- What are you going to do? (A bit of humor… [the smiling cat])
- Servants of God: Meet the Two Possible Saints on the USCCB Agenda (Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Helpful Hints for Life)
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
The Sacred Heart of Jesus
“I also have a heart as well as you.” Job 12:3
We recently celebrated the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Here are some of its origins and rich blessings:
"And He showed me that it was His great desire of being loved by men and of withdrawing them from the path of ruin into which Satan hurls such crowds of them, that made Him form the design of manifesting His Heart to men, with all the treasures of love, of mercy, of grace, of sanctification and salvation which it contains, in order that those who desire to render Him and procure for Him all the honor and love possible, might themselves be abundantly enriched with those divine treasures of which this Heart is the source.”
These words were spoken by Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque on December 27, 1673, as He appeared to her to make known in a clearer way His immense love of humanity and his desire to save them. Jesus made known to her and through her to all of humanity His Sacred Heart. Her own religious superior and fellow nuns were skeptical, but through a cure of a bad illness she had many came to believe. When her revelations were submitted to theologians for analysis, they were dismissed as delusions. Jesus sent Blessed Claude de la Colombiere, a holy and experienced Jesuit Priest, as a confessor to the nuns. Seeing the work of the Lord in St. Margaret Mary he studied, submitted, and distributed the revelations given by Jesus. As Devotion to the Sacred Heart spread, Pope Clement XIII officially recognized it and approved the Devotion in 1765.
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque further wrote:
“He should be honored under the figure of this Heart of flesh, and its image should be exposed...He promised me that wherever this image should be exposed with a view to showing it special honor, He would pour forth His blessings and graces. This devotion was the last effort of His love that He would grant to men in these latter ages, in order to withdraw them from the empire of Satan which He desired to destroy, and thus to introduce them into the sweet liberty of the rule of His love, which He wished to restore in the hearts of all those who should embrace this devotion."..... "The devotion is so pleasing to Him that He can refuse nothing to those who practice it."
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. This coming Sunday is the 11th Sunday of Ordinary Time. > Readings
P.S.S. Sunday Readings with reflections and questions can be found at end of e-weekly.
1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will give peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.
5. I will abundantly bless all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
9. I will bless those places wherein the image of
My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.
10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall
have their names eternally written in my Heart.
12. In the excess of the mercy of my Heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.
“Jesus knew and loved us each and all during his life, his agony and his Passion, and gave himself up for each one of us: "The Son of God. . . loved me and gave himself for me." He has loved us all with a human heart. For this reason, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation, "is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that. . . love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings" without exception.” Catechism of the Catholic Church #478
The U.S. bishops’ conference has set up a website to help prepare, live, heal, and bring your Marriage to heaven. Full of resources, tools, and encouraging stories. Is this what God wants to be of help to you?
Servants of God: Meet the Two Potential Saints on the USCCB Agenda
Jun 9, 2021
At their virtual meeting next week, the U.S. bishops will vote on the causes for canonization of two Servants of God, both military personnel who risked their own safety to protect the lives of others.
Father Joseph Lafleur and Leonard LaRue - later known as Brother Marinus - have been honored by both civil and religious authorities for their acts of self-sacrifice during wartime. Lafleur sacrificed his life to help other prisoners of war evacuate a sinking ship during World War II. LaRue volunteered his cargo ship to conduct one of the largest single refugee evacuations in history during the Korean War.
The lives of the two men will be discussed at the June 16-18 meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Father Joseph Verbis Lafleur was born in Ville Platte, Louisiana on Jan. 24, 1912. He was ordained a priest in 1938 and became a military chaplain a few years later.
Stationed at Clark Field in the Philippines during a Dec. 8, 1941 attack, Lafleur helped rescue those who were wounded and assist the dying. He later became a Japanese prisoner of war (POW) for more than two years. He was known for ministering to those imprisoned with him, both spiritually and materially. He would often give his own food or medicine to those in need.
Lafleur was killed on Sept. 7, 1944 while aboard a Japanese POW vessel that was torpedoed by a U.S. submarine. According to survivors, he was seen helping other prisoners on board evacuate the sinking ship, forgoing his own opportunity to escape.
