 June – “The Last Day of Month of the Sacred Heart” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Devotion to the Sacred Heart
“When we consider it under it’s fundamental aspect as the cult of the love of God, rather than of the Incarnate Word, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is as old as Christianity, even though it is only in recent centuries, that it has assumed it’s present symbolism. “He who does not love, does not know God,” says St John, “for God is love” (1 Jn 4:8). “And we have come to know,” he continues “and have believed, the love that God has in our behalf. God is love and he who abides in love, abides in God and God in him” (1 Jn 4:16).
This cult of the love of God, particularly of the love of God made man, vibrates throughout the pages of the Gospel and of the writings of the Apostles, especially of St John and of St Paul.
In the works of the Fathers, there are references to the Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance, from which flowed all the infinite graces of the Church for our redemption.
We are reminded of this in the Encylical, Haurietis Aquas, published by Pope Pius XII in the year 1956.
But the specific cult of the love of God, as symbolised by the Heart of Jesus, was explicitly approved by the Church after Jesus Himself appeared in the year 1674 to St Margaret Mary Alacoque and showed her His Heart on fire with love for men.”
Quote/s of the Day – 30 June – “The Last day of the Month of the Sacred Heart” – Tuesday of the Thirteenth week in Ordinary Time Year A, Readings: Amos 3:1-8; 4:11-12, Psalm 5:5-8, Matthew 8:23-27
And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord, we are perishing.”
“It is I, be not afraid”
“Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
“The waters have risen and severe storms are upon us but we do not fear drowning, for we stand firmly upon a rock. Let the sea rage, it cannot break the rock. Let the waves rise, they cannot sink the boat of Jesus.”
“Let the world be in upheaval. I hold to His promise and read His message, that is my protecting wall and garrison. What message? ‘Know that I am with you always, until the end of the world!'”
St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father and Doctor of the Church
“It is not a calm sky, beloved but the storm which tests a pilot’s skill. When the breeze is mild, even the poorest sailor, can manage the ship. But in the crosswinds of a tempest, we want the best pilot with all His skill.”
St Peter Chrysologus (c 406 – c 450)
Father and Doctor of the Church
“Whoever has become a servant of the Lord, fears only his Master. But whoever is without the fear of God, is often afraid of his own shadow. Fearfulness is the daughter of unbelief. A proud soul is the slave of fear, hoping in itself, it comes to such a state, that it is startled by a small noise and is afraid of the dark.”
St John Climacus (579-649)
Father of the Church
“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.”
St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690)
“…Therefore, never allow yourself to start brooding again but always be brave and trust. Serve your good Master with an open heart full of joy. The right way is to see all events and all obstacles in the spirit of faith as being in the hands of Our Lord and to hear Him say to you, on every occasion, as He did to the disciples ‘It is I. Do not fear. Have faith.’”
St Michael Garicoïts (1797-1863)
“We need not be afraid because even while He sleeps, He watches over us. Jesus does not save us FROM storms, He saves us IN storms. DO NOT WAKE Jesus. Let Him sleep. He is still in control!”
Our Morning Offering – 30 June – “The Last day of the Month of the Sacred Heart” – Tuesday of the Thirteenth week in Ordinary Time
Consecration to the Sacred Heart By Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903) Pope from 1878-1903
Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race,
look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thine altar.
We are Thine and Thine we wish to be
but, to be more surely united with Thee,
behold each one of us,
freely consecrates himself today to Thy most Sacred Heart.
Many indeed have never known Thee,
many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee.
Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus
and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart.
Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful,
who have never forsaken Thee
but also of the prodigal children, who have abandoned Thee,
grant that they may quickly return to Thy Father’s house
lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.
Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions,
or whom discord keeps aloof
and call them back to the harbour of truth and unity of faith,
so that there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.
Be Thou, King of all those.
who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism
and refuse not to draw them into the light and kingdom of God.
