16 Sep 2019

Link to Podcasts

Weekly radio programme continues to be available to listen to as a podcast HERE.

3 Sep 2019

Thank You and Goodbye!

On 3rd September in 2010, SacredSpace102fm's blog took to the internet with the publication of our first blog post. Looking back its hard to believe how the time has passed and the volume of programmes we have produced over that time - 520 programmes and 3144 blog posts. 

However, all good things must come to an end and it seemed fitting as we concluded our decade on the blog that this would be the moment when we would announce its retirement. 

Now we must hasten to add it is only the blog which is retiring - not the radio programme! You will still be able to access the recordings of our weekly programme plus additional podcasts at the Come & See Inspirations podcast page HERE.

Initially our intention with the blog had been to provide a space to allow listeners to access the recordings of our weekly programme but it has grown over the years and we have had a total of 1,266,253 visits to the blog in that 10 year period - not too shabby for a small blog in west Limerick.  

However, there are a number of factors which have required our review of the workload involved with producing the programme and maintaining the blog including changes and departures from the team. So we are rationalising things a small bit but not disappearing from the world wide web. After all in 2009 Pope Benedict XVI's urged the users of the internet to: 
"......bear witness to your faith through the digital world!......Employ these new technologies to make the Gospel known, so that the Good News of God’s infinite love for all people, will resound in new ways across our increasingly technological world!"
We will endeavor to continue to make our small contribution to that part of the new evangelisation.

On a personal level as the blog editor it has been an honor and a privilege to have had the opportunity to pilot this online initiative for SS102fm over the last ten years which I have been able to do no matter where in the world I have been. We have had some wonderful guests sharing their stories and their faith experiences; some marvelous reflections especially around Advent and Lent submitted from all around the world and also broken a news story or two ourselves.

The blog will remain accessible as it is an archive of our work over the last ten years, however it won't be updated nor will the links be maintained. We will also be shutting down the comment boxes from 8th September. Now we must hasten to add again it is only the blog which is retiring - not the radio programme! You will still be able to access the recordings of our weekly programme plus additional podcasts at the Come & See Inspirations podcast page HERE.

With grateful thanks to all our guests, contributors and especially to you our listeners and readers! 

Looking forward to the next ten years of the programme.

John & Anne, Lorraine and Shane
SS102fm team

Adieu, Adieu, parting is such sweet sorrow!

It is with very mixed emotions that the SS102fm team bids adieu to our colleague and SS102fm veteran Lorraine Buckley.

With 11 years on the programme, Lorraine is moving to a new Camino in her life and faith journey as she enters into formal discernment in the UK with a religious community. 

While John, Anne and myself are delighted for her personally in taking this huge step in life we will miss Lorraine very much.

She has been a source of inspiration and a wonderful colleague to work with during the production of the programme both on and off air and it was rare when we were all on air that there wasn't laughter both on the mic and behind the scenes in some of our more Fawlty Tower-like moments!

Lorraine, we will miss you but know that as you seek out your response to that inner voice of the Holy Spirit you will remain with us in Spirit on the programme and we will hold you in our prayers as you discern your next steps.

Bien Camino!

1 Sep 2019

1 September 2019 - Reflecting on the Mass with Fr Frank Duhig (Part 2); Eucharistic Adoration - Lorraine Buckley

On this week’s programme we are joined by Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament as Lorraine Buckley leads us in spending time in Eucharistic Adoration with reflections, prayer and music. This Programme was originally broadcast in November 2015

You can listen to a podcast of Lorraine's reflections excerpted from the programme HERE.

You can listen to the podcast of this week's full programme HERE.

24 Aug 2019

25 August 2019 - A programme of reflections - Reflecting on the Mass with Fr Frank (Part 1); Reflection on "Mary Our Mother", Knock 2019 - Eucharistic Blessing & Healing Prayers

This week Fr Frank Duhig joins us to begin series of reflections on the Mass. He concludes his reflection with the last words of Jesus that are used at the beginning of each Mass ‘In the name of the Father and the son and the Holy Spirit’

You can listen to a podcast of the reflection of Fr Frank  excerpted from the programme HERE.

We also replay a reflection of ‘Mary our Mother’ which was originally broadcast in August 2017. Geraldine Creaton & Shane Ambrose share their thoughts on the role Mary plays as our protector and evangeliser.

