June Devotion: The Sacred Heart

Image may contain: 1 person

June Devotion: The Sacred Heart

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of June is set apart for devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. “From among all the proofs of the infinite goodness of our Savior none stands out more prominently than the fact that, as the love of the faithful grew cold, He, Divine Love Itself, gave Himself to us to be honored by a very special devotion and that the rich treasury of the Church was thrown wide open in the interests of that devotion.” These words of Pope Pius XI refer to the Sacred Heart Devotion, which in its present form dates from the revelations given to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1673-75.

The devotion consists in the divine worship of the human heart of Christ, which is united to His divinity and which is a symbol of His love for us. The aim of the devotion is to make our Lord king over our hearts by prompting them to return love to Him (especially through an act of consecration by which we offer to the Heart of Jesus both ourselves and all that belongs to us) and to make reparation for our ingratitude to God. Continue reading

Queenship of Mary

Image may contain: 3 people, indoor

Queenship of Mary

Mary, Our Queen, Our Mother
Salve Regina, Mater misericordiae!

St. Alphonsus Di Liguori
(1696 – 1787)
The Glories of Mary

How great should be our Confidence in Mary, who is the Queen of Mercy. As the glorious Virgin Mary has been raised to the dignity of Mother of the King of kings, it is not without reason that the Church honors her, and wishes her to be honored by all, with the glorious title of Queen.

“If the Son is a king,” says St. Athanasius, “the Mother who begot him is rightly and truly considered a Queen and Sovereign” (“Si ipse Rex est, qui natus est de Virgine, Mater quae eum genuit, Regina et Domina proprie ac vere censetur.”–Serm. de Deip). “No sooner had Mary,” says St. Bernardine of Sienna, “consented to be Mother of the Eternal Word, than she merited by this consent to be made Queen of the world and of all creatures.” (“Haec autem Virgo, in illo consensus, meruit primatum orbis dominium mundi, sceptrum regni super omnes creaturas.”–Pro fest. V.M. s. 5 c. 3.) “Since the flesh of Mary,” remarks the Abbot Arnold of Chartres, “was not different from that of Jesus, how can the royal dignity of the Son be denied to the Mother?” (Nec a dominatione et potestate filii Mater potest esse sejuncta: una est Mariae et Christi caro.”–De Laud. B. Virg.) “Hence we must consider the glory of the Son, not only as being common to his Mother, but as one with her” (Filii gloriam cum Matre non tam communem judico, quam eamdem.”–Ibid.). Continue reading

Friday After the Octave of the Ascension

Image may contain: 1 person

Friday After the Octave of the Ascension

The Octave is over; the mystery of the glorious Ascension is completed ; and our Jesus is never again to be seen upon this earth, until He come to judge the living and the dead. We are to see Him only by faith; we are to approach Him, only by love. Such is our probation; and if we go well through it, we shall, at last, be permitted to enter within the Veil, as a reward for our faith and love.

Let us not complain at our lot; rather let us rejoice in that Hope, which, as the Apostle says, confoundeth not. And how can we be otherwise than hopeful, when we remember that Jesus has promised to abide with us even to the consummation of the world? He will not appear visibly; but He will be always really with us. How could He abandon His Spouse, the Church? and are not we the children of this His beloved Spouse?

But this is not all: Jesus does something more for us. One of His last words was this, and it shows us how dearly He loved us: I will not leave you orphans. When He used those other words, upon which we have been meditating during the last few days,–It is expedient for you that I go,–He added: For if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you. This Paraclete, this comforter, is the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of the Father and Son; He is to descend upon us in a few short hours hence; He will abide with us, (making us feel His presence by His works,) until Jesus shall again come from heaven that He may take His elect from a World which is to be condemned to eternal torments for its crimes. But the Holy Ghost is not to come until He be sent; and, as the sacred text implies, He is not to be sent, until Jesus shall have been glorified. He is corning that He may continue the great Work; but this Work was to be begun by the Son of God, and carried on by Him as far as the eternal decrees had ordained. Continue reading

The Ascension

Image may contain: 21 people, people standing

The Ascension

And the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God.– MARK xvi. 19. INTRODUCTION. During forty days after His Resurrection our Lord appeared many times and in diverse places and circumstances to His disciples and others. He walked and talked with them. He permitted them to see and put their hands into His wounds, and He ate with them; thus proving by the most incontestable arguments that He was really risen from the dead, and was again living in His own body. It was also during those forty days that our Saviour gave His Apostles final instructions concerning His Church.

I. ” He ascended into heaven.” 1. Give brief history of the Ascension as detailed in today’s Gospel and Epistle. 2. Christ ascended into heaven as man; as God He was always there, 3. Christ ascended into heaven by His own power.

II. He “sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.” 1. These words express the glory which Christ as man enjoys above all others in heaven. This glory the Saviour merited by His earthly poverty, sufferings, and death (Philip, ii. 9). 2. Christ is now constituted King over all the world: “of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke i. 33; Eph. i. 22; Heb. ii.  Continue reading

Saint Joan of Arc

Image may contain: 1 person, indoor

Saint Joan of Arc

Virgin, Martyr (1412-1431)

Who today does not know the history of the Maid of Orleans, who saved France from the foreign domination of the English, only to be betrayed by the legitimate prince whom her efforts had crowned at Rheims, then burnt at the stake on May 30, 1431? Both in the French and English languages, many books and articles have honored her since her canonization in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.

The Holy Father spoke before the bishop of Orleans and others present for the reading of the decree which approved her two final great miracles, needed to proceed with the canonization. He said, We find the memory of Joan of Arc so apt to enkindle love in the French people for their mother country, that we regret being French only in our heart! Many others could say the same, and confirm the exactitude of the proverb: Every Christian has two mother countries — the one where he or she first saw the light of day, and France!

Two years later, Pope Pius XI declared Saint Joan patroness of France with the Most Blessed Virgin, placing her second only to the Mother of God. In that year Monsignor Baudrillart, French historian, wrote that Saint Joan of Arc may be proposed as an example to all young children by her perfect piety; as a model of fidelity to the call of heaven, to all young persons. For artisans, scholars, writers, teachers, she gives excellent example by her respect for truth and her remarkable prudence. Those dedicated to the works of mercy should find inspiration in her charity, visible when she consoled and wept for her wounded and dying enemies. All agricultural workers can invoke her with confidence, for when Joan, with the archbishop of Rheims, rode through the rich fields in the month of August and saw the reapers at work, she expressed a wish, despite the honors she then enjoyed, to die in the midst of the country-folk of France whom she loved. Her illness in prison, her martyrdom in the flames, recommend her intercession to the sick, as also to all who pray for loved ones in purgatory.

Finally, Monsignor Baudrillart concluded, we pray our new Patroness to intercede unceasingly with God and the Most Blessed Virgin that France, its thoughts turned towards the true liberty of God’s children and its own ancient dignity, may truly be today as before, the firstborn daughter of the Church. For centuries that title — conferred because of the early conversion of King Clovis and three thousand of his noble soldiers, baptized on Christmas day of 496 — was the glory of Christian France. It was later magnificently renewed and embellished by the heroic virgin, Joan of Arc.

Almanach Catholique français pour 1923 (Librairie Bloud et Gay: Paris, 1923).