Journey with us...

Journey with us...

Friday, October 12, 2018

8th Station of the Sacred Heart: the Good Shepherd



Eighth Station 

The Good Shepherd
Heart of Jesus longs to protect His children

We Adore you O Lord and we love You
-Because by Your Sacred Heart You have made manifest Your Love



Reflection:

Holy Mother Church has chosen this reading for the Feast of the Sacred Heart (cycle C). The Sacred Heart must then also be the heart of a shepherd... the Good Shepherd.  Looking at this Heart desirous of seeking the lost sheep and protecting the current fold, we see a glimpse of the Heart of the Father.  Does not Jesus tell Philip, “If you have seen me you have seen the Father” (Jn 14:9)?  Therefore, let us look at the Heart of the Father in the Heart of Jesus.
One of a father’s most cherished tasks is that of providing for and protecting his family.  Is this not seen as we look at the Heart of the Good Shepherd?  A Heart ready to seek out the sheep that has strayed and ready to lay down his life for his flock.  This is Divine Love.  This is the very love of the Trinity which has found a place in the beating Heart of the Son.  This love echoes once more that oft repeated phrase to St. Margaret Mary begging for love, “Behold this Heart which has so loved men, that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself in order to testify to its love”.

Prayer:
Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, bring back to Yourself those places in our hearts which have wandered away from You

Friday, October 5, 2018

7th Station of the Sacred Heart: Healing of the Adulterous Woman


Seventh Station 

Healing of the adulterous Woman
Heart of Jesus moved with pity to heal the spiritual wounds and needs of the people

-Because by Your Sacred Heart You have made manifest Your Love

 “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, [and] from now on do not sin anymore.”Jn 8: 3-11

Reflection:
Looking at the Heart of Jesus in this very well-known Gospel story, we see Him both wounded and moved.  He does not in this case come forward with directness as He has in the past two stations, but she, as a victim, is brought to Him.  This woman brought before Him and thrown into the middle of this circle of men is brought as a trap, brought with malicious intent. On her part, she knows her sinfulness and the deed in which she has been caught and seems to expect to be stoned. She stands ashamed and ready for the death sentence, her gaze turned toward the ground.
But what does the Heart of Jesus respond with?  His Heart once again is moved with pity as He bends down scribbling in the sand to catch her eye of shame with His look of love.  Jesus knows that this woman has sinned and that He will soon pay the price for that sin.  He sees her search for love which has led her into this sin and desires to give her His Love. We know not if this is a first offense or a habitual sin and it doesn’t matter.  For what we do know is that she has sinned at least once and Jesus yearns to have His love received by her.   It may be the case that all sin is a mis-seeking for love: in the wrong places, the wrong people and/or the wrong ways.
The fullness of love welling up within His heart again is made manifest through truth.  He finally speaks to her, “Neither do I condemn you. Go …and do not sin anymore”. He does not say that she has not sinned, but that she has been released from the punishment of that sin, she has been forgiven and freed.  She is now asked to love Him and to accept His love by sinning no more. By seeking for love in the right place: His Heart.

Prayer:

Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, come and heal our spiritual wounds

Friday, September 28, 2018

Sixth Station of the Sacred Heart: Comforting the Grieving Widow


Sixth Station

Comforting the grieving widow
Heart of Jesus moved with pity to heal the emotional wounds and needs of the people

We Adore you O Lord and we love You
-Because by Your Sacred Heart You have made manifest Your Love

Soon afterward he journeyed to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him.As he drew near to the gate of the city, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the city was with her.When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her and said to her, “Do not weep.”He stepped forward and touched the coffin; at this the bearers halted, and he said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!”The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming, “A great prophet has arisen in our midst,” and “God has visited his people.”This report about him spread through the whole of Judea and in all the surrounding region.Lk 7:11-17


Reflection:

He was moved with pity for her!  Jesus’ Heart is again pulled towards the needs of humanity.  This time, His Heart is moved with pity at the weeping of a widow.  We do not know her name or the name of her son, we see the pull of His Heart to heal her emotional wounds.  Even in her obscurity, Jesus knows her and her weaknesses.  Could it be that He sees this wound as too deep for her to bear? Would the loss of this son, placing her at the mercy of society, bring her into a state of despair and take her away from the Lord in her lack of trust?  We do no know, but we do know that Jesus heals her emotional pain through the healing of her son.  She does not ask, and perhaps does not even see Jesus approaching as she accompanies the body of her son to his burial place.  It is again the Heart of Jesus which sees the very human emotional need of the woman and takes the initiative to heal her.

