Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
This past Friday we heard from the United States Supreme Court: Roe v. Wade has been overturned! What a great grace for our nation and world! Let us thank God for this grace, and ask our Blessed Mother, Mary, and St. Joseph to come to our aid in the days ahead. Let us pray that all people may come to understand and accept the gift of human life. Let us pray that all may be willing to honor the gift of life from our good Lord from conception to natural death!
Last weekend we celebrated Corpus Christi (Body of Christ) Sunday. I thank all who made our sacred liturgies and processions so beautiful - and in so doing, extended a wonderful act of Love and devotion to our good Lord Jesus! Thank you!
I urge us all to grow in our love for Jesus, truly present in the Holy Eucharist, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity! Our Savior and True Friend is truly with us in the Eucharist! Let us make time to be with Him in prayer, the Sacrament of Confession, Adoration and Holy Mass - every Sunday and any time we can on weekdays.
Here is some of what our Catechism of the Catholic of the Church teaches on the Eucharist:
“The Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian life." (Lumen Gentium 11) "The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch." (Presbyterorum ordinis 5)
"The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God's action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit." (Congregation of Rites, instruction, Eucharisticum mysterium, 6) Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all. (Cf. 1 Corinthians 15:28)
In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: "Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking."” (St. Irenaeus) (CCC 1324-1327)
This past Friday we celebrated the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This Solemnity is linked to the First Friday Sacred Heart devotion. The celebration of this special Solemnity is rooted in the appearances of Jesus to a religious sister
named St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Here is a brief history:
“In 1667, Jesus appeared to her (St. Margaret Mary) to strength-en her resolve to enter the convent and overcome her family’s pressure to marry. She entered the Sisters of the Visitation (founded by St. Francis de Sales) and on December 27, 1673 (the feast of the Beloved Disciple), Jesus appeared and told her to sit next to Him as the Beloved Disciple had done. Jesus revealed that His heart desired frequent Communion (especially on First Friday). He requested a feast of the Sacred Heart, asked for an image of His Sacred Heart, and gave the following 12 promises to those who practice this devotion:
1. I WILL GIVE THEM ALL THE GRACES NECESSARY FOR THEIR STATE OF LIFE.
2. I WILL GIVE PEACE IN THEIR FAMILIES.
3. I WILL CONSOLE THEM IN ALL THEIR TROUBLES.
4. THEY SHALL FIND IN MY HEART AN ASSURED REF-UGE DURING LIFE AND ESPECIALLY AT THE HOUR OF DEATH.
5. I WILL POUR ABUNDANT BLESSINGS ON ALL THEIR UNDERTAKINGS.
6. SINNERS SHALL FIND IN MY HEART THE SOURCE AND INFINITE OCEAN OF MERCY.
7. TEPID SOULS SHALL BECOME FERVENT.
8. FERVENT SOULS SHALL SPEEDILY RISE TO GREAT PERFECTION.
9. I WILL BLESS THE HOMES IN WHICH THE IMAGE OF MY SACRED HEART SHALL BE EXPOSED AND HONORED.
10. I WILL GIVE TO PRIESTS THE POWER TO TOUCH THE MOST HARDENED HEARTS.
11. THOSE WHO PROPAGATE THIS DEVOTION SHALL HAVE THEIR NAME WRITTEN IN MY HEART, AND IT SHALL NEVER BE EFFACED.
12. I PROMISE THEE IN THE EXCESS OF THE MERCY OF MY HEART, THAT ITS ALL-POWERFUL LOVE WILL GRANT TO ALL THOSE WHO SHALL RE-CEIVE COMMUNION ON THE FIRST FRIDAY OF NINE CONSECUTIVE MONTHS THE GRACE OF FINAL REPENTANCE; THEY SHALL NOT DIE UNDER MY DIS-PLEASURE, NOR WITHOUT RECEIVING THE SACRA-MENTS; MY HEART SHALL BE THEIR ASSURED REF-UGE AT THAT LAST HOUR.” (Taken from: Building a Kingdom of Love by Msgr. John Esseff)
I urge all to practice devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary! Jesus’ promises are real and they are filled with power and strength. Please do not fail to ask for His mercy and do not fail to take up this glorious devotion to Jesus and His Sacred Heart and that of His Mother, Mary!
Through the intercession of the Immaculate of Mary, the Holy Heart of St. Joseph and our patrons, St. Michael and St. Paul, may the Sacred Heart of Jesus, truly present in the Holy Eucharist, pour out His blessings upon you, your families and our parishes!
In Christ through Mary,