Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sacred Heart of Jesus

sacred heart of Jesus

History of the Sacred Heart from Catholic Culture:

The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus falls 19 days after Pentecost, which is seven weeks after Easter.

The heart of Jesus has been cherished and discussed since the early church:

  • St. Justin Martyr (d. 165), in his Dialogue with the Jew Trypho said, "We the Christians are the true Israel which springs from Christ, for we are carved out of His heart as from a rock." 
  • St. Iraneaus of Lyons (d. 202) said, "The Church is the fountain of the living water that flows to us from the Heart of Christ" (Adversus Haereses). 
  • Paulinus of Nola (d. 431):"John, who rested blissfully on the breast of our Lord, was inebriated with the Holy Spirit, from the Heart of all creating Wisdom he quaffed an understanding which transcends that of any creature." 

In 1353 Pope Innocent VI instituted a Mass honoring the mystery of the Sacred Heart.

sacred heart statue

On December 27, 1673, our Lord revealed to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-90)
 "My Divine Heart is so passionately inflamed with love... that, not being able any longer to contain within Itself the flames of Its ardent charity, It must let them spread abroad through your means, and manifest Itself to man, that they may be enriched with Its precious treasures which I unfold to you, and which contain the sanctifying and salutary graces that are necessary to hold them back from the abyss of ruin."

This was the beginning of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus which includes the feast day, and the practice of attending Mass and receiving holy Communion on nine consecutive first Fridays of a month.

The 12 Promises of Our Lord for Souls Devoted to His Sacred Heart
as told to St. Margaret Mary

1. I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
2. I will establish peace in their houses.
3. I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
4. I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all in death.
5. I will bestow a large blessing upon all of their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall grow fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
9. I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored.
10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened of hearts.
11. Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.
12. I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their sole refuge in this last moment.

Litany of the Sacred Heart

V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Christ, hear us.
R. Christ, graciously hear us.

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

Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mother's womb, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, united to the Word of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, King and center of all hearts, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, keeper of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, where dwells the fullness of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in Whom the Father is well pleased, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in Whose fullness we have all received, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, bruised for our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, obedient unto death, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, pierced by a lance, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in You, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in You, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, delight of all the saints, have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

V. Jesus, meek and humble of Heart,
R. Make our hearts like unto Yours.

Let us pray: Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Your beloved Son and upon the praise and satisfaction which He offers You in the name of sinners. In Your goodness, grant all people pardon when they seek Your Mercy, in the Name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, Who lives and reigns with You forever and ever. Amen.

Delicious Links for the Feast of the Sacred Heart.


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Feast of St. Thomas Fisher, St. Thomas Moore - and Mom!

St John Fisher
Father Lawrence Lew, OP via Flickr, licensed CC

Today is the feast of St. Thomas Moore and St. John Fisher.

St. Thomas is well known to us from the movie A Man for All Seasons, but St. John is an interesting saint as well. Blogger and author, Stephanie Mann  spoke on a Catholic  radio talk about how St. John had been friends with Henry VII and with Lady Margaret Beaufort (Henry VIII's grandmother). In fact, he said the funeral mass for both of them. He was very close to the family and knew young Henry from boyhood. It amazes me then that Henry VIII so could be so stiff necked in his views that he could have John Fisher executed! But he did. That would be like having one of our beloved parish priests killed over a difference of opinion - it's unthinkable.

St Thomas More
Father Lawrence Lew OP, via Flickr, licensed CC

Thomas Moore was the epitome of a loving husband and father, as well as having a faithfulness to his position and a love and respect for knowledge.  But most of all he was "the King's good servant, but God's first."

The Last Prayer of St Thomas More, composed in the Tower of London.
"Give me the grace, Good Lord.
To set the world at naught. To set the mind firmly on You and not to hang upon the words of men’s mouths.
To be content to be solitary. Not to long for worldly pleasures. Little by little utterly to cast off the world and rid my mind of all its business.
Not to long to hear of earthly things, but that the hearing of worldly fancies may be displeasing to me.
Gladly to be thinking of God, piteously to call for His help. To lean into the comfort of God. Busily to labour to love Him.
To know my own vileness and wretchedness. To humble myself under the mighty hand of God.
To bewail my sins and, for the purging of them, patiently to suffer adversity.
Gladly to bear my purgatory here. To be joyful in tribulations. To walk the narrow way that leads to life.
To have the last thing in remembrance. To have ever before my eyes my death that is ever at hand.
To make death no stranger to me. To foresee and consider the everlasting fire of Hell.
To pray for pardon before the judge comes.
To have continually in mind the passion that Christ suffered for me. For His benefits unceasingly to give Him thanks.
To buy the time again that I have lost.
To abstain from vain conversations.
To shun foolish mirth and gladness.
To cut off unnecessary recreations.
Of worldly substance, friends, liberty, life and all, to set the loss at naught, for the winning of Christ.
To think my worst enemies my best friends, for the brethren of Joseph could never have done him so much good with their love and favor as they did him with their malice and hatred.
These minds are more to be desired of every man than all the treasures of all the princes and kings, Christian and heathen, were it gathered and laid together all in one heap.

