Friday, June 27, 2014

The Two Hearts

The Sacred Heart of Jesus


The Immaculate Heart of Mary

     Today, we celebrate the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; and tomorrow, the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
      Pope Pius XII encouraged the faithful not to let the solemnity of the Sacred Heart pass us by. There are so many graces offered in this devotion. The two main reasons that Pope Pius XII encourages devotion to the sacred heart is because:

1) "...His Heart, the noblest part of human nature, is hypostatically joined to the person of the divine Word." 
2) "...His Heart, more than all the other members of his Body, is the natural sign and symbol of his boundless charity for the human race." 

More on Pope Pius' Encyclical "Haurietis Aquas" (the above taken from Par. 21) 

Tomorrow, we also celebrate the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the one conceived without original sin and mother of Jesus. They are celebrated together because Jesus' human heart was formed from her flesh and it was in her womb that the Sacred Heart began to beat. Thus, it is said that Jesus' heart learned to beat from Mary's. There is so much here to be gained in terms of the graces of knowledge, understanding and fervor of devotion that no mere words can inspire. 

Below are some of the works brought about by meditation on the Sacred Heart:

Sacred Heart Beating Still
O Jesus,
Whose heart was
Taught to beat
By Mary,
Was stilled for
Three days' time.
Then you rose
And your heart
Beats again
On fire with
Three-fold love
Ne'er to cease.
Your heart beats,
Beats for me
Beats for me.

A Mountain Top Moment

A Mountain Top Moment
“When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully as I am fully known.” –1 Corinthians 13:11-12.
Unique and Unrepeatable
I am.

I am fully known.
“By whom?” I wonder.
Do I know myself fully?
The prayer of many saints disturbs—humbles:
“Lord, help me to know myself.”
Must I pray in such embarrassment that I must ask
About myself?
And, yet, here I am;
Not of my own power,
But by whom I am fully known.

Top 8 reasons to Pay Attention to the Canonizations this Weekend

At 1:00am Pacific Time (10:00am in Vatican City) this Sunday, Divine mercy Sunday, there will be a historically momentous occasion for the Church. Two popes will be canonized as saints: Pope John XXIII and John Paul II. Given the way we sometimes allow the level of media attention to determine an event’s importance in our life, truly historical moments like this can pass us by. In the end, mankind will remember the saints, not who won the big fight on pay-per-view. Realizing that not everyone might be aware of what is happening we wanted to let you know as well as give you some reasons why you might want to stay up and rejoice a little extra this Easter time. So here they are, the top 8 reasons to pay attention to the canonizations this weekend: 

Links to watch live and learn more about the soon to be canonized: 

It's a canonization!
A canonization declares a person a saint--someone who "translated" the life of Christ for us in the time and culture they lived. A saint in our time is rare and should be treasured and honored. I don't think it a bad thing to spend a little more attention on people who have changed the world for the better instead of whatever else may hold our attention. A canonization such as this brings to our attention a new relationship—a connection—we have with someone in heaven. And, further explained below, it is a real privilege to be able to witness such a canonization. 

The "Good pope"
John XXIII himself is worth knowing. After all, he was called the "Good Pope." According to historians, he was supposed to just be a "transition" pope, someone to occupy the Peter’s chair while letting everything mellow after the whirlwind papacy of pope Pius XII. Instead, John XXIII called the Second Vatican Council. He's basically the reason why you no longer need your Latin-English dictionary when you go to church on Sundays.Those of you who still want to bring them definitely can.

"The Great" pope
Many are calling for the title "magnus" to be given to John Paul II because of the fruits of his papacy. Few saints in history have been given the name but some include St. Basil, Greek father of the Church and St. Albert, teacher of the "Dumb Ox" (Who is the Dumb Ox? hint: he really wasn't dumb). John Paul II would say that if there was any reason for him to be considered great, it would be the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, an accessible document containing the entirety of the core teachings of the Catholic faith.

We live in a world that they helped shape
To make changes within the church is a marvelous feat in itself as there are around a billion Catholics worldwide. However, these two figures have set in motion events that changed the course of world history. John XXIII convened the Second Vatican council for the purpose of opening the Church's doors ever-wider to the world, thereby changing the image of the Church. John Paul II, in addition to fighting off communism worldwide, visited more of the world than any other pope and whose writings on sexuality are still influential today.

John XXIII is always good for a laugh
Pope John XXIII was well known for his witty sense of humor. You wouldn't expect a pope, the highest earthly authority on faith and morals, not to take himself seriously. If you look over old interviews you're bound to encounter one of the Good Pope's jabs. In a famous interview, a journalist asked, "How many people actually work in the Vatican?" to which John XXIII responded, "Eh, about half.”

John Paul II was truly awe-inspiring
Even if he never became pope, John Paul II would still have been considered quite remarkable. He spoke 8 languages fluently and was a gifted intellectual, athlete, and actor. As a Pole during the troubling years of the Second World War and communism, he lived a secret life first as a seminarian and then as a priest, all the while helping to preserve Polish culture. And that was all before he became the youngest bishop of Poland. We celebrate his canonization on a feast that John Paul II instituted as pope.

We can now witness canonizations like never before
Unless you're like St. Clare, you may not have visions of things happening in far-away places. Through the gift of television ("far seeeing") we can see and even participate in the prayers of the Church as Pope Francis leads us in the celebration of this joyous occasion. It is hard to realize this in our time, but there was time before internet, television or even radio (world shattering, right?). Given that the Church has been around for almost two-thousand years and television only 70, we truly live in a privileged time.To witness such a celebration before, you'd have to actually be there (but given the chance, that is still the best way to experience it).

You just might learn something
As Christ said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” Anytime a liturgy like this is celebrated, it is more for us than the celebrated. In honoring faithful heroes like John XXIII and John Paul II, we are able to glimpse our future calling in heaven.Further, saints have a tendency to be born in radical encounters with other saints. Who knows, you may be catching a glimpse of the seeds of your own canonization. 

Pray for us!