"The Five Wounds of the Liturgical Mystical Body of Christ"

"The Five Wounds of the Liturgical Mystical Body of Christ"
"The Five Wounds of the Liturgical Mystical Body of Christ" according to Bishop Athanasius Schneider: 1. Mass versus populum. 2. Communion in the hand. 3. The Novus Ordo Offertory prayers. 4. Disappearance of Latin in the Ordinary Form. 5. Liturgical services of lector and acolyte by women and ministers in lay clothing.

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Great Secret

The great secret for leading [a] free, pure and already almost superhuman Christian life ... is not so much to consider the vanity of this world, the fragility and baseness of this present life, our own personal misery and passions, all those evils into which, without the help of grace, we should so easily fall, and our faults and sins, which we ought, however, to hate and deplore. All that is useful, all that is indispensable; everyone who is wise will remember and think of it at certain hours; but it is not always the hour for thinking of it, and it is not, at all events, what is the most efficacious for us.

What is most efficacious, here as everywhere, the most decisive, the most triumphant, is, as far as one can, and habitually, to look upwards; it is to consider God and Jesus; the perfections of God, His rights, His attributes, His appeals, His provocations, His patient waiting, His designs, His promises; the mysteries of Jesus and the divine graces flowing from what he said, did, ordained and suffered. It is ever to remember that He is personally the point of departure and the Chief of the Christian life; that the great virtue of baptism is to incorporate us in Him, to give us His life, to make us of His race, and to pour forth His Spirit within us, that is to say a light and a strength whereby we are enabled, and so remain, not only to avoid sin, as St John expressly says, but moreover to judge all things, to discern our way and to follow it, and ascending from light to light, from liberty to liberty, to reach the inward state of him who said: “I live, now not I; but Christ lives in me.”

~ Mgr Charles Gay in Elevations upon the Life and Doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ [quoted in Blessed Dom Columba Marmion, O.S.B., Christ in His Mysteries]

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Devotion to
the Sacred Heart of Jesus

"We the Christians are the true Israel which springs from Christ, for we are carved out of His heart as from a rock." -- St. Justin Martyr (d. 165)

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." -- Matthew 11:29

"There is in the Sacred Heart the symbol and express image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ which moves us to love in return." -- Pope Leo XIII

The heart has always been seen as the "center" or essence a person ("the heart of the matter," "you are my heart," "take it to heart," etc.) and the wellspring of our emotional lives and love ("you break my heart," "my heart sings," etc.) Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is devotion to Jesus Christ Himself, but in the particular ways of meditating on his interior life and on His threefold love -- His divine love, His burning love that fed His human will, and His sensible love that affects His interior life. Pope Pius XII of blessed memory writes on this topic in his 1956 encyclical, Haurietis Aquas (On Devotion To The Sacred Heart).Below are a few excerpts which help explain the devotion:
54. ...the Heart of the Incarnate Word is deservedly and rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that threefold love with which the divine Redeemer unceasingly loves His eternal Father and all mankind.

55. It is a symbol of that divine love which He shares with the Father and the Holy Spirit but which He, the Word made flesh, alone manifests through a weak and perishable body, since "in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily."

56. It is, besides, the symbol of that burning love which, infused into His soul, enriches the human will of Christ and enlightens and governs its acts by the most perfect knowledge derived both from the beatific vision and that which is directly infused.

57. And finally -- and this in a more natural and direct way -- it is the symbol also of sensible love, since the body of Jesus Christ, formed by the Holy Spirit, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, possesses full powers of feelings and perception, in fact, more so than any other human body.

58. Since, therefore, Sacred Scripture and the official teaching of the Catholic faith instruct us that all things find their complete harmony and order in the most holy soul of Jesus Christ, and that He has manifestly directed His threefold love for the securing of our redemption, it unquestionably follows that we can contemplate and honor the Heart of the divine Redeemer as a symbolic image of His love and a witness of our redemption and, at the same time, as a sort of mystical ladder by which we mount to the embrace of "God our Savior."

