... the most Holy Name of Jesus.
Today's post comes from the book Catholic Life, Imprimatur 1908, and is listed for the New Year day but has such a lovely description of the Holy Name of Jesus we thought it best to share it, this second day of the New Year when the Church holds the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus.
Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
"The Holy Name of Jesus justifies the sinner, delights the just, supports those who are tempted, augments grace for the just, and beatifies all that call upon it."
- St. Thomas
The ecclesiastical name for this day is the Feast of the Circumcision. It was instituted in honour of our Lord's receiving, on the eighth day after His birth, the mark of God's covenant with Abraham. The reception of this Sacrament of the Old Law was what distinguished God's chosen people from the rest of mankind, and was a figure of Baptism, which in the New Law distinguishes Christians from pagans and others.
The Divine Child was exempt from the ceremony, which was a remedy for sin, because He was Sanctity itself; but He submitted to it, having taken upon Himself the figure of sinful man, and to teach us respect and obedience to the laws of God and the Church. He also submitted to it in order to show that He was descended from Abraham, and thus fulfilled the
promise made of old to that Patriarch that the Messiah should be born of his race.
On that occasion He received the name of Jesus, which signifies Saviour, in accordance with the command of the angel to the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph.
On this day we ought to repeat frequently the 'Divine Praises' in reparation for the many times the Holy Name is used irreverently. We can resolve, too, that in future, whenever in the streets or other places, we hear the Holy Name insulted, we will raise our hats and say, "Blessed be the Name of Jesus," and thus send reparation at once to the throne of God. The Litany of Jesus may also be said, with the view of obtaining a great increase of respect, love for, and confidence in Him. We ought also to thank God for conferring on us, without any merit on our part, the grace of Baptism,
conferred, too, at a time when we could not thank Him.
Let us renew our Baptismal vows with great fervour, especially as it happens to be the first day of the new year, and make firm resolutions
to avoid sin and to practice virtue more steadfastly than in the past. In the case of habitual sins we must try to find out the causes and remove them. We can more easily do this if we impress deeply on our minds the unspeakable value of the grace of God.
It was to give or increase it that the Sacraments were instituted. It was to preserve it that the Commandments were ordained, and it is to deprive us of it that the devil watches us and attacks us so frequently and violently.
"Blest Name that is rest and a shelter,
And light to the heart perplexed;
In this life, my last word and dearest,
My rapturous first in the next."
Genesius was a pagan Roman comedian. He was so skilled in his art that he was the idol of the Romans, and always drew an immense multitude of spectators. Public rejoicings were going on, and the Emperor Diocletian came to the capital in great state. Amongst the entertainments prepared for him was a stage performance.
Genesius, who was aware of the hatred of the Prince against the Christians, prepared a mock ceremony to ridicule the Sacrament of Baptism. He made his appearance in the theatre on a bed, pretending to be sick, and asked
to be baptized, so that he might have a happy death.
All this being done in comedy, excited the laughter of the people. Two actors then came forward, one dressed as a priest, the other as an exorcist, and said to Genesius, with mock gravity: 'My child, wherefore didst though send for us?" Genesius, suddenly changed by a miracle of grace, answered seriously: "Because I desire to receive the grace of Jesus
Christ, and by holy regeneration to obtain remission of my sins."
The ceremonies of Baptism were then gone through. When the white robe, the mark of the newly baptized, was put on him, the soldiers took him bound before the Emperor to be interrogated. Diocletian enjoyed the whole thing very much, and, to make the play more real, pretended to be very angry, and asked Genesius: 'Are you a Christian?' Genesius replied in
an inspired tone: "Hear me, O Emperor. Formerly, when I so much as heard the name of Jesus Christ uttered, I trembled with rage. I detested those among my relatives who professed the Christian religion. I studied the rights of Christians solely to scoff at them. But the moment the water of Baptism touched my flesh, my heart was changed, and I answered sincerely to the questions put to me. I saw a troop of angels over me, who read out of a book all the sins I had committed since childhood.Then, having plunged the book into the water, they showed it to me, whiter than snow, the writing being effaced. Do you, then, O mighty Emperor, and you, O Romans, believe with me that Jesus Christ is the Lord, and that He is
worthy of our adoration, and try also to obtain His mercy." The Emperor, equally surprised and irritated, first ordered him to be beaten with rods. Then he handed him over to the perfect Plautius to compel him to sacrifice to the idols. Genesius was stretched on the rack, and had his sides burnt with torches. Many other tortures were tried in vain.
