Friday, June 19, 2009

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

1) Eucharistic Adoration, tonight, 7-8 pm, SAA Church. All are invited!!

2) Please pray for the seven men to be ordained priests tomorrow for the Archdiocese of Washington, one of whom will probably be assigned to St Andrew’s for a time.

The following is from Butler’s “Lives of the Saints” for today’s solemn feast of The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus:

The Roman Breviary tells us that this Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the result of a steady growth in man’s devotion to the love of the Redeemer. From early days, the Fathers and Doctors and Saints of the Church have celebrated the merciful love that brought Christ to earth as our saviour. They called the wound in the side of Christ the “open treasury of all graces”.

With the Middle Ages the humanity of Christ became the object of a tender piety on the part of many contemplative souls who venerated the Heart of Christ wounded with love for men. Hardly an order or religious group existed where this love did not have devoted witnesses. Then, as heresies tried to divert faith from the Eucharist, the devotion to the Sacred Heart began to be manifested publicly. St. John Eudes is considered the author of the liturgical cult of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

God Himself, however, established this devotion in a definite form when He appeared to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, a Visitation Nun, in the latter part of the seventeenth century. Our Lord then showed her the riches and desires of His heart and complained that He received nothing but ingratitude from men. He ordered her to have established a feast in honor of His Sacred Heart on the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi. In this way, the insults and injuries offered His Heart might be expiated. There were great obstacles to be overcome in carrying out the plans but finally in 1765, Pope Clement XIII approved. Then, like a mighty river sweeping to the sea the devotion grew. Pope Leo XIII dedicated the human race to the Sacred Heart, and Pope Pius XI raised the Feast to the rite of the first class, with an octave, and ordered an act of reparation to be recited in all the churches of the world.

In the private revelations made to St. Margaret Mary, Our Lord made many promises in favor of those who honored His Heart. Among these is one which has given rise to the devotion of the First Friday Communions. In favor of those who received Holy Communion on nine successive First Fridays, the Savior promises “I will be their assured refuge in their last moments.”

Reflection. – The spirit of expiation or atonement has always played a chief part in the devotion to the Sacred Heart. Let us then add to the acts of praise and satisfaction which Christ in the name of sinners has presented to God, our own acts of praise and satisfaction. In this way we can and ought to console that Most Sacred Heart, which is being wounded continually by the sins of thankless men.


At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tidbit for the day ~

The Pelican is the symbol of the atonement. When food is sparse, and the life of it's young is threatened, the pelican was believed to draw blood from its own breast to feed its young – a parallel to Jesus offering His life for the salvation of ours.

At 10:27 PM, Blogger CynthiaBC said...

cMy daughter is rather bummed that Fr G is leaving SAA.

I suggested to her that we could hope that Fr G’s interactions with the young people at GWU would inspire some of them to pursue vocations. When I told her that some parishes don’t have ANY priests of their own, my daughter was shocked. “How can you have CHURCH if there ISN’T A PRIEST?” How, indeed. We’ve been very fortunate at SAA. We must not take for granted that we have been blessed with not only one but TWO priests.

It isn’t only the men being ordained on the 20th that are in need of our prayers. There are other men out there, struggling with whether and how to respond to the call to serve God. Our prayers for these men will benefit not only the Church as a whole, but also ourselves. After all, without priests, who will nourish our faith?

At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Tom said...

I suggested to her that we could hope that Fr G's interactions with the young people at GWU would inspire some of them to pursue vocations.

We could hope he inspires them all to pursue vocations, whether priestly, religious, or lay.

At 6:57 PM, Blogger CynthiaBC said...

Tom: amen! Perhaps my hopes aren't as high as they should be.

At 8:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been wondering about something and would like to know what others think. Is it possible to feel “badly” and have guilt over a decision you thing is the right decision? I ask, because I had a conversation with a young girl who had an abortion while she was addicted to heroin. She was so upset in talking about it, saying she felt guilty and shameful even though she believed it was the right thing to do. I challenged her to question whether or not she really thought she made the “right” decision or was she telling herself that to cope with the guilt, shame and grief she expressed. I was accused of being judgmental by challenging the correctness of her decision. I thought I was stating was seemed obvious- that she had regret. I don’t believe one can heal unless they are honest with at least themselves What do others think?

At 7:25 PM, Blogger fran said...

I think the situation you describe is full of complexities, anon.

Feeling guilt over something, to me, personally, does not entirely square with feeling that that something was also the right thing to do. However, as a crisis pregnancy center volunteer, I can tell you that what your friend is describing is very normal. Most women who have abortions feel that choosing abortion is the only option they have at the time. They cannot see it any other way and believe it is their only choice. It is extremely common that they realize the gravity of their choice afterwards. Guilt, stress and depression are common feelings among women who have aborted.

I believe there is a fine line between stating something in honesty, and coming across as being judgmental. Were you being judgmental? I don't know. I think it depends on the words used and the way those words were delivered. Could whatever you chose to say be taken as judgmental? Sure.

I have found that it in delicate situations such as the one you describe, it is better to converse in questions than to make statements. This allows the one being questioned to reflect and think the question through, rather than responding in defense of oneself.

Maybe you are aware of a program called The Rachel Project. It is a program which aids women, post-abortion. Perhaps you could share this information with your friend.

At 7:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Our heart knows what is wrong even if we try to convince ourselves it is "right".

We have the capacity for great evil and great good, our conscious helps us when we develop it and listen to it and God.

At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:56 pm anon:

How did the young woman feel about your challenge or question? After all, that is who you are counseling. Did she feel your challenge was judgmental or did she feel it helped her add another piece to the puzzle understanding herself?

At 11:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The girl in question was talking about her guilt and shame over having an abortion. She talked about being addicted to a substance and not feeling like she could, at that time, change her life. She knew she could turn to her parents but did not b/c that meant she would need to "clean-up" her life. While she expressed her guilt and shame was soely about "getting hereslf into that position to begin with," she was so upset in recounting the story that I questioned the source of her guilt and shame.

We've talked several times since I original posted this. I gave her the names of some people who specialize in counseling post-abortion.

It's my beliefe that healing and honesty must go hand in hand. God forgives all, but we must acknowledge our sins. Oddly, I think the firmness of my beliefes actually gives her some hope.


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