He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross. During the award ceremony, U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham praised Lafleur as “the epitome of a good American and a godly man.”
Lafleur’s cause for canonization was opened by Bishop Douglas Deshotel of Lafayette on Sept. 5, 2020.
In his 2017 address at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, Archbishop for the Military Services Timothy Broglio recalled Lafluer as “a man for others right to the end.”
“He drew on his virtue to care for, protect, and fortify the men imprisoned with him,” Broglio said. “Many survived because he was a man of virtue who gave unstintingly of himself. To speak of the greatness of our Country is to speak of men and women of virtue who gave of themselves for the benefit of all. We build for a new tomorrow when we draw from that wellspring of virtue.”
Brother Marinus (Leonard) LaRue
Leonard LaRue was born Jan. 14, 1914 in Philadelphia. He became a U.S. Merchant Marine Captain on the S.S. Meredith Victory, a small freighter bringing supplies to American soldiers in Korea during the Korean War.
While delivering supplies to the port of Hungnam in December 1950, LaRue discovered tens of thousands of frightened Korean refugees packing the city’s docks, seeking to flee the invading Communist troops.
Moved with pity by the sight, LaRue welcomed 14,000 refugees into the cargo holds of the small ship, which was designed to hold only about 60 people. He transported them all safely through enemy waters to a South Korean island, where they arrived on Christmas Day after a nearly 500-mile voyage.
The crew of the S.S. Meredith Victory were given awards by both the South Korean and U.S. governments for the rescue.
In 1954, LaRue entered a Benedictine monastery in Newton, N.J., taking the name Brother Marinus. He lived there until his death in 2001.
LaRue’s cause for canonization was opened by Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, N.J. on March 25, 2019.
By RUSSELL CONTRERAS
This undated photo provided by the Palace of the Governors shows Sister Blandina Segale, who co-founded the first hospitals and schools in New Mexico and reportedly challenged Billy the Kid. The Archdiocese of Santa Fe is exploring sainthood for the Italian-born nun for her work with the poor, immigrants and Hispanics and Native Americans during the frontier days. (AP Photo/Palace of the Governors)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Archdiocese of Santa Fe announced Wednesday it is exploring sainthood for an Italian-born nun who challenged Billy the Kid, calmed angry mobs and helped open New Mexico territory hospitals and schools.
Archbishop Michael Sheehan said he has received permission from the Vatican to open the "Sainthood Cause" for Sister Blandina Segale, an educator and social worker who worked in Ohio, Colorado and New Mexico.
It's the first time in New Mexico's 400-year history with the Roman Catholic Church that a decree opening the cause of beatification and canonization has been declared, church officials said.
"There are other holy people who have worked here," said Allen Sanchez, president and CEO for CHI St. Joseph's Children in Albuquerque, a social service agency Segale founded. "But this would be a saint (who) started institutions in New Mexico that are still in operation."
Segale, a nun with the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, came to Trinidad, Colorado, in 1877 to teach poor children and was later transferred to Santa Fe, where she co-founded public and Catholic schools. During her time in New Mexico, she worked with the poor, the sick and immigrants. She also advocated on behalf of Hispanics and Native Americans who were losing their land to swindlers.
Her encounters with Old West outlaws later became the stuff of legend and were the subject of an episode of the CBS series "Death Valley Days." The episode, called "The Fastest Nun in the West," focused on her efforts to save a man from a lynch mob.
But her encounters with Billy the Kid remain among her most popular and well-known Western frontier adventures.
According to one story, she received a tip that The Kid was coming to her town to scalp the four doctors who had refused to treat his friend's gunshot wound. Segale nursed the friend to health, and when Billy came to Trinidad, Colorado, to thank her, she asked him to abandon his violent plan. He agreed.
Another story says The Kid and his gang attempted to rob a covered wagon traveling on the frontier. But when the famous outlaw looked inside, he saw Segale.
"He just tipped his hat," said Sheehan, the archbishop. "And left."
Many of the tales she wrote in letters to her sister later became the book, "At the End of the Santa Fe Trail."
"She was just amazing," said Victoria Marie Forde of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. "It's tough to live up to her example."
Segale found St. Joseph's Hospital in Albuquerque before returning to Cincinnati in 1897 to start Santa Maria Institute, which served recent immigrants.
