- Two special prayers to the Immaculate Heart (the praying hands at the very last)
- The Miracle That's Getting Venerable Fulton J. Sheen Beatified (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 (Luke2:51),” 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 MaryImmaculate 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 14th 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.
Immaculate Heart (from Latin immaculatus; “without stain” + from Latin cord-, cor “heart”)
- 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
All About the Immaculate Heart of Mary
This is from the Catholic Encyclopedia on the Immaculate Heart of Mary
All Things Connected with the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary – Compiled under the direction of Father Johann Roten, S.M. This index of
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 shows below:
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
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.
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)
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
The Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - July 7th, 2019
The First Reading- Isaiah 66:10-14C
Thus says the LORD: Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her, all you who love her; exult, exult with her, all you who were mourning over her! Oh, that you may suck fully of the milk of her comfort, that you may nurse with delight at her abundant breasts! For thus says the LORD: Lo, I will spread prosperity over Jerusalem like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing torrent. As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms, and fondled in her lap; as a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort. When you see this, your heart shall rejoice and your bodies flourish like the grass; the LORD's power shall be known to his servants.
The Lord is all goodness, and wants to pour out His goodness on us. Those who believe will find peace and mercy, protection and nourishment in the bosom of the Church, the Mother Zion we celebrate in this week’s beautiful First Reading.
Adults - How does this Old Testament reading point to the Church? If you’re stumped, try checking the footnotes of your Bible!
Teens - How does the Church bring goodness and love into the world today?
Kids - Who do you know that does a great job of showing other people the love of Jesus?
Responsorial- Psalm 66: 1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God, "How tremendous are your deeds!"
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
"Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,
sing praise to your name!"
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
He has changed the sea into dry land;
through the river they passed on foot;
therefore let us rejoice in him.
He rules by his might forever.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
Blessed be God who refused me not
my prayer or his kindness!
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
-In this week’s Psalm we sing of God’s “tremendous deeds among men” throughout salvation history. But of all the works of God, none has been greater than what He has wrought by the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Read or sing a Psalm of praise this week.
The Second Reading- Galatians 6: 14-18
Brothers and sisters: May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither does circumcision mean anything, nor does uncircumcision, but only a new creation. Peace and mercy be to all who follow this rule and to the Israel of God. From now on, let no one make troubles for me; for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.
The Old Testament and the miracles in it, all point to Christ. Even changing the sea into dry land was but an anticipation and preparation for our passing over, for what Paul calls the “new creation.”
Is there something you can fast from this week, and offer it up in prayer? Did you know that Catholics are still instructed to make every Friday a day of fasting or penance in some way?
The Holy Gospel according to Luke 10:1-12, 17-20
At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this household.' If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, 'The kingdom of God is at hand for you.' Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you, go out into the streets and say, 'The dust of your town that clings to our feet, even that we shake off against you.' Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand. I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town." The seventy-two returned rejoicing, and said, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name." Jesus said, "I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky. Behold, I have given you the power to 'tread upon serpents' and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven."
Jesus has a vision in this week’s Gospel—Satan falling like lightning from the sky, the enemy vanquished by the missionary preaching of His Church. Sent out by Jesus to begin gathering the nations into the harvest of divine judgment (see Isaiah 27:12–13; Joel 4:13), the 70 are a sign of the continuing mission of the Church. Carrying out the work of the 70, the Church proclaims the coming of God’s kingdom, offers His blessings of peace and mercy to every household on earth—“every town and place He intended to visit.” And as the exodus generation was protected in a wilderness of serpents and scorpions (see Deuteronomy 8:15), He has given His Church power now over “the full force of the Enemy.” Nothing will harm us as we make our way through the wilderness of this world, awaiting the Master of the harvest, awaiting the day when all on earth will shout joyfully to the Lord, sing praise to the glory of His name.
Adults - Meditate on what it means to be a missionary disciple for you, in your life. Where is your mission field? Your home? Your workplace? Among those you see on your way to work every day? The person you encounter at a restaurant?
Teens - Do you watch for opportunities to share your faith? Do you know how to share when the time comes?
Kids - Do you have a friend that encourages you to love Jesus more? Do you encourage your friends in their faith?
Apostolate calls for generous self-surrender which leads to detachment: therefore, Peter, following our Lord's commandment, when the beggar at the Beautiful Gate asked him for alms (Acts 3:2-3), said, "I have no silver or gold" (ibid. 3:6), "not so as to glory in his poverty", St Ambrose points out, "but to obey the Lord's command: it is as if he were saying, 'You see in me a disciple of Christ, and you ask me for gold? He gave us something much more valuable than gold, the power to act in his name. I do not have what Christ did not give me, but I do have what he did give me: In the name of Jesus Christ, arise and walk' (cf. Acts 3:6)." (Expositio Evangelii sec. Lucam, in loc.). Apostolate, therefore, demands detachment from material things and it also requires us to be always available, for there is an urgency about apostolic work.