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 – 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
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
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.
Our Morning Offering – 16 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Tuesday of the Eleventh week in Ordinary Time, Year A
Daily Offering to the Sacred Heart By St Therese of the Child Jesus/Lisieux (1873-1897) Doctor of the Church
O my God!
I offer You all my actions of this day
for the intentions and for the glory
of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
I desire to sanctify
every beat of my heart,
my every thought,
my simplest works,
by uniting them
to His infinite merits
and I wish to make reparation for my sins
by casting them into the furnace
of His Merciful Love.
O my God! I ask of You for myself
and for those whom I hold dear,
the grace to fulfil perfectly
Your Holy Will,
to accept for love of You
the joys and sorrows of this passing life,
so that we may one day be united together
in heaven for all Eternity.
Sunday Reflection – 14 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Corpus Christi, The Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Readings: Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14-16, Psalm 147:12-15, 19-20, 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, John 6:51-58
Moments with St John XXIII (1881-1963)
Sacrament of Love
When the Christians of the first centuries met around the Table of the Eucharist, they prayed with hearts full of love and longing:
“To You, O Lord, be glory forever! As this Bread we have broken together, was once scattered in ears of corn on the hills and became one, when it was harvested, so let Your Church be gathered from the ends of the earth into Your Kingdom. For Yours is the glory and the power, through Jesus Christ, forever.”
The doctrine of the Mystical Body, has cast gleams of shining light on this question of the union of Christians with Christ and, for their union with each other.
It has resulted in an amazing understanding of the union of the masses of the faithful, through the power of the Body and Blood of Christ, drawn together to scale the heights of Christian perfection.
In the light of this teaching, we find the truest conception of human, and Catholic brotherhood, inspired and renewed by the Holy Eucharist.
O Sacrament of love, may You always remain inviolate at the summit of Catholic doctrine and devotion!
Open our minds to soaring flights of thought and our hearts to the impulses of charity.
Lead us onto the fulfilment of the supreme ideals of justice and social peace.
ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS OF THE “PANGE LINGUA” but still using the tune in the Gregorian Chant, Mode III
Hail Our Saviour’s Glorious Body By St Thomas Aquinas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Doctor angelicus/Doctor communis Translated by Fr James Quinn SJ (1919-2010)
Hail our Saviour’s glorious Body,
which His Virgin Mother bore.
Hail the blood which bled for sinners,
did a broken world restore.
Hail the sacrament most holy,
flesh and blood of Christ adore!
To the Virgin, for our healing,
His own Son, the Father sends.
From the Father’s love proceeding
sower, seed and word descends;
wondrous life of Word Incarnate
with His greatest wonder ends.
On that paschal evening see Him
with the chosen twelve recline,
to the old law still obedient
in its feast of love divine,
love divine, the new law giving,
gives Himself as bread and wine.
By His word the Word Almighty
makes of bread His flesh indeed,
wine becomes His very lifeblood,
faith God’s living Word must heed!
Faith alone might simply guide us
where the senses cannot lead.
When the Procession reaches the place of Benediction, the priest sets the Monstrance down. Then he puts incense in the thurible and, kneeling, incenses the Blessed Sacrament, while Tantum ergo Sacramentum is sung.
Come, adore this wondrous presence,
bow to Christ, the source of grace!
Here is kept the ancient promise
of God’s earthly dwelling place!
Sight is blind before God’s glory,
faith alone may see His face!
Glory be to God the Father,
praise to His co-equal Son,
Adoration to the Spirit,
bond of love, in God-head one!
Blest be God by all creation
joyously while ages run!
(Fr James Quinn SJ (21 April 1919 – 8 April 2010) was a Scottish Jesuit Priest, Theologian and Hymnist.
Our Morning Offering – 5 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Friday of the Ninth week in Ordinary Time
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 breath,
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
Our Morning Offering – 2 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Tuesday of the Ninth week in Ordinary Time, Year A
Morning Offering to the Sacred Heart (Treasury of the Sacred Heart 1950)
Everyday of my life belongs to You,
O my God
and every action of my life
should be performed with the pure intention
of honouring You alone.
From this moment, I offer them
to Your Sacred Heart and by this offering,
I consecrate them without reserve to Your glory.
What a motive for performing
all my actions with all possible perfection!
Do not permit them, O my divine Saviour,
to be sullied by any motives unworthy of
Your Sacred Heart.