Turn Thine eyes of mercy towards the children of the race,
once Thy chosen people – of old they called down upon themselves
the Blood of the Saviour;
may it now descend upon them,
a laver of redemption and of life.
Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church,
assurance of freedom and immunity from harm;
give peace and order to all nations
and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry:
“Praise be to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation;
to It be glory and honour forever.”
The above prayer, composed by Pope Leo XIII was included in the 1899 encyclical Annum Sacrum issued by Leo XIII as he Consecrated the entire world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The consecration was influenced by two letters written to the Holy Father by Blessed Sister Mary of the Divine Heart, who stated that in visions of Jesus Christ, she had been told to request the Consecration.
Our Morning Offering – 28 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
O Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament By The League of the Sacred Heart 1929 (Ireland)
O Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament,
overflowing with gentleness,
tenderness and charity,
I bury in the abyss of The Mercy,
all my iniquities and all my negligence.
I offer Thee
my labours and my sufferings,
my sorrows and my miseries,
I recommend to Thee
my life and my death.
Solace my doubts Sweet Jesus,
calm my fears
and grant, that day by day,
I may become more united to Thy Sacred Heart,
learning Thy love and Thy holiness.
Thought for the Day – 27 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Sacred Heart of Jesus Pierced by a Crown of Thorns
“There are many ways of showing our love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of making reparation for our sins and for the sins of mankind.
We can console ourselves with the reflection, that by these acts of love and reparation, we are removing the thorns which encircle and pierce the Heart of Jesus.
The simplest ways of doing this, are by prayers, aspirations and expressions of love, directed towards the adorable Heart of our Redeemer and, by visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
In silence and recollection, before the Tabernacle, we shall feel the Heart of Jesus, beating with love and, shall offer in return, for His infinite love, the affection of our poor hearts.
We can also receive Holy Communion in reparation.
When Jesus is in us and we are in Jesus, it will be easier and more pleasant, to offer Him our love and expiation.
We can make reparation also, by practising the devotion of the First Fridays of the month.
This pious practice, so pleasing to the Heart of Jesus, aims at being a mass offering of love and reparation, for the sins of the entire human race.”
Quote/s of the Day – 27 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Memorial of St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) and Blessed Louise-Thérèse de Montaignac de Chauvance OSHJ (1820-1885) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart”
“You work for God, without doubt but one must work IN God.”
“Love dies where there is no humility.”
“To hand onto your children.
the faith you received from your parents,
is your first duty
and your greatest privilege as parents.
The home should be the first school of religion,
as it must be the first school of prayer.”
Prayer of Bl Louise-Thérèse “O Jesus, Eternal Life in the womb of the Father, Life of souls made in Your likeness, In the name of Your Love, make Your Heart known and revealed.”
Blessed Louise-Thérèse de Montaignac de Chauvance (1820-1885)
“Apostle of the Sacred Heart”
“By nature, each one of us is enclosed, in his own personality but supernaturally, we are all one. We are made one body in Christ because we are nourished by one flesh. As Christ is indivisible, we are all one in Him. Therefore, He asked His Father “that they may all be One, as We also are one.”
“We have passed over the waves of this present life like a sea, with its commotion and insane bustle. We have eaten spiritual manna, the bread that came down from heaven giving life to the world.”
“Christ, has dominion over all creatures, a dominion not seized by violence nor usurped but His, by essence and by nature.
“The mark of Christ’s sheep is their willingness to hear and obey, just as disobedience is the mark of those who are not His. We take the word ‘hear’ to imply obedience to what has been said.”
“We must note, therefore, that he that does things pleasing to God, serves Christ but he that follows his own wishes, is a follower, rather of himself and not of God.”
“Our lives are all controlled by the Spirit now and are not confined to this physical world that is subject to corruption. The light of the Only-begotten has shone on us and we have been transformed into the Word, the source of all life.”