The martyr constantly repeated: "There is no other Lord like Him Who appeared to me. I adore and love Him with my whole soul; though I had a thousand lives to lose, nothing could separate me from Him. Never-no, never shall torments take Jesus from my mouth and heart. I feel the deepest sorrow for all my past errors, and for having commenced so late to
serve Him." Seeing that his eloquence was making an impression on the people, the Emperor ordered his head to be cut off.
Today's Give A Way!
3 The Wonders of the Holy Name
From the Publisher's site
"This booklet is lovingly dedicated to the Sweet Mother of Jesus. No one loves the Name of Jesus as She does. The Holy Name of Jesus is, first of all, an all-powerful prayer. Our Lord Himself solemnly promises that whatever we ask the Father in His Name we shall receive. God never fails to keep His word. When, therefore, we say Jesus let us ask God for all we need with absolute confidence of being heard. 36 page booklet, Impr 1947."
"The church's teaching affects the mind primarily; her feasts affect both mind and heart, and have a salutary effect upon the whole of man's nature."
Excerpts from the Encyclical Quas PrimusBy Pope Pius XII
19. When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony. Our Lord's regal office invests the human authority of princes and rulers with a religious significance; it ennobles the citizen's duty of obedience. It is for this reason that St. Paul, while bidding wives revere Christ in their husbands, and slaves respect Christ in their masters, warns them to give obedience to them not as men, but as the vicegerents of Christ; for it is not meet that men redeemed by Christ should serve their fellow-men. "You are bought with a price; be not made the bond-slaves of men." If princes and magistrates duly elected are filled with the persuasion that they rule, not by their own right, but by the mandate and in the place of the Divine King, they will exercise their authority piously and wisely, and they will make laws and administer them, having in view the common good and also the human dignity of their subjects. The result will be a stable peace and tranquility, for there will be no longer any cause of discontent. Men will see in their king or in their rulers men like themselves, perhaps unworthy or open to criticism, but they will not on that account refuse obedience if they see reflected in them the authority of Christ God and Man. Peace and harmony, too, will result; for with the spread and the universal extent of the kingdom of Christ men will become more and more conscious of the link that binds them together, and thus many conflicts will be either prevented entirely or at least their bitterness will be diminished.
20. If the kingdom of Christ, then, receives, as it should, all nations under its way, there seems no reason why we should despair of seeing that peace which the King of Peace came to bring on earth -- he who came to reconcile all things, who came not to be ministered unto but to minister, who, though Lord of all, gave himself to us as a model of humility, and with his principal law united the precept of charity; who said also: "My yoke is sweet and my burden light." Oh, what happiness would be Ours if all men, individuals, families, and nations, would but let themselves be governed by Christ! "Then at length," to use the words addressed by our predecessor, Pope Leo XIII, twenty-five years ago to the bishops of the Universal Church, "then at length will many evils be cured; then will the law regain its former authority; peace with all its blessings be restored. Men will sheathe their swords and lay down their arms when all freely acknowledge and obey the authority of Christ, and every tongue confesses that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father."
21. That these blessings may be abundant and lasting in Christian society, it is necessary that the kingship of our Savior should be as widely as possible recognized and understood, and to the end nothing would serve better than the institution of a special feast in honor of the Kingship of Christ. For people are instructed in the truths of faith, and brought to appreciate the inner joys of religion far more effectually by the annual celebration of our sacred mysteries than by any official pronouncement of the teaching of the Church. Such pronouncements usually reach only a few and the more learned among the faithful; feasts reach them all; the former speak but once, the latter speak every year -- in fact, forever. The church's teaching affects the mind primarily; her feasts affect both mind and heart, and have a salutary effect upon the whole of man's nature. Man is composed of body and soul, and he needs these external festivities so that the sacred rites, in all their beauty and variety, may stimulate him to drink more deeply of the fountain of God's teaching, that he may make it a part of himself, and use it with profit for his spiritual life.
