Sunday, September 22, 2019

St. Therese of Lisieux Novena - 9/22 - 9/30

St Therese of Lisieux
Join us in the novena to St. Therese of Lisieux! Also known as St. Therese of the Child Jesus, she is a doctor of the Church and Pope Pius X called her the “greatest saint of modern times.” Needless to say, she is a most powerful intercessor and she is beloved by many who seek her help.
She is one of the most popular saints of our day.


Daily Prayer added to individual days below:
Dearest Saint Therese of Lisieux, you said that you would spend your time in heaven doing good on earth.
Your trust in God was complete. Pray that He may increase my trust in His goodness and mercy as I ask for the following petitions…
(State your intentions)
Pray for me that I, like you, may have great and innocent confidence in the loving promises of our God. Pray that I may live my life in union with God’s plan for me, and one day see the Face of God Whom you loved so deeply.
Saint Therese, you were faithful to God up until the moment of your death. Pray for me that I may be faithful to our loving God. May my life bring peace and love to the world through faithful endurance in love for God our Savior.

St. Therese Novena DAY ONE

Loving God, you blessed St. Therese with a capacity for a great love. Help me to believe in Your unconditional love for each of Your children, especially for me.
I love You, Lord. Help me to love You more!
Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory Be…

St. Therese Novena DAY TWO

Loving God, you loved St. Therese’s complete trust in Your care. Help me to rely on Your providential care in each circumstance of my life, especially the most difficult and stressful.
I trust You, Lord. Help me to trust You more!
I love You, Lord. Help me to love You more!
Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory Be…

St. Therese Novena DAY THREE

Loving God, you gave St. Therese the ability to see You in the ordinary routine of each day. Help me to be aware of Your Presence in the everyday events of my life.
I see You, Lord. Help me to see You more!
I trust You, Lord. Help me to trust You more!
I love You, Lord. Help me to love You more!
Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory Be…

St. Therese Novena DAY FOUR

Loving God, You taught St. Therese how to find You through the “little way” of humility and simplicity. Grant that I may never miss the grace hidden in humble service to others.
I am humble, Lord. Give me more humility!
I see You, Lord. Help me to see You more!
I trust You, Lord. Help me to trust You more!
I love You, Lord. Help me to love You more!
Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory Be…

St. Therese Novena DAY FIVE

Loving God, You gave St. Therese the gift of forgiving others even when she felt hurt and betrayed. Help me to be able to forgive others who have wounded me, especially…
I try to forgive, Lord. Help me to forgive 70 times 7 times!
I am humble, Lord. Give me more humility!
I see You, Lord. Help me to see You more!
I trust You, Lord. Help me to trust You more!
I love You, Lord. Help me to love You more!
Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory Be…

St. Therese Novena DAY SIX

Loving God, St. Therese experienced every day as a gift from You. She saw it as a time to love You through other people. May I, too, see every day as an opportunity to say yes to You.
I accept Your Will, Lord. Help me to accept Your Will every day!
I try to forgive, Lord. Help me to forgive 70 times 7 times!
I am humble, Lord. Give me more humility!
I see You, Lord. Help me to see You more!
I trust You, Lord. Help me to trust You more!
I love You, Lord. Help me to love You more!
Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory Be…

St. Therese Novena DAY SEVEN

Loving God, St. Therese offered to You her weakness. Help me to see in my weakness an opportunity to rely completely on You.
I rely on You, Lord. Help me to rely on You more!
I accept Your Will, Lord. Help me to accept Your Will every day!
I try to forgive, Lord. Help me to forgive 70 times 7 times!
I am humble, Lord. Give me more humility!
I see You, Lord. Help me to see You more!
I trust You, Lord. Help me to trust You more!
I love You, Lord. Help me to love You more!
Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory Be…

St. Therese Novena DAY EIGHT

Loving God, You loved St. Therese with a powerful love and made her a source of strength to those who had lost faith in You. Help me to pray with confidence for those in my life who do not believe they can be loved.
I reflect You to the world, Lord. Help me to reflect You more clearly!
I rely on You, Lord. Help me to rely on You more!
I accept Your Will, Lord. Help me to accept Your Will every day!
I try to forgive, Lord. Help me to forgive 70 times 7 times!
I am humble, Lord. Give me more humility!
I see You, Lord. Help me to see You more!
I trust You, Lord. Help me to trust You more!
I love You, Lord. Help me to love You more!
Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory Be…

St. Therese Novena DAY NINE

Loving God, St. Therese never doubted that her life had meaning. Help me to see how I can bless and love everyone in my life. Especially…
I love Your people, Lord. Help me to love them more!
I reflect You to the world, Lord. Help me to reflect You more clearly!
I rely on You, Lord. Help me to rely on You more!
I accept Your Will, Lord. Help me to accept Your Will every day!
I try to forgive, Lord. Help me to forgive 70 times 7 times!
I am humble, Lord. Give me more humility!
I see You, Lord. Help me to see You more!
I trust You, Lord. Help me to trust You more!
I love You, Lord. Help me to love You more!
Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory Be…


FEAST DAY OCTOBER 1st

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Atrocity - To Honor those lost and those Grieving the Loss of 9/11/01

I'm not sure what happened to my previous post on this horrific day, but I'm posting this to honor those who lost their lives that awful day, those first responders that lost their lives and suffered so many years with the aftermath of this horror and all those still grieving their loved ones. The evil in this world is seemingly at a breaking point. So much more has transpired since then. Things we couldn't have even IMAGINED 20 yrs ago are now on the news daily. The world needs much prayer and fasting ... this IS a spiritual battle. We know Who wins in the end, but let's pray hard that more will be saved than lost when the time comes. At any rate, pray for all these souls. I am also including a video of all the events of that horrific day with actual footage and recordings as events unfolded.

WE MUST NEVER FORGET!! 




Saturday, September 7, 2019

AA-1025

It has long been a bone of contention with me that many are so quick to judge and walk away from the TRUTH without really knowing why things sometimes happen as they do. Not to mention that we are to love the sinner and hate the sin. I'm talking about the bad wrap the undeserving priests have gotten merely because they wear a collar, through no fault or sin of their own, but merely "guilt by association". What follows is what I believe  to be the main reason this and much more will occur in the Church before all is said and done. Satan knows what is dangerous to him and of course wants to obliterate the one True Church ... what better attempt than to discredit her servants? At any rate, you will not be sorry to buy this little paperback for a compelling afternoon read that you won't soon forget in light of past and likely future Church happenings ....

In the 1960's, a French Catholic nurse, Marie Carre, attended an auto-crash victim who was brought into her hospital in a city she purposely does not name. The man lingered there near death for a few hours and then died. He had no identification on him, but he had a briefcase in which there was a set of quasi-biographical notes. She kept these notes and read them, and because of their extraordinary content, decided to publish them. The result is this little book, AA-1025-The Memoirs of an Anti Apostle, about a Communist who purposely entered the Catholic priesthood (along with many, many others) with the intent to subvert and destroy the Church from within.

This little book, his strange yet fascinating and illuminating set of biographical notes, tells of his commission to enter the priesthood, his various experiences in the seminary, and the means and methods he used and promoted to help effect from within the auto-dissolution of the Catholic Church.

Absorbing and compelling reading from beginning to end, The Memoirs of an Anti Apostle is must reading for every Catholic today and for all who would understand just what has happened to undermine the Catholic Church since the 1960's. No one will read this book without a profound assent that something just like what is described here must surely have happened on a wide scale in order to have dis-rupted the life of the Catholic Church so dramatically.

An 'easy read' paperback that you will have a hard time putting down once you pick it up!

I found a brief synopsis:

The Confessions of a Communist Agent On The Attempt to Destroy the Roman Catholic Church from Within

I. Introduction.

This is the story of a Communist agent who infiltrated into the Catholic Church in 1938, went to the Seminary, became a Priest who wielded enormous power behind the scene, participated in the Second Vatican Council, and without the intervention of Pope Paul VI himself he would have destroyed its works. He succeeded, however, in fostering the adoption of ambiguous Council documents which laid the ground work for future experiments by unsuspecting Prelates and Priests. These experiments based on the "Spirit of the Council" are destroying the 2,000-year Traditions of the Church, leading the Catholic faithful on the road to the Great Apostasy, and preparing the Church for the election of the Anti-Pope and for the reception of the coming Anti-Christ. He stated: "'The Spirit of the Council' has become for me a master-trump." The reader should observe that many harmful changes that the agent proposed have been implemented, some in direct disobedience to the the Pope, at the local dioceses throughout the world.

This agent had no name, only a code number AA-1025 given by the Russian Secret Police, meaning the Anti-Apostle number 1025. There had been 1024 agents like him before him. By now there must have been at least several thousands of them in the Catholic Church. Some must have risen to the rank of Archbishop and Cardinal, many of whom could have been heads of Departments in the Curia (Papal government) and religious Congregations. No wonder the 2000-year Traditions of the Church are being slowly demolished and replaced by heresies like Modernism, Arianism, Pelagian, Protestantism, Atheism, Liberation Theology. Nevertheless, Our Lord stated: "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18).

Further, Our Lord promised: "Behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world." (Matthew 28:20). This should be understood literally, i.e. Our Lord Jesus Christ is living really and truly among the Catholic faithfull in His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity every day on the Altar in the Mass and in all Tabernacles until the end of the world, even during the persecution of the Church by the Anti-Christ. One can cite many Eucharistic miracles throughout centuries to prove this. One of the most famous miracles if that of Lanciano, Italy in 8th century. There, the Host turned into flesh and wine blood. The Eucharistic flesh of Lanciano was examined by Dr. Linoli and Dr. Bertelli in Siena, Italy in 1971. They concluded that the flesh was striated muscular tissue of the myocardium (heart wall) of human origin, and the blood was of type AB. (cf. Joan Carroll Cruz, Eucharistic Miracles, Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books, 1987). The latest miracle was wrought through Julia Kim, a Korean housewife and a stigmatist. On October 31, 1995, Julia visited the Vatican and attended a Mass said by Pope John Paul II. At Communion, she received the Consecrated Host which immediately turned into live flesh and blood on her tongue. This was winessed by the Pope. Its was also witnessed by Msgr. Paik who testified that as the Sacred Host was turning into Flesh and Blood, it also became larger and formed the shape of a heart. This was the 12th Eucharistic miracle that Julia experienced. The 11th was in Naju, South Korea, on September 22, 1995 when the Sacred Host also turned into live Flesh and Blood on her tongue during a Mass celebrated by Bishop Roman Danylak from Toronto, Canada. (For color photos and video of these miracles, write or call Mary's Touch By Mail, P.O. Box 1668, Gresham, OR 97030, Phone: (503) 669-8443, Fax: (503) 669-7023.)

As Our Lord said: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away." (Luke 21:33). Thus, the Church will never be destroyed as has been hoped by its enemies but always survive in her faithful remnant.

