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Sacred Heart (3)

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thine altar. We are Thine and Thine we wish to be; and to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known Thee; many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart. Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee, grant that they may quickly return to their ...

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Christ preaching

SUNDAYS AFTER PENTECOST

The longest section of the Church’s liturgical year is the time from Trinity Sunday until Advent Sunday. On those green Sundays we celebrate the Mystery of Christ in its totality. That encompasses everything that we recalled from Advent until Pentecost: the hope of salvation, the coming of the Saviour, His hidden life, His public ministry, His saving Passion, His resurrection, His Kingship, His sending of the Holy Spirit. Week by week at Mass on the Sundays after Pentecost the Gospel presents us with various aspects of the content of general and public divine revelation. That extended green season is enriched ...

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Pentecost (2)

THE SOUL OF THE CHURCH

Pentecost is the Feast of God the Holy Spirit. In our devotion to the Holy Spirit we should be wary of equating His action with our own feelings. Such confusion is at the root of much of what is attributed to the Holy Spirit in certain types of prayer meetings. We do not say that the Holy Spirit is necessarily absent from such gatherings. We do say that in such gatherings much of what is claimed to be direct inspiration, personal revelation, prophetic utterance, is often simply a manifestation of various human emotional responses. Those human emotions are often triggered ...

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THOU ART GONE UP ON HIGH

Christ the King returns in triumph to the celestial glory, with our human nature conjoined to His divinity. Where He has gone we long to follow. We fix our hearts and minds on reaching that realm where we hope to be crowned, one day. We have to live in this material world always remembering that we were made for heaven. If we forget that heaven is our home we risk becoming earthbound, as though the Lord had not ascended, as though life here below were still a closed circle. The gates of heaven are thrown wide open to receive Christ ...

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THE CROWNING OF INNOCENCE AND SIMPLE FAITH

Two illiterate peasant children, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, were with their cousin Lucia dos Santos when “a Lady-Shining-More- Brightly-Than-The-Sun” appeared to them six times between 13th May and 13th October 1917. Francisco and Jacinta both died young of influenza, the so-called Spanish Flu. Francisco died when he was 10 years old (1919), Jacinta when she was 9 years old (1920). Both were beatified at Fatima in the year 2000 by Pope St. John Paul II. Both are to be canonized at Fatima on Saturday 13th May by Pope Francis. Sister Lucia died in her discalced Carmelite convent at Coimbra on ...

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DID NOT OUR HEARTS BURN WITHIN US

The encounter with Christ which was granted to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus was certainly one of high strangeness. It seems incredible that they did not at first recognize Him. If one of our nearest and dearest had died before our eyes, and then three days later ‘appeared’ to us, would we not recognize them? How changed would they have to be in order for us not to know who we were speaking with? Their moment of recognition has an unmistakeable Eucharistic resonance. He took bread, gave thanks, broke it – and vanished. His subsequent invisibility did ...

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POWERFUL BECAUSE TRUE

The resurrection of Christ was of a wholly different category of reality from the resuscitation of Lazarus. Lazarus was given a temporary reprieve. He would later die again and return to the tomb. By contrast, Christ rose from the dead to a new and glorified life, never to die again. He rose from the dead to life in the Spirit. In the moment of Christ’s death He breathed forth, handed over, His Spirit: tradidit Spiritum (John 19:30). His resurrection was the initial public release of His gift of the Holy Spirit. That giving of the Holy Spirit was seen again ...

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Crucifixion

HOLY WEEK WITH NEWMAN

“As the solemn days proceed, we shall be especially called on, my brethren, to consider His sufferings in the body, His seizure, His forced journeyings to and fro, His blows and wounds, His scourging, the crown of thorns, the nails, the Cross. They are all summed up in the Crucifix itself, as it meets our eyes; they are represented all at once on His sacred flesh, as it hangs up before us—and meditation is made easy by the spectacle. It is otherwise with the sufferings of His soul; they cannot be painted for us, nor can they even be duly ...

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PASSIONTIDE

The raising of Lazarus is a most suitable subject for our contemplation during Passiontide. We would be missing the most important meaning of that gospel miracle if we thought of it as simply an exercise of human affection. Christ Himself says that the meaning is greater than that: “This illness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God…” The raising of Lazarus was not just so that our Lord might continue to enjoy his friend’s company, nor merely for the sake of consoling Martha and Mary. Christ called Lazarus back to  life principally in order to teach ...

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Temptation

THE SEASON OF LENT

In Lent we follow our Lord into the desert; not the literal desert of Palestine, but the desert which will surround us whenever we deny ourselves some of the comforts and props of life. Such comforts, though not wrong in themselves, can become barriers. By stripping some of them away, we make more space, clear more ground, for a closer encounter with the Lord. When we enter into spiritual solitude, we shall certainly find temptation. Do not be discouraged. When you are in the desert, you will not be alone.  You will be there in the unseen company of countless  ...

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