22. History, in fact, tells us that in the course of ages these festivals have been instituted one after another according as the needs or the advantage of the people of Christ seemed to demand: as when they needed strength to face a common danger, when they were attacked by insidious heresies, when they needed to be urged to the pious consideration of some mystery of faith or of some divine blessing. Thus in the earliest days of the Christian era, when the people of Christ were suffering cruel persecution, the cult of the martyrs was begun in order, says St. Augustine, "that the feasts of the martyrs might incite men to martyrdom." The liturgical honors paid to confessors, virgins and widows produced wonderful results in an increased zest for virtue, necessary even in times of peace. But more fruitful still were the feasts instituted in honor of the Blessed Virgin. As a result of these men grew not only in their devotion to the Mother of God as an ever-present advocate, but also in their love of her as a mother bequeathed to them by their Redeemer. Not least among the blessings which have resulted from the public and legitimate honor paid to the Blessed Virgin and the saints is the perfect and perpetual immunity of the Church from error and heresy. We may well admire in this the admirable wisdom of the Providence of God, who, ever bringing good out of evil, has from time to time suffered the faith and piety of men to grow weak, and allowed Catholic truth to be attacked by false doctrines, but always with the result that truth has afterwards shone out with greater splendor, and that men's faith, aroused from its lethargy, has shown itself more vigorous than before.
23. The festivals that have been introduced into the liturgy in more recent years have had a similar origin, and have been attended with similar results. When reverence and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament had grown cold, the feast of Corpus Christi was instituted, so that by means of solemn processions and prayer of eight days' duration, men might be brought once more to render public homage to Christ. So, too, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was instituted at a time when men were oppressed by the sad and gloomy severity of Jansenism, which had made their hearts grow cold, and shut them out from the love of God and the hope of salvation.
24. If We ordain that the whole Catholic world shall revere Christ as King, We shall minister to the need of the present day, and at the same time provide an excellent remedy for the plague which now infects society. We refer to the plague of anti-clericalism, its errors and impious activities. This evil spirit, as you are well aware, Venerable Brethren, has not come into being in one day; it has long lurked beneath the surface. The empire of Christ over all nations was rejected. The right which the Church has from Christ himself, to teach mankind, to make laws, to govern peoples in all that pertains to their eternal salvation, that right was denied. Then gradually the religion of Christ came to be likened to false religions and to be placed ignominiously on the same level with them. It was then put under the power of the state and tolerated more or less at the whim of princes and rulers. Some men went even further, and wished to set up in the place of God's religion a natural religion consisting in some instinctive affection of the heart. There were even some nations who thought they could dispense with God, and that their religion should consist in impiety and the neglect of God. The rebellion of individuals and states against the authority of Christ has produced deplorable consequences. We lamented these in the Encyclical Ubi arcano; we lament them today: the seeds of discord sown far and wide; those bitter enmities and rivalries between nations, which still hinder so much the cause of peace; that insatiable greed which is so often hidden under a pretense of public spirit and patriotism, and gives rise to so many private quarrels; a blind and immoderate selfishness, making men seek nothing but their own comfort and advantage, and measure everything by these; no peace in the home, because men have forgotten or neglect their duty; the unity and stability of the family undermined; society in a word, shaken to its foundations and on the way to ruin. We firmly hope, however, that the feast of the Kingship of Christ, which in future will be yearly observed, may hasten the return of society to our loving Savior. It would
be the duty of Catholics to do all they can to bring about this happy result. Many of these, however, have neither the station in society nor the authority which should belong to those who bear the torch of truth. This state of things may perhaps be attributed to a certain slowness and timidity in good people, who are reluctant to engage in conflict or oppose but a weak resistance; thus the enemies of the Church become bolder in their attacks. But if the faithful were generally to understand that it behooves them ever to fight courageously under the banner of Christ their King, then, fired with apostolic zeal, they would strive to win over to their Lord those hearts that are bitter and estranged from him, and would valiantly defend his rights.
