Our Morning Offering – 16 December – Wednesday of the Third week of Advent
Hark, a Herald Voice is Calling En Clara Vox Redarguit Trans. Fr E Caswall, 1695
Hark, a herald voice is calling, “Christ is nigh,” it seems to say; “Cast away the dreams of darkness, O ye children of the day.”
Startled at the solemn warning, Let the earthbound soul arise; Christ her Sun, all sloth dispelling, Shines up on the morning skies.
Lo, the Lamb so long expected, Comes with pardon down from heav’n; Let us haste, with tears of sorrow, One and all to be forgiv’n.
So when next He comes with glory, Shrounding all the earth in fear, May He then as our defender, On the clouds of heav’n appear.
Translated from En Clara Vox Redarguit, which is a 5th or 6th century hymn whose author is unknown. It was revised in the 1632 Roman Breviary and the English translation found above, is by Fr E Caswall, 1695.
Advent Reflection – 11 December – Friday of the Second week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 48:17-19, Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6, Matthew 11:16-19
Let us adore the Lord, the king who is to come.
“For John came, neither eating nor drinking and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by her works.” … Matthew 11:18-19
REFLECTION – “O Fire ever burning,” let us say together with Saint Augustine – “inflame our souls.” O incarnate Word, You became man to strike in our hearts the fire of divine love, how is it You should find in us such great ingratitude? You held nothing back to enable us to love You; You went as far as to sacrifice Your blood and Your life. What is the reason we humans remain unmoved by such great gifts? Is it because we know nothing about them? Not at all. People understand and believe, it is for love of them, You came down from heaven to put on human flesh and take on the burden of their woes. They know it is for love of them, You willed to lead a life of constant suffering and undergo a shameful death. How explain, after all this, their living in such absolute forgetfulness of Your unequalled kindness? They love their family, they love their friends, they even love their livestock! … it is for You alone they are without love and without gratitude! But what am I saying? In accusing others of ungratefulness, I condemn myself since my conduct in Your regard is even worse than theirs. Nevertheless, Your mercy gives me courage. I know how long it has borne with me, to forgive me and set me on fire with Your love, if only I am willing to repent and love You.
Oh yes, my God, I want to repent … I want to love You with all my heart. I well see how my heart … has abandoned You to love the things of this world but I also see how, in spite of this betrayal, You yet claim it as Your own. And so, with all the strength of my will, I consecrate it and offer it to You. Therefore, be pleased to inflame it wholly with Your holy love and grant, that from now on, it may love no other thing but You … O my Jesus, I love You, I love You, my sovereign Good! I love You, sole Love of my soul.
O Mary, my mother, you are the “mother of noble loving” (Sir 24:24 Vg.), grant me the grace of loving my God. It is from you that I hope to gain it.” – St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) – Bishop and Most Zealous Doctor of the Church – 1st Sermon for the Octave of Christmas
PRAYER – Lord, watch over Your people, who come to You in confidence. Strengthen the hearts of those who hope in You. Give courage to those who falter because of their failures. In this holy season of Advent, lead them closer to You in hope, by the power of Your Holy Spirit. May Mary Immaculate, our Mother and Advocate be our eternal succour. Through Christ, our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 11 December – Friday of the Second week of Advent
Advent Prayer – God of Hope
God of hope, who brought love into this world, be the love that dwells between us. God of hope, who brought peace into this world, be the peace that dwells between us. God of hope, who brought joy into this world, be the joy that dwells between us. God of hope, the rock we stand upon, be the centre, the focus of our lives always and particularly this Advent time. Through Him, who is our hope, our joy, our love, our peace, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 9 December – Wednesday of the Second week of Advent
Let Thy goodness, Lord, Appear to Us An Advent Prayer By St Bernard (1090-1153) Father and Mellifluous Doctor of the Church
Let Thy goodness, Lord, appear to us, that we, made in Thy image, conform ourselves to it. In our own strength, we cannot imitate Thy majesty, power and wonder, nor is it fitting for us to try. But Thy mercy reaches from the heavens through the clouds, to the earth below. Thou hast come to us as a small child but Thou hast brought us the greatest of all gifts, the gift of eternal love. Caress us with Thy tiny hands, embrace us with Thy tiny arms and pierce our hearts with Thy soft, sweet cries. Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 8 December – The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
“I am the Immaculate Conception.”