The Agent died in the hospital after a car accident. The nurse (Marie Carre) who attended him found the memoirs in his brief case. After she read it, she decided to publish the memoirs for the world to know why the Catholic Church has been undergoing destructive changes to the lament of its faithful. The English translation is published under the title AA 1025, The Memoirs of an Anti-Apostle by Marie Carre.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

The Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary on August 15 has been a part of Christian faith-tradition from the earliest centuries. This feast emphasizes the universal dimensions of Mary’s role in God’s plan of salvation. We do not celebrate her exaltation in the sense of a removal from us, but as the fulfillment of what we all are called to be.

In 1950, Pope Pius XII defined Mary's Assumption into heaven as a dogma of Roman Catholicism: "the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heaven." The proclamation of this dogma was made in the encyclical: Munificentissimus Deus. After entering heaven, Mary has remained active in the life of the Church.

This feast of Mary celebrates a special privilege of Mary, our Mother. The Assumption means that she entered into the glory of heaven not only with her soul, but also with her body. The Son of God took His Body from Mary's pure womb. It was fitting, then, that her body should be glorified as soon as her life here on earth was ended.

Now Mary is in heaven. She is Queen of heaven and earth. She is the Mother of Jesus' Church and Queen of apostles. Every time Mary asks Jesus to give us graces, He listens to her request.

After the resurrection from the dead, we, too, can go to heaven with our bodies. If we use our bodies now to do good, those  bodies will share in our heavenly reward.

After the resurrection, our bodies will be perfect. They will not be subject to illness anymore. They will not need any more food and drink to keep alive. They will be able to go every place without time or effort. They will be beautiful and splendid!

Let us not forget our dear Mother!
And still go to Mass or at least watch it on TV or Internet for those that are house bound
.... and PLEASE don't forget to pray your ROSARY!

"Thank you Most Pure Mother for soiling your feet on the earth again and again to bring us Jesus and to lead us to Jesus. I praise your love and mercy that flows to us through your Flame of Love directly from the Source of Divine Mercy. I thank you for never giving up on us. Lead all souls to heaven, Beloved Mother, especially those God has given us to pray for, and especially those most in need of God's mercy. Amen." ~Janet Klasson


DAILY ROSARIES PLEASE!!!!
(Along with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy & the Chaplet of Unity)
The door of MERCY  has already closed! But we can still pray for our friends and relatives that have turned lukewarm or left the Faith! Mercy will soon be over and then comes JUDGEMENT. Do you think that the centennial of Fatima, the locution that Pope Leo had, the Jubilee Year of Mercy, and all the signs in the sky are  coincidental? God put us in this place in history for a REASON. We BEST get crackin' on the main objective which is still the same as it has been always ..... " LEAD ALL SOULS TO HEAVEN"!!!!
PLEASE! Pray for the martyrs in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, India, the Ukraine and all Muslim and Communist countries! 
Read: Revelation 6:10-11


Father Bourdaloue, a famous preacher of the 17th century French court, said in a sermon on the Assumption:

Never was there a death more precious in the sight of God than that of the Virgin, because there was never a life more filled with merits than Hers. The death of the Blessed Virgin was precious not only by the merits which preceded it, but also by the graces and favors which accompanied it. But what made it precious in God's sight is above all the dispositions of mind and heart with which She received it... What then was Her disposition of mind? She envisaged death in the light of the purest faith, as the fulfillment of her wishes, as the means of being promptly reunited with Her Son and Her God, whose absence had for so long been a source of sorrow for Her. Her disposition of heart? Seeing death in this light, She desired it with all the ardor of the most fervent charity. Far more fervently than Saint Paul She longed to be disengaged from the bonds of the flesh, to live with Jesus Christ...

The bishop of Meaux, Bossuet, preaches in the same vein: If the great Apostle wants to break the bonds of the flesh to go to meet his Master at the Father's right hand, what must the emotion of a maternal heart be? ... And what regret had the Virgin not experienced, seeing Herself separated for so long from a Son whom She loved as She alone could love? ... She prayed, Ah, my Lord! permit my love to act! It will soon detach my soul from my mortal body, and transport me to You, in whom alone I live.' If you believe me, holy souls, you will not labor long to seek any other cause for Her death. This love, so ardent, so strong, so inflamed, could not utter a single sigh incapable of breaking all the bonds of that body; it did not send forth a single desire to heaven which did not take with it the soul of Mary. Ah! I said earlier that the death of Mary was miraculous; now I speak a little differently, and say that it is not so much Her death that is a miracle; Her death is rather the cessation of a miracle. The continuous miracle was that Mary could live, separated from Her Beloved.

We see from these texts why the departure of the soul of Our Lady is not termed a death like that of other mortals, but rather a dormition — a falling asleep in the Lord, as the early Christians called it. (Cf. Acts 7:60) All writers on the subject are unanimous — it was Her supreme love for God, nothing else, which was its cause. Tradition affirms that She knew in advance that Her departure was at hand, and prepared with incredible fervor for the holy moment, when She would hear the voice of Her Son say: Come to Your eternal repose, O blessed Mother: arise and come, You who are My Heart's friend, the most beautiful of women. The winter is over, the springtime begins; come, My all-beautiful one, My beloved; there is no stain in You; I prefer Your perfumes to all others.

Friday, August 2, 2019

August 2nd: Our Lady of the Angels (of the Portiuncula)

From the Franciscan supplement to the Divine Office:
OUR LADY OF THE ANGELS OF THE PORTIUNCULA Feast
portiuncula

Our Seraphic Father Francis in keeping with his special love for the Blessed Virgin was especially fond of the chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels known as the Portiuncula. It was here in the designs of Divine Providence that he started the Order of Friars Minor, inaugurated the Order of the Poor Clares and brought his sojourn on earth to its holy end.
In this chapel according to tradition our Holy Father obtained the famous indulgence which the Supreme Pontiffs confirmed and extended to many other churches. On ac­count of the many blessings conferred here the celebration of a liturgical feast was granted for this day which marks the anniversary of the dedication of this chapel.
+++
And St. Bonaventure wrote in the Major Life of St. Francis:  Francis had great devotion to the Queen of the world and when he saw that the church was deserted, he began to live there constantly in order to repair it. He heard that the Angels often visited it, so that it was called Saint Mary of the Angels, and he decided to stay there permanently out of reverence for the angels and love for the Mother of Christ.

He loved this spot more than any other in the world. It was here he began his religious life in a very small way; it is here he came to a happy end. When he was dying, he commended this spot above all others to the friars, because it was most dear to the Blessed Virgin.
Santa Maria degli Angeli
Santa Maria degli Angeli where
the Portiuncula is located within the Basilica
This was the place where Saint Francis founded his Order by divine inspiration and it was divine providence which led him to repair three churches before he founded the Order and began to preach the Gospel. This meant that he progressed from material things to more spiritual achievements, from lesser to greater, in due order, and it gave a prophetic indication of what he would accomplish later.

As he was living there by the church of Our Lady, Francis prayed to her who had conceived the Word, full of grace and truth, begging her insistently and with tears to become his advocate. Then he was granted the true spirit of the Gospel by the intercession of the Mother of mercy and he brought it to fruition. He embraced the Mother of Our Lord Jesus with indescribable love because, as he said, it was she who made the Lord of majesty our brother, and through her we found mercy. After Christ, he put all his trust in her and took her as his patroness for himself and his friars.

A Beautiful Gift : Portiuncula Indulgence
 Background on this Grace: Everyone knows how special the Church of The Portiuncula in Assisi was to St. Francis. It is there that he began his service to Christ and His Church. It is there that he was called to rebuild the Church. It is there that he made humble service, obedience, love, and dedication to Our Lord and Our Lady the cornerstones of his unique and inspiring life. It was even there that St. Clare, the spiritual daughter of St. Francis, received her call, lost her locks of hair to the scissors of Francis, and gained her place in the service of God and in the list of great saints.

During one of his many conversations with Jesus and Our Blessed Mother. Francis requested and received this indulgence as a measure and means of God's Divine Mercy and love for us. Upon receiving the approval of Our Lord, Francis took this cause to the Pope, Honorious III, in who finally approved as well. While the benefits of this indulgence were not taken advantage of in the days of Francis given the difficult travel and poor roads, we are given a unique and fortunate opportunity to benefit today given easier transportation.

The Indulgence Itself 

The magnitude of this indulgence is nothing less than the full remission of the punishments due to one's sins from the day of Baptism to the day one enters the church to perform the indulgence requirements!!

Conditions To Obtain The Plenary Indulgence of The Forgiveness of Assisi
(For oneself or for a departed soul)

*        Sacramental Confession to be in God's Grace (within 8 days before or after)
*        Participation in the Holy Mass and Eucharist
*        Visit to a Franciscan Church, followed by the Profession of Faith
*        Say the Our Father
*        A Prayer for the Pope

Indulgences as Gifts and Opportunities

Once again we see the beauty, majesty, magnitude, and Divine Mercy of God Almighty! All that Our Lord asks is that we humbly and contritely seek forgiveness, that we receive His Most Sacred Body in The Eucharist that we visit a Franciscan church and profess our faith, that we say The Our Father, and that we pray for the Pope. Despite those things on which we may not
agree with the Pope, this indulgence provides us with the opportunity to declare our eternal loyalty to preserving the Faith and not abandoning our mission and duty to be soldiers for our God.

Eventually, the Church modified the conditions and said the faithful could obtain the indulgence either on August 2nd or on the following Sunday and by going to any Catholic church with the intention of gaining this special indulgence. May we take advantage of this beautiful gift and the opportunities which it provides to approach our God in renewed contrite purity, love, appreciation, and loyalty! 

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Portiuncula Indulgence & Feast of Our Lady of the Angels

Event Name: Portiuncula Indulgence & Feast of Our Lady of the Angels
Date(s): Aug 1 - Aug 2
Time: Starts: 12:00 PM Ends: 11:59 PM

What is Portiuncula?

The following is an excerpt from Major Life of St. Francis by St. Bonaventure.

”The Portiuncula was an old church dedicated to the Virgin Mother of God which was abandoned . Francis had great devotion to the Queen of the world and when he saw that the church was deserted, he began to live there constantly in order to repair it. He heard that the Angels often visited it, so that it was called Saint Mary of the Angels, and he decided to stay there permanently out of reverence for the angels and love for the Mother of Christ.

He loved this spot more than any other in the world. It was here he began his religious life in a very small way; it is here he came to a happy end. When he was dying, he commended this spot above all others to the friars, because it was most dear to the Blessed Virgin.

This was the place where Saint Francis founded his Order by divine inspiration and it was divine providence which led him to repair three churches before he founded the Order and began to preach the Gospel.

This meant that he progressed from material things to more spiritual achievements, from lesser to greater, in due order, and it gave a prophetic indication of what he would accomplish later.

As he was living there by the church of Our Lady, Francis prayed to her who had conceived the Word, full of grace and truth, begging her insistently and with tears to become his advocate. Then he was granted the true spirit of the Gospel by the intercession of the Mother of mercy and he brought it to fruition.

He embraced the Mother of Our Lord Jesus with indescribable love because, as he said, it was she who made the Lord of majesty our brother, and through her we found mercy. After Christ, he put all his trust in her and took her as his patroness for himself and his friars.”


Today the chapel of Portiuncula is situated inside the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels roughly 5 km from Assisi, Italy.