59. Hence His words, actions, commands, miracles, and especially those works which manifest more clearly His love for us -- such as the divine institution of the Eucharist, His most bitter sufferings and death, the loving gift of His holy Mother to us, the founding of the Church for us, and finally, the sending of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and upon us -- all these, We say, ought to be looked upon as proofs of His threefold love.

60. Likewise we ought to meditate most lovingly on the beating of His Sacred Heart by which He seemed, as it were, to measure the time of His sojourn on earth until that final moment when, as the Evangelists testify, "crying out with a loud voice 'It is finished.', and bowing His Head, He yielded up the ghost."Then it was that His heart ceased to beat and His sensible love was interrupted until the time when, triumphing over death, He rose from the tomb.

61. But after His glorified body had been re-united to the soul of the divine Redeemer, conqueror of death, His most Sacred Heart never ceased, and never will cease, to beat with calm and imperturbable pulsations. Likewise, it will never cease to symbolize the threefold love with which He is bound to His heavenly Father and the entire human race, of which He has every claim to be the mystical Head.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart has two elements: consecration and reparation:
  • We consecrate ourselves to the Sacred Heart by acknowledging Him as Creator and Redeemer and as having full rights over us as King of Kings, by repenting, and by resolving to serve Him. 
  • We make reparations for the indifference and ingratitude with which He is treated and for leaving Him abandoned by humanity.
To carry out these general goals of consecration and reparation, there are quite specific devotions authorized by the Church.


This is one of my favorite hymns dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus:

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Heart Like Unto Thine

O dearest Jesus, Whose Most Amiable Heart excludes not even the greatest sinners if they turn to Thee, grant, we beseech Thee, to me and all penitent sinners a heart like unto Thine;

That is -

  • A humble heart that even in the midst of temporal honors loves a hidden life, a life little esteemed by men;

  • A meek heart that bears with all and seeks to be revenged on no one;

  • A patient heart that is resigned in adversity and happy even in the midst of most trying circumstances;

  • A peaceful heart that is ever at peace with others and with itself;

  • A disinterested heart that is always content with what it has;

  • A heart that loves prayer and prays often and cheerfully;

  • A heart that only desires that God be known, honored and loved by all His creatures;

  • That grieves for nothing except when God is offended,

  • Despises nothing but sin,

  • Wishes for nothing but the Glory of God and its neighbor's salvation;

  • A pure heart that in all things seeks God alone and desires to please Him;

  • A grateful heart that does not forget but duly values the benefits of God;

  • A strong heart that is daunted by no evil but bears all adversity for the love of God;

  • A heart liberal to the poor and compassionate to the suffering souls in Purgatory;

  • A well-ordered heart, whose joys and sorrows, desires and aversions, nay, whose every motion is regulated according to the Will of God.

~ Prayer of St Clement Mary Hofbauer, C.S.S.R

Monday, June 9, 2014

Love, Together with Unspeakable Sweetness



(John 14.23-31) for Pentecost Sunday

by Pope Saint Gregory the Great

"This is the day on which the Holy Ghost descended upon the apostles, and changing the hearts of those carnally minded men, led them to the love of Himself. While the tongues of fire appeared externally, the hearts of the disciples were enkindled within, and as they beheld God under the appearance of fire, they became aflame with love together with unspeakable sweetness of soul. For the Holy Ghost is love, and therefore St John says: ‘God is Charity.’ Now love is proved by action. St John says again: ‘Whosoever says: I love God, and does not keep his commandments, is a liar.’ 

Our love for God is genuine if we resist the attractions of pleasure in order to obey Him, and anyone who goes on devoting himself to pleasure does not truly love God, since he acts contrary to His will.

Do not think, then, that you love Him unless you prove it by good works. Let your speech, your mind, your whole life be consecrated to the quest for God's love, for in that love inertia has no place" (Homily at Matins).