25. Moreover, the annual and universal celebration of the feast of the Kingship of Christ will draw attention to the evils which anticlericalism has brought upon society in drawing men away from Christ, and will also do much to remedy them. While nations insult the beloved name of our Redeemer by suppressing all mention of it in their conferences and parliaments, we must all the more loudly proclaim his kingly dignity and power, all the more universally affirm his rights.
26. The way has been happily and providentially prepared for the celebration of this feast ever since the end of the last century. It is well known that this cult has been the subject of learned disquisitions in many books published in every part of the world, written in many different languages. The kingship and empire of Christ have been recognized in the pious custom, practiced by many families, of dedicating themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus; not only families have performed this act of dedication, but nations, too, and kingdoms. In fact, the whole of the human race was at the instance of Pope Leo XIII, in the Holy Year 1900, consecrated to the Divine Heart. It should be remarked also that much has been done for the recognition of Christ's authority over society by the frequent Eucharistic Congresses which are held in our age. These give an opportunity to the people of each diocese, district or nation, and to the whole world of coming together to venerate and adore Christ the King hidden under the Sacramental species. Thus by sermons preached at meetings and in churches, by public adoration of the Blessed Sacrament exposed and by solemn processions, men unite in paying homage to Christ, whom God has given them for their King. It is by a divine inspiration that the people of Christ bring forth Jesus from his silent hiding-place in the church, and carry him in triumph through the streets of the city, so that he whom men refused to receive when he came unto his own, may now receive in full his kingly rights.
27. For the fulfillment of the plan of which We have spoken, the Holy Year, which is now speeding to its close, offers the best possible opportunity. For during this year the God of mercy has raised the minds and hearts of the faithful to the consideration of heavenly blessings which are above all understanding, has either restored them once more to his grace, or inciting them anew to strive for higher gifts, has set their feet more firmly in the path of righteousness. Whether, therefore, We consider the many prayers that have been addressed to Us, or look to the events of the Jubilee Year, just past, We have every reason to think that the desired moment has at length arrived for enjoining that Christ be venerated by a special feast as King of all mankind. In this year, as We said at the beginning of this Letter, the Divine King, truly wonderful in all his works, has been gloriously magnified, for another company of his soldiers has been added to the list of saints. In this year men have looked upon strange things and strange labors, from which they have understood and admired the victories won by missionaries in the work of spreading his kingdom. In this year, by solemnly celebrating the centenary of the Council of Nicaea. We have commemorated the definition of the divinity of the word Incarnate, the foundation of Christ's empire over all men.
28. Therefore by Our Apostolic Authority We institute the Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ to be observed yearly throughout the whole world on the last Sunday of the month of October -- the Sunday, that is, which immediately precedes the Feast of All Saints. We further ordain that the dedication of mankind to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which Our predecessor of saintly memory, Pope Pius X, commanded to be renewed yearly, be made annually on that day. This year, however, We desire that it be observed on the thirty-first day of the month on which day We Ourselves shall celebrate pontifically in honor of the kingship of Christ, and shall command that the same dedication be performed in Our presence. It seems to Us that We cannot in a more fitting manner close this Holy Year, nor better signify Our gratitude and that of the whole of the Catholic world to Christ the immortal King of ages, for the blessings showered upon Us, upon the Church, and upon the Catholic world during this holy period. READ THE FULL ENCYCLICAL HERE
Activities, crafts, recipes & More!
Around the Year with the Von Trapp Family
By: Maria Von Trapp from 1955
With every passing year I realize more deeply how joyful our religion is. The more one penetrates into what it means to be Catholic, the fuller life becomes.
There is one great art that we are taught from our childhood and for which we cannot be grateful enough, and that is how to celebrate feasts. The little ones grow up hearing again and again: "Today is the feast of St. Joseph" "Next week is the feast of the Annunciation.. the feast of St. John... the feast of the Holy Family... the feast of the Assumption." And these are not words only. Soon the children discover that these days have a truly festive character. Later, when they grow up and learn to use their own missals, they find that Holy Mother Church prepares a feast for us almost every day of the year. Naturally, these feast days are not equally important. Two of them, the anniversaries of Our Lord's Resurrection and of the Descent of the Holy Ghost, are of such magnitude and solemnity that the Church assigns a whole week to them. She wants to teach her children to take time for celebrating. What a necessary lesson for us of the fast-living twentieth century, when time has become money and the most important even in people's lives - their wedding - has been reduced from the ten-day celebration of old to a ten minute formality at the Justice of the Peace!