St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)
Father and Doctor of the Incarnation
Our Morning Offering – 26 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Friday of the Twelfth week in Ordinary Time
Hail, Sacred Heart of Jesus! By St Gertrude the Great (1256-1302)
Hail, Sacred Heart of Jesus,
living and strengthening
source of eternal life,
infinite treasury of the divinity,
burning furnace of divine love!
You are my refuge
and my sanctuary.
My loving Saviour,
consume my heart
in that burning fire
with which Your own is inflamed.
Pour into my soul
those graces which flow
from Your love.
Let my heart be so united with Yours
that our wills may be one
and my will, in all things,
conformed with Yours.
May Your Will be the guide
and rule of my desires
and of my actions.
Our Morning Offering –25 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Thursday of the Twelfth week in Ordinary Time, Year A
O Sacred Heart of Jesus By St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
O Sacred Heart of Jesus,
living and quickening source of eternal life,
infinite treasure of the Divinity
and burning furnace of divine love.
You are my refuge and my sanctuary,
O my amiable Saviour.
Consume my heart with that burning fire
with which Your Heart is ever inflamed.
Pour down on my soul
those graces which flow from Your love
and let my heart be so united with Yours,
that our wills may be one
and mine in all things,
be conformed to Yours.
May Your divine will
be equally the standard
and rule of all my desires
and of all my actions.
Our Morning Offering – 24 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist
Seal Your Image on My Heart By Archbishop Baldwin of Canterbury (c 1125-1190)
O Lord, take away my heart of stone,
my hardened heart,
my uncircumcised heart
and grant to me a new heart,
a heart of flesh,
a clean heart.
Come, You who cleanse the heart
and love the pure of heart,
possess my heart and dwell in it,
containing it and filling it,
higher than my highest
and more intimate than
my most intimate thoughts.
You are the image of all beauty
and the seal of all holiness,
seal Your image on my heart
and seal my heart in Your mercy,
O God, the strength of my heart
and my portion forever,
Our Morning Offering – 22 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Monday of the Twelfth week in Ordinary Time, Year A
Make Me, O Good Jesus Live in Thee and for Thee By Pope Benedict XV (1854-1922)
O Most Sacred Heart of Jesus!
O fount of every good!
I adore Thee,
I love Thee
and sincerely repenting of my sins
I present to Thee my poor heart.
Give it back to me
and in everything,
conformed to Thy wishes.
Make me, O good Jesus,
live in Thee and for Thee.
Protect me in dangers,
comfort me in afflictions,
grant me health of body,
succour in my temporal needs,
Thy blessing in all my works
and the grace of a holy death.
Indulgence – 100 days Pope Benedict XV 4 December 1916
Thought for the Day – 21 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) (Incorporating the Sunday Reflection)
“Let us meditate on what an extraordinary thing Holy Communion is.
Jesus, God made man, really descends into us, poor creature though we are.
We become the living temples of the Holy Trinity.
Not only does Jesus come to us, body, soul and divinity but, He also becomes our food.
There is a great difference, however, between the nourishment of material food and the spiritual nourishment which we receive from the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.
When we take ordinary natural food, we assimilate it.
In other words, we cause it to become blood of our blood and flesh of our flesh.
When we receive Holy Communion, on the other hand, it is we who must be assimilated and changed into Jesus.
Each of us should become, therefore, another Christ, in the manner indicated by St Paul: “It is now, no longer I that live but Christ, lives in me” (Gal 2:20).
Material food becomes human and is assimilated into our being.
Our Eucharistic food assimilates us into Itself and, in a certain sense, deifies us.
This is why St John Chrysostom calls it a mystery which transports us into Heaven.
Before this can happen, however, it is necessary for us to approach Holy Communion with the necessary dispositions.
(1) A lively and active faith, which will enable us to recognise in the white Host, the person of Jesus Himself, full of goodness, mercy and love, eager to shower upon us, all the treasures of His Heart.
(2) Purity and freedom, not only from mortal sin but, also from any deliberate attachment to venial sin.