I renounce all that could lessen
the merit of my offering.
I renounce all vanity,
self-love and human respect.
Grant, O my God,
that I may commence, continue
and end this day in Your grace
and solely from the pure motive
of pleasing and honouring You.
Our Morning Offering – 1 June – The Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus – Monday of the Ninth week in Ordinary Time, Year A
Daily Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Prayers to 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.
Our Morning Offering – 12 May – “Mary’s Month” Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Gracious Lady, Mother and Virgin By St Augustine (354-430) Doctor of Grace
you are a Mother and Virgin.
You are the Mother of the body and soul
of our Head and Redeemer.
You are also truly Mother
of all the members
of Christ’s Mystical Body.
For through your love,
you have co-operated
in the begetting of the faithful in the Church.
Unique among women,
you are Mother and Virgin,
Mother of Christ and Virgin of Christ.
You are the beauty and charm of earth, O Virgin.
You are forever, the image of the holy Church.
Through a woman came death,
through a woman came life,
yes, through you, O Mother of God.
Be with us through this life.
Mother of Good Counsel
By St Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)
O Mary, your name has been on my lips and in my heart, from my early infancy.
When I was a child, I learnt to love you as a Mother, turn to you in danger and trust to your intercession.
You see in my heart, the desire to know the truth, to practise virtue, to be prudent and just, strong and patient, a brother to all.
O Mary, help me to keep my purpose of living as a faithful disciple of Jesus, for the building up of Christian society and the joy of the Holy Catholic Church.
I greet you, Mother, morning and evening;
I pray to you as I go upon my way;
from you, I hope for the inspiration and encouragement, that will enable me to fulfil the sacred promises of my earthly vocation, give glory to God and win eternal salvation.
Like you in Bethlehem and on Golgotha, I too wish to stay always close to Jesus.
He is the eternal King of all ages and all peoples.
One Minute Reflection – 28 May – Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 7:51–8:1, Psalm 31:3-4, 6-8, 17, 21, John 6:30-35 and the Memorial of Blessed María Felicia of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament OCD (1925-1959)
“I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me shall not hunger and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” … John 6:35
REFLECTION – St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) – Sequence for the feast of Corpus Christi “ Lauda Sion ”
Laud, O Sion, thy salvation
Laud with hymns of exultation
Christ, thy King and Shepherd true,
Spend thyself, his honour raising,
Who surpasseth all thy praising,
Never canst thou reach His due.
Sing today, the mystery showing
Of the living, life-bestowing
Bread from heaven before thee set,
E’en the same of old provideth,
Where the Twelve, divinely guided,
At the holy table met.
Full and clear ring out thy chanting,
Joy nor sweetest grace be wanting
To thy heart and soul today …
Lo, the new King’s table gracing,
This new Passover of blessing
Hath fulfilled the elder rite,
Now the new the old effaceth,
Truth revealed, the shadow chaseth,
Day is breaking on the night.
What He did, at Supper seated,
Christ ordained to be repeated,
His memorial ne’er to cease
And His word for guidance taking,
Bread and wine we hallow, making
Thus our sacrifice of peace.
This the truth to Christians given,
Bread becomes His flesh from heaven,
Wine becomes His holy Blood (Jn 6:55). …
Whoso of this food partaketh,
Christ divideth not nor breaketh,
He is whole to all that taste.
Whether one this bread receiveth
Or a thousand, still He giveth
One same Food that cannot waste. …
Lo! the Angel’s Food is given (Ps 78:25)
To the pilgrim who hath striven,
See the children’s Bread from heaven
Which to dogs may not be cast (Mt 15:26).
Truth the ancient types fulfilling,
Isaac bound, a victim willing (Gn 22),
Paschal lamb, its life-blood spilling,
Manna sent in ages past.
O true Bread, good Shepherd, tend us,
Jesu, of Thy love befriend us,
Thou refresh us, Thou defend us,
Thine eternal goodness send us
In the land of life to see (Ps 27:13)
Thou who all things canst and knowest,
Who on earth such Food bestowest,
Grant us with the saints, though lowest,
Where the heavenly Feast Thou showest,
Fellow-heirs and guests to be.
