“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me” – Luke 9:23
REFLECTION – “What joy to live in the Cross of Christ! Who could complain of suffering? Only the insensate man who does not adore the Passion of Christ, the Cross of Christ, the Heart of Christ, can in his own griefs, give way to despair… How good it is to live united with the Cross of Christ. Christ Jesus… teach me that truth, which consists in rejoicing in scorn, injury, degradation; teach me to suffer with that humble, silent joy of the saints; teach me to be gentle towards those who don’t love me or who despise me; teach me that truth, which from the mound of Calvary You reveal to the whole world. But I know: a very gentle voice within me explains it all; I feel something in me which comes from You and which I don’t know how to put into words; so much mystery is revealed that man cannot apprehend it. I, Lord, in my way, do understand it. It is love. In that is everything. I know it, Lord, nothing more is needed, nothing more, it is love! Who shall describe the love of Christ? Let men, creatures and all things, keep silent, so that we may hear in the stillness, the whisperings of love, meek, patient, immense, infinite, which from the Cross, Jesus offers us with His arms open. The world, mad, doesn’t listen.” – St Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938) a Spanish Trappist Monk – Spiritual writings 07/04/1938
PRAYER – God of mercy, teach us to live as You have ordained. Help us to follow Your commandments with courage and steadfast devotion. Let our Saviour be our Master, help us to learn from Him, the ways of prayer in silence, the ways of love. Fill us with the fire of the Holy Spirit, that we may learn. Grant blessed Trinity, that by the prayers of St Theotonius, we may grow in holiness. Through Jesus our Lord, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever. Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 15 February – The Memorial of St Claude de la Colombiere SJ (1641-1682) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart”
“He promises to be [our] strength, in proportion to the trust which [we] place in Him.”
“… Make use of Our Lord as an armour which covers [us] all about, by means of which [we] shall resist every device of [our] enemies. You shall then be my Strength, O my God! You shall be my Guide, my Director, my Counsellor, my Patience, my Knowledge, my Peace, my Justice and my Prudence.”
“[Prayer] is the one means for our purification, the one way to union with God, the one channel by which God may unite Himself with us, that He may do anything with us, for His glory. To obtain the virtues of an apostle, we must pray; to make them of use to our neighbour, we must pray; to prevent our losing them, while we use them in His service, we must pray. The counsel, or rather the commandment: Pray always, seems to me extremely sweet and by no means impossible. It secures the practice of the presence of God …”
St Claude de la Colombiere (1641-1682) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart”
Mother of Mercy, Our Lady of Pellevoisin, France (1876) – 13 February: Pellevoisin is a little village not far from Tours in France. In 1876, a young woman, Estelle Faguette, lay dying from tuberculosis, at the aged of 33 – only five hours to live in the opinion of the doctors. With childlike faith, Estelle composed a letter to the Blessed Virgin Mary in which she asked for a cure. The letter was laid at the feet of a Statue of the Virgin in Montbel, the summer chateau of the Rochefoucaulds, about 3 km from Pellevoisin.
And, on the 13th of February, when all were expecting her death, Our Lady appeared near the sickbed. This occurred on three successive nights and then, as Our Lady had promised, the sick woman was instantly cured on a Saturday. During the visits, Our Lady of Pellevoisin frequently spoke to Estelle, her theme being that which she so often has expressed during the past hundred years:
“I am all-merciful and have great influence over my Son. What distresses me most is the lack of respect for my Son. Publish my glory.”
For some months after her miraculous cure, Estelle continued to live quietly at Pellevoisin. She was at a loss to find the means of fulfilling the mission entrusted to her by Our Lady. Her heavenly visitor, however, was watching over her and Estelle was to see her again and receive more minute instructions as to what was required of her. On the feast of Our Lady’s Visitation in the same year, 1876, as Estelle was praying in her room, she was granted another vision. Our Lady, robed in white and wearing on her breast a white scapular with the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, appeared to her favoured friend. This was the first of a series of wonderful visions enjoyed by Estelle, ten in all. Again and again Mary pointed to the great need for penance and expiation – a return to God. During one of these apparitions, Our Lady of Pellevoisin, taking her white scapular in her hand, held it before Estelle saying,
“I love this devotion.”