[from the St Andrew’s Daily Missal (1937)]

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Heart of the Matter

Whoever loves a friend, consoles himself, in some sort, for his absence, by the sight of his portrait; he carries it with him, kisses it tenderly, and often looks at it. This is what the devout Lanspergius advises us to do with regard to pictures of the Heart of Jesus. "Have by you,'' says he, "to keep alive your devotion, some picture of this adorable Heart; place it in a position in which you may see it frequently, that the sight of it may enkindle in you the fire of divine love; kiss the picture with the same devotion, with which you would kiss the Heart of Jesus Christ; enter in spirit within this divine Heart; impress your own heart upon it; bury your whole soul within it; pray that it may be absorbed in it; strive to draw into your own heart the spirit which animates that of Jesus, His graces, His virtues, in a word, all the saving power of this sacred Heart; for the Heart of Jesus is an overflowing fountain of every good."

To say no more; if this were not a salutary practice, would the Church teach her children, as she does, to pay honour to holy images? St Teresa remarks, in her life, with that admirable simplicity which is so characteristic of her; "Having but little talent for representing objects to myself, I was extremely fond of pictures. Oh! how much those are to be pitied who lose, through their own fault, the help they might derive from them. It is evident that they have no love for our Lord; for they would be glad if they really loved Him, to see His picture; just as persons in the world are glad to look on the portraits of those whom they love."

But nothing is better calculated to excite us to this veneration for pictures of the Heart of Jesus, than the pleasure, which we know it gives Him, to see them honoured. Hear what Mary Margaret says on this subject. "One day, on the Feast of St John the Evangelist, after Holy Communion, the Heart of Jesus was represented to me as on a throne, formed of fire and flames, shedding rays on every side, and brighter than the sun. The wound, which He received upon the Cross, was clearly visible; a crown of thorns encircled this sacred Heart; and it was surmounted by a cross. Our divine Saviour gave me to understand, that those instruments of the Passion signified, that the source of all His sufferings had been the boundless love of His Heart for men; that all those torments and insults had been placed before Him, from the first moment of His incarnation; and that the Cross was, so to say, planted in His Heart, from that moment; that, from that same moment, He accepted all the sorrows and humiliations, which His sacred humanity was to suffer during the course of His mortal life, together with all the outrages to which He was to expose Himself to the end of time, for the love of mankind, by dwelling amongst them in the Blessed Sacrament. My Saviour," she adds, "assured me, that He took a singular pleasure in seeing the interior sentiments of His Heart honoured under the figure of this heart of flesh, in the manner in which it had been represented to me, environed with flames, crowned with thorns, and surmounted by a cross; and that He wished that this representation should be publicly exposed; in order, He added, to touch the insensible hearts of men. He promised me, at the same time, that He would shed in abundance the treasures of graces, with which His Heart is filled, upon the hearts of those who honoured Him; and that, wherever this image should be exposed for particular veneration, it should draw down upon the spot every kind of blessing."

It is said, that the inhabitants of Antioch arrested a violent earthquake, by writing the following words over the doors of their houses: Christus nobiscum: state. Hold: Christ is with us! Let us bear upon our heart the image of the Heart of Jesus; and, in all our temptations, we may boldly defy the enemy of our salvation, and say to him; Hold: the Heart of Jesus is with me.

Practice. - Bear about you a medal or picture of the Heart of Jesus, and place one in your oratory; do your best to have a chapel dedicated to this amiable Heart, in the parish, or country church, where you reside.

Invocation. - Let us go with confidence to this throne of grace, the Heart of Jesus, that we may experience the effects of His mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid. Adeamus ergo cum fiducia ad thronum gratice, ut misericordiam consequamur, et gratiam inveniamus in auxilio opportuno. (Heb. iv. 16.)

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us. O Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

Translated from the French by the Rev. George Tickell, S.J. (1858)