7 Jun 2013

Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus - UPDATED

[Reposting this post from last night so it sits on top of the blog for the day that is in it]

A friend of mine commented on Facebook that he was going to post a funky, facebook-friendly version of the Sacred Heart image in honour of the feast, but then he remembered that the old-fashioned painting was the image through which he came to know Jesus as a child. It hung in the kitchen, and communicated at once Jesus' solemnity and his mercy. On the back, his mother had written the childhood sicknesses of her six children, entrusting fears, tears, and little agonies to the loving heart of Our Lord, like countless mothers all over the world. How blessed we are to know that we are loved, no matter how we suffer or fall. 'Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, for His love has no end' (Psalm 135)

Many Irish homes had a triptych of the Sacred Heart, the Pope and John Fitzgerald Kennedy probably over hanging the statue of the Child of Prague or Our Lady of Lourdes. Probably as the feast generally falls in June and coincides with the national state examinations, there are few people who may not have had a candle lit for them in front of the image of the Sacred Heart. One memorable quote which I came across recently was "Good luck to all my fellow 6th years.. I'll be grand, Nana's lightin a candle for me".

By tradition, the Catholic Church dedicates each month of the year to a certain devotion. In June, it is the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the solemnity of which falls on June 7th 2013.

The Sacred Heart represents Christ's love for all mankind, and our devotion to it is an expression of our faith in His mercy.The devotion especially emphasizes the unmitigated love, compassion, and long-suffering of the heart of Christ towards humanity. The origin of this devotion in its modern form is derived from a French Roman Catholic nun, Marguerite Marie Alacoque, who said she learned the devotion from Jesus during a mystical experience. Predecessors to the modern devotion arose unmistakably in the Middle Ages in various facets of Catholic mysticism (read more here).

On June 1, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI urged Catholics everywhere to renew their devotion to the Sacred Heart during the month of June. Some or all of the following prayers to the Sacred Heart can be incorporated into our daily prayers during this month.

Understood in the light of the Scriptures, the term "Sacred Heart of Jesus" denotes the entire mystery of Christ, the totality of his being, and his person considered in its most intimate essential: Son of God, uncreated wisdom; infinite charity, principal of the salvation and sanctification of mankind. The "Sacred Heart" is Christ, the Word Incarnate, Saviour, intrinsically containing, in the Spirit, an infinite divine-human love for the Father and for his brothers. 

Reflections on the readings of the day available from the Sunday Reflections blog.

Reflections on the various qualities of the Sacred Heart from the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart

Deacon Greg posts a reflection here.

Love aflame - reflection from America magazine

Salt + Light has a short video reflection:


I came, stumbling
across the threshold of your house
falling into pieces on your floor.
Once again, the vessel broken
scattering across the Holy Ground of your Presence.
Only so precious few hours, no, minutes, before
had I petitioned for Your Strength,
Your Wisdom, Your Holy Silence and your Peace.
And here I was, in pieces,
Broken intentions, fallen to the floor
As my tears of failure.
I love you so much
Why can’t I do what I intend for You?
Why do I always fail?
Why can I not step into
the Silence of Your Love
when I am tempted?
Why is it so hard?
Your precious hands pick up my pieces
so lovingly holding them together
and making me whole again
with the glue of your Love.
And then,
as if that wasn’t enough,
You poured Yourself out into my chalice
to overflowing,
Baptizing me once again
in your Love,
Holding me together with your Strength
Picking me up with Your Courage
Molding me.
Into my ear You Whispered
Words of Love and Hope
Words of comfort
In Your Plan.
You poured Yourself out
To overflowing.
Overflow, you said,
Into my people.
All praise be Yours, my Lord, My Life,
For Your loving kindness and mercy



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