The Indulgence:

“The Portiuncula indulgence is the first plenary indulgence that was ever granted in the Church. There were indeed indulgences at all times, but they were only partial, and only a partial remission of the temporal punishments could be obtained by them. But, as already remarked, he who gains the Portiuncula indulgence is freed from all temporal punishments and becomes as pure as after holy baptism. This was also the reason why Pope Honorius was astonished when St. Francis petitioned for the confirmation of this indulgence, for such an indulgence, up to that time, had been entirely unknown. It was only after he had come to the conviction that Jesus Christ himself wished it, that he granted the petition of the saint and confirmed the indulgence”

August 2nd is the feast of Portiuncula. A plenary indulgence is available to anyone who will:

1. Receive sacramental confession (8 days before of after)

2. Receive the Holy Eucharist at Holy Mass on August 2nd

3. Enter a parish church and, with a contrite heart, pray the Our Father, Apostles Creed, and a pray of his/her own choosing for the intentions of the Pope.

The Portiuncula indulgence then is a great grace of which we should avail ourselves every year. Try to gain it. See above all, that you make a humble, contrite and sincere confession, for a good confession is the first and most necessary requisite for the forgiveness of sins and the gaining of the indulgence. Receive Holy Communion with the most profound humility and adoration. Say the prayers for an indulgence with devotion and sentiments of repentance, according to the intention of the Holy Father, and relying on the merits of Jesus Christ, on the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Francis, and the other saints, beseech God with confidence to impart to you the indulgence and to deliver you from all temporal punishments. Promise to be thankful to him for this grace all the days of your life by carefully keeping your conscience free from even small faults. Visit the church several times and after repeating the prayers for an indulgence apply it to the poor souls that they may partake of the grace thereof. Thus the Portiuncula indulgence will be to you a key with which you will open heaven, both for yourselves and for many poor souls.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Examples of rounds and reparations - Luisa Piccarretta the Daughter of the Divine Will

Luisa in death. 
Volume 11 - 6th November, 1914
Thereafter, when returning, Blessed Jesus began to speak of these Hours of his Passion. He said:
"My daughter, know, that in making these Hours, the soul takes my thoughts and makes them her own; she takes my REPARATIONs, my prayers, my desires, my affections, even my most intimate fibers, and makes them her own. And whereby, raising herself up between Heaven and earth, she performs my own office, and as co-redemptrix, says together with Me: 'Ecce ego, mitte me' [Here I am, Lord; send me out]. I want to make REPARATION to You for everyone, to respond to You for everyone, and to intercede for the good of everyone."
I too, Jesus, united with You, take the words from your very lips, and I will say, always and in everything: "Thank You for myself and for all", in order to continue the REPARATIONs for the lack of thanksgiving.
My Jesus, I too unite myself to You; I make your prayers, your REPARATIONs and your appropriate remedies for each soul, my own. I want to mix my tears with yours, that You may never be alone, but may always have me with You, to share in your pains.
I too unite myself to You, O sweet Mama. Upon the wings of the winds I want to go around the heavens to ask the Father, the Holy Spirit and all the Angels, for an "I bless You" for Jesus, so that, as I go to Him, I may bring Him their blessings. And here on earth, I want to go to all creatures and ask, from every lip, from every heartbeat, from every step, from every breath, from every gaze, from every thought - blessings and praises for Jesus. And if no one wants to give them to me, I intend to give them for them.
O please, I beg You, my Heart - as I compassionate You and repair for the offenses which You receive from the souls who are obstinate in not wanting to convert, let us go around the earth, and wherever there are obstinate sinners, let us give them your tears to soften them, your kisses and your squeezes of love to bind them to You, in such a way that they will not be able to escape, and therefore relieve You from the pain of the loss of Judas.
O my Jesus, give myself into your hands, that You may do with me, freely, whatever You best please; and together with You, I want to follow your Will, your reparations, and suffer your pains. I want to be always around You, that there may be no offense which I do not repair; no bitterness which I do not soothe; no spit or blows that You receive, which are not followed by one kiss and caress of mine. In the falls You will suffer, my hands will always be ready to help You in order to lift You. So, I want to be always with You, O my Jesus; I do not want to leave You alone even for one minute. And to be more certain, place me inside of Yourself, and I will be in your mind, in your gazes, in your Heart, and in all of You, so that whatever You do, I may do as well. In this way, I will be able to keep You faithful company, and nothing of your pains will escape me, in order to give You my return of love for everything.
My Jesus, my thoughts are one with yours. Therefore, together with You, I pray, implore, make reparation, and excuse before the Divine Majesty all the evil that is done by all the intelligences of creatures. Permit me to take your thorns and your very Intelligence to go around together with You to all creatures to attach yours to theirs; and, with the sanctity of your Intelligence, I want to return to them the original intelligence which You created. With the sanctity of your thoughts, permit me to set all the thoughts of creatures in order in You, transfix with your thorns all the minds of creatures and give back to You the dominion and the rule of everyone. Ah yes, my Jesus, You alone be the ruler of every thought, of every affection, and of all the peoples. You alone rule everything. In this way alone will the face of the earth, which causes horror and terror to our Heavenly Father, be changed.
O my afflicted Good, I make your life my own, and together with You I intend to REPAIR for all these offenses. I want to enter into the most intimate hiding places of your Divine Heart and REPAIR with your own Heart for the most intimate and secret offenses, which You receive from your dearest ones.

My Jesus, I too unite myself to You; I make your prayers, your REPARATIONs and your appropriate remedies for each soul, my own. I want to mix my tears with yours, that You may never be alone, but may always have me with You, to share in your pains.
May each one of my thoughts flow in each one of your thoughts, to make an act of REPARATION for each evil thought, and therefore console your sad mind. I want to place my eyes in yours to share in these pains with You, and to cry with You. And wanting to REPAIR for all the distracted gazes of creatures, I offer You my gazes, always fixed in You.
Here I am, O Jesus, together with You. But I don’t have the heart to see You cast on the ground. I take You in my arms, I press You to my heart; I want to count, one by one, your strainings, and, one by one, the offenses which advance toward You, in order to give You relief for everything, REPARATION for everything, and to give You at least one act of my compassion, for everything.

Monday, July 22, 2019

St. Mary Magdalene FOLLOWER OF JESUS, MODEL OF PENITENCE



Feast: July 22
Died: 1st century AD, Ephesus, Asia Minor or Marseilles, France
Patron of: apothecaries; contemplative life; converts; glove makers; hairdressers; penitent sinners; people ridiculed for their piety; perfumeries; pharmacists; reformed prostitutes; sexual temptation; tanners; women

Mary Magdalen was so called either from Magdala near Tiberias, on the west shore of Galilee, or possibly from a Talmudic expression meaning "curling women's hair," which the Talmud explains as of an adulteress.

In the New Testament she is mentioned among the women who accompanied Christ and ministered to Him (Luke 8:2-3), where it is also said that seven devils had been cast out of her (Mark 16:9). She is next named as standing at the foot of the cross (Mark 15:40; Matthew 27:56; John 19:25; Luke 23:49). She saw Christ laid in the tomb, and she was the first recorded witness of the Resurrection.

The Greek Fathers, as a whole, distinguish the three persons:

* the "sinner" of Luke 7:36-50;
* the sister of Martha and Lazarus, Luke 10:38-42 and John 11; and
* Mary Magdalen.

On the other hand most of the Latins hold that these three were one and the same. Protestant critics, however, believe there were two, if not three, distinct persons. It is impossible to demonstrate the identity of the three; but those commentators undoubtedly go too far who assert, as does Westcott (on John 11:1), "that the identity of Mary with Mary Magdalene is a mere conjecture supported by no direct evidence, and opposed to the general tenour of the gospels." It is the identification of Mary of Bethany with the "sinner" of Luke 7:37, which is most combatted by Protestants. It almost seems as if this reluctance to identify the "sinner" with the sister of Martha were due to a failure to grasp the full significance of the forgiveness of sin. The harmonizing tendencies of so many modern critics, too, are responsible for much of the existing confusion.

The first fact, mentioned in the Gospel relating to the question under discussion is the anointing of Christ's feet by a woman, a "sinner" in the city (Luke 7:37-50). This belongs to the Galilean ministry, it precedes the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand and the third Passover. Immediately afterwards St. Luke describes a missionary circuit in Galilee and tells us of the women who ministered to Christ, among them being "Mary who is called Magdalen, out of whom seven devils were gone forth" (Luke 8:2); but he does not tell us that she is to be identified with the "sinner" of the previous chapter. In 10:38-42, he tells us of Christ's visit to Martha and Mary "in a certain town"; it is impossible to identify this town, but it is clear from 9:53, that Christ had definitively left Galilee, and it is quite possible that this "town" was Bethany. This seems confirmed by the preceding parable of the good Samaritan, which must almost certainly have been spoken on the road between Jericho and Jerusalem. But here again we note that there is no suggestion of an identification of the three persons (the "sinner", Mary Magdalen, and Mary of Bethany), and if we had only St. Luke to guide us we should certainly have no grounds for so identifying them. St. John, however, clearly identifies Mary of Bethany with the woman who anointed Christ's feet (12; cf. Matthew 26 and Mark 14). It is remarkable that already in 11:2, St. John has spoken of Mary as "she that anointed the Lord's feet", he aleipsasa; It is commonly said that he refers to the subsequent anointing which he himself describes in 12:3-8; but it may be questioned whether he would have used he aleipsasa if another woman, and she a "sinner" in the city, had done the same. It is conceivable that St. John, just because he is writing so long after the event and at a time when Mary was dead, wishes to point out to us that she was really the same as the "sinner." In the same way St. Luke may have veiled her identity precisely because he did not wish to defame one who was yet living; he certainly does something similar in the case of St. Matthew whose identity with Levi the publican (5:7) he conceals.

If the foregoing argument holds good, Mary of Bethany and the "sinner" are one and the same. But an examination of St. John's Gospel makes it almost impossible to deny the identity of Mary of Bethany with Mary Magdalen. From St. John we learn the name of the "woman" who anointed Christ's feet previous to the last supper. We may remark here that it seems unnecessary to hold that because St. Matthew and St. Mark say "two days before the Passover", while St. John says "six days" there were, therefore, two distinct anointings following one another. St. John does not necessarily mean that the supper and the anointing took place six days before, but only that Christ came to Bethany six days before the Passover. At that supper, then, Mary received the glorious encomium, "she hath wrought a good work upon Me . . . in pouring this ointment upon My body she hath done it for My burial . . . wheresoever this Gospel shall be preached . . . that also which she hath done shall be told for a memory of her." Is it credible, in view of all this, that this Mary should have no place at the foot of the cross, nor at the tomb of Christ? Yet it is Mary Magdalen who, according to all the Evangelists, stood at the foot of the cross and assisted at the entombment and was the first recorded witness of the Resurrection. And while St. John calls her "Mary Magdalen" in 19:25, 20:1, and 20:18, he calls her simply "Mary" in 20:11 and 20:16.