For Easter and Pentecost the Church permits no other feasts to interfere. This is called "a privileged octave of the first order." There are other great feast days, such as Epiphany and Corpus Christi, Christmas, the Ascension, the fast of the Sacred Heart, and the feasts of the Blessed Mother, which also have an octave, and at last a commemoration of that feast is made each day.
If the first place is given to the feasts of Our Lord, the second is given to those of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Then come the holy angels, and they are followed by the saints who had a share in the plan of the Incarnation, as St. Joseph, St. John the Baptist, Peter and Paul and the other Apostles, whose feasts are always celebrated with special solemnity.
Then we are told to celebrate as a feast of dedication of churches, the anniversaries of the martyrdom of the saints, the commemoration of holy popes, bishops, teachers of the Church, confessors, virgins and all holy women. According to their importance these feasts will be more or less solemnly celebrated; but even a simple feast day is a feast day.
Once in a while there is a day in the calendar when we do not celebrate a feast. This is called a "ferial day." During most seasons these are few and far between, and it is all the more striking, therefore, to come to the six weeks of Lent and find that the Church has prepared a special mass for every ferial day and wishes her children to refrain from celebrating feasts during these weeks of penance. That makes the great Alleluia, which introduces the feast of the Resurrection, all the more jubilant.
Living through this cycle of festive evens every year, one cannot help but learn that one should not just live one's life, or spend one's life, or go through one's life, but celebrate one's life. Whether the days are filled with bliss or mourning, we have learned to live almost each one as a special feast day. As the Introit of many a Mass bids us: "Guadeamus omnes in Domino, diem festum celebrantes." ("Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating this festival day.")
If the time from the First Sunday in Advent until Pentecost seems like one long uninterrupted celebration of the greatest mysteries of our faith, the time from Pentecost to the end of the Church Year appears much more sober.
The second half of the Church year is referred to in Austria as "The Green Meadow," because of the green color of the vestments on the Sundays after Pentecost, whereas, until then, they had been violet, red, or white. If the festive character of the first part of the year is comparable to the mountain chains of the Alps or Andes, the single feasts in the months after Pentecost are like isolated peaks towering above the green meadow.
Feasts of the Green Meadow
Two more weeks until the 2011-2012 Holy Simplicity Planner
starts! Get your copy now in time to get the most use out of your home*school*Liturgical Year planner! Plan next years lessons, yearly goals, daily task sheet and more!
"Come and drink at the table of my bliss, in order to fortify yourself and enable you to act courageously, for the road is long and difficult, and you will often be obliged to pause and take a breath and rest in My Sacred Heart."
-The Sacred Heart; Anecdotes and Examples
Welcome to Feria Friday, where every Friday we share a saints story and 5 meatless recipes in honour of Christ's Passion and death on the Cross. In regards to Church use 'feria' means without and is used to mean a day in the Church calendar that is without a feast of a saint. Typically in our posts we use 'feria' in reference to recipes without meat.
Today is a different occasion though and there is a great feast on this Friday, the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus! So for such a great day our post will be a little bit different. Instead of sharing a Saint story, below is an article on the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and below are some activities and resources for celebrating such a wonderful feast. May the Sacred Heart of Jesus send you an abundance of blessings!
Around the Year with the Von Trapp Family
By: Maria Von Trapp 1955
THE FEAST OF THE SACRED HEART
Eight days after Copus Christi follows the feast of the Sacred Heart. After Jesus had died for us on the Cross, He wanted to do even more - to give His last drop of blood. And so the Roman soldier pierced His heart with a lance. One would think this would have convienced all later generations of their Redeemer's love. But the "Prince of this world" saw to it that Christians in the course of time became forgetful of this love. To remind us, JEsus in 1675 appeared to a humble little nun in France, St. Margaret Mary, all aglow and radiant, the Risen Christ of Easter Sunday. On His breast she saw His heart all afrie. Our Lord pointed to it, saying, "Behold, this heart which has loved men so much," and He told her to spread the news: everyone who would venerate this symbol of the Divine Heart He wouls reward with divine generosity.