You can listen to a podcast of the reflection of Geraldine  excerpted from the programme HERE.

We also include a recording made during the recent Knock Novena of the Eucharistic blessing and healing prayers

You can listen to a podcast of the Eucharistic Blessing and healing prayers excerpted from the programme HERE.

You can listen to the podcast of this week's full programme HERE.

17 Aug 2019

18th August 2019 - Michael Keating - The Apparition at Knock

To celebrate the One hundred and fortieth anniversary of the Apparition at, Knock we have decided to replay a reflection Michael Keating shared with us in May 2010 . Michael starts his reflection by reminding us that at the time of the apparition in 1879, many people were still suffering from the effects of the famine in Ireland 1845-1852 when one million people died and one and a half million people emigrated (25% of the population). On a wet, windy evening at 7.30pm on 21st August 1879 Our Lady appeared with St Joseph, St John, A Lamb on an Altar and Angels on the gable wall at the church in Knock for two hours. Michael shares with us the significance of each of the figures in the Apparition and the need for us to read and reflect ourselves. He also shares with us how the first organised pilgrimage came from Limerick in 1880. There were three hundred cures in the first year following the apparition and many more since. Monsignor Horan was responsible for overseeing the building of the present day Basilica, Knock international Airport and of course for welcoming Pope St John Paul 2 to Knock shrine for the Centenary of the Apparition in 1979.

You can listen to the podcast of this week's full programme HERE.

You can listen to a podcast of the reflection of Michael  excerpted from the programme HERE.

10 Aug 2019

11th August 2019 - Maura McNally & Colin Hayes - Medjugorje

This week we are joined by Maura McNally from Carlow & Colin Hayes from Rathkeale, Co. Limerick who share their reflection on Medjugorje. Maura leads us into the story of the apparitions in the small village of Medjugorje in Bosnia-Hercegovina beginning in 1981. She shares the experiences of six children to whom the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to and who gave them messages. Colin tells us of some of his experiences in Medjugorje, specifically concerning the sacrament of confession. Maura also reflects who so many pilgrims visit Medjugorje and wait for hours to make their confession.

You can listen to the podcast of this week's full programme HERE.

You can listen to a podcast of the reflection of Maura & Colin excerpted from the programme HERE.

4 Aug 2019

4th August 2019 - Sabrina Mc Kiernan - Faith Journey

This week we are joined by Sabrina Mc Kiernan from Tralee Co. Kerry. Sabrina shares her faith journey with us and how her Nan and Nuns who taught her encouraged her to grow in her faith love of God. Despite being totally blind Sabrina is very keen to become involved with Radio as a tool to evangelisation. She currently presents here own programme ‘The Joyful Message’ on https://www.radiomaria.ie each Thursday at 2pm

You can listen to the podcast of this week's full programme HERE.

You can listen to a podcast Sabrina's reflection excerpted from the programme HERE.

21 Jul 2019

21 July 2019 - Cistercian Sisters of St. Mary's Abbey, Glencairn, Co. Waterford (Part I)

On this week's programme, we are broadcasting a repeat of one of our popular programme's which was originally broadcast on July 21st 2013. We are replaying part one of a two part special programme on the Cistercian nuns of St Mary's Abbey, Glencairn Co Waterford. Lorraine had a discussion about the Cistercian life and what it means to be an enclosed nun in Ireland today with Sr Sarah Branigan (Vocation Directoress) and Sr Michelle Slattery (Novice Mistress).

You can listen to the podcast of the programme HERE.

The Abbey's website is HERE and Facebook page HERE.

St Mary's Abbey - Glencairn

(Most of!) The community gather in our new refectory wing of the Abbey for a photo by Dan Linehan (Irish Examiner) - Taken from the Abbey website (glencairnabbey.org)
St Mary’s Abbey, Glencairn is the only Cistercian monastery for women in Ireland.  The monastery is located in the Blackwater Valley, about 3 miles upstream from Lismore, County Waterford.
"At the heart of the monastic life is the search for God; here at Glencairn, we seek God and follow Christ in a life of prayer and community, solitude and simplicity, work and hospitality. We follow the Rule of St Benedict, an ancient source of monastic wisdom that continues to guide many people in search of an authentic spiritual path in today’s world."
As the sisters outline the Cistercian Order arose as a reform movement within the Benedictine tradition in the 12th century who were seeking for a simpler way of life - a return to the deserts of the world to seek a space for God. 