(3) Deep humility because, Jesus loves the humble and holds the proud at a distance from Him. He wishes us to be like Him, in other words, meek and humble of heart. There must be no worldly ambition, therefore, no love of honours, riches or human greatness, no inordinate affection for things or persons. There must be only a great desire to please God alone and to offer Him our whole life, including every thought and action.
(4) Finally, an ardent love for Jesus, which will consume all our imperfections and unite us to Him so intimately, that, we shall be transformed by Him.”
Our Morning Offering – 21 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
For those of us who will be blessed by attending Holy Mass today.
And for those of us still facing closed and locked Churches, we pray to the Sweet Eucharistic Heart of Our Beloved Lord, an Act of Spiritual Communion.
Prayer Before Holy Communion By St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Church
O Lord, my God,
I am not worthy,
that You should come into my soul
but I am glad that You will come to me,
because in Your loving kindness,
You desire to dwell in me.
You ask me to open the door of my soul,
which You alone have created,
so that You may enter into it,
with Your loving kindness
and dispel the darkness of my mind.
I believe that You will do this
for You did not turn away Mary Magdalene
when she approached You in tears.
Neither did You withhold forgiveness
from the tax collector,
who repented of his sins,
or from the good thief,
who asked to be received into Your kingdom.
Indeed, You numbered as Your friends
all who came to You with repentant hearts.
O God, You alone are blessed always,
now and forever.
Act of Spiritual Communion By Servant of God Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930)
At Thy feet, O my Jesus,
I prostrate myself
and I offer Thee repentance of my contrite heart,
which is humbled in its nothingness
and in Thy holy presence.
I adore Thee in the Sacrament of Thy love,
the ineffable Eucharist.
I desire to receive Thee into the poor dwelling
that my heart offers Thee.
While waiting for the happiness of sacramental communion,
I wish to possess Thee in spirit.
Come to me, O my Jesus,
since I, for my part, am coming to Thee!
May Thy love embrace my whole being in life and in death.
I believe in Thee,
I hope in Thee,
I love Thee.
Quote/s of the Day – 20 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
“I want My Church to…put the devotion to this Immaculate Heart beside the devotion to My Sacred Heart.”
Jesus to Lúcia of Fatima
“Look, my Daughter,” Our Lady said to Lúcia on 10 December 1925, “at my heart, surrounded with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce me. “
Our Lady assured Lúcia: “My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.” Thus, if we devote ourselves to her Immaculate Heart, Mary will lead us to her Son, Jesus Christ and we will be on the way to Heaven.
Our Lady of Fatima
“This Virgin Mother of the Only begotten of God is called Mary, worthy of God, Immaculate of the Immaculate, one of the one.”
Origen (c 185-253)
“Do you not know, that not only is Jesus, resting and dwelling continually in the Heart of Mary but that He is, Himself the Heart of Mary … “
St John Eudes
Apostle of the Two Holy Hearts
“If you put all the love, of all the mothers into one heart, it still would not equal the love of the Heart of Mary for her children.”
St Louis de Montfort (1673-1716)
“…Let us continue Immaculate Mary’s mission. All is included in it. May [we].. follow her example and be the handmaid of the Lord in everything, everywhere and always.”
Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus – 19 June
May we all be abundantly Blessed today by the Sacred and Loving Heart of Jesus May we all grow closer and closer to the Sacred Heart, the source of all Love!
A little (actually, a lot! – please take the time to read it) of the History of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart
In the 13th century, the Franciscan Doctor of the Church (1217-1274) – “The Seraphic Doctor,” St Bonaventure’s work “With You is the Source of Life” (which is the reading for the Divine Office on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart) began to point to the heart as the fountain from which God’s love poured into our lives:
“Take thought now, redeemed man and consider how great and worthy is He who hangs on the cross for you. His death brings the dead to life but at His passing, heaven and earth are plunged into mourning and hard rocks are split asunder. It was a divine decree that permitted one of the soldiers to open His sacred side with a lance. This was done so that the Church might be formed from the side of Christ as He slept the sleep of death on the cross and so that the Scripture might be fulfilled: ‘They shall look on him whom they pierced.’ The blood and water, which poured out at that moment, were the price of our salvation. Flowing from the secret abyss of our Lord’s Heart as from a fountain, this stream, gave the Sacraments of the Church, the power to confer the life of grace, while for those already living in Christ, it became a spring of living water welling up to life everlasting.”