Immediately Estelle knew that her life’s work was to propagate devotion to the Sacred Heart by means of a scapular modeled on Mary’s. On her last appearance, December 8th, Our Lady commanded Estelle to approach her Bishop and give him a copy of the new scapular.
“Tell him to help you with all his power and that nothing would be more agreeable to me, than to see this badge on each one of my children, in reparation for the outrages that my Son suffers in the Sacrament of His Love. See, the graces I pour upon those who wear it with confidence and who help to make it known.”
The Prelate in question, the Archbishop of Bourges, Mnsgr de La Tour d’Auvergne, gave Estelle a favourable hearing and immediately set up a commission to investigate the whole matter. The result of all this was the establishment at Pellevoisin in 1894 by Pope Leo XIII of an Archconfraternity under the title of Mother of Mercy, Our Lady of Pellevoisin. The membership of this Confraternity has gone on increasing year after year, while Pellevoisin itself has become a centre of pilgrimages for thousands of Mary’s friends. Estelle lived her quiet and peaceful life at Pellevoisin, neither desiring nor receiving any personal credit. She died in 1929. Her miraculous cure was recognised in 1983 by Monsignor Paul Vignancour. Although no formal approval has been granted acknowledging the authenticity of the events at Pellevoisi, either by the local bishop at Bourges or by the Holy See, numerous acts of secondary level of approval, including recognition of Mary’s scapular request, have been granted. Pope Leo XIII, by a Motu Proprio, granted indulgences to encourage the pilgrimage to Pellevoisin on 20 December 1892, and on 4 April 1900, The Congregation of Rites issued a decree granting approval to the Scapular of the Sacred Heart.
St Julian of Lyon St Lucinus of Angers St Marice St Martinian the Hermit St Maura of Ravenna St Modomnoc St Paulus Lio Hanzuo St Peter I of Vercelli St Phaolô Lê Van Loc St Stephen of Lyons St Stephen of Rieti
Thought for the Day – 28 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Blessed Eucharist
“By means of this wonderful gift, we can live the life of Jesus Himself.
It is Our Lord Himself, Who says to us: “As the living Father has sent me and as I live because of the Father, so he who eats me, he also shall live because of me” (Jn 6:58). In other words, as He draws His divine and human life from the Father and lives by means of Him, to Whom as God, He is substantially united and equal, so anyone who partakes of the Eucharist, is united closely to Jesus, lives His life and is transformed by His supernatural grace. When Holy Communion is received, therefore, as it ought to be and as the Saints received it, it leads to the mysterious union of which St Paul speaks: “To me to live is Christ” (Phil 1:21). “It is now no longer I that live but Christ, lives in me” (Gal 2:20).
The effect of Holy Communion on us, should be similar to that of a graft upon a tree, whose life is thereby transformed and which begins to produce the fruit of the new shoot instead of the old trunk. We should no longer live the life of the old man but, that of the new, which is Jesus. We ought, therefore, to produce His divine fruits. Our actions will have a supernatural value because they are performed in Jesus and through Jesus. We should be very grateful to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for this gift of His infinite love and goodness. We should approach Holy Communion with humility, love and complete self-surrender. Our hearts should be fused in the Heart of Jesus and our love should be fused in His infinite love.”
Quote/s of the Day – 17 January – Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Readings: 1 Samuel 3:3-10, 19, Psalms 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10, 1 Corinthians 6:13-15, 17-20, John 1:35-42
“Come and you will see.”
“Speak Lord for your servant hears.”
1 Samuel 3:10
He said to them, “Come and you will see.”
“Go your way, behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.”
“A person who wishes to become the Lord’s disciple must repudiate a human obligation, however honourable it may appear, if it slows us, ever so slightly, in giving the wholehearted obedience we owe to God.”
St Basil the Great (329-379) Father and Doctor of the Church
“He wants you to become a living force for all mankind, lights shining in the world. You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the Great Light, bathed in the glory of Him who is the Light of Heaven.”
St Gregory Nazianzen (330-390) Father & Doctor of the Church
“Be strengthened in Almighty God and in the power of His might, for with His help, nothing is difficult. Throw off the heavy load of your own will, cast aside the burden of sin and gird yourselves as valiant warriors. Forget what you are leaving behind; strain forward to the great things before you. I tell you, that every place where you set foot, shall be yours. For the Spirit who goes before your face is Christ the Lord. He will carry you to the topmost peak in the arms of His love.”