I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
I will establish peace in their houses.
I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all in death.
I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings.
Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy.
Tepid souls shall grow fervent.
Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart so be set up and honored.
I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.
I promise them in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the first Friday in nine consecutive months the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.
As our home is called "Cor Unum" and our motto for daily life that we want to be one heart and soul, we chose the feast of the Sacred Heart as our family feast. On that day, after a Solemn High Mass and the feast-day breakfast, we have our yearly family conference. We report on all the doings of the past year, we talk about the plans of the coming year. This is the day for every one of us to say whether he or she wants to stay in the family choir known as the Trapp Family Singers for another season; whoever wants to get married or whoever wants to do something on his own - this is the day to say so. This custom comes from the old country. Many families have their family day on the feast of the Holy Family in January, some on the feast of St. Joseph, who was a family man.
Links & Resources
"We know how salutary and profitable is the devotion to the Sacred Heart, and we cherish the sweet firm hope that great blessings will not fail to come to us from It, and that they will prove an efficacious remedy for the evils that afflict the world."
- Leo XIII
The great feast day of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is this coming Friday. Shared below is a wonderful article on this feast day along with some ideas for how to celebrate with children. God bless!
From Catholic Life Imprimatur 1908
The devotion to the Sacred Heart is only a particular form of homage to Jesus Christ Himself, true God and true man, by honoring His love for man symbolized by the most noble organ of His adorable body united to His divinity.
One object of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is to make reparation and atonement for all the injuries, insults, neglect, and coldness which received during life, particularly during His Sacred Passion, and also for the many irreverence's, sacrileges, and indifference with which He is treated in the Sacrament of His love, not only by those who are not of the household of the Faith, but, alas! even by those who believe in His Real Presence on our altars. It was of these latter that our loving Saviour complained most pathetically when revealing to Blessed Margaret Mary the unspeakable love of His Heart for men, and His great desire to inflame their hearts.
This beautiful devotion aims particularly at satisfying this loving desire of our Lord not only in our own hearts, but as far as we can in the hearts of others. It is a most remarkable fact in those who practice it that, no matter how humble their station in life may be, they become veritable apostles, and instances have been know where whole districts have been aroused to fervour through the zealous efforts of individuals.
Another characteristic of this devotion is that we feel such a constant increase of love for God that difficulties of all kinds no longer frighten us, our courage is increased, and we find the words of the "Imitation" verified in ourselves: "Love feels no burden, values no labours, would willingly do more than it can, complains not of impossibility, because it conceives that it may and can do all things. It is able, therefore, to do anything; and it performs and effects many things, where he that loves not faints and lies down."
The love of the Sacred Heart will melt the most obdurate heart, will convert the most hardened sinner, will bring confidence to the most despairing, and will ease the misery of the suffering. No devotion is so powerful in procuring and securing peace in families, or in making us feel that we have a real Friend Who will not desert us in adversity, when most friendships fail.
We may show our love to the Sacred Heart in many ways according to our opportunities. Daily Mass; Holy Communion; visits to His Sacred Heart in the Blessed Sacrament; praying before a domestic altar or picture of the Sacred Heart; offering up our thoughts, words, and acts in union with the Sacred Heart; joining the Apostleship of Prayer; frequent ejaculations; reading the Messenger of the Sacred Heart, with love for Jesus, are all helps from which we can choose. As we find our love to increase, and experience the benefits of it, our zeal will suggest others, none of which, however, should in the slightest degree interfere with the duties of our state in life.
Try, then, to acquire a solid devotion to the Sacred Heart. You will find a pleasant and efficacious means of securing, not only your salvation, but a very high place in Heaven.
"Let us give Him - now - forever,
Our first gift - the purest, best-
Give our hearts to Christ, and ask Him
How to give Him all the rest."