Our Lady of Lourdes to St Bernadette 25 March 1858
“Come, then and search out Your sheep, not through Your servants or hired men but do it Yourself. Lift me up bodily and in the flesh, which is fallen in Adam. Lift me up not from Sarah but from Mary, a Virgin not only undefiled but a Virgin whom grace had made inviolate, free of every stain of sin.”
St Ambrose (340-397) Father and Doctor of the Church
“He came down into the Virgin’s womb, a womb unstained, unspotted, hallowed by the touch of divine unction.”
St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159)
O Most Holy Virgin By St Pope Pius X (1835-1914)
Most holy Virgin, who pleased our Lord and became His Mother, Virgin Immaculate in your body and soul, in your faith and love, at this solemn jubilee of the promulgation of the dogma which proclaimed you to the entire world as conceived without sin, look kindly on us, unfortunate ones, who implore your powerful protection. The infernal serpent, upon whom the primeval curse was laid, continues, alas, to attack and tempt the hapless children of Eve. Ah! Do you, our blessed Mother, our Queen and Advocate, who at the first moment of your conception did crush the enemy’s head, do you gather together our prayers and we beseech you (our hearts one with yours), present them before God’s throne, that we may never allow ourselves to be caught in the snares laid for us but that we may reach the portal of salvation and that the Church and Christian society may once more chant the hymn of deliverance, of victory and of peace. Amen
“Enraptured by the splendour of your heavenly beauty and impelled by the anxieties of the world, we cast ourselves into your arms, O Immaculate Mother of Jesus and our Mother Mary, confident of finding in your most loving heart, appeasement of our ardent desires and a safe harbour from the tempests which beset us on every side.
“O crystal fountain of faith, bathe our minds with the eternal truths! O fragrant Lily of all holiness, captivate our hearts with your heavenly perfume! O Conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep horror of sin, which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of hell!
O well-beloved of God, hear the ardent cry which rises up from every heart. Bend tenderly over our aching wounds. Convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and oppressed, comfort the poor and humble, quench hatreds, sweeten harshness, safeguard the flower of purity in youth, protect the holy Church, make all men feel the attraction of Christian goodness.”
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – 8 December – Patronages – barrel makers, coopers, cloth makers, cloth workers, soldiers of the United States, Spanish infantry, tapestry workers, upholsterers, Argentina, Brazil, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Guam, Nicaragua, Panama, Portugal, Tanzania, Tunisia, United States, 68 dioceses, 8 cities.
Celebrating Almighty God’s Preservation of the Blessed Virgin Mary From Original Sin
On 8 December 1854, Blessed Pope Pius IX officially declared the Immaculate Conception a Dogma of the Church, which means that all Christians are bound to accept it as true.
The Infallible Teaching of the Catholic Church, as the Holy Father wrote in the Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus, on the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
“Wherefore, in humility and fasting, we unceasingly offered our private prayers as well as the public prayers of the Church, to God the Father through His Son, that He would deign to direct and strengthen our mind by the power of the Holy Spirit. In like manner did we implore the help of the entire heavenly host as we ardently invoked the Paraclete.
Accordingly, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for the honour of the Holy and undivided Trinity, for the glory and adornment of the Virgin Mother of God, for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith and for the furtherance of the Catholic religion, by the authority of Jesus Christ our Lord, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul and by our own:
We declare, pronounce and define, that the Doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her Conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a Doctrine revealed by God and, therefore, to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful. Hence, if anyone shall dare — which God forbid! — to think otherwise than as has been defined by us, let him know and understand that he is condemned by his own judgment, that he has suffered shipwreck in the faith, that he has separated from the unity of the Church and that, furthermore, by his own action, he incurs the penalties established by law if he should dare to express in words or writing, or by any other outward means, the errors he think in his heart.”