St Francis of Assisi (c 1181-1226)
“Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes, through which, the compassion of Christ, looks out to the world. Yours are the feet, with which, He is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands, with which, He is to bless others now.”
St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church
“It is our vocation to set people’s hearts ablaze, to do what the Son of God did, who came to light a fire on earth in order to set it ablaze with His love.”
Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813–1853) “Servant to the Poor”
“The well-being of souls is only in Christ. Therefore, let the love of Jesus be our perfection and our profession, let us light our hearts from the eternal flames of love that radiate from the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”
Bl Paolo Manna PIME (1872-1952) “A Burning Soul”
Priest, Missionary in Burma (Myanmar), Superior General of PIME, Founder of the Pontifical Missionary Union
Quote/s of the Day – 11 December – Friday of the Second week of Advent
“May We Love Only You”
“Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”
“You hide your heart from man – hide it from God if you can. … Where will you go? Where will you flee? Do you want to hear some advice? If you want to flee from Him – flee to Him. Flee to Him by Confessing, not from Him, by hiding, for you cannot hide but you can Confess. Tell Him. “You are my refuge” (Ps 32:7) and let there be nursed in yo, the love that alone leads to life.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
May We Love Only You By St Columban (543-615)
Loving Saviour, be pleased to show Yourself to us who knock, so that in knowing You, we may love only You, love You alone, desire You alone, contemplate only You, day and night and always think of You. Inspire in us the depth of love that is fitting for You to receive as God. So may Your love pervade our whole being, possess us completely and fill all our senses, that we may know no other love but love for You, Who are everlasting. May our love be so great, that the many waters of sky, land and sea cannot extinguish it in us – many waters could not extinguish love. May this saying be fulfilled in us also, at least in part, by Your gift, Jesus Christ, our Lord, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen
“How good and pleasant it is to dwell in the Heart of Jesus! Who is there who does not love a heart so wounded? Who can refuse a return of love to a Heart so loving? Amen.”
St Bernard (1090-1153) Mellifluous Doctor
“Who could ever soften this heart of mine but YOU alone O Lord!”
St Francis Borgia (1510-1572)
“Christ first of all, Christ in the centre of the heart, in the centre of history and of the cosmos. Humanity needs Christ intensely because, He is our “measure.” There is no realm, that cannot be touched by His strength; there is no evil, that cannot find remedy in Him, there is no problem, that cannot be solved in Him. Either Christ or nothing!”
St John Leonardi (1541-1609)
“During the night we must wait for the light.”
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of Charity
“Only God fills the soul and fills it wholly. Let scientists go on asking – Where is God? He is where those clever ones, arrogant in their knowledge, cannot reach.”
Quote/s of the Day – 16 October – The Memorial of St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart”
“Announce it and let it be announced to the whole world, that I set neither limit nor measure to my gifts of grace, for those who seek them in my Heart.”
Revelations of Our Lord to St Margaret Mary Alacoque
“The Sacred Heart is the symbol of that boundless love which moved the Word to take flesh, to institute the Holy Eucharist, to take our sins upon Himself and, dying on the Cross, to offer Himself as a victim and sacrifice to the eternal Father.”
“O Heart of love, I put all my trust in Thee, for I fear all things, from my own weakness, but I hope for all things, from Thy Goodness.”
“Let every knee bend before You, O greatness of my God, so supremely humbled in the Sacred Host. May every heart love You, every spirit adore You and every will be subject to You!”
The Twelve Promises of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary or those Devoted to His Sacred Heart:
I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
I will establish peace in their families.
I will console them in all their troubles.
They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of their death.
I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
Tepid souls shall become fervent.
Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honoured.
I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.
Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be effaced.
The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.
From Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque’s Vision of Jesus
St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart“
Quote/s of the Day – 25 September – Friday of the Twenty-fifth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ecclesiastes 3:1-11, Psalms 144:1, 2, 3-4, Luke 9:18-22
“Then he said to them, But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, The Christ of God.”
“If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter, your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.”