In the view we have advocated the series of events forms a consistent whole; the "sinner" comes early in the ministry to seek for pardon; she is described immediately afterwards as Mary Magdalen "out of whom seven devils were gone forth"; shortly after, we find her "sitting at the Lord's feet and hearing His words." To the Catholic mind it all seems fitting and natural. At a later period Mary and Martha turn to "the Christ, the Son of the Living God", and He restores to them their brother Lazarus; a short time afterwards they make Him a supper and Mary once more repeats the act she had performed when a penitent. At the Passion she stands near by; she sees Him laid in the tomb; and she is the first witness of His Resurrection--excepting always His Mother, to whom He must needs have appeared first, though the New Testament is silent on this point. In our view, then, there were two anointings of Christ's feet--it should surely be no difficulty that St. Matthew and St. Mark speak of His head--the first (Luke 7) took place at a comparatively early date; the second, two days before the last Passover. But it was one and the same woman who performed this pious act on each occasion.

The Greek Church maintains that the saint retired to Ephesus with the Blessed Virgin and there died, that her relics were transferred to Constantinople in 886 and are there preserved. Gregory of Tours (De miraculis, I, xxx) supports the statement that she went to Ephesus. However, according to a French tradition , Mary, Lazarus, and some companions came to Marseilles and converted the whole of Provence. Magdalen is said to have retired to a hill, La Sainte-Baume, near by, where she gave herself up to a life of penance for thirty years. When the time of her death arrived she was carried by angels to Aix and into the oratory of St. Maximinus, where she received the viaticum; her body was then laid in an oratory constructed by St. Maximinus at Villa Lata, afterwards called St. Maximin. History is silent about these relics till 745, when according to the chronicler Sigebert, they were removed to VĂ©zelay through fear of the Saracens. No record is preserved of their return, but in 1279, when Charles II, King of Naples, erected a convent at La Sainte-Baume for the Dominicans, the shrine was found intact, with an inscription stating why they were hidden. In 1600 the relics were placed in a sarcophagus sent by Clement VIII, the head being placed in a separate vessel. In 1814 the church of La Sainte-Baume, wrecked during the Revolution, was restored, and in 1822 the grotto was consecrated afresh. The head of the saint now lies there, where it has lain so long, and where it has been the center of so many pilgrimages.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Where ARE our Beloved Dead?

This is going to be a tough subject for a myriad of reasons, but it's important enough to risk the possible after effects. I should say right here and now that I will NOT engage in debates. If you like what I say, great ... add to it if you like, but if you don't; please just move on ... no one is forcing you to read this.

Most all of us have lost a friend or loved one in our lives. The anguish is beyond measure. Frequent attempts at consolation, though well meaning, can be detrimental to the loved ones soul. We often hear: "Well, they're with the Lord now." Many birthday memorials send greetings 'to heaven' to their loved ones. But do we really know where they actually are?

It’s something we don’t want to even consider. Many have had hard deaths and to think of our loved ones suffering more is beyond what we can bear, yet ... if we really love them and want to do the best for THEM, should we not take this into serious consideration? This is a subject that could be a BOOK rather than a POST, yet, for the sake of brevity, I will attempt to touch on the ‘highlights’ to get the principle components out there for reflection.

Consider the 'possibility' that some souls (likely most) are in a state of cleansing ... purgatory/limbo or what ever you want to call it. Many verses in the bible both old and new testaments, refer to the cleansing 'fire'. We can't be sure if this is an actual fire or some emotional/spiritual/mental hardship knowing we're separated from God due to choices we could have made differently. But we DO know that NOTHING with the least little speck will enter heaven. So purgatory purges our imperfections and perfects our love making it possible to enter God’s Kingdom.

I believe one of the strongest arguments for a place of purging before heaven is the following: Matthew 12:32 And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. If this sin cannot be forgiven after death, it follows that there are others which can be, and this must be in purgatory: precisely the interpretation of St. Augustine, Pope St. Gregory the Great,  the Venerable Bede, and St. Bernard, among others.

So is it enough to have fond memories of our dearly departed and carry them in our hearts if there is a way to hasten their flight to heaven? I, myself, have always been one to err on the side of caution. If you do something and it winds up being for nothing; no biggie. But if we DON'T do something that could have made a HUGE difference to ourselves or a loved one and we don't do it, it's DEVASTATING. They could still be in a place of cleansing depending on our prayers and sacrifices to help them enter heaven. Souls in purgatory cannot pray for themselves, they can only pray for others.

So, at least for a moment, I propose that you believe what I’m saying here is actually true (it IS) and we CAN actually assist our dear ones that have passed.  Scripture teaches love is not self seeking and endures all things. So in other words, their ['perfected'] love prevents them from praying for themselves, compelling them instead to pray for those whose salvation hangs in the balance, even at the cost of their own prolonged suffering.

Personally, I have perpetual Masses said for all relatives and friends with the addition of special occasions and perhaps birthdays and the dates of their deaths. You can also pray and offer sacrifices in union with the Passion of Christ. The holy Rosary, Chaplets and other prayers are wonderful and important resources to this end. Our sacrifices only have merit when united to His Sufferings and offered to the Father. We also can intercede to our Blessed Mother and the saints to pray for our loved ones ... many many things can and SHOULD be done for our beloved dead. I think it's doing a great disservice to them to just assume they're in heaven. And if by chance, they ARE already in heaven, I believe God will apply our alms to a soul who has no one to pray for them, so nothing's ever wasted!

So much is upside down in the world today and has been for a long long time. Many act like what is on earth will last forever forgetting about eternity completely. Or worse yet, thinking eternity is nothing more than a nice fairy tale with heaven dangling in the distance to console the weak. It's the earth and all that is in it that will eventually pass away. THIS *IS* the TRUTH. But Jesus has conquered the world and His Death and Resurrection gives us new ETERNAL LIFE in HIM. What a precious gift purchased with a LOVE so abundant and complete that we, as humans, can't even comprehend it! So yes, we remember our dead with much love and sentiment on birthdays, anniversaries and the like; but let's always remember to do ALL we CAN to get them to heaven as quickly as possible and one day, we will know ... each one of us ... how very important this actually IS.

This may be added to, revised or edited as time moves along, in which case I will repost.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

On July 16, the Church celebrates on the feast of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel which is symbolized by the brown scapular. The scapular, which derives its name from the Latin word scapula, meaning shoulders, is a dress which covers the shoulders. It is mentioned in the rule of Saint Benedict as worn by monks over their other dress when they were at work, and it now forms a regular part of the religious dress in the old Orders. But it is best known among Catholics as the name of two little pieces of cloth worn out of devotion to the Blessed Virgin over the shoulders, under the ordinary garb, and connected by strings. The devotion of the scapular, now almost universal in the Catholic Church, began with the Carmelites.

Our Lady promises to be a spiritual mother to those who wear the scapular. She even promises the gift of final perseverance to all who wear her sign with genuine faith in Jesus and in her powerful protection. At the hour of death, she will grant the wearer the grace to repent completely.

For more information:
Novena to Mount Carmel
Procedure for the Blessing and Investiture of the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Novena to St. Mary Magdalen: July 13 - 21

O Most merciful Jesus, I give Thee thanks for that work of piety which the blessed Mary Magdalen wrought on Thee when she washed Thy Feet with her tears, and wiped Them with the hair of her head, and kissed Them and anointed Them with fragrant ointment; whereby she obtained from Thee such signal grace that Thou didst pour into her heart and soul so great love of Thee that she could love nothing apart from Thee: beseeching Thee that by her merits and intercessions Thou wouldst vouchsafe to grant me tears of true repentance, and pour into my heart Thy Divine Love. Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be the Father.

St. Gertrude relates that St. Mary Magdalen said to St. Mechtilde: "Whosoever shall give God thanks for all the tears I shed upon the Feet of Jesus, our most, merciful God will grant him, through my intercession, remission of all his sins before his death, and a great increase of love to God."

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Novena to Our Lady of the Atonement - begins June 30th - July 8th

To take part in the Novena:

On each day, if possible, assist at Holy Mass, and go to Confession and Communion at least once during the Novena.

The following prayers are recommended to be said daily:

One decade of the Rosary
(One Our Father, ten Hail Marys, one Glory be.)

Memorare of St. Bernard
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided.  Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

The Three-Fold Salutation
We salute thee, Holy Mary, Daughter of God the Father, and entreat thee to obtain for us a devotion like thine own to the most sweet Will of God.

We salute thee, Virgin Mother of God the Son, and entreat thee to obtain for us such union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, that our own hearts may burn with love for God and an ardent zeal for the salvation of souls.

We salute thee, Immaculate Spouse of God the Holy Ghost, and entreat thee to obtain for us such yielding of ourselves to the Blessed Spirit, that He may, in all things, direct and rule our hearts, and that we may never grieve Him in thought, word, or deed.

The Litany
Lord have mercy upon us.
Christ have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us. Christ hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven,
have mercy upon us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy upon us.
God, the Holy Ghost,
have mercy upon us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
have mercy upon us.

Our Lady of the Atonement, Daughter of God the Father,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Mother of God the Son,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Spouse of God the Holy Ghost,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, standing by the Cross,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, given to us as a Mother,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, our Mediatrix,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, firm Hope,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, sure Refuge,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Mother of Divine Love,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Shepherdess of the wandering sheep,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, pillar of Unity,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Mother of Conversions,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Mother of the outcast,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Star of the pagans,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Mother of missionaries,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Mother most sorrowful,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Lily of Israel,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Model of resignation,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Haven of peace,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Comfort of the afflicted,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Guide of the doubtful,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Welcomer of the pilgrims,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Handmaid of the Father,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Mirror of the Son,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Queen of the Precious Blood,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, true Model,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, strong Protectress,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, hailed by the Archangel Gabriel,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Splendor of Heaven,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Delight of the Saints,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Strength of the weak,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Comfort of the dying,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, triumphant with Jesus,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Queen of the Universe,
pray for us.
Our Lady of the Atonement, Queen of the Children of the Atonement,
pray for us.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy upon us.

Pray for us, O Blessed Mother;
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. O God, who didst deign that we, thy children, should invoke our Mother Mary under the title of Our Lady of the Atonement; grant that through her powerful intercession we may obtain the fullness of thy blessings; through thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul - June 29

Saints Peter and Paul’s Story

Peter (d. 64?) Saint Mark ends the first half of his Gospel with a triumphant climax. He has recorded doubt, misunderstanding, and the opposition of many to Jesus. Now Peter makes his great confession of faith: “You are the Messiah” (Mark 8:29b). It was one of the many glorious moments in Peter’s life, beginning with the day he was called from his nets along the Sea of Galilee to become a fisher of men for Jesus.

The New Testament clearly shows Peter as the leader of the apostles, chosen by Jesus to have a special relationship with him. With James and John he was privileged to witness the Transfiguration, the raising of a dead child to life, and the agony in Gethsemane. His mother-in-law was cured by Jesus. He was sent with John to prepare for the last Passover before Jesus’ death. His name is first on every list of apostles.

And to Peter only did Jesus say, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:17b-19).

But the Gospels prove their own trustworthiness by the unflattering details they include about Peter. He clearly had no public relations person. It is a great comfort for ordinary mortals to know that Peter also has his human weakness, even in the presence of Jesus.