Blessed Pope Pius IX (1792-1878), Ineffabilis Deus, 8 December 1854
“That one woman is both Mother and Virgin, not in spirit only but even in body. In spirit she is mother, not of our Head, who is our Saviour Himself—of whom all, even she herself, are rightly called children of the bridegroom—but plainly she is the mother of us, who are His members, because by love, she has cooperated, so that the faithful, who are the members of that Head, might be born in the Church. In body, indeed, she is the Mother of that very Head”
Saint Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Church
Act of Consecration By St Maximillian Kolbe (1894-1941)
O Immaculate, Queen of heaven and earth, Refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to You, I, an unworthy sinner, cast myself at Your feet, humbly imploring You to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to Yourself as Your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever pleases You. If it pleases You, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what has been said of You: “She will crush your head”, and “You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world.” Let me be a fit instrument in Your immaculate and most merciful hands for introducing and increasing Your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls and thus help extend as far as possible, the blessed Kingdom of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For, wherever You enter, You obtain the grace of conversion and sanctification, since it is through Your hands, that all graces come to us. from the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Our Morning Offering – 6 December – Second Sunday of Advent
Grant us Your Light, O Lord By The Venerable St Bede (673-735) Father and Doctor of the Church
Grant us Your light, O Lord, so that the darkness of our hearts, may wholly pass away and we may come at last, to the light of Christ. For Christ is that morning star, who, when the night of this world has passed, brings to His saints, the promised light of life and opens to them, everlasting day. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 5 December – Saturday of the First week of Advent
Alma Redemptoris Mater Loving Mother of the Redeemer By Blessed Herman of Reichenau/the Cripple OSB (1013–1054)
Loving Mother of the Redeemer! Hear thou thy people’s cry, Star of the deep and portal of the sky! Mother of Him Who thee from nothing made, Sinking we strive and call to thee for aid; Oh, by that joy which Gabriel brought to thee, Thou Virgin first and last, let us thy mercy see.
Alma Redemptóris Mater, quæ pérvia cæli Porta manes, et stella maris, succúrre cadénti, Súrgere qui curat pópulo: tu quæ genuísti, Natúra miránte, tuum sanctum Genitórem Virgo prius ac postérius, Gabriélis ab ore Sumens illud Ave, peccatórum miserére.
Marian Antiphon Traditionally said from Advent to the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. Blessed Herman is the Author of the Salve Regina, the Veni Sancte Spiritus and the Alma Redemptoris Mater amongst others.
Our Morning Offering – 2 December – Wednesday of the First Week of Advent
Come, Sun and Saviour 8th Century Catholic Advent Prayer/Hymn
Come, Sun and Saviour, to embrace our gloomy world, i’s weary race, As groom to bride, as bride to groom: The wedding chamber, Mary’s womb. At Your great Name, O Jesus, now All knees must bend, all hearts must bow, All things on earth with one accord, Like those in heaven, shall call You Lord. Come in Your holy might, we pray, Redeem us for eternal day. Defend us while we dwell below, From all assaults of our dread foe. Amen
In keeping the Blessed Virgin free from the stain of sin from the moment of her conception, God presents us with a glorious example of what mankind was meant to be. Mary is truly the second Eve, because, like Eve, she entered the world without sin. Unlike Eve, she remained sinless throughout her life—a life that she dedicated fully to the will of God.
The Immaculate Conception was not, as many people mistakenly believe, a precondition for Christ’s act of redemption but the result of it. Standing outside of time, God knew that Mary would humbly submit herself to His will and in His love for this perfect servant, He applied to her at the moment of her conception the redemption, won by Christ, that all Christians receive at their Baptism.
It is appropriate, then, that the Church has long declared the month in which the Blessed Virgin not only was conceived but gave birth to the Saviour of the world as the Month of the Immaculate Conception.
Let us Pray, this theologically rich prayer written by Ven Servant of God Pope Pius XII (1876-1958) in 1954 in honour of the 100th anniversary of the promulgation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
Enraptured by the splendour of your heavenly beauty and impelled by the anxieties of the world, we cast ourselves into your arms, O Immaculate Mother of Jesus and our Mother, Mary, confident of finding in your most loving heart, appeasement of our ardent desires and a safe harbour from the tempests which beset us on every side.
Though degraded by our faults and overwhelmed by infinite misery, we admire and praise the peerless richness of sublime gifts with which God has filled you, above every other mere creature, from the first moment of your conception until the day on which, after your assumption into heaven, He crowned you Queen of the Universe.
O crystal fountain of faith, bathe our minds with the eternal truths! O fragrant Lily of all holiness, captivate our hearts with your heavenly perfume! O Conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep horror of sin, which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of hell!
