Friday, June 15, 2012

The Sacred Heart of Jesus: Hope, Love and Tenderness.

Today I really experienced the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for the first time.  I felt it in my heart and being.  Through prayer I had called upon Him and in His faithfulness He answered.  Like many of you I prayed the Efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart the 9 days leading up to this Feast.  I prayed for the intentions of the children’s rosary that we may be His extended Hands and those of His mother.  I prayed that we would experience renewal of family prayer and spread it across the world.  I prayed that He would bring us many new members of the children’s rosary including those with disabilities.  I prayed for Love in my heart for my family, neighbor, and the Lord.  He heard all these things as He hears all our prayers.  However, on this Feast of His Sacred Heart He opened His mercy and Love and poured so much down that as a simple soul I was quite overwhelmed.  As I made my daily walk to Mass I could feel so much Love coming into my soul.  Tears filled my eyes and I kept telling the Lord that I am His for whatever His purpose.  Despite my tears I had such joy in my heart and hope.  So much hope for our tired world.  It is unmistakable when such hope enters your heart.  The problems of the world are not visible only a Trust and excitement.  An excitement to be part of the beauty the Lord has in store for us.  A deep thanksgiving permeates through ones heart that He is so generous to us.  

In Mass today  the priest prayed that we may move our faith from our minds to our hearts.  This is the beauty of the Feast today.  It is not about our understanding it is about His love.  From the second reading it is written: “to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge”(Ephesians 3:19).  
Our Lord comes on this Feast with a tenderness.  He speaks through the first reading: 
“When Israel was a child, I loved him(Hosea 11:1)
I took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them(Hosea 11:3)
I will not execute my fierce anger”(Hosea 11:9) 
He willingly came and His heart was pieced that we may have access to Divine Love and Mercy.  From the gospel today, “But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water”.(John 19:34)
Right before the consecration at Mass the priest said and I am slightly paraphrasing as I did not want to write anything at such a Holy time in Mass, God shows His love in concrete ways.  The word concrete resonated within me.  
I feel an urge inside to share the concrete ways the Lord has been showing his Love over the last day.  I want to share the joy with all of you because your prayers are helping further this renewal of our families.  You are an answer to a prayer just by reading this posting.  
Several weeks ago the Lord gave the children’s rosary a gift.  A young man at Mass who knows sign language accepted an invitation to translate our children’s rosary.  He came to our last rosary and we began praying through a novena to St. Smaldone the “Apostle of the deaf” and the novena to the Sacred Heart that the Lord bring us more disabled members to utilize this beautiful gift of John our translator.  After Mass on Thursday, the day the novenas were completed, I was walking toward the bus stop to go to work. A young man was standing one block up.  I recognized him immediately, he was a young disabled man from the bus with a significant hearing problem.  He has hearing aids which he wears.  I had wanted to invite him to the children’s rosary before but he was always far across the bus and there was never a chance.  Today he stood before me.  He had never been at this bus stop before.  He told me that he had just missed a different bus by seconds and that is why he was here.  Immediately I could see Divine providence at work.  I wasted no time in inviting him to our rosary.  Although he had once told me he is a Christmas and Easter Catholic, he was very receptive to the invitation and told me he would try and come to our next meeting.  His name is Mike and he works at an agency designed to help other disabled people.  My heart became so excited thinking of how each person is the needed in the chain of God’s plan.  Not to anticipate the Lord’s plan but we have been praying to bring disabled members to our rosary and here was Mike, a disabled person himself accepting an invitation to our rosary and every day he works with many more with disabilities.    The timing of all of this was what some may say a beautiful coincidence.  As I have said in previous posts,  there are no coincidences with God.  

This beautiful meeting with Mike came only moments after the gardener at our Parish had approached me and suggested that his prayer group of several couples at his home might like to come to the children’s rosary.  Minutes before that I had the opportunity to speak to some new friends who have recently joined our daily adult rosary after Mass.  All of them come from different countries and are thirsty to learn the prayers needed to say the rosary.  Several of them have young children and they are so eager to bring their children to our children’s rosary so that they might learn how to pray the Holy Rosary.  One of the mothers has a son in the fifth grade class who had received one of the Children’s Bibles donated by the children’s rosary.  She told me the saint that chose them was St. Milles.  She did not know that saint.  I recognized the Saint because my son was the one who had said the novena to him.  Later upon looking up the saint I found that the Saint was a martyr from the Persian Empire and died in the fourth century.  The family that was chosen by St. Milles is from Syria.  It occurred to me that the Persian empire was vast at that time and may have included the region of Syria.  As only 25 Bibles were given out I was quit sure this saint was the only one from that region of the world which was given out that evening.  Just one more wonderful coincidence to add to the list.
Later in the afternoon the phone rang, the director of the religious education was one the phone.  She said a gentleman had come to the rectory and had heard of the children’s rosary.  He was looking for a summer Bible study for his daughter.  He wanted to know when our children’s rosary met.  I gave her the information and our blog address.  I wondered if they too were one of the families who had received Bibles the previous night at the 5th grade graduation evening.
The Lord does show us in concrete ways His love.  He does desire as a friend that we show Him concrete ways that we love Him.  We can find him everyday at Holy Mass.  It is not a coincidence that the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is within the Octave of the Feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus.  
There is so much hope and Blessing pouring upon us this day.  Jesus may we soak up every blessing and carry it to those who exist in darkness.  May our hearts become tender as the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  We thank the Lord for His kindness to us. Amen

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