He generously gave up all things, yet he can ask in childish self-regard, “What are we going to get for all this?” (see Matthew 19:27). He receives the full force of Christ’s anger when he objects to the idea of a suffering Messiah: “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do” (Matthew 16:23b).

Peter is willing to accept Jesus’ doctrine of forgiveness, but suggests a limit of seven times. He walks on the water in faith, but sinks in doubt. He refuses to let Jesus wash his feet, then wants his whole body cleansed. He swears at the Last Supper that he will never deny Jesus, and then swears to a servant maid that he has never known the man. He loyally resists the first attempt to arrest Jesus by cutting off Malchus’ ear, but in the end he runs away with the others. In the depth of his sorrow, Jesus looks on him and forgives him, and he goes out and sheds bitter tears. The Risen Jesus told Peter to feed his lambs and his sheep (John 21:15-17).

Paul (d. 64?) If the most well-known preacher today suddenly began preaching that the United States should adopt Marxism and not rely on the Constitution, the angry reaction would help us understand Paul’s life when he started preaching that Christ alone can save us. He had been the most pharisaic of Pharisees, the most legalistic of Mosaic lawyers. Now he suddenly appears to other Jews as a heretical welcomer of Gentiles, a traitor and apostate.

Paul’s central conviction was simple and absolute: Only God can save humanity. No human effort—even the most scrupulous observance of law—can create a human good which we can bring to God as reparation for sin and payment for grace. To be saved from itself, from sin, from the devil, and from death, humanity must open itself completely to the saving power of Jesus.

Paul never lost his love for his Jewish family, though he carried on a lifelong debate with them about the uselessness of the Law without Christ. He reminded the Gentiles that they were grafted on the parent stock of the Jews, who were still God’s chosen people, the children of the promise.


Reflection

We would probably go to confession to Peter sooner than to any of the other apostles. He is perhaps a more striking example of the simple fact of holiness. Jesus says to us as he said, in effect, to Peter: “It is not you who have chosen me, but I who have chosen you. Peter, it is not human wisdom that makes it possible for you to believe, but my Father’s revelation. I, not you, build my Church.” Paul’s experience of the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus was the driving force that made him one of the most zealous, dynamic, and courageous ambassadors of Christ the Church has ever had. But persecution, humiliation, and weakness became his day-by-day carrying of the cross, material for further transformation. The dying Christ was in him; the living Christ was his life.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Feast of the Sacred Heart - Plenary Indulgence Available

The Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the Friday following the Second Sunday after Pentecost.
On this Feast Day the Church grants a plenary indulgence for making An Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart.


The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a moveable feast celebrating the love of Christ for all mankind.

How Is the Date of the Feast of the Sacred Heart Determined?

The date of the Feast of Corpus Christi was set at the request of Christ Himself, Who appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque on June 16, 1675.
The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is celebrated on the Friday after the octave (eighth day) of the Feast of Corpus Christi. The traditional date of Corpus Christi is the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, which falls one week after Pentecost Sunday. Thus, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus falls 19 days after Pentecost, which is seven weeks after Easter.
In those countries, such as the United States, where the celebration of Corpus Christi is transferred to the following Sunday, the Feast of the Sacred Heart is still celebrated 19 days after Pentecost.
Since the date of Pentecost Sunday depends on the date of Easter, which changes every year, the Feast of the Sacred Heart falls on a different date each year as well.


The Heart of Christ
By: Abbot Marmion, O.S.B.

from Christ and His Mysteries

Summary:

Love explains all the mysteries of Jesus; the faith that we ought to have in the fullness of this love; the Church sets it before us as the object of worship in the Feast of the Sacred Heart.

----- I. In what, speaking in a general manner, devotion to the Heart of Jesus consists; how deeply this devotion plunges its roots into the Christian dogma.

----- II. Its divers elements.
-----III. The contemplation of the benefits which we owe to the love of Jesus, symbolized by His Heart, is the source of the love that we ought to give Him in return. The double character of our love for Christ; it ought to be affective and effective; Our Lord is our Model in this.

----- IV. Precious advantage of devotion to the Sacred Heart; it makes us take, little by little, the attitude that should characterize our relations with God. Our spiritual life depends, in great part, on the idea that we habitually have of God; diversity of aspects under which souls may consider God. ----- V. Christ alone unveils to us the true attitude of the soul in face of God; devotion to the Heart of Jesus helps us to acquire this attitude.

All that we possess in the domain of grace comes to us from Christ Jesus. "Of His fulness we have all received": De plenitudine ejus nos omnes accepimus (Jn. 1:16). He has destroyed the wall of separation that hindered us from going to God; He has merited for us all graces in infinite abundance; being Divine Head of the mystical body, He has the power of communicating to us the spirit of His states and the virtue of His mysteries, so as to transform us into Himself.

When we consider these mysteries of Jesus, which of His perfections do we see especially shine out? It is love.

Love brought about the Incarnation: Proper nos ... descendit de caelis, et incarnatus est (Creed of the Mass); love caused Christ to be born in passable and weak flesh, inspired the obscurity of the hidden life, nourished the zeal of the public life. If Jesus delivers Himself up to death for us, it is because He yields to the excess of a measureless love (Jn. 13:1); if He rises again, it is "for our justification" (Rom. 4:25); if He ascends into heaven, it is to prepare a place (Jn. 14:2; Heb. 6:20) for us in that abode of blessedness; He sends the Paraclete so as not to leave us orphans (Jn. 14:18); He institutes the Sacrament of the Eucharist as a memorial of His love (Lk. 22:19). All these mysteries have their source in love.

It is necessary that our faith in this love of Christ Jesus should be living and constant. And why? Because it is one of the most powerful supports of our fidelity.

Look at St. Paul. Never did man labor and spend himself as he did for Christ. One day when his enemies attack the lawfulness of his mission, he is led, in self-defense, to give a brief outline of his works, his toils and sufferings. However well we know this sketch drawn from the life, it is always a joy to the soul to read again this page, unique in the annals of the apostolate: Often, says the great Apostle, was he brought nigh to death: "Of the Jews five times did I receive forty stripes, save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once I was stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I was in the depth of the sea. In journeying often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils from my own nation, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils from false brethren. In labor and painfulness, in much watchings, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Besides those things which are without: my daily instance, the solicitude for all the churches" (2 Cor. 11:23-28). Elsewhere, he applies to himself the words of the Psalmist: "For Thy sake, we are put to death all the day long, we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter . . ." And yet he immediately adds: "but in all these things we overcome, because of Him that hath loved us": Sed in his omnibus superamus (Rom. 8:36-37). And where does he find the secret of this victory? Ask of him how he endures everything, though "weary even of life" (2 Cor. 1:8); how, in all his trials, he remains united to Christ with such an unshaken firmness that neither "tribulation, or distress, or famine, or nakedness, or the sword" can separate him from Jesus (Rom. 8:35)? He will reply: Proper eum qui delexit nos (Rom. 8:37): "Because of Him Who hath loved us." What sustains, strengthens, animates and stimulates him is the deep conviction of the love that Christ bears towards him: Dilexit me et tradidit semetipsum pro me (Gal. 2:20).

And, indeed, that which makes this ardent conviction strong within him is the sense that he no longer lives for himself-----he who blasphemed the name of God and persecuted the Christians (Cf. Acts 26:9-10; 1 Cor. 15:9)-----but for Him Who loved him to the point of giving His life for him: Caritas Christi urget nos (2 Cor. 5:14) . . . "The charity of Christ presseth us," he exclaims. Therefore, I will give myself up for Him, I will spend myself willingly, without reserve, without counting the cost; I will consume myself for the souls won by Him: Libentissime impendam et superimpendar (2 Cor. 12:15)!
This conviction that Christ loves him truly gives the key to all the work of the great Apostle.
Nothing urges one to love like knowing and feeling oneself to be loved. "Every time that we think of Jesus Christ," says St. Teresa, "let us remember the love with which He has heaped His benefits upon us . . . Love calls forth love" (Life written by herself. Chap. 22).

But how are we to learn this love which is at the foundation of all the states of Jesus, which explains them, and sums up all
There is one feast, which by its object brings to our mind, in a general manner, the love that the Incarnate Word has shown to us: it is the Feast of the Sacred Heart. It is with this feast that the Church, according to the revelation of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary, closes, so to speak, the annual cycle of the solemnities of the Saviour; it is as if, arrived at the term of the contemplation of her Bridegroom's mysteries, there is nothing left for her to do but to celebrate the very love that inspired them all.

Following the example of the Church, I will, now that we have passed in review the chief mysteries of our Divine Head, say a few words about the devotion to the Sacred Heart, its object and its practice. We shall grasp once more this important truth that for us all is resumed in the practical knowledge of the mystery of Jesus.

I

The word "devotion" comes from the latin word devovere: to devote or consecrate oneself to a person beloved. Devotion towards God is the highest expression of our love. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength": Diliges Dominum Deum tuum ex TOTO corde tuo, et ex TOTA anima tua, et ex TOTA menta tua (Mk 12:30). This totus denotes devotion: to love God with all oneself, without reserving anything; to love Him constantly; to love Him to the point of giving oneself to His service with promptitude and ease, such is devotion in general; and, thus understood, devotion constitutes perfection: for it is the very flower of charity (Cf. S. Thom. II-II, q. 82, a. 1).

Devotion to Jesus Christ is the devotion of all our being and all our activity to the Person of the Incarnate Word, abstraction made of such or such particular state of the Person of Jesus or of such or such special mystery of His life. By this devotion to Jesus Christ, we strive to know, to honor, to serve the Son of God manifesting Himself to us through His Sacred Humanity.

A particular devotion is either "devotedness" to God considered specially in one of His attributes or one of His perfections, as His holiness or mercy, or again to one of the three Divine Persons, or to Christ contemplated in one or other of his states. As we have seen in the course of these conferences, it is always the same Christ Jesus Whom we honour, it is always His Adorable Person to Whom our homage is offered, but we consider His Person under some particular aspect or as manifested to us in some special mystery. Thus devotion to the Holy Childhood is devotion to the very Person of Christ especially contemplated in the mysteries of His Trinity and His life as a Youth at Nazareth; devotion to the Five Wounds is devotion to the Person of the Incarnate Word considered in His sufferings, sufferings which are themselves symbolized by the five wounds of which Christ willed to retain the glorious marks after His Resurrection. These devotions can then have a special, proper, immediate object, but they have always their term in Christ's own Person (S. Thom. III, q. 25, a. 1).

Hence you comprehend what it is to be understood by devotion to the Sacred Heart. It is, in a general manner, devotion to the Person of Jesus Himself, manifesting His love for us and shewing us His Heart as a symbol of this love. Whom do we then honor in this devotion? Christ Jesus Himself, in person. But what is the immediate, special, proper object of this devotion? The Heart of flesh of Jesus, the Heart which beats for us in the bosom of the God-Man; but we do not honor it apart from the human nature of Jesus, nor from the Person of the Eternal Word to Whom this human nature was united in the Incarnation. Is this all? No; there is yet this to be added: we honor this Heart as the symbol of the love of Jesus towards us.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart is then summed up in the worship of the Incarnate Word manifesting His love to us and showing us His Heart as the symbol of this love.
I have no need to justify to you this devotion which is familiar to you; it will not however be without some use to say a word on this subject.
You know that, according to certain Protestants, the Church is like a lifeless body; she received, they think, all her perfection from the outset, and ought there to rest stationary; all that has arisen later, either in dogmatic matters, or in the domain of piety, is only, in their eyes, superfluity and corruption.