Example - Blessed Margaret Mary
This blessed servant of God, chosen by our Lord to reveal to men the marvels of the love of His Sacred Heart, knew at the approach of the Annual Retreat that it would be her last. She fell into a slight fever. Her physician declared that her illness was the effect of Divine love, and that there was no remedy for it, but gave it as his opinion that there was no danger of death. Margaret Mary, however, remained unchanged in her opinion as to the near approach of her last hour. She asked for Holy Viaticum. In being told that it was not thought desirable, she begged at least that she might be allowed to receive Holy Communion, as she was still fasting. This she was allowed to do, and she received it as her Viaticum, being well assured that it was her last time.
Her difficulty of breathing was so great that it was necessary to support her to enable her to draw her breath. "I am burning!" she exclaimed. "What a happiness would it be were it only with Divine love! But I have never known how to love my God perfectly" Turning to those who were holding her, "Beg pardon of Him for me," she said, "and love Him with all your hearts to make reparation for all the time during which I have failed to do so. Oh! what a happiness to love God! Ah, Lord! when wilt though withdraw me from this place of exile? Nothing now remains for me but to bury myself in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and there breathe forth my last sigh." Having received Extreme Unction, she remained for some time perfectly calm, and then, pronouncing the holy Name of Jesus, she peacefully breathed forth her spirit in the arms of the two Sisters to whom she had foretold her death several years before. She was forty-two year of age, and eighteen years a professed religious.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost. Amen.
First Fruits; A Series of Short Meditations
By: Sister Mary Philip
God my Father
" I will arise and go to my father" (St. Luke xv. 18).
No earthly father ever loved his child with a love which will even bear comparison with that of God's love for me, His child. I am His own. He has " called me by my name," nay He has " made me and fashioned me," and therefore He understands me through and through. He knows all the circumstances of my life—all the various phases through which I have passed and which have made me what I now am-and knowing all, He understands all. He can make allowances where others see no excuse, and as He loves me with an infinite love, He uses His knowledge to the utmost in my favour.
O God my Father, in whom can I trust as I can trust in Thee, Who knowest all,
seest all, understandest all? Give me the heartfelt love of a child towards Thee, Who, being my God and Creator, art at the same time my most tender Father and Friend.
Am I now, to-day, giving God the love of a child? Do I turn to Him in joy, in sorrow, in disappointment? Do I take all things from His hands, the loving hands of my Father, Who cares with an infinite tenderness for the good of His child? If so, why am I troubled over the circumstances of my daily life? Why do I hesitate when He shows me His Will and asks me to do it? My God, my Father, what can I say to Thee ! Too late, far too late, have I known Thee and loved Thee ; yet, late as it is, to-day at least I can say, " I will arise and go to my Father." I will trust Him with all that concerns me : my body and my soul, my life and my death, my trials, my temptations, my perplexities and uncertainties. He will care for all I love, for all who have any claim on me, for He is m}' Father and I am His child.
God wants my love. No one else can give Him this love if I refuse it to Him. My Father asks something of me, His child. Am I going to hold back ? He says to me,
" My child, give Me thy heart." It is my one treasure, the one thing I can give Him
that will please Him. Is He to turn away sad because of my refusal—He, my Father !
O most tender Father, take, take all from, me. I give Thee my heart, my love, my
affections. Give me Thy love and Thy grace.
Christ, my friend
" I have called you friends" (St. John, xv 15).
Our Lord chooses His own friends. He has chosen me. " You have not chosen Me," He says, " but I have chosen you." What reason this gives me for full love and
confidence. He chose me knowing perfectly all about me; and He is not fickle as so many earthly friends are, He is" Jesus Christ, yesterday, to-day, and the same for ever" (Heb, xiii.). How, knowing all, He can have chosen me, it is impossible for me to understand, but the very mystery of it is sunshine
to my heart.
"How Thou canst think so well of us,
Yet be the God Thou art,
Is darkness to my intellect,
But sunshine to my heart."
How does Our Lord show His friendship? He is " faithful and true." He never misunderstands, never misinterprets my words or my actions, never shows me anything but infinite patience and love. He is continually sending me gifts and messages. He visits me daily Himself. He waits hour by hour for me to visit Him. Sometimes He asks me to help Him to carry His Cross, but He never leaves me to do so alone. He considers me in all the circumstances of my life. He never suffers me to be tried above that which I am able to bear. In all things He shows me nothing but love, disguised sometimes it is true, but if I have faith in Him the veil is almost a transparent one. "Such is my Beloved, and He is my Friend."