The first Cistercian monastery was established in Citeaux, France in 1098 by Saints Robert, Alberic and Stephen and Sr Sarah tells us of the history of the early foundations. Early in the Cistercian tradition, women sought the Cistercian way of life and the first Cistercian monastery for women was in Tart, France, a daughter house of Citeaux, founded by St Stephen in 1125. St Malachy brought the Cistercians to Ireland in 1142, to Mellifont, County Louth. St Mary’s Abbey, Glencairn is the first Cistercian monastery for women in Ireland since the Reformation, founded in 1932 by Holy Cross Abbey, Stapehill, England. Today, there are 37 Cistercian nuns in the community of St Mary’s Abbey, Glencairn.

The life of the Cistercians is under pinned by a number of foundations including 
  • a zeal for the Opus Dei (the Work of God) which is the Liturgy of the Hours (a.k.a. the Divine Office) which is one of the focus' of St Benedict
  • the ethos of simplicity which defined Citeax with its emphasis on poverty, simplicity in liturgy, manual work and a guarded interaction with the secular world so as not to displace the main focus of their lives as being a constant search for God.
  • St Bernard and other writers of the Cistercian tradition have emphasised experiential quality of monastic life; effective spirituality stressing relationship with Christ; stressing fraternal communion and also a strong Marian devotion with the order and each abbey of the order under the patronage of Mary.

Sr Michelle takes us through the life of a novice as women discern whether they are called to the life of a cistercian nun with the community in Glencairn including what daily life is like, the study and prayer life undertaken. Sr Sarah then continues to share with is the meaning of the monastic vows stability, obedience and conversion of life as well as the day to day life at the abbey.

From the Abbey's website:

What is Cistercian Spirituality?

“Cistercian nuns seek God and follow Christ under a rule and an abbess in a stable community which is a school of mutual love”. These words, from the Constitutions of our Order, point to some key elements in our spirituality. 

Cistercian: “Cistercian” comes from the word Cîteaux, in Latin Cistercium, which means “marshy place” or “swampy place”. Cîteaux, in France, is where the Cistercian movement began in 1098, as a reform within the Benedictine monastic tradition.

Nuns and monks: there are both men and women Cistercians. We live in single-sex communities, but the two branches form one Order. There are Cistercian communities on all five continents: they follow the same lifestyle, adapted to local situations.

Seek God: the heart of monastic life is seeking God. From earliest times, some Christians have felt called to go apart to lead a life more intensely focused on God. They separated themselves from the distractions of regular society, and went away to a remote or isolated place more conducive to prayer and consciousness of God. There they devoted themselves to seeking God and union with God. The first people to practise this kind of lifestyle went literally into the desert, in Egypt. We follow in their footsteps, and so do not engage in any outside apostolate. The purpose of a Cistercian is to seek God.

Follow Christ: Cistercian life is a way of living the Gospel. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ is fundamental in each sister’s heart. Christ is our model: we strive to be conformed to him in his obedience, humility, patience and poverty. He is our King, whom we try to serve. And he is our Beloved: we seek intimate union with him in prayer.

Under a Rule…: this means the Rule of St Benedict, as interpreted by Cistercian tradition and contemporary understanding. There are three key elements in the monastic day according to this Rule:

(1) Liturgy: Seven times a day we meet in the church to celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours, consisting of psalms, Scripture readings, and prayers. By this we offer praise to God, we ourselves are sanctified, and we intercede for all people. We celebrate the Eucharist daily; it is the source of our communion with Jesus Christ and with one another.

(2) Lectio divina: quiet, meditative reading of the Word of God in Scripture, which leads to contemplative prayer and shapes us to live by the Gospel.

(3) Work: Through our work we support ourselves, and have something to share with the poor. In Glencairn we produce eucharist bread and greeting cards for sale, and we have a farm which is now mostly dedicated to tillage (barley) with some cattle. Other work includes care of the sick and guests, the upkeep of the monastery, administration and formation work, gardening, and many other tasks.
Living “under a Rule” means that our life is disciplined. The purpose of this discipline is to make us free: free from selfishness and unhealthy desires, free from things that do not help us on our journey to God; free to have hearts open to give and receive genuine love.