For us, the Church is a living organism, which, like all living organisms, is to be developed and perfected. The deposit of revelation was sealed at the death of the last apostle; since then, no writing is admitted as inspired, and the revelations of the saints do not enter into the official deposit of the truths of the faith. But many truths contained in the official revelation were only so in germ; the opportunity was only given little by little, under the pressure of events and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, of coming to explicit definitions which fixed in a precise and determined formula what was hitherto only known in an implicit manner.

From the first instant of His Incarnation, Christ Jesus possessed in His blessed soul all the treasures of Divine knowledge and wisdom. But it is only by degrees that these were to be revealed. As Christ increased in age, this knowledge and wisdom manifested themselves, and the virtues of which He contained in Himself the germ were seen to blossom.

Something analogous takes place for the Church, Christ's Mystical Body. For example, we find in the deposit of the Faith this magnificent revelation: "The Word was God . . . and the Word was made Flesh" (1 Jn. 1:14). This revelation contains treasures that have only come to light by degrees; it is like a seed that has blossomed, and borne fruits of truth to increase our knowledge of Christ Jesus. On the occasion of heresies that have sprung up, the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, has defined that in Jesus Christ there is only one Divine Person, but two natures, distinct and perfect, two wills, two sources of activity; that the Virgin Mary is the Mother of God; that all the parts of the Sacred Humanity of Jesus are adorable on account of their union with the Divine Person of the Word. Are these new dogmas? No. It is the deposit of the faith explained, made explicit, and developed.

What we say of dogmas applies equally to devotions. In the course of centuries, devotions have risen up that the Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, has admitted and made her own. These are not innovations, properly so called. They are effects that flow from the established dogmas and the Church's organic activity.

When the teaching Church approves of a devotion and confirms it with her sovereign authority, it ought to be our joy to accept this devotion; to act otherwise would not be to share the mind of the Church, Sentire cum Ecclesia, it would be no longer to enter into the thoughts of Christ Jesus; for He says to His apostles and to their successors: "He that heareth you, heareth Me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth Me" (Lk. 10:16). Now, how shall we go to the Father if we do not hearken to Christ?

Relatively modern under the form that it actually bears, the devotion to the Sacred Heart has its dogmatic roots in the deposit of faith. It was contained in germ in the words of St. John: "The Word was made Flesh, and dwelt among us . . . having loved His own . . . He loved them unto the end" (Jn. 1:14; 13:1). What, in fact, is the Incarnation? It is the manifestation of God, it is God revealing Himself to us through the Humanity of Jesus: Nova mentis nostrae oculis lux tuae claritatis infulsit (Preface of the Nativity); it is the manifestation of Divine love to the world: "God so loved the world, as to give His Only-begotten Son"; and this Son Himself so loved men as to deliver Himself up for them: "Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends": Majorem hac dilectionem nemo habet (Jn. 15:13). All the devotion to the Sacred Heart is in germ in these words of Jesus. And in order to show that His love had attained the supreme degree, Christ Jesus willed that immediately after He had drawn His last breath on the Cross, His Heart should be pierced by the soldier's lance.

As we are about to see, the love that is symbolised by the heart in this devotion is first of all the created love of Jesus, but, as He is the Incarnate Word, the treasures of this created love manifest to us the marvels of the Divine love, of the Eternal Word.
You perceive what depths this devotion reaches in the deposit of the faith. Far from being an alteration or a corruption, it is an adaptation, at once simple and magnificent, of what St. John said concerning the Word-made-Flesh immolated for love of us.

II

If we now dwell in a few words upon the divers elements of the devotion we shall see how they are justified.
The proper and direct object of it is Christ's physical Heart. This Heart is, indeed, worthy of adoration. Why so? Because it forms part of His Human Nature, and because the Word has united Himself to a perfect nature: Perfectus homo (Creed of St. Athanasius). The same adoration that we give to the Divine Person of the Word attains all that is personally united thereto, all that subsists in and by the Person of the Word. This is true of the whole Human Nature of Jesus, this is true of each of the parts that compose it. The Heart of Jesus is the Heart of a God.

But the Heart which we honor, which we adore in this Humanity united to the Person of the Word, serves here as a symbol of what? Of love. When God says to us in the Scriptures: "My son, give Me Thy heart" (Prov. 23:26), we understand that the heart here signifies love. You may say of someone: I esteem him, I respect him, but I cannot give him my heart. You mean by these words that friendship, intimacy and union are impossible.

In the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we then honor the love that the Incarnate Word bears towards us.

Created love first of all. Christ Jesus is both God and Man; perfect God, perfect Man; that is the very mystery of the Incarnation. As "Son of Man," Christ has a Heart like ours, a Heart of flesh, a Heart that beats for us with the tenderest, the truest, the noblest, the most faithful love that ever was.

In his Epistle to the Ephesians, St. Paul told them that he earnestly besought God that they might be able to comprehend what is the breadth and length, and height and depth, of the mystery of Jesus, so much was he dazzled by the incommensurable riches that it contained. He might have said as much of the love of the Heart of Jesus for us; he did say so in fact, when he declared that this love "surpasseth all knowledge" (Eph. 3:14-19).

And, indeed, we shall never exhaust the treasure of tenderness, of loveableness, of kindness and charity, of which the Heart of the Man-God is the burning furnace. We have only to open the Gospel and, on each page, we shall see shine out the goodness, the mercy, the condescension of Jesus towards men. I have tried, in pointing out some aspects of the public life of Christ, to show you how deeply human and infinitely delicate is this love.

This love of Christ is not a chimera, it is very real, for it is founded upon the reality of the Incarnation itself. The Blessed Virgin, St. John, Magdalen, Lazarus knew this well. It was not only a love of the will, but also a heartfelt love. When Christ Jesus said: "I have compassion on the multitude" (Mt. 15:32; Mk. 8:2), He really felt the fibres of His human Heart moved by pity; when He saw Martha and Mary weeping for the loss of their brother, He wept with them; truly human tears were wrung from His Heart. Therefore the Jews who witnessed the sight said to one another: "Behold how He loved him" (Jn. 11:36).

Christ Jesus does not change. He was yesterday, He is today: -----His Heart remains the most loving and most loveable that could be met with. St. Paul tells us explicitly that we ought to have full confidence in Jesus because He is a compassionate High Priest Who knows our sufferings, our miseries, our infirmities, having Himself espoused our weaknesses -----saving sin. Doubtless, Christ Jesus can no longer suffer: Mors illi ultra non dominabitur (Rom. 6:9); but He remains the One Who was moved by compassion, Who suffered and redeemed men through love: Dilexit me et tradidit semetipsum pro me.

Whence came this human love of Jesus, this created love? From the Uncreated and Divine Love, from the love of the Eternal Word to which the human nature is indissolubly united. In Christ, although there are two perfect and distinct natures, keeping their specific energies and their proper operations, there is only one Divine Person. As I have said, the created love of Jesus is only a revelation of His uncreated love. Everything that the created love accomplishes is in union with the uncreated love, and on account of it; Christ's Heart draws its human kindness from the Divine ocean ("In the Sacred Heart you will find the symbol and the sensible image of the infinite charity of Jesus Christ, of that charity which draws us to love Him in return." Leo XIII, Bull Annum sac., 25 M. 1899).

Upon Calvary, we see Him die as a man like unto ourselves, One Who has been a prey to anguish, Who has suffered, Who has been crushed beneath the weight of torments, heavier than any man ever bore; we understand the love that this Man shows us. But this love which, by its excess, surpasses our knowledge, is the concrete and tangible expression of the Divine love. The Heart of Jesus pierced upon the Cross reveals to us Christ's human love; but beneath the veil of the humanity of Jesus is shown the ineffable and incomprehensible love of the Word.

What a wide perspective this devotion opens out to us! How powerful it is to attract the faithful soul! For it gives us the means of honouring what is the greatest, the highest, the most efficacious in Christ Jesus, the Incarnate Word: the love that He bears to the world, the love of which His Heart is the furnace . . .

III

Love is active: it is of its nature overflowing. In Jesus, love can but be for us an inexhaustible source of gifts.
In the collect for the Feast of the Sacred Heart, the Church invites us to call to mind the principal benefits that we owe to the
This love, as we have said, is the human love of Jesus, the revelation of the uncreated love. To this uncreated love, which is common to the Father and the Holy Spirit, we owe everything. There is no gift which does nto find its most profound principle in this love. Who drew beings out of nothing? Love. We sing in the hymn for the feast (Hymn for Vespers): "The earth, the sea, the stars are the work of love":

Ille amor almus artifex
Terrae marisque et siderum.

Yet more than the creation, the Incarnation is due to love. Love caused the Word to come down from the splendours of heaven in order to assume a mortal body:

Amor coegit te tuus
Mortale corpus sumere.

But the benefits which we ought especially to recall, are the redemption through the Passion, the institution of the Sacraments, above all of the Eucharist. It is to the human love of Jesus as well as to His uncreated love that we owe them.

We have seen, in contemplating these mysteries, what deep and ardent love they manifest. Our Lord Himself has said that there is no greater act of love for a man than to give his life for his friends. He Himself has gone as far as this: many virtues shine out in His blessed Passion, but love most of all. It needed nothing less than an excess of love to plunge voluntarily into the abysses of humiliation and opprobrium, of suffering and sorrow, in each phase of the Passion.

And in the same way as love wrought our redemption, so it was love that established the sacraments whereby the fruits of the sacrifice of Jesus are to be applied to every soul of good will.

St. Augustine (Tract in Joan. 120:2) is pleased to recall the expression purposely chosen by the Evangelist concerning the wound made by the lance in the side of Jesus dead upon the Cross. The sacred writer does not say that the lance "struck", or "wounded", but that it "opened" the Saviour's side: Latus ejus aperuit (Jn. 19:34): It was the gate of life that was opened, says the great Doctor; from the pierced Heart of Jesus rivers of graces were to be poured out upon the world to sanctify the Church.

This contemplation of the benefits of Jesus towards us ought to become the source of our practical devotion to the Sacred Heart. Love alone can respond to love. Of what does our Saviour complain to St. Margaret Mary? Of the lack of love in return for His love. "Behold this Heart that has so loved men and which receives from them only ingratitude." It is then by love, by the gift of the heart that we should respond to Christ Jesus. "Who will not love in return the one Who loves him? Who being redeemed will not love his Redeemer?"

Quis non amantem redamet?
Quis non redemptis diligat? (Hymn of Lauds for the Feast of the Sacred Heart)
This love to be perfect must bear a twofold character.

There is affective love; it consists in the different feelings which move the heart towards a person loved: admiration, complacency, joy, thanksgiving. This love gives birth to praise. We rejoice in the perfections of the Heart of Jesus, we celebrate Its beauties, and grandeurs, we delight in the magnificence of Its benefits: Exultabunt labia mea cum cantavero tibi (Ps. 70:23)!

