So Loved the World

JMJ

The Readings for the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8 (NABRE)

YOUR HOST CAN BE a bit dense sometimes, but it dawns on him that Jesus saying “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to them that hurt you, pray for those who persecute you” was a case of “do as I do”. Jesus loved us while we were yet sinners.

Sinning makes us enemies of God (whom he loved) in our pride
Moves us to curse God (whom he blessed) as we do when he wants us to stop
Causes us to hurt God (whom he does good to) by rejecting his love
And allowed us to persecute God (even as he prayed for us) on the cross.

And the Son can do nothing but what he sees the Father doing.

Sinning makes us enemies of God the Father for all have sinned yet he loves us.
Moves us to curse God with our egos as he blesses us
Causes us to hurt God for we are the children rejecting him even as he does good to us
And allowed us to persecute God by driving out his prophets even as he moves them to pray for us.

So even when we were pushing him away, God had a new plan and Jesus came.

Today’s feast if celebrating the heart that loved us so much.

In the silent humility of the Eucharistic Host, Jesus can be stolen, blasphemed, trampled. Yet he loves us so much that he will not withdraw his presence from us.

We cannot fathom how anyone can love even after they are hurt. Any mere human would, eventually, simply turn away. But God goes right on loving: hurt, but unhindered. He has a human heart – able to be hurt – but bounded by the infinity of God. So, unlike a friend or family member who may – after a while – just move away from the pain, God keeps loving even though the continual loving makes him ever the more vulnerable.

And in his silent humility, hurting, bleeding, he seeks to make us like himself.

Behold the Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, in order to testify Its love; and in return, I receive from the greater part only ingratitude, by their irreverence and sacrilege, and by the coldness and contempt they have for Me in this Sacrament of Love.

Jesus to St Margaret Mary

When we love like this, we are become like him: to share in the divine love is to share in all the hate the world gives Jesus, and to share in the life he shares with us.

When we love like this in spite of pain, Pope Benedict says, “entrust to him every setback and pain that you face, so that they become – according to his design – a means of redemption for the whole world. You will be redeemers with the Redeemer, just as you are sons in the Son.”

We will have a heart like his: wounded, but unbreakable.

Only Connect.


JMJ

The Readings for the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it?

Would anyone go? The ROI is really wrong. Data sets say that one sheep is not part of the majority and irrelevant. Polling shows the other sheep don’t like it. It’s just a lump of cells. If you wait overnight it’ll not be something to carry on your shoulders, it’ll just be carrion. Stand here and chat a bit, it’ll solve the problem.

We get so hung up on “social justice” that we forget the person. (A collection of Anecdotes is NOT DATA.)

God loves us collectively only because he loves us each individually.

We find ourselves increasingly pressed to get by with what we can get by with. They’re just Mexicans, not Americans. They’re just flyover states, no one cares. They’re just uneducated, toothless Christians. They’re just urban hipsters. They’re just tech workers. They’re just homeless druggies.

None of this is a political manifesto.

Christianity is not a political manifesto.

It’s a command to love.

That person. Right There.

Every job I’ve ever had has brought me into contact with thousands upon thousands of people. What would it have been like if I could love each and every one of them for the moments they were with me? What would have changed?

Love is not directed to abstract lumps of cells mobbing endlessly around the globe. Love is between me and the next person I see.

What does that change?

The heart of God is beating in them. In me.

What does that change?

Science is not the answer. Love is.

A Daily Act of Consecration to the Holy Family

JMJ

Please note: what follows is not an officially approved devotion in any way. If you find it useful, amen. If you feel it needs correction please let me know.

HOLY FAMILY OF NAZARETH, hear the prayers of a prodigal son. I have sinned before heaven and against you. Take me as one of your hired servants.

SAINT JOSEPH, TERROR OF DEMONS pray for me! I consecrate myself to thy most chaste heart!

Like thee may I be chaste and stable. May my work be done with all due speed and diligence; ever be ordered only to the provision, safety, and advance of God’s Kingdom, the Church. Bless my skills and talents that, like thee, I may ever use them to God’s glory and not my own. By thy prayers, may my work be crowned with the virtues of fortitude, prudence, and temperance. Let me be neither greedy nor sloth; let not the noonday demon find me ready to make a mockery of God’s labor or my own. Fix me in chastity in action, word, and thought.