O well-beloved of God, hear the ardent cry which rises up from every heart. Bend tenderly over our aching wounds. Convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and oppressed, comfort the poor and humble, quench hatreds, sweeten harshness, safeguard the flower of purity in youth, protect the holy Church, make all men feel the attraction of Christian goodness. In your name, resounding harmoniously in heaven, may they recognise that they are brothers and that the nations are members of one family, upon which, may there shine forth, the sun of a universal and sincere peace.
Receive, O most sweet Mother, our humble supplications and, above all, obtain for us that, one day, happy with you, we may repeat before your throne that hymn which today is sung on earth around your altars – You are all-beautiful, O Mary! You are the glory, you are the joy, you are the honour of our people! Amen.
Finally, having traversed the long roads and trials of the desert we have arrived in our new coastal home and after much ado, we are back online at last and I am so happy to be with you. Blessed be God as His many Graces have been poured down upon us and may He bless you all for your many prayers which so kindly accompanied us during this time.
From tomorrow, I will be back in the usual way. May we share this beautiful season of anticipation together.
In the meantime, herewith, a little reminder of the beautiful Catholic tradition of the St Andrew Novena, the Christmas Anticipation Prayer which we began yesterday and pray 15 times everyday until Christmas.
While a Novena is normally a nine-day prayer, the term is sometimes used for any prayer that is repeated over a series of days. It is an ideal Advent devotion; the First Sunday of Advent is the Sunday closest to the Feast of Saint Andrew.
The novena is not actually addressed to Saint Andrew but to God Himself, asking Him to grant our request in honour of the birth of His Son at Christmas. You can say the prayer all 15 times, all at once; or divide up the recitation as necessary (perhaps five times at each meal).
Prayed as a family, the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena is a very good way to help focus the attention of your family and children on the Advent season.
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment, in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, ………………… [here mention your request] through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ and of His blessed Mother. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 14 September – Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Prayer In Honour of the Holy Cross Third Prayer from the Seven Penitential Psalms Devotion
Almighty God, Lord Jesus Christ, who, for our sake, stretched out Your pure hands on the Cross and redeemed us with Your precious Blood, grant me to feel and understand that I may have true repentance and great perseverance, all the days of my life. Your reign is a reign for all ages. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 14 July – “Month of the Precious Blood” – Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
An Old Morning Prayer – Excerpt From The Blossoms of the Cross — 1894 The Sisters of St Joseph
I rise In God’s strength,
In God’s power,
In the Agony of Christ,
In the Cross of Christ,
In Christ’s Precious Blood,
These will sustain me against my enemies,
visible and invisible.
I rise in the blessing of Christ
which my dearest Jesus left to the whole world.
Protect me, All-Holy Trinity,
God the Father, Who created me,
God, the Son, Who redeemed me in His Precious Blood,
God, the Holy Ghost, Who sanctified me in Holy Baptism.
God, the Father, I give myself to Thee!
God, the Son, I commend myself to Thee!
God, the Holy Ghost, teach me!
Mary, Mother of God, assist me!
All you Saints of God, pray for me!
All you Holy Angels, protect me!
The Cross of Christ preserve me!
Our Morning Offering – 6 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
By Your Heart and By Your Blood! By St Francis De Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of Charity
May Your Heart
dwell always in our hearts!
May Your Blood
ever flow in the veins of our souls!
O Sun of our hearts,
You give life to all things
by the rays of Your goodness!
I will not go,
until Your Heart has strengthened me,
O Lord Jesus!
May the Heart of Jesus
be the King of my heart!
Blessed be God.
Our Morning Offering – 4 July – “Month of the Precious Blood” and a Marian Saturday of the Thirteenth week in Ordinary Time
Mother of the Eternal Word Raccolta Prayer
Most glorious Virgin,
chosen by the eternal Counsel
to be the Mother of the eternal Word made flesh,
thou who art the treasurer of divine graces
and the advocate of sinners,
I who am thy most unworthy servant
have recourse to thee.
Be thou pleased to be my guide
and counsellor in this vale of tears.
Obtain for me
through the Most Precious Blood
of thy divine Son,
the forgiveness of my sins,
the salvation of my soul
and the means necessary to obtain it.
In like manner obtain for the Holy Church
victory over her enemies
and the spread of the kingdom of Jesus Christ
upon the whole earth.
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.
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