PRAYER – Almighty Father, to whom this world, with all it’s goodness and beauty belongs, give us grace joyfully to begin this day in Your name and to fill it with the active love for You and our neighbour. By the food You give us, to sustain us on this journey, we are brought to holiness in Your Son, our Lord Jesus the Christ, whom You gave to us as our food. May the Mother of Your Son and our mother, lead us to You and may the prayers of Bl Maria Felicia of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, be a succour on our way. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.
Remember to exchange your Angelus prayer for the Regina Coeli as from Easter Sunday for the next 50 days of Eastertide.
According to Catholic tradition, St Gregory the Great (540-604) heard angels chanting the first three lines one Easter morning in Rome, while following barefoot in a great religious procession of the icon of the Virgin painted by St Luke the Evangelist. He was thereupon inspired to add the fourth line.
The Regina Coeli
Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
For He whom thou did merit to bear, alleluia.
Has risen, as He said, alleluia.
Pray for us to God, alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad, O virgin Mary, alleluia.
For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.
Let us pray.
O God, who gave joy to the world
through the resurrection of Thy son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
grant we beseech Thee,
that through the intercession
of the virgin Mary,
His mother, we may obtain
the joys of everlasting life.
Through the same Christ our Lord.
Our Morning Offering –14 April – Tuesday of Easter week
O Lamb of God By St Irenaeus (c 135- c 202) Bishop & Martyr, Father of the Church
O Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world,
look upon us and have mercy upon us;
You who art Yourself, both victim and Priest,
Yourself, both Reward and Redeemer,
keep safe from all evil
those whom You have redeemed,
O Saviour of the world.
Our Morning Offering – 12 April – Easter Sunday – The Solemnity of the Resurrection of the Lord
Easter Prayer By St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) One of the original four Doctors of the Latin Church
It is only right,
with all the powers of our heart and mind,
to praise You Father and Your Only-Begotten Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Dear Father, by Your wondrous condescension
of Loving-Kindness toward us, Your servants,
You gave up Your Son.
You paid the debt of Adam for us,
to the Eternal Father by Your Blood
poured forth in Loving-Kindness.
You cleared away the darkness of sin
by Your magnificent and radiant Resurrection.
You broke the bonds of death
and rose from the grave as a Conqueror.
You reconciled Heaven and earth.
Our life had no hope of Eternal Happiness
before You redeemed us.
Your Resurrection has washed away our sins,
restored our innocence and brought us joy.
How inestimable is the tenderness of Your Love!
We pray You, Lord, to preserve Your servants
in the peaceful enjoyment of this Easter happiness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ Our Lord,
Who lives and reigns with God The Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever and ever.
One Minute Reflection – Friday of the Passion of the Lord – 10 April, Readings: Isaiah 52:13–53:12, Psalm 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-17, 25, Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9, John 18:1-19:42
There they crucified him and with him two others, one on either side and Jesus between them … John 18:18
REFLECTION – “Truly, you are a hidden God!” (Is 45:15). Why hidden? Because He had neither form nor beauty, yet power was in His hands. It was there His fortitude was hidden.
Was He not hidden when he submitted His hands to brutes and His palms received the nails? The print of the nails gleamed on His hands and His innocent side received the wound. They shackled His feet in fetters, the iron pierced His soles and His feet were fastened to the tree. These wounds did God suffer on our behalf at the hands of His own people, in His own home. O how marvellous are His wounds by which the wounds of the world were healed! How victorious His wounds, by which He slew death and stung hell! (…) Therefore, O Church, O dove, you have coverts in the rock and a hollow in the wall in which to rest (cf. Sg 2:14). (…)
And what will you do (…) when He comes in the clouds with great power and majesty? (cf. Mt 24:30) He will come down with heaven and earth ablaze and by the terror of His coming He will dissolve the elements. When He has come, the Sign of the Cross will be seen in the sky and the beloved one will show the scars of His wounds and the prints of the nails by which He was transfixed in His own home.” … St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) – Cistercian Monk, Bishop
PRAYER – The Angel of the Agony Saint John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
Jesu! by that shuddering dread which fell on Thee.
Jesu! by that cold dismay which sicken’d Thee.
Jesu! by that pang of heart which thrill’d in Thee.
Jesu! by that mount of sins which crippled Thee.
Jesu! by that sense of guilt which stifled Thee.
Jesu! by that innocence that girded Thee.
Jesu! by that sanctity that reign’d in Thee.
Jesu! by that Godhead which was one with Thee.