This affective love is necessary. In contemplating Christ in His love, the soul should give vent to her admiration, complacency, joy. Why so? Because we ought to love God with all our being; God wishes that our love towards Him should be conformable to our nature. Now our nature is not that of the Angels, ours is a human nature wherein the feelings have their part. Christ Jesus accepts this form of love, because it is based upon our nature, which He Himself created. See Him, at the time of His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, a few days before His Passion: "When He was now coming near the descent of Mount Olivet, the whole multitude of His disciples began with joy to praise God with a loud voice, for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: Blessed be the King Who cometh in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven, and glory on high! And some of the Pharisees, from amongst the multitude, said to Him: Master, rebuke Thy disciples." And what does Our Lord answer? Does He silence these acclamations? On the contrary he replies to the Pharisees: "I say to you, that if these shall hold their peace, the stones will cry out" (Lk. 19:37-40).

Christ Jesus is pleased with the praises that burst forth from the heart to the lips. Our love ought to break out in affections. Look at the saints. Francis, the Poor Man of Assisi, was so transported with love that he sang God's praises as he went along the roads (His Life by Jorgensen, Book 2, chap. 1). Magdalen of Pazzi ran through the cloisters of the monastery, crying out: "O Love, O Love!" (Her Life by Fr. Cepart, t. II, chap. 16). Saint Theresa was thrilled with joy every time she chanted these words of the Credo: Cujus regni non erit finis: "And of His Kingdom there shall be no end" (The Way of Perfection, chap. 23). Read her "Exclamations": you will there see how the affections of human nature burst forth in ardent praise from souls possessed by love.

Let us not fear to multiply our praises of the Heart of Jesus. The Litany of the Sacred Heart, acts of reparation and of consecration are so many expressions of this affective love, without which the human soul does not reach the perfection of its nature.

Of itself alone, this affective love is, however, insufficient. To have all its value, it must be manifested by deeds: Probatio dilectionis, exhibitio operis (S. Greg. Homil. In Evang. 30:1). "If you love Me," said Jesus Himself, "keep My commandments": Si diligitis me, mandata me servate (Jn. 14:15). It is the one touchstone. You will meet souls who abound in affections, who have the gift of tears, -----and yet do not trouble themselves to repress their bad inclinations, to destroy their bad habits, to avoid occasions of sin; who give way as soon as temptation arises, or murmur directly contradiction and disappointments befall them. With them, affective love is full of illusions; it is a fire of straw which quickly burns away into ashes.

If we truly love Christ Jesus, not only shall we rejoice in His glory, and hymn His perfections with every impulse of our soul, not only shall we be saddened at the injuries made to His Heart, and offer Him honourable amends, ----- but, above all, we shall strive to obey Him in all things, we shall accept readily all the dispositions of His Providence towards us, we shall work to extend His reign in souls, to procure His glory, we shall gladly spend ourselves, we shall go so far, if necessary, as to "be spent", according to the beautiful words of St. Paul: Libentissime impendam et superimpendar! (2 Cor. 12:15). The Apostle is speaking of charity towards our neighbours; applied to our love for Jesus, this formula wonderfully sums up the practice of devotion to His Sacred Heart.

Let us gaze on our Divine Saviour; in this as in every virtue, He is our best Model; we shall find in His Person two forms of love.

Consider the love that He bears towards His Father. Christ Jesus has in His Heart the truest affective love with which a human heart can beat. The Gospel one day shows us Christ's Heart, overflowing with enthusiasm for the Father's unfathomable perfections, burst forth in praise before His disciples." At the same hour He rejoiced in the Holy Ghost, and said: I confess to Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones. Yea, Father, for so it hath seemed good in Thy sight" (Lk. 10:21) . . .

See again at the Last Supper how His Sacred Heart is full of affection for His Father and how this affection is expressed in an ineffable prayer.
And so as to show the whole world the sincerity and intensity of this love, Ut cognoscat mundus quia diligo Patrem (Lk. 10:21), Jesus immediately goes to the Garden of Olives where He is to enter into the long series of humiliations and sorrows of His Passion.

This twofold character is found likewise in His love towards mankind. For three days, a multitude of people follow Him, drawn by the charm of His Divine words and the splendour of His miracles. But this multitude, having nothing to eat, begins to be overcome with faintness. Jesus knows this. "I have compassion on the multitude," He says, "for behold they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat. And if I shall send them fasting to their home, they will faint in the way; for some of them came from afar off": Miseror super turbam. What a deep sense of compassion moves His human Heart! And you know how Jesus puts His pity into action: in His blessed Hands, the loaves are multiplied to satisfy the hunger of the four thousand who had followed Him (Mk. 8:2-9).

Above all, see Him at the tomb of Lazarus. Jesus weeps. He sheds tears, real human tears. Can there be a more touching, a more authentic manifestation of the feelings of His Heart? And at once He puts His power into the service of His love: "Lazarus, come forth" (Jn. 11:43).

It is love that is revealed in the gift of self; love which, overflowing from the heart, takes possession of the whole being and of all its activities so as to consecrate them to the interests and glory of the beloved object.

What is to be the extent of this love that we ought to show to Jesus in return for His?
It must first of all include the essential and sovereign love which makes us regard Christ and His Will as the supreme good which we prefer to all things. Practically, this love is summed up in the state of sanctifying grace. Devotion, as we have said, means devotedness; but where is the devotedness of a soul that does not seek to safeguard within her at any price, by a watchful fidelity, the treasure of our Savior's grace? A soul who in temptation hesitates between the will of Christ Jesus and the suggestions of His eternal enemy?

As you know, it is this love which gives to our life all its value and makes of it a perpetual homage, pleasing to Christ's Heart. Without this essential love, nothing is of any worth in God's sight. Hear in what expressive terms St. Paul has laid stress on this truth: "If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing" (Cor. 13:1-3). In other words, I cannot be pleasing to God if I have not in me this essential charity by which I attach myself to Him as to the Sovereign Good. It is too evident that there cannot be true devotion where that essential love does not exist.

Secondly, let us accustom ourselves to do all things, even the smallest, in order to please Christ Jesus. To work, to accept our pains and sufferings, to fulfil our duties of state out of love, so as to be agreeable to Our Lord, in union with the dispositions of His Heart when He lived here below like us, constitutes an excellent practice of devotion towards the Sacred Heart. All our life is thus referred to him.

It is this, moreover, that gives to our life an increase of fruitfulness. As you know, every act of virtue, of humility, of obedience, of religion, done in a state of grace possesses its own merit, its special perfection, its particular splendour: but when this act is dominated by love, it gains a new efficacy and beauty; without losing anything of its own value, the merit of an act of love is added to it. The Psalmist sings to God, "the queen stood on Thy right hand, in gilded clothing: surrounded with variety": Adstitit regina a dextris tuis in vestitu deaurato, circumdata varietate (Ps. 44:10). The queen is the faithful soul in whom Christ reigns by His grace. She stands at the King's right hand, clad in a robe woven of gold which signifies love; the various colors symbolize the different virtues; each one of them keeps its own beauty, but love, which is the deep source of these virtues, enhances their splendor.
Love thus reigns as queen in our heart directing all its movements to the glory of God and of His Son Jesus.

IV

In the same way as the Holy Spirit does not call every soul to shine in an equal manner by the same virtues, so in the matter of private devotion, He leaves them a holy liberty which we ourselves ought carefully to respect. There are souls who feel

However, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is one of those which should be especially dear to us. And why? Because it honors Christ Jesus not only in one of His states or particular mysteries, but in the generality and totality of His love, of that love wherein all His mysteries find their deepest meaning. Although being a clearly defined devotion, devotion to the Heart of Jesus bears something that is universal. In honoring the Heart of Christ, it is no longer to Jesus as Infant, Youth, or Victim, that our homage is especially addressed. It is on the Person of Jesus in the plenitude of His love that we especially linger.

Moreover, the general practice of this devotion tends, at the last analysis, to render to Our Lord love for love: Movet nos ad amandum mutuo (Leon XIII, I, c); to penetrate all our activity with love in order to please Christ Jesus. The special exercises of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus are but so many means of expressing to our Divine Master this reciprocity of love.

Herein is a very precious effect of this devotion. For all Christian religion is summed up in the giving of ourselves, out of love, to Christ, and, through Him, to the Father and their common Spirit. This point is of capital importance, and I want, before ending this conference, to consider it with you for some moments.

It is a truth, confirmed by the experience of souls, that our spiritual life depends, in great part, on the idea that we habitually have of God.

Between us and God there are fundamental relations, based upon our nature as creatures; there exist moral relations resulting from our attitude towards Him; and this attitude is, most often, conditioned by the idea that we have of God.

If we form a false idea of God, our efforts to advance will often be vain and barren, because they will not be to the point; if we have an incomplete idea of Him, our spiritual life will be full of imperfections and shortcomings; if our idea of God is true, -----as true as is possible here below to a creature living by faith, -----our souls will expand safely in the light.

This habitual idea that we form of God is the key to our inner life, not only because it rules our conduct towards Him, but also because, in many cases, it determines God's attitude towards us: God treats us as we treat Him.

But, you will say, does not sanctifying grace make us God's children? Certainly it does; however, in practice, there are souls that do not act as the adopted children of the Eternal Father. It would seem as if their condition of children of God had only a nominal value for them; they do not understand that it is a fundamental state which requires to be constantly manifested by acts corresponding to it, and that all spiritual light ought to be the development of the spirit of Divine adoption, the spirit we receive at baptism through the virtue of Christ Jesus.

Thus, you may meet with some who habitually consider God as the Israelites regarded Him. God revealed Himself to the Israelites amidst the thunders and lightnings of Sinai (Exodus 19:16 sq.). For this "stiff-necked people" (Deut. 31:27), inclined to infidelity and idolatry, God was only a Lord Who must be adored, a Master Who must be served, a Judge Who must be feared. The Israelites had received, as St. Paul says, "the spirit of bondage in fear": Spiritum sevitutis in timore (Rom. 8:15). God appeared to them only in the splendor of His Majesty and the sovereignty of His power. You know that He treated them with rigorous justice: the earth opened to swallow up the guilty Hebrews (Num 16:32); those who touched the ark of the covenant when their functions did not give them the right to do so were struck dead (2 Reg. 6, 6-7). Poisonous serpents destroyed the murmurers (Num. 21:5-6); scarcely dared they pronounce the name of Jehovah; once a year, the High Priest entered alone, in awe and trembling, into the Holy of Holies, armed with the blood of the victims immolated for sin (Levit. 16: 11 sq.). This was "the spirit of bondage."