Her work resonates today, with poverty, immigration and child care still high-profile issues, Sanchez said.
Officials say it could take years — possibly a century — before Segale becomes a saint. The Vatican has to investigate her work and monitor for any related "miracles."
Those miracles could come in the form of healings, assistance to recent Central American immigrant children detained at the U.S. border or some other unexplained occurrences after devotees pray to her, Sanchez said.
"She's going to have to keep working," Sanchez said. "She's not done."
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said God is like a gentle father who holds us by the hand and we need to become like a small child to have a dialogue with Him. This was the focus of his homily during the Mass he celebrated on Friday in the Santa Marta residence.
June 27th is the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Pope’s homily was a reflection on the nature of the love between God and his people. He described this feast as a celebration of God’s love in Jesus Christ.
“There are two aspects to this love. First, love is more about giving than receiving. Second, love is more about actions than words. When we say it’s more about giving than receiving, that’s because love communicates, it always communicates. And it’s received by the one who is loved. And when we say that it’s more about actions than words, that’s because love always generates life and makes us grow.”
Pope Francis said that in order to understand God’s love we need to become small like a child and what God seeks from us is a relationship like that between a father and child. God gives us a caress and tells us: I’m by your side.
“This is the tenderness of our Lord and of His love; this is what He tells us and this gives us the strength to be tender. But if we feel we’re strong, we’ll never experience those caresses from the Lord, those caresses from Him that are so wonderful. ‘Don’t be afraid, for I am with you and I’ll hold your hand’… These are all words spoken by the Lord that help us to understand that mysterious love He has for us. And when Jesus speaks about Himself, he says: ‘ I am meek and humble of heart.’ Even He, the Son of God, lowers himself to receive his Father’s love.”
Pope Francis concluded by homily by noting that God is always there in front of us, waiting for us and urges God to give us the grace to enter into the mysterious world of his love.
“When we arrive, He’s there. When we look for Him, He has already been looking for us. He is always in front of us, waiting to receive us in His heart, in His love. And these two things can help us to understand the mystery of God’s love for us. In order to communicate this, He needs us to be like small children, to lower ourselves. And at the same time, He needs our astonishment when we look for Him and find Him there, waiting for us."
" The priests, prudent cooperators of the episcopal college and its support and instrument, called to the service of the People of God, constitute, together with their bishop, a unique sacerdotal college (presbyterium) dedicated, it is, true to a variety of distinct duties. In each local assembly of the faithful they represent, in a certain sense, the bishop, with whom they are associated in all trust and generosity; in part they take upon themselves his duties and solicitude and in their daily toils discharge them." priests can exercise their ministry only in dependence on the bishop and in communion with him. The promise of obedience they make to the bishop at the moment of ordination and the kiss of peace from him at the end of the ordination liturgy mean that the bishop considers them his co-workers, his sons, his brothers and his friends, and that they in return owe him love and obedience.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church #1576
What are you going to do?
I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.
I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.
Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?
The sole purpose of a child's middle name, is so he can tell when he's really in trouble.
There was a very gracious lady who was mailing an old family Bible to her brother in another part of the country. "Is there anything breakable in here?" asked the postal clerk. "Only the Ten Commandments." answered the lady.
"Somebody has said there are only two kinds of people in the world.
There are those who wake up in the morning and say, "Good morning, Lord," and there are those who wake up in the morning and say, "Good Lord, it's morning."
A minister parked his car in a no-parking zone in a large city because he was short of time and couldn't find a space with a meter. Then he put a note under the windshield wiper that read: "I have circled the block 10 times. If I don't park here, I'll miss my appointment. Forgive us our trespasses." When he returned, he found a citation from a police officer along with this note "I've circled this block for 10 years. If I don't give you a ticket I'll lose my job. Lead us not into temptation."
While driving in Pennsylvania , a family caught up to an Amish carriage. The owner of the carriage obviously had a sense of humor, because attached to the back of the carriage was a hand printed sign...