Jesu! spare those souls which are so dear to Thee.
Who in prison, calm and patient, wait for Thee.
Hasten, Lord, their hour and bid them come to Thee.
To that glorious Home, where they shall ever gaze on Thee.
Our Morning Offering – 2 April – Thursday of the Fifth week of Lent
O Saviour of the World By St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35-c 108) Father of the Church
Lord Jesus Christ,
on the human side
You are sprung from David’s line,
Son of God according to God’s will and power,
born of the Virgin Mary,
baptised by John
and actually Crucified for us in the flesh,
under Pontius Pilate and Herod the Tetrarch.
On the third day, You raised a standard
to rally Your saints and faithful forever
in the one body of Your Church.
By the grace and power of these mysteries,
fit us out with unshakeable faith,
nail us body and soul to Your Cross
and root us in love by Your Blood, shed for us,
O Saviour of the world,
living and reigning, now and forever,
Lenten Reflection – 31 March – Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Numbers 21:4-9, Psalm 102:2-3, 16-21, John 8:21-30
“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”
“When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I Am He…”…John 8:28
Daily Meditation: May we be lifted up with you.
“Jesus lifted up draws all to Himself.
Jesus lifted up on the Cross, reveals fully Whoe He really is.
Jesus is most Jesus, when He is on the Cross.
Even though at Calvary, Jesus was taunted and mocked
by the rabid rabble, to come down from the Cross,
He remained transfixed on it, till the very end.
We need to mount the Cross with Jesus!
We need to see the world from that vantage viewpoint.
Then, everything falls into proper perspective,
then we begin to see the world, as it is.
It is only when we are with Jesus on the Cross,
that we are stretched to our fullest dimensions!” … Msgr Alex Rebello
For my days pass away like smoke and my bones burn like a furnace.
Praise to Christ, who has given us Himself as the bread from heaven.
Let us pray to Him, saying:
Jesus, You feed and heal our souls, come to strengthen us.
Lord, feed us at the banquet of the Eucharist,
– with all the gifts of Your Paschal Sacrifice.
Give us a perfect heart to receive Your word,
– that we may bring forth fruit in patience.
Make us eager to work with You in building a better world,
– so that it may listen to Your Church and its gospel of peace.
We confess, Lord, that we have sinned,
– wash us clean by Your gift of salvation.
The Word of the Cross by Saint Paulinus of Nola (c 354-431)
Look on thy God, Christ hidden in our flesh.
A bitter word, the cross and bitter sight:
Hard rind without, to hold the heart of heaven.
Yet sweet it is, for God upon that tree
Did offer up His life upon that rood
My Life hung, that my life might stand in God.
Christ, what am I to give Thee for my life?
Unless take from Thy hands the cup they hold,
To cleanse me with the precious draught of death.
What shall I do? My body to be burned?
Make myself vile? The debt’s not paid out yet.
Whate’er I do, it is but I and Thou,
And still do I come short, still must Thou pay
My debts, O Christ, for debts Thyself hadst none.
What love may balance Thine? My Lord was found
In fashion like a slave, that so His slave
Might find himself in fashion like his Lord.
Think you the bargain’s hard, to have exchanged
The transient for the eternal, to have sold
Earth to buy Heaven? More dearly God bought me.
“Christ’s shoulders are the arms of the cross, there it is, that I have laid down my sins, on that gallows I have found my rest. “
St Ambrose (340-397)
Father & Doctor of the Church
Our Morning Offering – 31 March – Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Sonnet to our Lord Crucified Anonymous, of Spanish origen
I am not moved to love You, O my God,
That I might hope in promised heaven to dwell,
Nor am I moved by fear of pain in hell,
To turn from sin and follow where You trod.
You move me, Lord, broken beneath the rod,
Or stretched out on the cross, as nails compel
Your hand to twitch. It moves me that we sell,
To mockery and death, Your precious blood.
It is, O Christ, Your love which moves me so,
That my love rests not on a promised prize,
Nor holy fear on threat of endless woe,
It is not milk and honey but the flow
Of blood from blessed wounds before my eyes,
That waters my buried soul and makes it grow.
No me mueve, mi Dios, para quererte,
Elcielo que me tienes prometido,
Mi me mueve el infierno tan temido,
para dejar por eso de ofenderte.