The Devotion Spreads Slowly
At the end of the 13th century, St Gertrude the Great, on the feast of St John the Evangelist, had a vision in which she was allowed to rest her head near the wound in the Saviour’s side. She heard the beating of the Divine Heart and asked John if, on the night of the Last Supper, he too had felt this beating heart, why then had he never spoken of the fact. John replied that this revelation had been reserved for subsequent ages when the world, having grown cold, would have need to rekindle its love.
From that time until the time of St John Eudes Orat. (1501-1680), the devotion continued to spread, primarily as a private devotion but one that was increasingly wide-spread. Many religious orders prayed the devotion – the Franciscans, the Jesuits, the Carmelites of Spain and the Benedictines.
Let us now consider the key ideas which motivated St John Eudes in his great love for the Sacred Heart, so that by understanding them “Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, that being rooted and grounded in love, you may have the power with all the saints to comprehend what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God “(Eph 3, 17-19). Two interrelated thoughts overwhelmed St John Eudes, first:
“The Sacred Heart of Jesus, whether considered in His Divinity or in His humanity, is more ardently enkindled with love for His Father, loving Him infinitely more at any given moment, than all the hearts of angels and saints can love Him throughout all eternity.”
The second thought which rejoiced the heart of St John Eudes expands on the first:
[Jesus, the Son of God] “willed to be our Head and chose us as His members. He has associated us with Himself in His ineffable love [for the Father]. He has given us, as a result, the power to love the Father with the [very] same love with which He loves [the Father], with a love eternal, boundless and infinite.”
St John Eudes discerned eight different flames of love, which issue from our Lord’s Heart in the Tabernacle, which are freely adapted here to our present needs (definitely a post soon). St Pope Pius X declared him, the Father, Doctor and Apostle of Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The Devotion Renewed: St Marguerite Marie Alacoque VHM (1647-1690)
In the late 17th century the devotion was renewed and adopted elsewhere, especially following the revelations to St Marguerite Marie Alacoque. The saint, a cloistered nun of the Visitation Order, received several private revelations of the Sacred Heart, the first on 27 December 1673 and the final one 18 months later. The visions revealed to her the form of the devotion, the chief features being reception of Holy Communion on the first Friday of each month, Eucharistic adoration during a “Holy hour” on Thursdays and the celebration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart.
Initially discouraged in her efforts to follow the instruction she had received in her visions, Alacoque was eventually able to convince her superior of the authenticity of her visions. She was unable, however, to convince a group of theologians of the validity of her apparitions, nor was she any more successful with many of the members of her own community. She eventually received the support of St Claude de la Colombière SJ (1641-1682), the community’s confessor, who declared that the visions were genuine. Alacoque’s short devotional writing, La Devotion au Sacré-Coeur de Jesus (Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus), was published posthumously in 1698. Here is an excerpt:
“And He [Christ] showed me that it was His great desire of being loved by men and of withdrawing them from the path of ruin, that made Him form the design of manifesting His Heart to men, with all the treasures of love, of mercy, of grace, of sanctification and salvation which it contains, in order that those who desire to render Him and procure Him, all the honour and love possible, might themselves be abundantly enriched with those divine treasures of which His heart is the source.”
The devotion was fostered by the Jesuits and Franciscans but it was not until the 1928 encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor by Pope Pius XI that the Church validated the credibility of Alacoque’s visions of Jesus Christ in having “promised her [Alacoque] that all those who rendered this honour to His Heart would be endowed with an abundance of heavenly graces.”