Pray for me, St Joseph, together with thine All Immaculate Spouse, that I may work out my salvation in fear and trembling; that having thee as my father and Mary as my mother, I may truly have Jesus as my brother and may be a devoted servant of the Holy Family of Nazareth, at home in the household of God.

HOLY MARY, SEAT OF WISSOM, pray for me! I consecrate myself to thine immaculate heart!

Like thee may I be open to the will of God, ever trusting him without knowing the cost, and ever certain that what ever he has asked of me he will give me the grace to accomplish. May I never place myself between others and thy divine son save only to say “Do whatever he tells you” and like thee may I ever make intercession before God’s throne especially for those in most need of his mercy. Cause me, by thy prayers, through pious devotion and faithful adherence to the divine precepts, to yield a fruitful harvest of Faith, Hope, and Charity, and all the other virtues.

Pray for me, Holy Mary, Mother of God, together with thy Most Chaste Spouse, that I may be constantly bringing forth the Word of God to the Joy of all the World; that having thee as my mother and Joseph as my father, I may truly have Jesus as my brother and may be a devoted servant of the Holy Family of Nazareth, at home in the household of God.

JESUS I TRUST IN THEE. I consecrate myself to thy Sacred Heart!

Hear the prayers of thy All Immaculate Mother and thy Most Chaste Foster Father on my behalf. May the fount of mercy flowing from thy side wash me. Set up thy Cross in my soul. Nail my flesh to the fear of thee. Undo my slavery to my own reasonings. Take away my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh, on fire with love for the world, and wounded with compassion for the weak and lost, especially for those whom daily thou sendest to me.

May I truly have Mary as my Mother and Joseph as my Father, and be thou, Jesus, my Brother, Saviour, and Friend; that in service to the Holy Family of Nazareth, I may live in stability, safety, and peace.

May thy Church be my only home, thy Word my only teacher, thy Cross my only guide, and thy Eucharist my only food. My Jesus, I trust in thee!

DEAREST JESUS, after the example of the Chaste Heart of Joseph and through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer thee all of my plans, dreams, and intentions, all of my thoughts, words, and deeds, all of my joys and sufferings, my hopes and fears, all of my crosses and crowns of this day and all of my life, all for the intentions of thy Sacred heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, for the salvation of souls, the remission of sins, the reparation of blasphemies, the reunion of all Christians, and the intentions of our Holy Father, the Pope.

Amen.

It all Flows from the Heart


JMJ

The Readings for the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Friday in the 9th Week of Ordinary Time (B2)

Ut innotescat principatibus et potestatibus in caelestibus per Ecclesiam, multiformis sapientia Dei, 
That through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. 

Follow this passage in Ephesians, the 3rd chapter from verses 8 – 12, God’s eternal purpose was in Christ Jesus, and, now, is being worked out in the Church. Through the Church the wisdom of God is being made clear even to the powers of heaven.

The Church is the Kingdom of God in the world, the Body of Christ present and active, and so, today we are reminded that the Heart of Christ is the Heart of the Church.

The blood and water which poured forth from the heart of Christ flow, still, in the Church: from her Font and on the Altar. The Love which radiated from Christ to the world, shines still through the actions, the teachings, the power of the Church.  Yet, though I stooped to feed my child, they did not know that I was their healer. The world cannot see this Love all the time because the world refuses to understand what true, divine Love is (or that it is not “let me do what ever I want”). Yet also because humans in the Church are sinners this love is hidden, for we too, fail at being Christ in the world. 

How can we be Christ in our workplace, on the bus, at the grocer’s or beauty parlor? Only if we are connected to the Heart of Christ, only if we are fed on the flesh of Christ, only if we are the Body of Christ, present and active in the world. Yet how can we do that active role (as is our job as the Laity) if we do not engage spiritually with the disciplines of the Church?

Christians must always repair to the Heart of Christ, in prayer, in meditation, in contemplation of the Holy Eucharist. We are called to stay connected, to stay focused. It’s not a case of “What would Jesus do?” Rather, from within the Body of Christ, fed on the flesh and blood of Christ, acting from the beating heart of Christ, we should ask, “What is Jesus doing?” …That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God. 

The deeper our contemplation, the more fruit we shall bear in our action. The more we are united to Christ in Prayer, the more we can be Christ in the world. The latter cannot happen without the former: apart from the vine the branches can do nothing.