Tu me mueves, Senor, mueveme el verte
Clavado en una cruz y escarnecido,
Mueveme el ver tu cuerpo tan herido,
Muevenme tus afrentas y tu muerte.
Mueveme, en fin, tu amor de tal manera,
que aunque no hubiera cielo, yo te amara,
Y aunque no hubiera infierno, te temiera.
No me tienes que dar porque Te quiera,
Porque, aunque lo que espero no esperara,
Lo mismo que te quiero Te quisiera.
Who wrote it? Who knows? The names fell from the pages, Lost and never To return to where The eyes of the reader Might ever see them. ‘I am no-one, Constructing eternity so, I can live forever’
Lenten Reflection – 28 March – Saturday of the Fourth week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 11:18-20, Psalm 7:2-3, 9-12, John 7:40-53
“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”
Others said, “This is the Christ.” ... John 7:41
Apart from You we can do nothing.
“In Christ we encounter such human characteristics that they have nothing to distinguish them from the weakness common to us mortals. At the same time, we encounter characteristics so divine, that they can only be appropriate to the sovereign and ineffable divine nature. Too small to comprehend this, the human mind is so dumbfounded, that it does not know what to take its stand on, nor which path to follow. Is it aware of God in Christ? Yet it sees Him die. Does it take Him to be a man? But see Him coming back from the dead with the prize of His victory, having destroyed the reign of death. In the same way our contemplation needs to be practised with such reverence and fear that, in the same Jesus, it considers the truth of the two natures, avoiding attributing to the divine essence those things that are not worthy of it or do not belong to it but also avoiding seeing only an illusory appearance in historical events.
In truth, causing such things as these to be heard by human ears, trying to express them in words considerably surpasses our ability, talent and language. I even think it surpasses the capability of the apostles. More still, the explanation of this mystery probably transcends the entire order of angelic powers.” … Origen (c 185-253) Father, Priest and Theologian
My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart.
Let us always and everywhere give thanks to Christ our Saviour
and ask Him with confidence:
Lord, help us with Your grace.
May we keep our bodies pure,
– as temples of the Holy Spirit.
May we offer ourselves this day to the service of others
– and do Your will in all things throughout the day.
Teach us to seek the bread of everlasting life,
– the bread that is Your gift.
May Your Mother, the refuge of sinners, pray for us,
– and gain for us your loving forgiveness.
O Jesus, Mary’s Son! By St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor Angelicus, Doctor communis
Hail to Thee! True body sprung
From the Virgin Mary’s womb!
The same that on the cross was hung
And bore for man the bitter doom.
Thou Whose side was pierced and flowed
Both with water and with blood.
Suffer us to taste of Thee
In our life’s last agony.
O kind, O loving One!
O Jesus, Mary’s Son!
Lenten Reflection – 26 March – Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Readings: Exodus 32:7-14, Psalms 106:19-23, John 5:31-47
“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”
“…you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe him whom he has sent.” … John 5:38
The new covenant has come to interpret the old, now, at last, the world is able to grasp those words that nothing covers any longer. The Lord, our Sun, has arisen over the world and illumined every living being, mysteries and enigmas are at last made clear. The veil that used to cover those books has been removed and the world beholds the Son of God with uncovered face.”…St Jacob of Sarug (c 451-521) Syrian Bishop and Monk
Therefore he said he would destroy them— had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him, to turn away his wrath from destroying them.
God has revealed Himself in Christ.
Let us praise His goodness
and ask Him from our hearts:
Remember us, Lord, for we are Your children.
Teach us to enter more deeply into the mystery of the Church,
– that it may be more effective for ourselves
and for the world as the sacrament of salvation.
Lover of mankind, inspire us to work for human progress,
– seeking to spread Your kingdom in all we do.
May our hearts thirst for Christ,
– the fountain of living water.
Forgive us our sins,
– and direct our steps into the ways of justice and sincerity.
The Promise St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
And lastly, O my dear Lord,
though I am so very weak
that I am not fit to ask You
for suffering as a gift
and have not strength to do so,
at least I will beg of You,
grace to meet suffering well,
when You, in Your love and wisdom,
brings it upon me,
knowing that in this way,
I shall gain the promise,
both of this life and of the next.
Lenten Reflection – 18 March – Tuesday of the Third week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 3:25, 34-43, Psalm 25:4-9, Matthew 18:21-35
“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”
“Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?” …Matthew 18:33
Daily Meditation: Make us one in love and prayer.