There are souls that habitually live only in dispositions of purely servile fear; if they were not afraid of God's chastisement, they would not mind offending Him. They habitually regard God only as a master, and do not seek to please Him. They are like those servants Christ Jesus speaks of in the parable. A King, before going into a far country, calls his servants and confides to them some talents-----pieces of money-----hich they are to trade with until his return. One of the servants lays up his talent in safety, keeping it without turning it to account. He says to the King on his return: "Lord, behold here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin. For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man; thou takest up what thou didst not lay down, and thou reapest that which thou didst not sow." And what does the King answer? He takes the negligent servant at his word. "Out of thy own mouth I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man . . . hy then didst thou not give my money into the bank?" And the King commands that the money which had been given to the servant should be taken away from him (Lk. 19:12-13, 20-24).

Such souls act with God only at a distance, they treat with Him only as with a great Lord, and God treats them in consequence according to this attitude. He does not give Himself fully to them; between them and God, personal intimacy cannot exist; in them, inward expansion is impossible.

Other souls, more numerous perhaps, habitually regard God as a great benefactor; they act as a rule only in view of the reward: Proper retribution (Ps. 118:112). This working in view of the recompense is not a false idea. We see Christ Jesus compare His Father to a Master Who rewards,----- and with what magnificent liberality!----- the faithful servant: "Enter into the joy of thy Lord" (Mt. 25:21). He Himself tells us that He ascends into Heaven to prepare a place for us (Jn. 14:2).

But when, as happens with certain souls, this attitude is habitual to the point of becoming exclusive, besides being wanting in nobility, it does not fully respond to the spirit of the Gospel. Hope is a Christian virtue, it powerfully sustains the soul in the midst of adversity, trial and temptation; but it is not the most perfect of the theological virtues, which are the specific virtues of our condition as childrne of God. Which is then the most perfect virtue? Which is the one who carries the palm? It is, replies St. Paul, charity: Nunc manent fides, spes, caritas, tria haec: major auiem horum est caritas (1 Cor. 13:13).

V

This is why, -----without losing view of the fear of outraging God Who created us, although this must not be the fear of the
Christ, indeed, knows better than anyone what our relations with God ought to be, He knows the Divine secrets. If we listen to Him we do not run any risk of going astray: He is Truth itself. Now, what attitude does He want us to have with God? Under what aspect does He want us to contemplate and adore Him? Undoubtedly, He teaches us that God is the Supreme Master Whom we must adore: "It is written: Thou shalt adore the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve" (Deut. 6:13; Lk 4:8). But this God Whom we must adore is a Father: Veri adoratores adorabunt Patrem in spiritu et veritate, nam et Pater tales quaerit qui adorent eum (Jn. 4:23).

Is adoration the only disposition which we ought to have in our heart? Does it constitute the one attitude which we must have towards this Father Who is God? No, Christ Jesus adds thereto love, and a love that is full, perfect, without reserve or restriction. When Jesus was asked which was the greatest of the commandments what did He answer? "Thou shalt love" (Mk. 12:30): love of complacency towards this Lord of such great majesty, towards this God of such high perfection; love of benevolence which seeks to procure the glory of the One Who is the object of this love; love of reciprocity towards a God Who "hath first loved us" (1 Jn. 4:10).

It is God's will that our relations with Him should be impregnated at the same time with filial reverence and profound love. Without reverence, love runs the risk of degenerating into a liberty of the wrong kind, a most dangerous want of restraint; without the love which lifts us up on its wings to our Father, the soul lives in error, and outrages the Divine gift.

And so as to safeguard within us these two dispositions of reverence and love, which may seem contradictory, God communicates to us the Spirit of His Son Jesus, Who, by His gifts of fear and piety, harmonises within us, in the proportion that they require, the most intimate adoration and most tender love: Quoniam estis filii, misit Deus spiritum Filii sui in corda vestra (Gal. 4:6).

According to the teaching of Jesus Himself, this Spirit ought to govern the direct all our life: it is "the Spirit of adoption" of the New Covenant, which St. Paul contrasts with "the spirit of bondage" of the Old Law.

You will perhaps ask the reason of this difference? It is because, since the Incarnation, God sees all humanity in His Son Jesus; on account of Him, He envelops entire humanity in the same look of complacency of which His Son, our Elder Brother, is the object. This is why He wishes that like Him, with Him, through Him, we should live as his "most dear children": Sicut filii carissimi (Eph. 5:1).

You may say too: And how are we to love God Whom we do not see: Deum nemo vidit unquam? (Jn. 1:18). It is true that here below the Divine light is inaccessible (1 Tim. 6:16); but God reveals Himself to us in His Son Jesus: Ipse illuxit cordibus nostris … in facie Christi Jesu (2 Cor. 4:6). The Incarnate Word is the authentic revelation of God and of His perfections; and the love that Christ shows us is but the manifestation of the love that God has for us.

The love of God indeed is in itself incomprehensible; it is completely beyond us; it has not entered into the mind of man to conceive what God is; His perfections are not distinct from His nature: the love of God is God Himself: Deus caritas est (Jn. 4:8).

How then shall we have a true idea of God's love? In seeing God as He manifests Himself to us under a tangible form. And what is this form? It is the Humanity of Jesus. Christ is God, but God revealing Himself to us. The contemplation of the Sacred Humanity of Jesus is the surest way for arriving at the true knowledge of God. He that seeth Him, seeth the Father (Cf. Jn. 14:9); the love that the Incarnate Word shows us, reveals the Father's love towards us, for the Word and the Father are but One: Ego et Pater unum sumus (Jn. 10:30).


This order once established does not change. Christianity is the love of God manifested to the world through Christ, and all our religion ought to be resumed in contemplating this love in Christ, and in responding to the love of Christ so that we may thereby attain to God.
Such is the Divine plan; such is the thought of God concerning us. If we do not adapt ourselves to it, there will be for us neither light nor truth; there will be neither security nor salvation.
Now, the essential attitude that this Divine plan requires of us is that of adopted children. We still remain beings drawn out of nothing, and before this Father of an incommensurable majesty (Hymn Te Deum) we ought to cast ourselves down in humblest reverence; but to these fundamental relations which arise from our conditions as creatures, are superposed, not to destroy but to crown them, relations infinitely higher, wider and more intimate which result from our Divine adoption, that are all summed up in the service of God through love.

This fundamental attitude responding to the reality of our heavenly adoption is particularly furthered by devotion to the Heart of Jesus. In causing us to contemplate the human love of Christ for us, this devotion admits us into the secret of Divine love; in inclining our souls to answer to it by a life whereof love is the motive power, it maintains in us those dispositions of filial piety which we ought to have towards the Father.

When we receive Our Lord in Holy Communion, we possess within us that Divine Heart which is a furnace of love. Let us ask Him earnestly that He will Himself grant us to understand this love, for, in this, one ray from on high is more efficacious than all human reasoning; let us ask Him to enkindle within us the love of His Person. "If, by Our Lord's grace," says St. Teresa, "His love is imprinted one day in our heart, all will become easy to us; very rapidly and without trouble we shall come this means to the works of love" (Life written by herself, chap. 22. -----"Begin to love the Person (of Christ): the love of the Person will make you love the doctrine, and the love of the doctrine will lead you gently and mightily to the practice. Do not neglect to study Jesus Christ and to meditate upon His mysteries; it is this that will inspire you to love Him; the desire to pleas Him will hence follow and this desire will bear fruit in good works." Bossuet. Meditations upon the Gospel. The Last Supper, First Part, 89th day).

If this love for the Person of Jesus is in our heart, our activity will spring forth from it. We may meet with difficulties, be subject to great trials, undergo violent temptations; if we love Christ Jesus, these difficulties, these trials, these temptations will find us steadfast: Aquae multae non potuerunt exstinguere caritatem (Cant. 8:7). For when the love of Christ urges us we shall not wish any longer to live for oursleves, but for Him Who loved us and delivered Himself up for us: Ut et qui vivunt, jam non sibi vivant sed ei qui pro ipsis mortuus est (2 Cor. 5:15).


slave who dreads punishment; without putting aside the thought of the reward which awaits us, if we are faithful, -----we ought to seek to have habitually towards God that attitude, composed of filial confidence and love, which Christ Jesus revealed to us as being that of the New Covenant.

urged to honour especially the mystery of the Childhood of Jesus; others are attracted by the charms of His Hidden Life; yet others cannot turn themselves away from the meditation of the Passion.
love of Jesus Christ: Praecipua in nos caritatis ejus beneficia recolimus. This contemplation is one of the elements of devotion to the Sacred Heart. How can we pay honor to a love of which we do not know the manifestations?

the motives of these mysteries? Where are we to drink of this knowledge, so wholesome and so fruitful that St. Paul made it the object of his prayer for his Christians (Eph. 3:19)? In the contemplation of the mysteries of Jesus. If we study them with faith, the Holy Spirit, Who is Infinite Love, will disclose to us their depths, and lead us to the love which is the source of them.

who blasphemed the name of God and persecuted the Christians (Cf. Acts 26:9-10; 1 Cor. 15:9)-----but for Him Who loved him to the point of giving His life for him: Caritas Christi urget nos (2 Cor. 5:14) . . . "The charity of Christ presseth us," he exclaims. Therefore, I will give myself up for Him, I will spend myself willingly, without reserve, without counting the cost; I will consume myself for the souls won by Him: Libentissime impendam et superimpendar (2 Cor. 12:15)!

Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the Feast of the Sacred Heart
THIS PRAYER IS ALSO PRESENTED ON THE FIRST FRIDAY PAGE.


The Friday that follows the Second Sunday after Pentecost is the Feast of the Sacred Heart which brings to mind all the attributes of His Divine Heart. Many Catholics prepare for this Feast by beginning a Novena to the Sacred Heart on the Feast of Corpus Christi, which is the Thursday of the week before. On the Feast of the Sacred Heart itself, we can gain a plenary indulgence by making an Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart.
O sweet Jesus, Whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before Thy altar eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries, to which Thy loving Heart is everywhere subject.
Mindful alas! that we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, which we now deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask Thy pardon and declare our readiness to atone by voluntary expiation not only for our own personal offenses, but also for the sins of those, who straying far from the path of salvation, refuse in their obstinate infidelity to follow Thee, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the vows of their Baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of Thy law.
We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against Thee; we are determined to make amends for the manifold offenses against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behavior, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violation of Sundays and holidays, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against Thee and Thy Saints. We wish also to make amends for the insults to which Thy Vicar on earth and Thy priests are subjected, for the profanation, by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very Sacrament of Thy Divine love; and lastly for the public crimes of nations who resist the rights and the teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast founded.
Would, O Divine Jesus, we were able to wash away such abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of Thy Divine honor, the satisfaction Thou didst once make to Thy eternal Father on the Cross and which Thou dost continue to renew daily on our altars; we offer it in union with the acts of atonement of Thy Virgin Mother and all the Saints and of the pious faithful on earth; and we sincerely promise to make reparation, as far as we can with the help of Thy grace, for all neglect of Thy great love and for the sins we and others have committed in the past. Henceforth we will live a life of unwavering faith, of purity of conduct, of perfect observance of the precepts of the gospel and especially that of charity. We promise to the best of our power to prevent others from offending Thee and to bring as many as possible to follow Thee.
O loving Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary our model in reparation, deign to receive the voluntary offering we make of this act of expiation; and by the crowning gift of perseverance keep us faithful unto death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to Thee, so that we may all one day come to that happy home, where Thou with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen.