- Two special prayers to the Immaculate Heart (the praying hands at the very last)
- Pope Francis: The Humble Service of a Deacon Tells of the Greatness of God (Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- (New Series on COMMUNICATION) Devotion of the First Five Saturdays (Helpful Hints for Life)
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
The Immaculate Heart of Mary
“Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
… and you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
She that, “kept all things, reflecting on them in her heart (Luke 2:51),” is the source of Jesus' Sacred Heart. For if Mary did not first conceive Jesus in her Immaculate Heart, she would have never said yes to the Angel Gabriel and conceived Jesus Christ in her womb.
Mary has a heart that is for all men. She who received our Lord Jesus with unimaginable love in her heart and body, she who raised Him and treasured the moments she shared with Him, she who saw Him go forth from her side into a world that loved and despised Him, she whose heart was pierced when she saw Him so cruelly treated by men and pierced in His own Sacred Heart with a lance as He hung on the Cross, is the same woman and the same Immaculate Heart that loves you and I more than we can ever conceive. And that Heart is the one shelter we most desire to dwell in (whether we recognize it or not) for it there where Jesus and His Sacred Heart dwells!
Let us turn toward and love the Heart of Blessed Mary Immaculate because she was conceived without sin in the womb of her mother, St. Anne; sorrowful because she beheld the death of her beloved Son and beholds your sinfulness and mine, but this is your Heart and mine to dwell in forever because she loves and is completely united to Jesus Christ, and Jesus and Mary are our true comfort and our true strength!
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. This coming Sunday is the 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time. >> Readings
P.S.S. At the end of E-weekly is this week's readings with reflections and questions for self or family.
- the physical Heart of Mary which first received Jesus in faith and love and the heart that holds us being given to her from the Cross
[Just as devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is only a form of devotion to the adorable Person of Jesus, so also is devotion to the Holy Heart of Mary but a special form of devotion to Mary. In order that, properly speaking, there may be devotion to the Heart of Mary, the attention and the homage of the faithful must be directed to the physical heart itself. However, this in itself is not sufficient; the faithful must read therein all that the human heart of Mary suggests, all of which it is the expressive symbol and the living reminder: Mary's interior life, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections, and, above all, her virginal love for her God, her maternal love for her Divine Son, and her motherly and compassionate love for her sinful and struggling children here below. The consideration of Mary's interior life and the beauties of her soul, without any thought of her physical heart, does not constitute our devotion; still less does it consist in the consideration of the Heart of Mary merely as a part of her virginal body. The two elements are essential to the devotion, just as soul and body are necessary to the constitution of man.]
Communication in today’s world is expected to be brief, quick, “close the deal” communication. However, we as human beings need deep, heartfelt communication - the kind that causes us to take risks and let our guard down. This type of communication is difficult. We have all been wounded and have reasons to censor ourselves. But God has created us to be in communion with each other, and therefore in communication with each other.
Devotion of the Five First Saturdays
Given by Our Lady of Fatima and the Infant Jesus to Sister Lucia, a devotion to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin
in reparation for the 5 sins against her Heart.
The Virgin of Fatima speaks to the three children at Famita Portugal in 1918:
"You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace... I shall come to ask for... the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays..."
The devotion involves the following practices on five consecutive first Saturdays of the month, with the specific intention of making reparation for the five gravest offenses of man against the Blessed Virgin.
1. Go to Confession (within 8 days before or 8 days after the first Saturday)
2. Receive the Holy Eucharist
3. Pray five decades of the Rosary
4."Keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on fifteen mysteries of the Rosary."
On December 10, 1925, the Most Holy Virgin appeared to Lucy of Fatima, and by her side, elevated on a luminous cloud, was the Child Jesus. The Most Holy Virgin rested her hand on Lucy's shoulder, and as she did so, she showed her a Heart surrounded with thorns, which she was holding in her other hand. At the same time, the Child Jesus said:
"Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove them."
Then the Most Holy Virgin said:
"Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes, while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me."
“Mary's role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it. "This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ's virginal conception up to his death"; it is made manifest above all at the hour of his Passion:
Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross. There she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, joining herself with his sacrifice in her mother's heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim, born of her: to be given, by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross, as a mother to his disciple, with these words: "Woman, behold your son." -Catechism of the Catholic Church #964
This is from the Catholic Encyclopedia on the Immaculate Heart of Mary
All Things Connected with the Immaculate Heart of Mary
“Deacons remind the Church that what Saint Thérèse discovered is true: the Church has a heart inflamed by love. Yes, a humble heart beating with service,” the pope said June 19.
“The generosity of a deacon, who gives of himself without seeking the front ranks, has about him the perfume of the Gospel. He tells of the greatness of God's humility in taking the first step … to meet even those who have turned their backs on him,” he said.
The pope welcomed deacons from the diocese of Rome to the Vatican’s Hall of Blessings, where he expressed to each of them the importance of their distinct ministry in the life of the Church.
“The decrease in the number of priests has led to a prevailing engagement of deacons to substitute them in tasks which, however important, do not constitute the specific nature of the diaconate. They are substitute tasks,” he said.
Pope Francis cited the dogmatic constitution, Lumen Gentium, which describes the diaconate a ministry in which “hands are imposed not unto the priesthood, but unto a ministry of service.”
He said: “The Council, after speaking of service to the People of God ‘in the diaconate of the liturgy, of the word and of charity”, emphasises that deacons are above all - above all - “dedicated to duties of charity and of administration (Lumen Gentium, 29).’”
“The phrase recalls the early centuries, when deacons looked after the needs of the faithful, especially the poor and the sick, in the name and on behalf of the bishop. We can also draw on the roots of the Church of Rome.”
The pope encouraged the deacons to follow Christ by embracing his “logic” of lowering oneself.
“We are all called to lower ourselves, because Jesus stooped to us, He made himself the servant of all. If there is one great person in the Church, it is the one who made him- or herself the smallest, and servant of all,” Pope Francis said.
“I expect you to be humble. It is sad to see a bishop and a priest showing off, but it is even sadder to see a deacon wanting to put himself at the centre of the world, or at the centre of the liturgy, or at the centre of the Church. Be humble. Let all the good you do be a secret between you and God. And so it will bear fruit,” he said.
Deacons can also serve the community through their witness as good spouses, fathers, and grandfathers.
“This will give hope and consolation to couples who are going through difficult times and who will find in your genuine simplicity an outstretched hand,” he said.
The pope added: “Doing everything with joy, without complaining; this is a testimony that is worth more than many sermons.”
Deacons can act as “sentinels” for their parish, he said, by helping “to help the Christian community to recognize Jesus in the poor and the distant, as He knocks on our doors through them.”
“Whatever the need, see the Lord. So you, too, recognize the Lord when, in so many of his little brothers and sisters, He asks to be fed, to be welcomed and loved. I would like this to be the profile of the deacons of Rome and of the whole world,” Pope Francis said.
The Vatican announced that the Ven. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen will be beatified after the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved a miracle attributed to his intercession.
The Congregation approved the miracle on July 6. Official beatification dates have not yet been announced.
The MiracleCatholic News Agency reported that the miracle involves the “unexplained recovery of James Fulton Engstrom, a boy born apparently stillborn in September 2010 to Bonnie and Travis Engstrom of the Peoria-area town of Goodfield.
“He showed no signs of life as medical professionals tried to revive him. The child’s mother and father prayed to Archbishop Sheen to heal their son.”
Seven medical experts advising the Vatican Congregation unanimously approved the miracle. The archbishop needs one more approved miracle attributed to his intercession for his canonization.
Sheen’s cause for canonization was postponed for many years due to a legal battle over his burial place.
The remains were recently transferred to the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois (where Sheen also received his priestly ordination), allowing the cause to continue.
Archbishop Sheen was especially recognized for his work in radio and television.From 1930-1950, Sheen hosted The Catholic Hour on NBC night-time radio, which after 20 years, had a weekly listenership of four million viewers.
His show, “Life is Worth Living,” aired on DuMont Television Network (1952-55) and ABC (1955-57), reaching millions of viewers.
His show also won two Emmy Awards for “Most Outstanding Television Personality.”
His competitors for the 1952 award were Lucille Ball, Edward R. Murrow, Arthur Godfrey and Jimmy Durante.
Listen to one of Ven. Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s showsbelow:
His Mother Rejected an Abortion – Now, This Priest Helped Her Meet the PopeBy Elise Harrishttp://www.ewtnnewsonline.com/images/Pope_Francis_Figueridos.jpg
Rome, Italy (EWTN News/CNA) - It was during the thalidomide sleeping pill craze that Sarah Figueiredo became pregnant with her fourth and last child, Anthony.
Developed after the Second World War and found not only to help with sleeplessness but also to alleviate morning sickness for expectant mothers, thalidomide was widely prescribed by doctors across the world to their pregnant patients as a safe drug to use.
Sarah, who was raising her young family in Nairobi at the time, was one of the expectant mothers prescribed the drug.
It wasn’t until 1961 that thalidomide was discovered to cause severe birth defects in babies born to mothers using it. Many of the children were born with a condition called “phocomelia,” which results in shortened, absent or flipper-like limbs. It was taken off the market in 1962.
When the doctors found out that Sarah’s unborn son would be among the children with this disability, they advised her to have an abortion. However, Sarah and her husband, both devout Catholics, refused. Sarah believed her son had “a special mission.”
According to her son – now Msgr. Anthony Figueiredo – what his parents told the doctors was that “if God has allowed us to conceive a child, that child will not be wasted. On the contrary, God will have a mission for that child, which they believe very strongly is that I would be a priest.”
Despite his crippled arm, Msgr. Figueiredo was ordained in 1994 and has vast experience in missionary work and a hefty academic background in theology. He currently serves as a spiritual director to hundreds of seminarians studying at Rome’s Pontifical North American College, advises cardinals on their writing and speeches, and works closely with the Pope.
He has also met Mother Theresa and was able to work as a personal assistant to St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI for several years.
The priest largely credits his parents and their faith for encouraging his vocation, telling EWTN News that they “never discouraged me from being a priest.”
“With great sacrifice they sent all of us to Catholic schools and now with old age my mother is the happiest woman in the world, one would say, because she has a son who is a priest.”
Sarah, 84, told EWTN News that she and her husband had prayed that one of their three sons would become a priest, and that she knew this prayer would be answered in Tony, as she calls him, because “I dreamt that one day. I had a dream that one of my sons, the last one,” would be ordained. “I (knew) he had mission.”
While there are “a lot of blessings” in having a son who is a priest, one of the biggest came during a trip Sarah made to Rome to visit her son during the June 1-3 Jubilee for Priests.
Msgr. Figueiredo said he had been walking in the Vatican Gardens one day in April when he got a phone call from the Pope himself.
The Pope said that he knew the priest’s mother would be coming to Rome for the Jubilee of Priests, and wanted to meet her. Since he was busy throughout the three-day event, which concluded with a Mass June 3, Francis told Msgr. Figueiredo that “I would really like her to come to my home prior to that Mass.”
It was Pope Francis himself, then, who “completely organized everything,” and welcomed both the priest and his mother into his residence at the Vatican’s St. Martha Guesthouse the morning of June 3.
“It was very, very beautiful. He was just like an ordinary parish priest the way he made my mother welcome,” Msgr. Figueiredo said, recalling how Francis spoke about the number of children in their families and the biblical roots of some of their names.
One particularly touching moment for Msgr. Figueiredo was when the Pope told him that he recognized the priest’s mother from a photo he had given him.
“I gave him the photo three years ago,” Msgr. Figueiredo said, saying it’s “quite extraordinary that this Pope, who is probably the most photographed man in the world, remembers each person. It’s as if he has them in his heart.”
Pope Francis also administered the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick to Sarah, who has suffered from two strokes in recent years and in 2010 was diagnosed with aggressive, stage 4 breast cancer, but today is cancer-free.
The Pope “took his time, there was no rush, and he was particularly compassionate,” the priest said, noting how when his mother attempted to stand up for the anointing, Francis told her sit down and himself got up.
“I think that’s amazing from a Pope. There’s really no sense of being in authority, he’s really a servant, a servant of the servants of God. We touched that that day in his residence.”
Sarah, who carried the chalice up to the altar during the Mass after their meeting, said to visit the Pope was “a gift from God…I felt very proud that God had chosen me to come to this special occasion.”
After bringing the chalice to the Pope, “he pressed my hand, and he recognized me and he held me tight,” she said, explaining that the experience is something “I will remember all my life and I thank God for that.”
She also thanked her son for helping give her the opportunity to meet the Pope and to receive his blessing. Giving advice to parents who are hoping for a religious vocation among their children, she counselled that “the more you pray the better it is.”
“We need more priests in this world,” she said, noting how she “always prayed” for her son’s vocation. Even at 84, Sarah continues to pray a daily rosary, keeping one under her pillow so that should she wake up during the night, she can pray a decade before going back to sleep.
Msgr. Figueiredo said that to celebrate the Jubilee of Priests alongside his mother “was an enormous sign to me that God is faithful,” especially when someone gives something of their life to him, whether it’s a parent, a child, a type of suffering, or a vocation.
In regards to the “special mission” his mother believed he had, the priest said for him, this mission has entailed showing a special compassion and solidarity with those who suffer.
“I truly believe what St. Paul said: that God’s power is made perfect in weakness,” he said, voicing his belief that priests “who particularly have a cross can show a certain kind of compassion and mercy to those who are suffering.”
While as a priest “I can preach until the cows come home,” people really start paying attention when they see “that you yourself suffer in your flesh…one immediately connects.”
For Msgr. Figueiredo, this is what Christ did on the Cross: “he suffered on the cross for us, and so when I am going through suffering myself I see that he’s gone there before me and has faith, believing that the Father will bring good even from tragedy.”
“That’s really helped me to stay close to the smell of the sheep, as Pope Francis exhorts us as priests and as every Christian,” he said.
" The Sunday celebration of the Lord's Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church's life. "Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church."
"Also to be observed are the day of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension of Christ, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christi, the feast of Mary the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her Assumption, the feast of Saint Joseph, the feast of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, and the feast of All Saints."
Catechism of the Catholic Church #2177
1) Man, I wish this confession line were longer.
2) Is there really anything to do in Rome?
3) It's so nice that we are all on the same page about liturgy and music.
4) Discernment of life and one's vocation is just so easy!
5) I hope we learn a new version of the Gloria at this Sunday Mass.
6) Yesterday, while I was doing some Lectio on the Book of Revelation…
7) Your parents aren’t Catholic? I think a relic would be the perfect gift.
8) I don’t have any worries about the future of our medical system conflicting with my personal beliefs.
9) I’m really confident that I’m using this Breviary correctly.
10) Good thing we got to Mass with so much time to spare.
11) My prayer time is much more fruitful when I pray on my bed… lying down… with my eyes closed.
12) Being young and single really helps me blend in at Daily Mass.
13) Let's study Latin to see what it was like when our grandparents went to Mass.
14) I never people-watch during the communion line.
15) Pope Francis… yeah, I guess he’s okay.
O Most Blessed Mother, heart of love, heart of mercy, ever listening, caring, consoling, hear our prayer. As your children, we implore your intercession with Jesus your Son. Receive with understanding and compassion the petitions we place before you today, especially ...(special intention).
We are comforted in knowing your heart is ever open to those who ask for your prayer. We trust to your gentle care and intercession, those whom we love and who are sick or lonely or hurting. Help all of us, Holy Mother, to bear our burdens in this life until we may share eternal life and peace with God forever.
Amen. (said for 9 days in a row)
SPECIAL PRAYER OF INTERCESSION
TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
O Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Heavenly beauty and splendor of the Father,
You are the most valued Heavenly treasure.
New Eve, immaculate in soul, spirit and body,
Created of the godly seed by the Spirit of God,
You are the spiritual Mother of mankind.
Pure Virgin, full of grace then and now,
Your whole being was raised Heavenly in full glory,
To be elevated above all the hosts within the Kingdom of God.
O Heavenly Mother, Queen of Heaven and earth,
I recognize the glory of your highest title,
The Immaculate Heart of Mary!
Loving Mother, dispenser of endless blessings,
You who continuously intercedes on our behalf,
Please present my need before your loving Son Jesus.(In your own words, make your special request here. Do not just mention a word. Speak to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as you would speak to another person, begging your Heavenly Mother to plea to Jesus on your behalf, that you be granted this special request.)
O Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I know that you are now presenting my need before Jesus,
For you have never turned away those in dire need.
Mother dearest, I await your favorable answer,
Submitting myself to the Divine will of the Lord,
For all glories are His forever and ever.
Catechism of the Catholic Church #534
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
12th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday, June 20, 2021
The First Reading - Job 38:1, 8-11
The Lord addressed Job out of the storm and said: Who shut within doors the sea, when it burst forth from the womb; when I made the clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling bands? When I set limits for it and fastened the bar of its door, and said: Thus far shall you come but no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stilled!
God’s intervention here reflects and emphasizes his role as Creator and sustainer of all things. This reading is a great prelude to our Gospel, reminding us that it is only the Lord that can control nature.
