To Jesus’ Heart, all burning

To Jesus’ Heart, all burning
With fervent love for all,
My heart with fondest yearning
Shall raise its joyful call.

Refrain.
While ages course along,
Blest be with loudest song,
The sacred heart of Jesus
By ev’ry heart and tongue.
The sacred heart of Jesus
By ev’ry heart and tongue.

O heart, for me on fire
With love no-one can speak
My yet untold desire
God gives me for thy sake.

Too true, I have forsaken
Thy love for wilful sin;
Yet now let me be taken
Back by thy grace again.

As thou are meek and lowly,
And ever pure of heart,
So may my heart be wholly
Of thine the counterpart.

O that to me were given
The pinions of a dove.
I’d speed aloft to heaven
My Jesus love to prove.

When life away is flying,
and earth’s false glare is done;
still, Sacred heart, in dying
I’ll say I’m all thine own.

Gregory Was a Reluctant Pontiff

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Gregory Was a Reluctant Pontiff

If you have ever been pushed forward to speak for a group when you just wanted to sit back, you have an idea how Gregory felt on this day, February 3, 590. Pelagius II was dead. Who should replace him? All eyes turned to one man: Gregory.

Now if there was anything Gregory did not want, it was to be bishop of Rome. He had experience in governing men, and the job looked impossible to him. The government of Rome was a one-legged sort of thing and civil responsibilities were falling on the church.

Famine, plague, and war raged in the countryside. Lombards, Franks and Imperial troops pillaged the starving land. Gregory believed that the four horsemen of the apocalypse were riding over Italy. The end of the world was near. Who in his right mind would want to deal with that? Legend says he tried to escape from Rome by hiding in a basket.

If Gregory had had his way, he would not even have been in Rome when Pelagius died. Born into a noble family around 540, he served as a prefect of Rome. As prefect, he presided over the senate and provided for the city’s defence, food supply, and finances. Later, he became one of the seven cardinal deacons of the church. Pelagius made him nuncio to the imperial court of Constantinople, where Gregory met Maurice, the future emperor. On his return to Rome, Gregory saw fair-haired Saxon lads being sold as slaves in the market. Told they were “Angles” he replied, “not Angles–angels!” He obtained papal permission to carry the gospel to Britain and slipped out of town. Riots resulted. He was recalled, Pelagius died soon afterwards, and Gregory was thrust into his place. Continue reading

Saint Blaise

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Saint Blaise

Bishop and Martyr
(† 316)

Saint Blaise devoted the earlier years of his life to the study of philosophy, and afterwards became a physician. In the practice of his profession he saw so much of the miseries of life and the hollowness of worldly pleasures, that he resolved to spend the rest of his days in the service of God. From being a healer of bodily ailments, he became a physician of souls, then retired for a time, by divine inspiration, to a cavern where he remained in prayer.

When the bishop of Sebaste in Armenia died, Blaise, much to the gratification of the inhabitants of that city, was chosen to succeed him. Saint Blaise at once began to instruct his people, as much by his example as by his words, and the great virtues and sanctity of the servant of God were attested by many miracles. From all parts, the people came flocking to him for the cure of bodily and spiritual ills. Continue reading