These are a few of my favorite scenes from A Man for All Seasons. I love the wit and the great logic of Thomas Moore. Please enjoy!

I am a big fan of Father Lawrence Lew on Flickr and feature many of his photographs on this blog too.  Here is an excerpt from his thought provoking homily for today.

Many stood up against this, and many stood for Christ against the State, and they were felled for it – martyred for Faith in Jesus Christ and for clinging to the Truth he taught – Truth handed on faithfully from generation to generation by Christ’s holy Church. 

But of the hundreds who were martyred for the Catholic Faith from 1535 onwards, two are especially eminent, and they were the first to be canonised by Pope Pius XI in 1935. 

St John Fisher was the saintly Bishop of Rochester, Chancellor of Cambridge University, Tutor to Henry VIII, Confessor to Lady Margaret,  mother of Henry VII. Erasmus considered him to be “incomparable for uprightness of life, for learning and for greatness of soul.” In short, he was an luminary of the Church. St Thomas More was a luminary of the State. He was Lord High Chancellor of England, a noted Humanist philosopher and lawyer, and a Scholar.

The combination of these two Saints reminds us that neither spiritual nor temporal lords could stand against the State and the will of the Crown. Nevertheless, both men remained steadfast in upholding the Truth of the Gospel, particularly concerning the indissolubility of Christian marriage. For their fidelity to Christ’s Word, they were executed in 1535, St John Fisher on this day (22 June), and St Thomas More on 6 July

In our own time, the teaching of Christ on the permanence of Christian marriage, and thus the refusal to accept divorce, is largely seen as irrelevant or outdated. And, it appears, that some, even within the Catholic Church, regard this stance to be “rigid” and lacking in “mercy”. And yet, today’s Saints clung to the perennial teaching of Christ, and they were willing to die for this Truth. They died not simply as ‘conscientious objectors’ but, more fundamentally, as witnesses to the Truth of the Gospel. Truth is everlasting and it is not changed to suit us, but rather, we must conform to the Truth, above all, to the Person of Jesus Christ and to his teachings. Today’s Martyrs taught this with their lives.


Eight years ago today my mother died.  So many times I still want to pick up the phone and talk to her about just anything.  It has always been interesting to me that God took my mother home on this particular Feast day.  St. Thomas Moore and St. John Fisher really died for the sanctity of marriage.  

As I always try to find the reason for things and why they happen when they do, it finally  made sense to me why God would call my mother home on this day. Mom had not made a wise marriage choice and she did not have a happy marriage, in fact she spent more time alone than with my father. But she always loved him, she remained loyal to him, she never divorced, she took care of him when he got ill and she grieved his death. So if there was ever anyone that suffered for marriage- she did!  I guess that gives her something in common with St. Thomas Moore and St. John Fisher.

And if one of the primary ends of marriage was to have children and raise them to love the Lord - she did that too, not only with her daughters, but with her grandchildren as well.  She truly was God's good servant.

Over the years I have also pondered her death from ovarian cancer - she suffered so much in the last weeks of her life. I find comfort in St. Thomas More's prayer - and I hope that she suffered whatever purgatory she had, in those last few days and was released immediately to heaven.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Millennials Parenting in the Era of Social Media

My latest on

An excerpt:
Clearly feeling scrutinized and judged IS NOT a 21st-century thing – it’s a human thing. Sometimes it’s even a sin thing. The only difference with parenting now is that oversharing can be done instantly via social media for the whole world to see.

The truth is, every generation has done parenting before! The terrain of Instragram and Facebook and other social media is not the same terrain that moms faced even ten years ago. It’s much smoother. After all, you can unplug a computer and put down the iPhone. In the last 100 years, new moms have dealt with recessions, many wars and even the Great Depression. Putting food on the table trumps getting upset over a pretty Pinterest post.

The Paul and Mary Beveridge Family
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