Adults - Do you set aside time in your day to listen for the voice of the Lord? Do you practice intentional silence?
Teens -How can you be more intentional about cultivating silence into your life?
Kids - Spend five minutes each day this week sitting in silence with the Lord.
Responsorial- Psalm 107:23-24, 25.26, 28-29, 30-31
R.Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.
They who sailed the sea in ships,
trading on the deep waters,
These saw the works of the LORD
and his wonders in the abyss.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.
His command raised up a storm wind
which tossed its waves on high.
They mounted up to heaven; they sank to the depths;
their hearts melted away in their plight.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.
They cried to the LORD in their distress;
from their straits he rescued them,
He hushed the storm to a gentle breeze,
and the billows of the sea were stilled.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.
They rejoiced that they were calmed,
and he brought them to their desired haven.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his kindness
and his wondrous deeds to the children of men.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.
Like the first reading, this Psalm alludes to the power of God as Creator. This Psalm read in light of the Gospel today - the Calming of the Storm - makes it clear that it finds its fulfillment in Christ. Consider God’s mighty works throughout Salvation History, and throughout your own life. Give thanks for them!
The Second Reading- 2 Corinthians 5:14-17
Brothers and sisters: The love of Christ impels us, once we have come to the conviction that one died for all;
therefore, all have died. He indeed died for all, so that those who live might no longer live for themselves
but for him who for their sake died and was raised. Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh; even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him so no longer. So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.
Reflection - Saint Paul is describing briefly the effects of Christ’s death; a death which He underwent because of His love for mankind. By its nature, love is mutual; there must be a movement from within and without: that is, of each of the lovers toward each other. The love that Christ has for us works on us interiorly by grace. -Where have you seen, or do you currently see, grace working in your life?
The Holy Gospel according to Mark 4:35-41
On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples: “Let us cross to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”
In today’s Gospel we find Jesus sleeping amidst the storm. The cry of the Apostles suggests that they think Jesus can help them but is indifferent to their needs. God’s people had approached Him this way at times in the Old Testament too (Ex. 14:10-11, Num. 14:3). Jesus awakens and rebukes the storm, with His own power. He does not pray to God to rebuke it - He does it. In the Old Testament the sea was often viewed as a symbol of chaos and the habitation of evil powers. They also knew that only God could calm it, so Jesus calming the sea is an implicit reference to His divinity. Similarly, the word for “rebuked” used here in the Greek is the same word Jesus uses to exorcise demons. Jesus calls them to a higher faith with His question about their faith, we see that the Apostles are in awe of Him, who can perform the acts of God.
Adults - Do you feel like Jesus is sleeping amid the storms of your life? Ask Him, like the Apostles, to make Himself known to you, and to help and guide you.
Teens - Reflect on how God has worked at different times in your life. Cultivating this attitude of awareness and gratitude can help strengthen our faith!
Kids - Repeat this simple prayer each day: Jesus, I Trust in You!
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! – “If we use these storms or trials of life to come closer to Jesus, to throw ourselves on his mercy, they will serve the purpose for which he permits them. Unfortunately, there are Christians who question not only the goodness of God, but his very existence, when some heavy seas break across their life's barque. "How could God, if he be good," they ask, "allow me to suffer like this, I who have been so faithful? Why should he let me bear all this poverty, all these pains, all this dishonesty of my fellowmen, when a small act of his will could remove it all and make me healthy, happy and prosperous?"
What such a Christian forgets is that God's purpose in creating him was not to make him healthy, happy and prosperous in this life, but to give him a share in his own eternal happiness in heaven. If this life were the end and sum-total of man, if all ended with death, then certainly that complaint would have some foundation. However, our human intelligence, and divine revelation, prove to us conclusively that this life is not an end for man but a means with which to attain his real end, perfect happiness.
Therefore, we must not expect to get from life what it cannot give. Instead, we must use what it gives us, the unpleasant as well as the pleasant, the rain as well as the sunshine, the pain as well as the pleasure, as means which will help us to reach our perfect ending, our eternal dwelling-place in heaven. Too often like the disciples that night in the storm, we think that God has forgotten us, that he is not interested in us when storms break around us. In fact, it is then that he is nearest to us. We think he is sleeping and that all is lost, when he is but using this storm to rekindle our faith, and make us realize that we are pilgrims on our way across this earth and not permanent residents here. -Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.