Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

This is such a special year, isn’t it, and my spirit is telling me that graces will abound as we celebrate the feastdays of the Sacred Heart of Jesus today and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary tomorrow.

In the June edition of the Magnificat, Fr. James M. Sullivan, O.P., tells us that Easter 2011 falling on April 24th is something that never happened before in any of our lifetimes – that it is the second latest possible date for Easter and will not happen again until 2095.  Because the date of Easter affects the dates that other feastdays are celebrated, this year the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is very unusually not in June, but on July 1st, which means that Our Lady’s feastday of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, always the following day, also very unusually does not fall in the month of June this year.  And that this should happen along with these important feastdays falling on the First Friday and First Saturday of the month just highlights for me the extra-special significance of these feastdays for our world this year, in God’s timing.  I believe it is a sign for the times from God, and to strengthen us for what is to come.

One of the main focuses of the devotion to the Sacred Heart is reparation.  In his book, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque and the Promises of the Sacred Heart, Msgr. Leon Cristiani writes:  “Let us point out right away that the idea of reparation, which is at the core of devotion to the Sacred Heart, implies a deep solidarity among all members of the Mystical Body, a solidarity so all-embracing that everything the saints do in the Church, in union with Jesus Christ their Model and Master, compensates before God for the offenses of sinners and obtains for them the graces of conversion and salvation.” 

Today, we Canadians are celebrating our national holiday, Canada Day. Also, Prince William and his new bride Kate [the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge] arrived here in Ottawa yesterday for their first official trip. The city is inundated with tourists and with reporters from all parts of the globe; they say we might have a half-million people on Parliament Hill today to celebrate Canada Day and catch a glimpse of the royal couple.  The Americans’ special holiday, the 4th of July, is right around the corner.  Amid all these festivities, there will be many Catholics who, busy with family and shopping and BBQs and visitors over the next little while, may not even have a thought for Jesus or Mary on their feastdays.  I say this not in judgement, for there have been many feastdays over many decades that escaped my notice, my celebration, and my thankfulness as well; and I am still guilty of missing some, not noticing the days/weeks flying by and from lack of planning ahead.  But for those of us who this year are able to go to confession, to celebrate Mass and receive Holy Eucharist, to spend some time in front of the Blessed Sacrament, who are able to keep the First Friday and the First Saturday of the month to the best of our ability and to offer up our Masses, Holy Communions, rosaries, and perhaps small sacrificial acts in reparation to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary, let us try to remember that we do so in solidarity with other members of the Mystical Body of Christ.  Let us take these graces seriously, for the Lord is using them for others, others who have not asked for them, perhaps will never ask for them, but are in great need of them.  As Msgr. Cristiani tells us:  “…the same passage of Scripture [re the parable of the talents] also says that he who does not use his talents to make them bear fruit will have them taken away, and they will be given to those who have the most…. Can we perhaps deduce from this that the graces wasted by sinners are given to the great saints?  For to the saints devolves the great and mysterious task of making reparation and compensation for others.”

When we look at ourselves, our lives, failings, shortcomings, and sins we can’t see ourselves in the same category as the saints, but despite our failings we are on a path of holiness, growing in holiness, aware of the graces available to us and strong in the knowledge of the power of God’s grace. In the earthly realm, we would not think of asking someone to give us a gift. Not so with the heavenly realm – all these graces are gifts from God, and He wants us to ask for them – every single day, all throughout the day, for ourselves and for others. In solidarity with the Mystical Body of Christ, let us ask, receive and bless others with these graces today and tomorrow, in union with the Two Hearts United and in reparation for the world.

7 thoughts on “Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

  1. Well said. And because summer is indeed so incredibly busy (even without Kate and William) and we must let some things go or pass or give only a small effort, it is an excellent reminder to not let go the most important, and that which doesn’t seem most pressing –yet IS always most pressing. Thanks, G.

  2. Beautiful post Gab. I was thinking about how, after the Ascension and the Pentecost, there are so many important feasts that exalt some aspect of God that maybe we don’t reflect very much about during the year.
    This reminds me of my rosary bead collection in my class topped coffee table. Among them I also have a few “misbaha beads” (one from Jerusalem, one a gift of an Iranian friend, and one bought in Greece). These weeks in which we’ve celebrated various aspects of God, reminds me of what the priest who was our guide in the Holy Land said, that the muslims use them to celebrate the attributes of God. From an interesting article I just read, it says that ” the use of the misbaha originated with the mystical Sufi sect, which employed the beads as a mnemonic device to recall the 99 most beautiful names of Allah, for to Muslims God is “the Merciful, the Compassionate, the King, the Holy, the All-Knowing, the Patient, the Wise, the Venerable, the One, the Giver of Life and Death….”
    The article gives an overview of the use of these beads and ties the rosary in with them. This resonated with me too…If I go to mass early on Sundays, when the rosary is being recited, I always continue fiddling with the beads, following along when the Litany to the Blessed Virgin is being recited, which is nothing else but a mnemonic reminder of her attributes. This kind of prayer makes me feel more united to people of other faiths and this idea makes it more meaningful for me to pray them. I used to pray the rosary at night in bed, but I very rarely got to the end…Now I pray in the morning when I go out for my long walk to the abbey. The rhythm of the prayer is cadenced to my quick steps…It takes me 5 mysteries to get me down to the abbey (it’s a slight down hill walk)…I usually don’t say it going back up because even though I just say it in my mind, my huffing and puffing breaks my concentration, lol.

    The article is entitled “Worry Beads” and is written by Daniel Da Cruz (didn’t feel like putting in a link that might put this comment in your spam folder Gab)

  3. I’m truly glad someone doesn’t close out Muslim faith immediately as I do. It’s party all the beheading–I cannot reconcile that with an alleged respect for God,,but I also think of all the devotions we ourselves have lost, all our own sacramentals, and all the Papal and saintly not to even mention theological writings we have not availed ourselves of, and I just think all the more that the Muslim way is the long route still millennia away from discovering the very One they call a mere prophet, and I cannot forget all those who made reparation for this and those who were martyred because of this. As I say, I shut right down the Christ-less faiths on the inside, because we are so far from our own, but neither Merton nor JP II did, and I’m glad you don’t, too, Pia. We (or I) need a leveller in this nation going so atheist to not minimize the fact that all non-Christians are loved by God, called to the Word by the Word, and that Mary surely pleads for them, too.

  4. Hello Gabrielle –

    I hope this summer finds you ever close to Jesus & Mary… Praying for you and your family. As always, let our Lord bless this site.

    -Paul

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