…and an abbess: the abbess is a central figure in the monastery. She is believed to act as Christ’s representative, and so ministers to the whole community with pastoral care, teaching the sisters by word and example, and encouraging them in their monastic vocation.

Community: Cistercians maintain a balance between solitude on the one hand, and community living on the other. Solitude and silence provide us with a climate for prayer and encounter with God. Community relationships are the place where love is put into action. Unity of spirit, sharing of goods, and bearing one another’s burdens are hallmarks of a Spirit-filled community.

Stability: we make a vow of stability, which means that we commit ourselves to live always in this particular community, and will not normally move to another one. Stability is the “for better, for worse” of monastic life. Our other vows are fidelity to monastic life, and obedience.

School of love: St Benedict called the monastery a “school of the Lord’s service.” The early Cistercians called it a “school of love”. On our spiritual journey we are always pupils. Learning to love with the heart and mind of Christ is an ongoing task, which will occupy us all the days of our life.


Some external Youtube videos on Glencairn.

An investigation by U.S. television producer Phil O'Connor into the decline of the Irish Church brought him, together with the Religion and Ethics team and camera crew to Ireland in late May of this year where they made a further television feature on contemporary monastic life as lived here at St Mary's Abbey.

Originally broadcast in the U.S. Sunday a.m. 24 July 2011 on PBS television on Religion and Ethics Newsweekly.

An audio slideshow by Irish Times photographer Bryan O'Brien featuring images of Theresa Kottayail from Kerala, India as she took her first vows as a junior professed sister in the enclosed Cistercian community of nuns at St Mary's Abbey, Glencairn, Lismore, Co.Waterford, Ireland in December 2011. She took the name Sr Robert and was the first sister from India to complete her novitiate in the rural Irish Abbey.

Gospel - Luke 10:38-42

Jesus entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Reflections on this week's Gospel:

Word on Fire

English Dominicans 
Centre for Liturgy
Sunday Reflections 

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter Week 4

Saints of the Week
July 22nd - St. Mary Magdalene
July 23rd - St. Bridget of Sweden
July 24th - St. John Boste
July 25th - St. James the Greater, Apostle
July 26th - St. Joachim and St. Anne
July 27th - St. Pantaleon

14 Jul 2019

14th July 2019 - Emmanuel School of Mission

On this week's programme we chat with Geraldine Creaton of the Emmanuel Community and Nina, Vianny and Maria who participated in the Emmanuel School of Mission. You can listen to the podcast of this week's full programme HERE.

Emmanuel Community
The Emmanuel Community is present in Ireland, and in fifty six countries around the world, and on every continent. The Emmanuel Community was founded in France in 1972 by the Servant of God Pierre Goursat and Martine Lafitte-Catta. The mission of the Community is to reveal to every man and woman the presence of the God of Love in our lives, Jesus Christ, who is “Emmanuel”, ”God With Us”, and wants to be close to us.

The Community consists of members with different states of life (families, singles, priests and celibate brothers and sisters) having the most different professions and trying to live a fraternal life in the world. It sees its aim as to respond to God's call to holiness addressed to each person, mainly through intense personal prayer, Eucharistic adoration, compassion for the spiritually and materially poor and evangelization. Members are helped to grow spiritually in various ways: "household meetings" (small groups of members, meeting regularly for prayer and reflection on God's action in their lives), "spiritual companionship" (personal meeting with a more experienced member), monthly meetings of all the members in a country or region.

Emmanuel School of Mission

Today John is joined by Geraldine Creaton from the Emmanuel Community as they chat with other members of the ‘Emmanuel School of Mission’ in California. The mission year is directed Fr Paul Glesson who introduces us to three participants attending the ESM this year – Nina, 26 years, from Australia, Vianny, 26 years, from France and Maria, 24 years, from Wexford. They share their faith journey with as their experience at the ESM for the last nine months. All three students bring back to their ordinary lives in main stream society the fruits and lessons they have experienced as they carry out the work of the Lord in their daily lives. Fundamental to this is prayer and a personal relationship with Jesus.