The World Consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Maria Droste zu Vischering, was a German noble women, who at the age of 25 joined the congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, in Munster. She was given the name, BlSr Mary of the Divine Heart. In 1894, at the age of 31, she was transferred to Portugal and appointed superior of Oporto, Portugal. While there, she reported some messages from Jesus Christ in which she was asked to contact the Holy Father, requesting the consecration of the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
On 10 June 1898, her Confessor at the Good Shepherd monastery wrote to Pope Leo XIII stating that Sister Mary of the Divine Heart had received a message from Christ, requesting the Holy Father to consecrate the entire world to the Sacred Heart. The Pope initially did not believe her and took no action. However, on 6 January 1899 she wrote another letter, asking that in addition to the consecration, the first Fridays of the month be observed in honour of the Sacred Heart. In the letter she also referred to the recent illness of the Pope and stated that Christ, had assured her, that Pope Leo XIII would live until he had performed the consecration to the Sacred Heart.
Pope Leo XIII commissioned an inquiry on the basis of her revelation and Church tradition. In his 1899 encyclical letter Annum Sacrum, Leo XIII decreed that the Consecration of the entire human race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus should take place on 11 June 1899. Here is the consecration Pope Leo composed for the consecration:
“Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thine altar. We are Thine and Thine we wish to be but to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us, freely consecrates himself today, to Thy most Sacred Heart.
Many indeed have never known Thee, many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart. Be Thou King, O Lord, not only, of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee but also, of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee, grant that they may quickly return to Thy Father’s house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.
Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof and call them back to the harbour of truth and unity of faith, so that there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.
Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism and refuse not to draw them into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Thine eyes of mercy towards the children of the race, once Thy chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Saviour, may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.
Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm, give peace and order to all nations and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: ‘Praise be to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation, to it be glory and honour forever.’” Amen
The 100th Anniversary of the Feast of the Sacred Heart
In a landmark encyclical, Haurietis aquas (“You will draw waters”– written 15 May 1956) Venerable Pope Pius XII began his reflection by drawing from Isaiah 12:3, a verse which alludes to the abundance of the supernatural graces which flow from the heart of Christ. Haurietis aquas called the whole Church, to recognise the Sacred Heart as an important dimension of Christian spirituality. Pope Pius XII gave two reasons why the Church gives the highest form of worship to the Heart of Jesus. The first rests on the principle whereby the believers recognise that Jesus’ Heart is hypostatically united to the “Person of the Incarnate Son of God Himself.” The second reason is derived from the fact, that the Heart, is the natural sign and symbol of Jesus’ boundless love for humans . The encyclical recalls that for human souls the wound in Christ’s side and the marks left by the nails have been “the chief sign and symbol of that love” that ever more incisively shaped their life from within.
In a letter on 15 May 2006 Pope Benedict XVI wrote: “By encouraging devotion to the Heart of Jesus, the Encyclical Haurietis aquas exhorted believers to open themselves to the mystery of God and of His love and to allow themselves to be transformed by it. After 50 years, it is still a fitting task for Christians to continue to deepen their relationship with the Heart of Jesus, in such a way, as to revive their faith in the saving love of God and to welcome Him ever better into their lives.”
As the encyclical states, from this source, the heart of Jesus, originates the true knowledge of Jesus Christ and a deeper experience of His love. Thus, according to Pope Benedict XVI, we will be able to understand better what it means to know God’s love in Jesus Christ, to experience Him, keeping our gaze fixed on Him to the point that we live entirely on the experience of His love, so that we can subsequently witness to it to others.
Sadly, today, The League of the Sacred Heart founded in Ireland in the year of grace 1873, has fallen into obscurity, though, I know that in certain countries across the world, it is being revived. Below is a 14 minute video explaining the resuscitation of the League and the institution in America. The League however, still exists in a few isolated countries and we NEED, in these awful times, to revive it, wherever we are.
