This entry was written by Sr. Mary Dolora Keating, R.S.M., Delegate for Consecrated Life, Archdiocese of Washington.
Sacred Heart of Jesus
Blessed Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus!
I would like to present 3 points for your reflection as we participate in the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, Ireland: 1) the Theme of the Eucharistic Congress for this Solemnity; 2) Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus; and 3) Devotion to the Most Holy Eucharist.
Today is the 5th Day of the Eucharist Congress in Dublin, Ireland which, as you know, has the theme of, “Communion in Suffering and in Healing.” The daily congress theme informs both the presentation/workshops and Liturgies of each day.
In his words of Welcome at the Opening Mass, His Excellency Most Reverend Diarmud Martin, Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland said that “. . . the Church in Ireland is suffering” and that each member may, in this time of prayer at the Congress, turn to the Lord who will renew, heal, and strengthen them in their faith. He reminded us that the graces flowing from this Sacrament would offer the members of the Catholic Church in Ireland the love, peace, hope and courage to accept their own share in suffering at this time.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me,
And let the one who believes in Me drink.” John 7:37
The mystery of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is both gift and choice. This gift given by Jesus Christ requires an assent of faith both to come to the Sacred Heart and then to drink of the Precious Blood pouring forth from His Pierced Heart on the cross. Will we allow Christ and His Love to be the primary Mover in our heart? Will we allow Him to reveal all that hinders this intimate exchange and then do all we can to protect, preserve and nourish this life of grace within us? May all else be secondary to receiving Christ’s Love from this wondrous Fount of our Salvation!
Pope Pius XII wrote in the Encyclical, Haurietis Aquas, On Devotion to the Sacred Heart, of 1956 the following:
“. . .it is beyond question that this devotion is an act of religion of high order; it demands of us a complete and unreserved determination to devote and consecrated ourselves to the love of the divine Redeemer, Whose wounded Heart is its living token and symbol” [P. 6].
It is a great gift that this Solemnity occurs during the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, Ireland. Through the fervent participation in this marvelous devotion, may many graces be bestowed upon the Church of Ireland. At His General Audience on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, asked all members of the Church to pray for the success of the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin as he said,
“I invite you to remain spiritually united to Christians in Ireland and the world, praying for the work of the congress, that the Eucharist may always be the pulsating heart of all church life.”
Devotion to the Most Holy Eucharist
Because the Congress Theme of this day is “Communion in Suffering and in Healing,” I will address briefly how the Blessed Sacrament is a great remedy for our hearts most in need of healing.
We often say to one another, “I will pray for you.” This is most fitting for us to pray both for the living and deceased. We also ask the saints’ intercession for particular needs. It is noteworthy, however, to recall that the Blessed Sacrament is the actual Presence of God without any intermediary. He alone can heal our every infirmity of mind, soul or spirit.
St. Thomas Aquinas teaches in Summa Theologiae, III, q. 73, art. 1, that, as in the body, it is necessary that our physical life be maintained through nourishment, so too, in the spirit, our life as adopted children of God must be nourished by the Holy Eucharist. As vegetative life needs nourishment both to be preserved and grow, so too does our spiritual life need food to sustain the life given us in Baptism and called to the perfection of growth through the Sacrament of Confirmation.
I close with the prayer to the Most Blessed Sacrament recited customarily at the North American College in Rome,
“May the Heart of Jesus
In the Most Blessed Sacrament
Be Praised, Adored, and Loved
With Grateful Affection
At every moment
In all the Tabernacles of the world
Now, and until the end of time.
We thank sister for the photos as well!