Thursday, 26 June 2014

Approaching the Feast of the Sacred Heart.

For those who endeavour to place the Heart of Jesus at the heart of their lives, the feast of the Sacred Heart is, naturally,  a highpoint in their year. I find the icon helps me to orientate myself to the significance and meaning of the feast day.  First of all, of course, it is 19 days after Pentecost - when the Holy Spirit came as fire upon the apostles.  In the icon we see a great glow of fire streaming from the centre.  At the same time, we also remember that water is also a sign of the Holy Spirit, and in the icon we see 7 streams of water that represent the 7 sacraments of the Church, which was born from the wounded heart of Jesus that poured out blood and water.  But the 7 streams of water also invite us to think about the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom; understanding; counsel; fortitude; knowledge piety ; and the fear of the Lord. This week is special because on Sunday we celebrated the most Holy Body and Blood of Christ - Corpus Christi.  And this, points the way to the great symbol of the Sacred Heart - the Eucharist itself.   But also on the 24th of June we celebrated the birth of John the Baptist - who is depicted in the icon opposite the Blessed Virgin. John, of course, announced the Jesus was the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world. John's words are said at mass when the blood and wine are elevated after the consecration. Then, as we look at the Virgin in the icon we recall that the day after the feast of the Sacred Heart, we celebrate the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

So, as we approach the feast of the Sacred Heart, we ask Mary to pray for us so that, like her, we may open our poor hearts to the merciful love of God.

Come Holy Spirit, as we approach the Feast of the  Sacred Heart,  fill the hearts of  the faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.  Renew the face of the earth. 

Veni, Sancte Spiritus,
et emitte caelitus
lucis tuae radium.
Veni, pater pauperum,
veni, dator munerum,
veni, lumen cordium.

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