Further details regarding the Emmanuel Community and the School of Mission are available here: 
Emmanuel Ireland - http://www.emmanuelcommunity.ie/  

Emmanuel International - https://emmanuel.info/en

Emmanuel Rome (access ESM's from this site) - https://esm-rome.com/

ESM New York - https://www.esm-nyc.com/ 

ESM New York Newsletters - https://www.esm-nyc.com/news 

Gospel - Luke 10:25-37

A lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal lie?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”

Wanting to justify himself, the lawyer asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
Reflections on this week's Gospel: 

Word on Fire

English Dominicans 
Centre for Liturgy
Sunday Reflections 

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter Week 3

Saints of the Week
July 15th - St. Bonaventure
July 16th - Our Lady of Mount Carmel
July 17th - Carmelite Nuns of Compiegne
July 18th - St. Frederick
July 19th - St. Arsenius the Great
July 20th - St. Margaret of Antioch

7 Jul 2019

7th July 2019 - Martina O'Sullivan - Children's Faith Camp and Children's Faith Resources

On this week's programme we chat with Martina O'Sullivan about her upcoming Faith camp in Abbeyfeale for children aged 5-12. Martina also tells us about two other resources: Camp Veritas and Children's Adoration. We also have our usual reflection on the Sunday Gospel.

You can listen to the podcast of this week's full programme HERE.

Children's Faith Camps
This week Martina O'Sullivan shared with us resources available for helping to develop children's faith experience. Martina has arranged a Faith Camp for children 5-12 years from Monday 29 July to Thursday 1 August in Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick:

'The Faith Camps are a wonderful way to witness to the joy of the Faith that makes it seem attractive to both the children and the young leaders. All of what is undertaken, from art, sport, games, lessons to group-work, is all aimed towards a particular end: encouraging them to form a personal relationship with Jesus.'

St. Ita’s Faith Camp

St. Ita's Faith Camp will take place from Monday, July 29th to Thursday, August 1st in St. Mary's Boys School, Abbeyfeale. Activities include sport, art, drama, music, faith lessons and Mass. It takes place from 10.00am to 3.00pm each day and the cost is €40 for the first child and €25 per sibling. Advance registration is essential

For further information contact Martina at 087-2788834 or email:  abbeyfealefaithcamp@gmail.com

Martina also tells us about Camp Veritas for Children 12-18 years which was held recently in Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare. This was a week long 'play and pray' pilrimage and summer camp for teens attending secondary school. You can read more about it HERE and HERE.

Martina also reminded us of Children's Adoration resources which you can read more about HERE

You can listen to a podcast of this reflection excerpted from the programme HERE.

Gospel - Luke 10:1-12,17-20

The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him, in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit. He said to them, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest. Start off now, but remember, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Carry no purse, no haversack, no sandals. Salute no one on the road.

‘Whatever house you go into, let your first words be, “Peace to this house!” And if a man of peace lives there, your peace will go and rest on him; if not, it will come back to you. Stay in the same house, taking what food and drink they have to offer, for the labourer deserves his wages; do not move from house to house.

‘Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome, eat what is set before you. Cure those in it who are sick, and say, “The kingdom of God is very near to you.” But whenever you enter a town and they do not make you welcome, go out into its streets and say, “We wipe off the very dust of your town that clings to our feet, and leave it with you. Yet be sure of this: the kingdom of God is very near.” I tell you, on that day it will not go as hard with Sodom as with that town.’

The seventy-two came back rejoicing. ‘Lord,’ they said ‘even the devils submit to us when we use your name.’ He said to them, ‘I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Yes, I have given you power to tread underfoot serpents and scorpions and the whole strength of the enemy; nothing shall ever hurt you. Yet do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you; rejoice rather that your names are written in heaven.’
Reflections on this week's Gospel: 

Word on Fire

English Dominicans 
Centre for Liturgy
Sunday Reflections 

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter Week 2

Saints of the Week
July 8th - St. Killian, Bishop and Martyr
July 9th - St. Augustine Zhao Rong and his Companions, Martyrs
July 10th - Bl. Emmanuel Ruiz
July 11th - St. Benedict, Abbot and Patron of Europe
July 12th - St. John Gaulbert, Abbot 
July 13th - St. Henry

30 Jun 2019

30th June 2019 - Fr. Donal Neary S.J. - The Sacred Heart of Jesus

On this week's programme our team is joined by Fr. Donal Neary S.J., Editor of The Sacred Heart Messenger, who speaks to us about the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and about The Sacred Heart MessengerWe also have our usual reflection on the Sunday Gospel.