“It is I, be not afraid”
“What determines that the gifts of God dwells in us, is the measure of each one’s faith. Because it is to the extent that we believe, that the enthusiasm to act is given us. And so those who act, reveal the measure of their faith proportionate to their action, they receive their measure of grace according to what they have believed. …”
St Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662) Monk and Theologian
“I believe though I do not comprehend and I hold by faith, what I cannot grasp with the mind.”
St Bernard (1090-1153) Mellifluous Doctor
“Believing is an act of the intellect assenting to the divine truth, by command of the will, moved by God through grace.”
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor Angelicus Doctor Communis
“O Heart of love, I put all my trust in Thee, for I fear all things, from my own weakness, but I hope for all things, from Thy Goodness.”
St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690)
“Faith is that which makes us believe from the depths of our souls… all the truths that our religion teaches us, all that the Gospel holds and all that the Church sets before us. The just man lives truly by this faith (Rom 1:17), for it replaces for him, the greater part of his natural senses. It so transforms all things, that the senses are of little use to the soul, which through them is only deceived, whilst faith shews it realities. Where the eye sees but a poor man, faith sees Jesus (Mt 25:40).”
Bl Charles Eugène de Foucauld of Jesus OCSO (1858-1916)
Quote/s of the Day – 30 June – “The Last day of the Month of the Sacred Heart” – Tuesday of the Thirteenth week in Ordinary Time Year A, Readings: Amos 3:1-8; 4:11-12, Psalm 5:5-8, Matthew 8:23-27
And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord, we are perishing.”
“It is I, be not afraid”
“Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
“The waters have risen and severe storms are upon us but we do not fear drowning, for we stand firmly upon a rock. Let the sea rage, it cannot break the rock. Let the waves rise, they cannot sink the boat of Jesus.”
“Let the world be in upheaval. I hold to His promise and read His message, that is my protecting wall and garrison. What message? ‘Know that I am with you always, until the end of the world!'”
St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father and Doctor of the Church
“It is not a calm sky, beloved but the storm which tests a pilot’s skill. When the breeze is mild, even the poorest sailor, can manage the ship. But in the crosswinds of a tempest, we want the best pilot with all His skill.”
St Peter Chrysologus (c 406 – c 450)
Father and Doctor of the Church
“Whoever has become a servant of the Lord, fears only his Master. But whoever is without the fear of God, is often afraid of his own shadow. Fearfulness is the daughter of unbelief. A proud soul is the slave of fear, hoping in itself, it comes to such a state, that it is startled by a small noise and is afraid of the dark.”
St John Climacus (579-649)
Father of the Church
“O Heart of love, I put all my trust in Thee, for I fear all things, from my own weakness, but I hope for all things, from Thy Goodness.”
St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690)
“…Therefore, never allow yourself to start brooding again but always be brave and trust. Serve your good Master with an open heart full of joy. The right way is to see all events and all obstacles in the spirit of faith as being in the hands of Our Lord and to hear Him say to you, on every occasion, as He did to the disciples ‘It is I. Do not fear. Have faith.’”
St Michael Garicoïts (1797-1863)
“We need not be afraid because even while He sleeps, He watches over us. Jesus does not save us FROM storms, He saves us IN storms. DO NOT WAKE Jesus. Let Him sleep. He is still in control!”
Thought for the Day – 21 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) (Incorporating the Sunday Reflection)
“Let us meditate on what an extraordinary thing Holy Communion is.
Jesus, God made man, really descends into us, poor creature though we are.
We become the living temples of the Holy Trinity.
Not only does Jesus come to us, body, soul and divinity but, He also becomes our food.
There is a great difference, however, between the nourishment of material food and the spiritual nourishment which we receive from the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.
When we take ordinary natural food, we assimilate it.
In other words, we cause it to become blood of our blood and flesh of our flesh.
When we receive Holy Communion, on the other hand, it is we who must be assimilated and changed into Jesus.
Each of us should become, therefore, another Christ, in the manner indicated by St Paul: “It is now, no longer I that live but Christ, lives in me” (Gal 2:20).
Material food becomes human and is assimilated into our being.
Our Eucharistic food assimilates us into Itself and, in a certain sense, deifies us.
This is why St John Chrysostom calls it a mystery which transports us into Heaven.
Before this can happen, however, it is necessary for us to approach Holy Communion with the necessary dispositions.