“What is human mercy like? It makes you concerned for the hardship of the poor. What is divine mercy like? It forgives sinners…
In this world God is cold and hungry in all the poor, as He Himself said (Mt 25:40)… What sort of people are we? When God gives, we want to receive, when He asks, we refuse to give? When a poor man is hungry, Christ is in need, as He said Himself: “I was hungry and you gave me no food” (v. 42). Take care not to despise the hardship of the poor, if you would hope, without fear, to have your sins forgiven… What He receives on earth He returns in heaven.
I put you this question, dearly beloved – what is it you want, what is it you are looking for, when you come to church? What indeed if not mercy? Show mercy on earth and you will receive mercy in heaven. A poor man is begging from you and you are begging from God, he asks for a scrap, you ask for eternal life… And so when you come to church give whatever alms you can to the poor in accordance with your means.” … St Caesarius of Arles (470-543) – Sermon 25
Blessed be God, the giver of salvation,
who decreed that mankind should become a new creation in Himself,
when all would be made new.
With great confidence let us ask him:
Lord, renew us in Your Spirit.
Lord, You promised a new heaven and a new earth; renew us daily through Your Spirit,
– that we may enjoy Your presence for ever in the heavenly Jerusalem.
Help us to work with You to make this world alive with Your Spirit,
– and to build on earth a city of justice, love and peace.
Free us from all negligence and sloth,
– and give us joy in Your gifts of grace.
Deliver us from evil,
– and from slavery to the senses, which blinds us to goodness.
Closing Prayer: O Lord and Master of My Life Prayer of Saint Ephrem the Syrian (306-373) Father & Doctor of the Church
O Lord and Master of my life,
give me not a spirit of sloth, vain curiosity,
lust for power and idle talk.
But give to me, Thy servant,
a spirit of soberness, humility, patience and love.
O Lord and King,
grant me to see my own faults
and not to condemn my brother.
For blessed art Thou to the ages of ages.
O God, be merciful to me a sinner.
O God, cleanse me, a sinner.
O God, my Creator, save me
and for my many sins forgive me!
Our Morning Offering – 11 March – Thursday of the Second week of Lent
My Lord, I Offer You Myself By St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
I offer You myself in turn,
as a sacrifice of thanksgiving.
You have died for me,
And I in turn make myself over to You.
I am not my own.
You have bought me:
I will, by my own act and deed,
complete the purchase.
My wish is to be separated
from everything of this world;
To cleanse myself simply from sin;
To put away from me even what is innocent,
If used for its own sake
and not for Yours.
I put away reputation and honour
and influence and power,
For my praise and strength,
shall be in You.
Enable me to carry out what I profess
Lenten Preparation Novena to the Holy Face Begins today, 17 February
Shrove Tuesday is also the Feast of the Holy Face. Many who discover this are quickly struck by the significance of beginning Lent more in love with His countenance. For having made reparation “with Jesus, united with all His sorrows, love and total abandonment” through the novena, we can begin our Lenten walk with Christ more at the ready to comfort Him along the way, as St Veronica did.
Indeed, this searingly beautiful devotion goes back to the Passion itself, when the veil of Veronica smoothed the injuries of Jesus’ Holy Face, so besieged with pain.
In 1843, Sister Marie of St Peter had visions of Jesus requesting a devotion to His Holy Face called “The Golden Arrow,” [https://anastpaul.com/2019/01/14/our-morning-offering-14-january-month-of-the-holy-name-of-jesus/] which brings Him great delight, as He said to Sr Marie, “All who honour My Holy Face in a spirit of reparation thereby perform for Me the services of the pious Veronica.”
In 1938, Jesus appeared to Blessed Maria Pierina de Micheli, His face bloodied by His Passion and said, speaking of His Face, “I wish that it be venerated by a special feast on Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. I wish that the feast be preceded by a novena in which the faithful make reparation with me, joining together and sharing in my sorrow.”For: “Those on earth who contemplate the wounds of My Face, shall in heaven, behold it, radiant with glory.”
Following that request, Pope Pius XII named Shrove Tuesday as the official Feast of the Holy Face in 1958.
We pray our Novena in fine company.
St Augustine (354-430), St Gertrude the Great (1256-1302) and St Bernard (1090-1153), St Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897), among many others, all venerated the Holy Face.
