Thursday, 8 June 2017

From Pentecost to the Feast of the Sacred Heart

The Feast of the Sacred Heart -  the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, falls 19 days after Pentecost, on a Friday. This year (2017) it falls on the 23rd June.  This date was chosen as it was  given to St Margaret Mary  by Jesus on June 16, 1675. In the vision, Christ asked St. Margaret Mary to request that a Feast of the Sacred Heart be celebrated on the Friday after the Feast of Corpus Christi (18th June).  Looking at the state of the world at the moment, now is a good time to make reparation for the wickedness of humanity in the face of God's great love.

Having taken a break from blogging, this year I will renew my devotion to the Sacred Heart by reflecting on the relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Sacred Heart in the weeks leading to the Feast. At Pentecost we are reminded of the Sacred Heart by the colour of the vestments worn by the priest: red, the colour of fire and blood as well as of the fire of the Holy Spirit.  In the icon the fire of love and of the Holy Spirit is very prominent, as is the water of the Holy Spirit which flowed from his wounded heart. So as we journey to the Feast of the Sacred Heart I will use the icon to reflect and explore the relationship between the 3 feasts: Pentecost, Corpus Christie and The Sacred Heart.

This pentecost the need for the Holy Spirit is sadly obvious in the world today.  The words read by Cardinal Dolan (although little heeded) at the inauguration of President Trump Dolan from the Book of Wisdom  seems so relevant to the state of the world :

"God of our ancestors and Lord of mercy, you have made all things. And in your providence have charged us to rule the creatures produced by you, to govern the world in holiness and righteousness, and to render judgment with integrity of heart. Give us wisdom, for we are your servants, weak and short-lived, lacking in comprehension of judgment and of laws. Indeed, though one might be perfect among mortals, if wisdom which comes from you be lacking, we count for nothing. Now with you is wisdom, who knows your will and was there when you made the world, who understands what is pleasing in your eyes, what is conformable with your commands, send her forth from your holy heavens. From your glorious throne, dispatch her that she may be with us and work with us, that we may grasp what is pleasing to you. For she knows and understands all things and will guide us prudently in our affairs and safeguard us by her glory." ( Wisdom: 9: 1-11) 

The world is always in grave peril when those with power fail to act wisely.   And to do that, requires a humble heart.  It is from the Heart of Jesus,  - the 'never ending source of all virtues' and in which are found ' all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge' that we are called to learn humility.  For Jesus shows us what humility of heart looks like. In his TED talk, Pope Francis wisely said this:

“The more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly. If you don’t, your power will ruin you and ruin the other.”

 “Power is like drinking gin on an empty stomach. You feel dizzy, you get drunk, you lose your balance, and you will end up hurting yourself and those around you if you don’t connect your power with humility and tenderness.”

Pentecost  is a time for us all to learn anew how  to practice the great virtue of humility.  We take as our guide one whose heart was formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin mother'.  We pray that all those with power will learn to be meek and humble of heart. 

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