"Energy efficient vehicle: Runs on oats and grass. Caution: Do not step in exhaust."
by St. Catherine of Siena
I beseech You, direct the hearts and wills of the servants of Your Bride, the Holy Church, unto Yourself so that they may follow the poor, bleeding, humble, and gentle Lamb of God on the way of the Cross. Make them angels in the shape of men; for after all, they have to administer and distribute the Body and Blood of Your Only Begotten Son! Amen.
“Only validly ordained priests can preside at the Eucharist and consecrate the bread and the wine so that they become the Body and Blood of the Lord.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church #1411
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
11th Sunday of Ordinary Time – Sunday, June 13th, 2021
The First Reading- Ezekiel 17: 22-24
Thus says the Lord GOD: I, too, will take from the crest of the cedar, from its topmost branches tear off a tender shoot, and plant it on a high and lofty mountain; on the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it. It shall put forth branches and bear fruit, and become a majestic cedar. Birds of every kind shall dwell beneath it, every winged thing in the shade of its boughs. And all the trees of the field shall know that I, the LORD, bring low the high tree, lift high the lowly tree, wither up the green tree, and make the withered tree bloom. As I, the LORD, have spoken, so will I do.
In the first reading, the Prophet Ezekiel speaks for God saying that God will take a tree—a cedar, which is highly valued wood—and from it make a little shoot that will be placed high up on a mountain where it will flourish. High mountains symbolize closeness to God. God will plant his people (us)—who are highly valued by him—close to him, and when they respond by living in deliberate closeness to God, they will flourish and become a refuge for living things. We are called to do the same.
Adults -How has the Lord protected you this week?
Teen - Do you understand yourself to be a valued like the cedar in the first reading? How has God planted you where you can flourish and become a refuge for others?
Kids - Sit quietly and watch a tree. What animals come and go? How does the tree help them? Does it give them food? Shelter? A place to hide from danger? How is the tree similar to the way God takes care of us?
Responsorial- Psalm 92: 2-3, 13-14, 15-16
R. Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.
It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
to sing praise to your name, Most High,
To proclaim your kindness at dawn
and your faithfulness throughout the night.
R. Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.
The just one shall flourish like the palm tree,
like a cedar of Lebanon shall he grow.
They that are planted in the house of the LORD
shall flourish in the courts of our God.
R. Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.
They shall bear fruit even in old age;
vigorous and sturdy shall they be,
Declaring how just is the LORD,
my rock, in whom there is no wrong.
R. Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.
-Look at what parts of your life our currently flourishing and give thanks to God.
The Second Reading- 2 Corinthians 5: 6-10
Brothers and sisters: We are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord. Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are at home or away. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.
Paul reminds us that we must walk by faith and not by sight. To the eye the Eucharist appears to be bread and wine. It is our faith that tells us that we are looking at the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord.
Take special care at Mass and Adoration to remember that you are standing on holy ground, eye to eye with the Creator of the universe.
The Holy Gospel according to Mark 4: 26-34
Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and through it all the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.” He said, “To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.
In the Gospel Jesus tells his disciples about the Kingdom of God. First he talks about a farmer scattering seed and the yield that is produced by the grace of God. This is how we should be—planting seeds of faith, love and charity, and letting God’s Holy Spirit do the growing. The second parable is the familiar mustard seed story. It was the smallest known seed at the time, but grows into a huge plant. It, like the cedar in the first reading, gives refuge to nature, supplies seasoning and even medicine to those who harvest it. This is a reminder to us that even our smallest efforts at sharing the Gospel are multiplied by God. All the good that we do God takes, perfects, and makes more fruitful than we could ever have imagined.
Adults -Do you plant seeds for God? If so, how and where? How do you see God multiplying your efforts?
Teens - How does the mustard seed relate to the growth of the Church throughout history?
Kids - Even though you are small, you can do God’s work! How can you spread God’s love?
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! – “The tiny mustard seed has grown into a tree but it has yet to gather many more under the shelter of its branches. Christ asks every one of his followers to help him to bring all men into the safety of his kingdom on earth, so that they may be enabled to enjoy happiness forever in his heavenly kingdom. Realizing all that God and his divine Son have done for us, would we be so mean and ungrateful as to refuse to lend a helping hand? God forbid! God has already put us on the right road to heaven; we will help him to get in the stragglers, the lazy, the "couldn't-care-less" ones on that same road, by every means available to us.” -Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.