On my side, how do I treat my Friend? Do I willfully refuse to do that which I know
He is asking of me? What gifts do I make Him ? Do I love Him in " deed and in
truth," or is my service mere lip-service? How often do I visit my Friend, how much
time do I give Him in the day?
O Christ my Lord, my true and faithful Friend,
Let me be a real friend of Thine.
Grant that I may give Thee love for love.
Grant that, loving Thee above all things and
in all things, I may at last be united to
Thee for ever in heaven.
" I need Thee, gracious Jesus,
I need a friend like Thee,
A friend to soothe and sympathize,
A friend to care for me."
The Holy Ghost the Comforter
"I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Paraclete that He may abide with you for ever'' (St. John xiv. 16).
The Holy Ghost is the Love of the Father and the Son. He is the Spirit of Love. There is nothing the human heart craves for as it does for love. Our desire, then, should be to be filled with the Holy Spirit. If we are in the state of grace, the Holy Ghost abides with us : " Know ye not that ye are the temples of the Holy Spirit?" (i Cor. iii.). Without this Guest of our souls we are restless and unhappy, for, as St. Augustine tells us, " Our hearts are made for Thee, O God, and they can never be at rest until they rest in Thee." This is why the Holy Ghost is called by Holy Church
"True Rest in toil and sweat.
Refreshment in excess of heat,
And Solace in our grief."
The Holy Ghost is called the Paraclete, that is the Comforter. His special mission is
to enlighten, teach, and comfort the soul. If I ask Him, He will enlighten me to know
His Will, and will teach me how to accomplish it in spite of all difficulties. Then, too, He is ever near to console and strengthen me in all my trials and anxieties. The Hoi}'
Ghost comes to us first at our Baptism, then in a very special way in the Sacrament of Confirmation, and He comes "to abide with us for ever." At all times, in all difficulties, in all my doubts and fears, I can count on the guidance of the Holy Spirit Who dwells within me.
Am I faithful to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit? St Paul says: "Grieve not the Holy Spirit within you." Is my conduct ever a source of displeasure to my Heavenly Guest? Do I beg His light and guidance before every important action that I do, and
before every choice that I make? Do I ask Him to guide me into the path along which He wishes me to tread? O Holy Spirit of God, take possession of me wholly. Guide me, enlighten me, instruct me. Give me the grace never to be deaf to
Thy warnings, never to leave Thy inspirations unnoticed and unattended to, but make me so faithful to Thee that even in small things I may never swerve from Thy
"Dear Paraclete! how hast Thou waited,
While our hearts were slowly turned I
How often has Thy love been slighted,
While for us it grieved and burned I
Now if our hearts do not deceive us,
We would take Thee for our Lord !
O dearest Spirit ! make us faithful
To Thy least and lightest word."
The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is coming in just a couple of weeks. I wanted to share a couple of things we did for St. Valentine's Day
that would also work for celebrating the Feast of the Sacred Heart. Very similar to the Crown of Thorns
during Lent and the tradition of putting straw in Jesus' Crib during Advent I greated a Sacred Heart that the kids put paper's in when they preform a good deed. Such as being charitable to a sibling or parent, doing some little good act, obeying as they are told, extra chores ect. They place a paper in Jesus' Sacred Heart that says 'So and So Loves Jesus' and in this way they 'fill' Jesus' Sacred Heart with love. In the opposite when they are naughty they take a paper out of His Sacred Heart because they have heart Jesus and made their soul sick.
On St. Valentine's Day we also made Sacred Heart sugar cookies. Just a simple heart shaped cookie cutter will do and then the appropriate colored frosting. We used chocolate for the thorns on the heart and piped it on by putting it in a sandwhich bag and snipping off the corner. If you really wanted to get into it you could make your own cookie cutter with this DIY blog
so that the flame was present on the Sacred Heart.
Visit our page for additional crafts, links and resources on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.