A great usurpation has taken place in the Church by the Divine Mercy Devotion – I know there are devotees of this latter Devotion on the site but if you would wish to educate yourself further in this regard, please go to the Youtube Channel – Ascent of Mount Carmel, where you will find lots of research on this subject. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcOObC8wjuxJjx6rBSiKo2A/videos
The Sacred Heart is knocking at the door of our heart. Will we open the door for Him? Will we make a commitment in devotion to serve Him with greater zeal and fidelity? Will we let Him in? The choice is now ours. Those who want to grow, know where the Sacred Heart is waiting for the response of their love and they know how to imitate His love in their daily life. Let us resume all that has been said with a final thought from St John Eudes: “The Son of God gives us His Heart not only to be the model and rule of our life but also to be our heart, so that by the gift of this Heart, immense, infinite and eternal, we may fulfil all our duties to God in a manner worthy of His infinite perfections. [Thus] we have received from our Divine Saviour, the gift of His adorable Heart, which is the perfect means of fulfilling all our duties. We should employ the Sacred Heart as if it were our own heart, to adore God fittingly, to love Him perfectly, and to satisfy all our obligations adequately so that our homage and love may be worthy of His supreme majesty. Eternal and infinite thanks be rendered to Thee, O Good Jesus, for the infinitely precious gift of Thy divine Heart. May all the angels, saints and all creatures bless Thee forever!
Let us Pray: Daily Consecration to the Sacred Heart
Daily Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Prayers to the Sacred Heart – The League of the Sacred Heart 1936 – 15th Edition, Dublin
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, filled with infinite love, broken by our ingratitude and pierced by our sins, yet loving us still, accept the Consecration we make to Thee, of all that we are and all that we have. Take every faculty of our souls and bodies, only day by day draw us, nearer and nearer to Thy Sacred Heart, and there, as we shall hear the lesson, teach us Thy Holy Way. Amen
Thought for the Day – 19 June – Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Learn From Me, For I Am Meek and Humble of Heart”
“It is very easy to be gentle and humble when everything is going well for us.
It is difficult, however, when we meet humiliation, misunderstanding or opposition.
We need to be well advanced in perfection, if we are to have mildness and humility of heart, like that of Jesus.
We can only reach this state of perfection by prayer, sacrifice and character formation.
Pride, self-love and the desire to excel, are the evil effects of our corrupted nature.
St Francis de Sales jestingly remarked that self-love dies three days after us.
It is difficult to remove it completely from our character and to put, in it’s place, the love of God and of our neighbour but, this operation is necessary, if we are to obtain Christ-like humility and gentleness of heart.
God, not our own ego, should be the centre of our lives, He should be the focal point of all our thinking.
Let us beseech God for this grace and try and behave in this fashion on all occasions.
When we encounter lack of sympathy, coldness or injustice on the part of our fellowmen, we should try and avoid becoming annoyed or discourage.
The testimony of a sound conscience before God, is all that should concern us.
We should offer everything else to God, whether it is joy or sorrow, praise or criticism.
We shall be rewarded with peace of soul.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine!”
Quote/s of the Day – 19 June – Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests and the Memorial of Bl Maria Rosa Flesch FSMA (1826-1906)
“We, Christians, are the true Israel which springs from Christ, for we are carved out of His Heart, as from a Rock!”
St Justin Martyr (100-165)
Father of the Church and Martyr
Looking forward to never-ending communion, St Gertrude ended her earthly life on 17 November 1301 or 1302, at the age of about 46. In the seventh Exercise, that of preparation for death, St Gertrude wrote:
“O Jesus, You who are immensely dear to me, be with me always, so that my heart may stay with You and that Your love may endure with me, with no possibility of division and bless my passing, so that my spirit, freed from the bonds of the flesh, may immediately find rest in you. Amen”
St Gertrude the Great (1256-1302)
“If the Jewish High priest carried the names of the twelve tribes of Israel written on his shoulders and on his breast, how much more Christ, our High Priest, carries our names written on His Heart”
St John of Avila (1500-1569)
Doctor of the Church
“Do everything out of love for God, for God, with God, to get to God.”