(1) A lively and active faith, which will enable us to recognise in the white Host, the person of Jesus Himself, full of goodness, mercy and love, eager to shower upon us, all the treasures of His Heart.
(2) Purity and freedom, not only from mortal sin but, also from any deliberate attachment to venial sin.
(3) Deep humility because, Jesus loves the humble and holds the proud at a distance from Him. He wishes us to be like Him, in other words, meek and humble of heart. There must be no worldly ambition, therefore, no love of honours, riches or human greatness, no inordinate affection for things or persons. There must be only a great desire to please God alone and to offer Him our whole life, including every thought and action.
(4) Finally, an ardent love for Jesus, which will consume all our imperfections and unite us to Him so intimately, that, we shall be transformed by Him.”
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
Quote/s of the Day – 19 June – Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests and the Memorial of Bl Maria Rosa Flesch FSMA (1826-1906)
“We, Christians, are the true Israel which springs from Christ, for we are carved out of His Heart, as from a Rock!”
St Justin Martyr (100-165)
Father of the Church and Martyr
Looking forward to never-ending communion, St Gertrude ended her earthly life on 17 November 1301 or 1302, at the age of about 46. In the seventh Exercise, that of preparation for death, St Gertrude wrote:
“O Jesus, You who are immensely dear to me, be with me always, so that my heart may stay with You and that Your love may endure with me, with no possibility of division and bless my passing, so that my spirit, freed from the bonds of the flesh, may immediately find rest in you. Amen”
St Gertrude the Great (1256-1302)
“If the Jewish High priest carried the names of the twelve tribes of Israel written on his shoulders and on his breast, how much more Christ, our High Priest, carries our names written on His Heart”
St John of Avila (1500-1569)
Doctor of the Church
“Do everything out of love for God, for God, with God, to get to God.”
Bl Maria Rosa Flesch FSMA (1826-1906)
“The priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus”
St John Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859)
Patron of Priests
“Ah! Beside You I am not afraid of anything! I snuggle up against You and, like the lost sheep, hear the beating of Your Heart. Jesus, yet again I am Yours, Yours forever. With You, I am truly great, without You, nothing but a weak reed. Upheld by You, I am a pillar!”
ANNOUNCING the NOVENA to the SACRED HEART BEGINS Wednesday 10 JUNE
This devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ is nothing more than an exercise of love towards this amiable Saviour.
But as to the principal object of this devotion, the spiritual object is the love with which the Heart of Jesus Christ is inflamed towards men, because love is generally attributed to the heart, as we read in many places of Scripture: My son, give Me thy heart. [Prov. xxiii. 26] My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God. [Ps. lxxxiii. 3] The God of my heart and the God that is my portion forever. [Ps. lxxii. 26] The charity of God is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Ghost Who is given to us. [Rom. v. 5]
The material or sensible object is the most Sacred Heart of Jesus, not taken separately by Itself but united to His sacred humanity and, consequently, to the Divine Person of the Word.
“How do we serve God faithfully? We serve Him only as faithfully as we serve Him lovingly, by giving ourselves to the needs of everyone whom God puts into our lives. No-one reaches heaven automatically. Heaven must be dearly paid for. The price of reaching heaven is the practice of selfless love here on earth.
… Devotion of the Sacred Heart is the solution to the gravest problem in the modern world today. How can we give ourselves to those who do not love us, who even positively hate us? We can love them, with the help of divine grace, by following the example of Jesus Christ, who died on the Cross out of love for a sin-laden human race.” … Ven Servant of God Fr John A Hardon SJ (1914-2000)
Sunday Reflection – 7 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
The Sacred Heart is the Holy Eucharist
By Ven Servant of God John A Hardon SJ (1914-2000)
It is impossible to identify the Holy Eucharist too closely with Jesus Christ. We should remember He is in the Holy Eucharist not merely with His substance.
I have corrected many of my students over the years who tell me “Transubstantiation means that the substance of bread and wine become the substance of Jesus Christ.”
I reply, “No, transubstantiation means the substance of bread and wine are no longer there. The substance of bread and wine is replaced, not only by the substance of Christ’s Body and Blood. What replaces the substance of bread and wine is Jesus Christ!”
Everything that makes Christ, Christ replaces what had been the substance of bread and wine.
The substance of bread and wine become the whole Christ.