You can listen to the podcast of this week's full programme HERE.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus 
Fr Donal reflects on the devotion to the Sacred Heart which goes back to the scene at Calvary when a sword pierced the Heart of Jesus. From the 17th Century the devotion to the Sacred Heart became more widespread after Sr Margaret Mary Alacoque had visions where Jesus showed her is heart that beats for everyone and loves everyone of us. The devotion to the Sacred Heart was very much part of people’s lives when they were unable to attend Mass. Fr Donal speaks of the Sacred Heart as that of a friend. Both the 1st Friday devotion & the ‘Holy Hour’ came about as a result of devotion to the Sacred Heart.

Fr Donal also spoke to us about the Sacred Heart Messenger of which he is editor. In 1858 Fr James Cullen started an ‘Apostleship of prayer’ magazine and from this beginning the Sacred Heart Messenger came about. With a monthly circulation of 45,000 copies, 80% of which sold through promoters, the magazine contains inspirational articles which support readers on their faith journey. As the cover of the magazine quotes – A modern message in a much-loved tradition. 

Copies of the Messenger are available at some shops and Church book stalls and can be sourced HERE or by writing to: 
37 Lr Leeson Street, Dublin, D02 W938, Ireland. Tel: 01 6767491. Email: sales@messenger.ie 

Icon of the Sacred Heart in Maryvale Institute, Birmingham, written by David Clayton

Novena Prayer to the Sacred Heart

(This  version of the novena prayer would be one of the best known as it was used by Padre Pio and was promoted during the promotion of the cause of St Pio. It is a prayer that can be used throughout the year and not just in the lead up to the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. Indeed, St. Pio prayed this prayer every day.)

I. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you." Behold I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of...... (here name your request)

Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be to the Father...
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

II. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you." Behold, in your name, I ask the Father for the grace of.......(here name your request) 

Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be to the Father...
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

III. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away." Encouraged by your infallible words I now ask for the grace of.....(here name your request) 

Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be to the Father...
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of you, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your tender Mother and ours.

Hail, Holy Queen...
St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us. 

You can listen to a podcast of this reflection excerpted from the programme HERE.

Gospel - Luke 9:51-62

As the time drew near for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely took the road for Jerusalem and sent messengers ahead of him. These set out, and they went into a Samaritan village to make preparations for him, but the people would not receive him because he was making for Jerusalem. Seeing this, the disciples James and John said, ‘Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to burn them up?’ But he turned and rebuked them, and they went off to another village.

As they travelled along they met a man on the road who said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus answered, ‘Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’

Another to whom he said, ‘Follow me’, replied, ‘Let me go and bury my father first.’ But he answered, ‘Leave the dead to bury their dead; your duty is to go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.’

Another said, ‘I will follow you, sir, but first let me go and say goodbye to my people at home.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Once the hand is laid on the plough, no one who looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’
Reflections on this week's gospel: 

Word on Fire

English Dominicans *
Centre for Liturgy
Sunday Reflections *

* In England & Wales the Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul is celebrated instead of the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter Week 1

Saints of the Week
July 1st - St. Oliver Plunkett
July 2nd - St. Bernardino Realino
July 3rd - St. Thomas, Apostle
July 4th - St. Elizabeth of Portugal
July 5th - St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria
July 6th - St. Maria Goretti

28 Jun 2019

Heart speaks to Heart- Cor ad cor loquitur!