Bl Maria Rosa Flesch FSMA (1826-1906)
“The priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus”
St John Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859)
Patron of Priests
“Ah! Beside You I am not afraid of anything! I snuggle up against You and, like the lost sheep, hear the beating of Your Heart. Jesus, yet again I am Yours, Yours forever. With You, I am truly great, without You, nothing but a weak reed. Upheld by You, I am a pillar!”
One Minute Reflection – 19 June – Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests, Gospel: Luke 15:3–7, Readings: Deuteronomy 7:6-11, Psalm 103:1-4, 6-8, 10, 1 John 4:7-16, Matthew 11:25-30
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” … Matthew 11:29-30
REFLECTION – “Now, O love, my King and my God, now, O Jesus my dear one, receive me into the most gracious care of Your Divine Heart. There, there, so that I may live entirely for You, fasten me to Your love. Now release me into the great ocean of Your mercy’s abyss – there, there, commit me to the bowels of Your overflowing kindness. Ah! Now cast me into the voracious flame of Your living love. There, there, transmit me into You until my soul and spirit are reduced to ashes in the conflagration. And at the hour of my passing away, commit me to the providence of Your fatherly charity.
There, there, O my sweet Saviour, console me with the sight of Your gentle presence. There, by the taste of Your dear ransom with which You have redeemed me, recreate me. There, with the loving voice of Your incomparable love, call me to You. There, there, receive me in the embrace of Your infinitely merciful forgiveness. There, by the exquisite scent of the breath of Your Spirit’s sweetness, draw me to You, draw me in and draw me. There, in the kiss of perfect union of Your fruition, immerse me forever. And grant me then to see You, to have You, to enjoy You eternally in the greatest happiness, for my soul has yearns for You, O Jesus, dearest of all dear ones. Amen.” … St Gertrude the Great (1256-1302) Exercises IV, §400-419
PRAYER – Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus – By St Gertrude the Great (1256-1302)
O Sacred Heart of Jesus,
fountain of eternal life,
Your Heart is a glowing furnace of Love.
You are my refuge and my sanctuary.
O my adorable and loving Saviour,
consume my heart with the burning fire
with which Yours is aflamed.
Pour down on my soul those graces
which flow from Your love.
Let my heart be united with Yours.
Let my will be conformed to Yours in all things.
May Your Will be the rule of all my desires and actions.
Our Morning Offering – 19 June – The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Beads of the Sacred Heart By The League of the Sacred Heart Published in 1929 (Ireland)
The ordinary Rosary Beads may be used.
On the Crucifix:
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water flowing from the side of Christ, purify me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus hear me!
Within Thy wounds hide me.
Never permit me to be separated from Thee.
From the malignant enemy, defend me;
At the hour of death, call me
ad cause me to come to Thee.
Where, with the Saints and Angels
I may praise Thee for everlasting ages.
On the Large Beads:
Jesus, meek and humble of Heart,
make my heart like unto Thine.
On the Small Beads:
Sweet Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
At the end of each Ten:
Sacred Heart of Jesus, be Thou our salvation.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, pray for us.
May the Sacred Heart of Jesus, be everywhere loved.
Closing prayer – let us Pray:
We beseech Thee, Lord,
may Thy Holy Spirit,
set us on fire with that love
which our Lord Jesus Christ
cast out of the depths of His Heart into the world
and greatly wished should be enkindled.
St Lambert of Saragossa
St Lupo of Bergamo Blessed Maria Rosa/Margaretha Flesch FSMA (1826-1906)
St Modeste Andlauer
St Nazario of Koper
Bl Odo of Cambrai
St Rémi Isoré
Bl Sebastian Newdigate
Bl Thomas Woodhouse
Bl William Exmew
St Zosimus of Umbria
Novena in Honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Day Nine – 18 June
Thank You, Jesus!
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.’
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.
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.