Therefore, Christ in the Holy Eucharist is there with His human heart.
Is it a living heart? Yes! That is why the revelations our Lord made to St Margaret Mary about promoting devotion to the Sacred Heart were all made from the Holy Eucharist.
Why do we equate the Sacred Heart with the Holy Eucharist?
Because the Holy Eucharist is the whole Christ with His human heart. According to St Margaret Mary, the Sacred Heart is the Holy Eucharist.
So it follows, that devotion to the Sacred Heart is devotion to the Holy Eucharist.
It is infinite Love Incarnate living in our midst in the Blessed Sacrament.
Quote/s of the Day – 7 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity and The Memorial of Blessed Ana of Saint Bartholomew OCD (1550-1626) and Venerable Matthew Talbot (1856 – 1925)
“In all our undertakings — when we enter a place or leave it, before we dress, before we bathe, when we take our meals, when we light the lamps in the evening, before we retire at night, when we sit down to read, before each new task — we trace the Sign of the Cross on our foreheads.”
Father of the Church
“O adorable mystery! In the name of God, the Omnipotent Father, who created me! In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Son of the living God, who bled for me! In the name of the Holy Spirit, who has been poured out on me!”
St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
“Silence is precious. by keeping silence and knowing how to listen to God, the soul grows in wisdom and God teaches it, what it cannot learn from men.”
“Our Lord became a spring for us, so that we should not die of thirst among all the miseries that surround us.”
“How truly He said in the Gospel that He came to serve and not to be served! What tremendous goodness! Can we fail to be shamed by Your words and deeds and the patience You show for us everyday?”
Bl Ana of St Bartholomew (1550-1626)
“How can anyone be lonely, with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament?”
“As to nobility of blood, true nobility is to be derived only, from the Blood of the Son of God.”
“Three things I cannot escape: the eye of God, the voice of conscience, the stroke of death. In company, guard your tongue. In your family, guard your temper. When alone guard your thoughts.”
Catholic Devotion for June
JUNE – THE MONTH OF THE SACRED HEART
The Sacred Heart of Love – Hope of a Hopeless World
If there is an age whose sole hope lies in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, it is our own.
The evils committed by mankind today can scarcely be exaggerated.
To mention just a few, these include blasphemy, the destruction of the family through abortion, divorce, euthanasia, widespread pornography, immoral fashions and lifestyles, homosexuality and so on.
As Pope Pius XI once said, the contemporary world is so morally depraved that at any moment it could be plunged into a deeper spiritual misery than that reigning in the world when Our Blessed Redeemer was born.
In consideration of so many crimes, the idea of divine vengeance naturally comes to mind.
When we view this sinful world, groaning beneath the weight of a thousand crises and a thousand afflictions but nevertheless unrepentant, when we consider the alarming progress of neo-paganism, which is on the verge of conquering humanity (in some countries has already done so!) and when, on the other hand, we consider the lack of resolve, foresight and unity among the so-called remnant, we are understandably terrified at the grim prospects of catastrophes that this generation may be calling upon itself.
It seems, that now, we are already facing these catastrophes.
Nevertheless, since God is not only just but also merciful, we pray to the Sacred Heart, that the gates of salvation have not yet been shut against us.
A people unrelenting in its impiety has every reason to expect God’s rigor. However, He Who is infinitely merciful, does not want the death of this sinful generation but that it “be converted…and live” (Ezech.18:23).
His grace thus insistently pursues all men, inviting them to abandon their evil ways and return to the fold of the Good Shepherd.
God is charity, so the simple mention of the Most Holy Name and Sacred Heart of Jesus evokes love.
It is the infinite, limitless love that drove the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity to become man.
It is the love manifested in that supreme moment of the Last Supper when, after generously washing the feet of His apostles, He instituted the Holy Eucharist.
It is the love in that last pardon of Dismas, which enabled the dying thief to steal heaven.
Finally, it is the love manifested in the supreme gift of a Heavenly Mother for a wretched humanity!
In venerating the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Church specially praises the infinite love demonstrated by Our Lord Jesus Christ to men. Since His Heart is the symbol of love, by venerating His Heart, the Church celebrates Love.
Among the promises made by our Lord to St Margaret Mary was the assurance that, “Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in my Heart, never to be blotted out.”