In the words of St John Paul II: “And is it not the Church’s task, to reflect the light of Christ in every historical period, to make His face shine also before generations of the new millennium? Our witness, however, would be hopelessly inadequate, if we ourselves had not first contemplated His face.”
In a similar way, our Lenten witness to the wounds on His Hands and Fee, is inadequate if we have not first contemplated His Face, bitterly kissed by Judas, spat upon, battered, covered with sweat and blood and crowned with thorns, continuing to be dishonoured even today, through the Blessed Sacrament by profanations, sacrilege and neglect.
For so many, Shrove Tuesday is a date on the calendar that gets overshadowed by Ash Wednesday, that memorable day we wear the outward sign of repentance and recall our mortality. How much more meaningful will our Ash Wednesday be, if we first mark Shrove Tuesday as a Feast of the Holy Face, concluding the Novena we began in Ordinary Time and beginning Lent, more in love, with the countenance of Christ and, through Him, made more beautiful in our own soul. Amen!
THE HOLY FACE OF JESUS
“I firmly wish that My Face, reflecting the intimate pains of my soul, the suffering and love of my heart, be more honoured! Whoever gazes upon me already consoles me.”
(Our Lord Jesus Christ to Sister Pierina)
This novena prayer may be said at anytime but, especially in the nine days leading up to the Feast of the Holy Face on Shrove Tuesday. The Holy Face Devotion is approved by the Vatican.
DAILY PREPARATORY PRAYER
O Most Holy and Blessed Trinity,
through the intercession of Holy Mary,
whose soul was pierced through
by a sword of sorrow
at the sight of the passion of her Divine Son,
we ask Your help,
in making a perfect Novena of Reparation with Jesus,
united with all His sorrows, love and total abandonment.
We now implore all the Angels and Saints
to intercede for us as we pray this Holy Novena
to the Most Holy Face of Jesus
and for the glory of the most Holy Trinity,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
“All those who, attracted by My Love and venerating My Countenance, shall receive, by virtue of My Humanity, a brilliant and vivid impression of My Divinity. This splendour shall enlighten the depths of their souls, so that in eternal glory the celestial court shall marvel at the marked likeness of their features, with My Divine Countenance.” … Our Lord Jesus Christ to St Gertrude
(Console the Holy Face and recite Daily Preparatory Prayer) above.
Psalm 51,3-4. Have mercy on me, O God in your goodness, in your great tenderness wipe away my faults, wash me clean of my guilt, purify me from my sin.
O most Holy Face of Jesus,
look with tenderness on us who are sinners.
You are a merciful God,
full of love and compassion.
Keep us pure of heart,
so that we may see Thee always.
Mary, our Mother,
intercede for us,
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Through the merits of Thy Precious Blood
and Thy Holy Face, O Jesus,
grant us our petition………………
and Thy pardon and mercy.
Prayer to Our Almighty Father By St Augustine (354-430)
Almighty Father, come into our hearts
and so fill us with Your love that forsaking all evil desires,
we may embrace You, our only good.
Show us, O Lord our God, what You are to us.
Say to our souls, I am your salvation,
speak so, that we may hear.
Our hearts are before You,
open our ears,
let us hasten after Your Voice.
Hide not Your Face from us, we beseech You, O Lord.
Open our hearts, so that You may enter in.
Repair the ruined mansions, that You may dwell therein.
Hear us, O Heavenly Father,
for the sake of Your only Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Pray (1) Our Father, (3) Hail Marys, (1) Glory Be.
O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every Adoration Thine(Three times)
Our Morning Offering – 4 February – Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time, Year A and The Memorial of Blessed Rabanus Maurus (776-856)
Veni Creator Spiritus By Blessed Rabanus Maurus (776-856)
Come, Creator, Spirit,
come from Your bright heavenly throne,
come take possession of our souls
and make them all Your own.
You who are called the Paraclete,
best gift of God above,
the living spring,
the vital fire,
sweet christ’ning and true love. . . .
O guide our minds with Your best light,
with love our hearts inflame
and with Your strength,
which ne’er decays,
confirm our mortal frame.
Far from us drive our deadly foe,
true peace unto us bring
and through all perils lead us safe
beneath Your sacred wing.
Through You may we the Father know,
through You th’eternal Son
and You the Spirit of them both,
thrice-blessed Three in One. . . .