Crosspost from Pilgrims Progress:

It's fitting that on the vigil of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, the Consistory for the canonisation for Blessed Cardinal John Newman has been set for the 1st of July 2019.  Heart speaks to Heart- Cor ad cor loquitur! This motto of  Cardinal Newman is what comes to my mind and heart for the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. Usually this is followed the next day by the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary but this year the Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul takes precedence. Nowadays it seems that the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has been archived back to the time of our grandparents or our parents. I remember in school learning to sing 'Sweet heart of Jesus' with great fervour as taught to us by the Sisters of Mercy. Even now when I hear it, I am still somewhat nostalgic. I doubt somehow that these are the songs which my nieces learnt for their school choir for Mass. I also remember how often we prayed the short prayers to the Sacred Heart in class, in assembly, when we were in trouble or anxious: "Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you" or "Sweet heart of Jesus, make me love you more and more". In primary school, some of us used to deliver the Sacred Heart Magazine (also known as the Messenger, a Jesuit Publication) to elderly people in our town. My Nana was subscribed to it and part of my childhood summer holidays was spent reading the collection of magazines from the year. Is it any wonder I ended up in the convent!?

Fr. William Byrne reminds us that the "devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a human heart that is inflamed with divine love, is a powerful meditation and an important theological bridge that helps us understand who Jesus is and how much he loves us."

I am reposting his five reasons to adore the Sacred Heart as I think they are very insightful: 
1. A Sacred Sonogram - Imagine if sonograms had existed at the time of Jesus. Just a little more than a week after the Annunciation when Mary says yes to being the mother of God, we would have seen something amazing on that screen, a little beating heart. That tiny pulse, undetectable to the human ear but resounding in heaven, meant that our God has a heart.

2. What John didn't hear, but the angels did. - At the Last Supper, John the beloved laid his head on Jesus' chest. Jesus knew that Judas, one of his chosen Apostles, was going to betray him. What John did not hear but what echoed in heaven was the sound of a breaking heart. The Sacred Heart is as human as yours and mine, it is a sign of the true humanity of Jesus. Its beat quickened when Jesus laughed with a loved one, and it ached with sorrow when he experienced betrayal. Think how truly his heart feels your joys and sorrows.

3. Blessing not bitterness. - "But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out." (John 19: 33-34) The Sacred Heart of Jesus was wounded and from that wound came blood and water. From his suffering, blessings flowed - the water of Baptism and the blood of the Eucharist. From our pains and hurts, what flows? Grudges, blame and anger or mercy, compassion and forgiveness? Don't wait for suffering to come to turn to Christ on the cross, but begin to pray now that when we are put to the test, blessings and not bitterness will flow from our wounded side.

4. Certain wounds never heal. - When the soldier thrust the lance into Jesus' side, he was already dead. As Thomas learned, those wounds never healed. He was able to feel the marks of the crucifixion and put his hand into Jesus' side. The water and blood, Baptism and Eucharist, have never ceased to flow from the Heart of Christ. His mercy is without end. After you receive Communion at Mass, stay after a few minutes and recall his overwhelming, never-ending generosity. Pray that just as his love flows from the cross into you and me that they may flow from you and me into the world.

5. Like unto Thine. - The Sacred Heart of Jesus, a human heart, opened the gates of heaven for each of us. In Jesus, humanity entered into union with God that could only happen when God became a man. As he took a human heart, he invites us into his divinity.

"To Jesus through Mary" has been an often repeated phrase of devotional writers and preachers. St Louis Marie De Montfort has formulated perhaps the most clear devotion and adoration of Jesus Christ, that is, to love him and gift ourselves to him through Mary, with her spirit, with her Immaculate Heart. In his book, True Devotion to Mary, he shows that proper devotion to the Mother of God only makes one more Christ centred. She always leads us to her Son so we can discover the immensity of His love. St. Augustine also reminds us that to “fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances; to seek Him, the greatest adventure; to find Him, the greatest human achievement.” The heart of Jesus is not a mushy rom-com story but a romance where He was willing to go to Calvary and beyond out of love, pure love.

When I am feeling miserable or having a bad day, there is nothing like having a heart-to-heart conversation with someone who just listens, understands and is able to be with you in that moment. Words don't necessarily have to follow. It is simply a feeling of presence. This is the promise of Jesus to us, He is always waiting to welcome us, to listen, to let us rest our head on His heart. A heart is like a mirror, it reflects who you are but it is to be handled with care! The one person you can give your heart to without the fear of being broken is God. So on this Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus- may you hear his heart beat for you and nay you find the still voice in  you which repeats that simple and short prayer: "Sweet Heart of Jesus, make me love you more and more."