Prayer:
Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, come and heal our emotional wounds

Friday, September 21, 2018

Fifth Station: Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish


Fifth Station 

Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes
Heart of Jesus moved with pity to heal the physical wounds and needs of the people.

We Adore you O Lord and we love You
-Because by Your Sacred Heart You have made manifest Your Love

When he disembarked [from the boat] and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.… Takingthe five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds..- Mt 14:14, 19-21

Jesus summoned his disciples and said, “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way.”The disciples said to him, “Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?”Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they replied, “and a few fish.”He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground.Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds.They all ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over seven baskets full.Those who ate were four thousand men, not counting women and children.-Mt 15: 32-38

Reflection:
St. Matthew points to the Heart of Jesus twice as he recounts two different stories of Jesus multiplying the loaves and fishes.  “His Heart is moved with pity” In the Greek, this phrase means a deep, gut-wrenching emotion.  It comes from the very depths of His being.  What is it that moves His Heart so forcefully?  It is the sickness of the crowd, their wounds, their hunger.  It is their very human, physical needs.  He is made of flesh and blood just as they are and understands the needs of their frail human bodies.  His love is so deep that He seems to even feel and experience their hunger, weariness and pain.  His Heart cannot help but be moved with pity for them.  Look closely at the passage, there is no outside cry for help, no begging for food, no asking for a cure.  Jesus, from the movements of His Heart, is compelled to heal them and provide for their physical needs.

Prayer:
Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, come and heal our physical wounds



Friday, September 14, 2018

Fourth Station: Calling of the Apostles

Hangs within the enclosure near the library



Fourth Station 

Calling of the Apostles / souls
Heart of Jesus desires to be loved

-Because by Your Sacred Heart You have made manifest Your Love

Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “…Come, follow me.”-Mk 10:21

Reflection:

“Behold this Heart which has so loved men and yet is so little loved”. Jesus makes this lament to St. Margaret Mary as He first introduces His Sacred Heart for public devotion.  Is this not the same cry He makes to each apostle?  To each soul who is called as He says, “Come, Follow Me”?  This cry is so often rejected and spurned.  It is not fully embraced as we see when the disciples run away or deny Jesus.  Jesus’ Heart here pulses with intensity and love, desiring friends with whom He can share the treasures of His Sacred Heart.

Prayer:
Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, help us to respond to Your Loving invitations



Friday, September 7, 2018

Third Station: Temptation of Jesus

Third Station 

Temptation of Jesus in the Desert

Heart of Jesus desires to experience human temptation

We Adore you O Lord and we love You
-Because by Your Sacred Heart You have made manifest Your Love

…“It also says, ‘You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.’”When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time. -Lk 4:1-13

Reflection:
The Sacred Heart is filled with a love which not only desires to comfort us to but to be able to empathize in the most intimate way. As God, He already knows the struggles and temptations of man. After 30 years of living among us He has seen men both resist and fall in the face of temptation.
His love desires to go further, to experience this temptation. He is led by the Holy Spirit, that person of the Trinity whose whole personhood is the love of the Father and the Son, into the desert to be tried and tempted by the Devil.  Look at His Heart as it receives these merciless blows. He responds with truth and with love, all the while feeling these painful blows upon His gentle Heart. When the blows cease and the Devil departs, His Heart is left still yearning for that union with men.  A union which will only draw these blows upon Himself once more with even greater intensity at the time of His Passion.

Prayer:

Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, thank You for desiring to be united with us, even in our moments of temptation

Friday, August 31, 2018

Second Station: Birth of Jesus

This painting hangs in the Monastery of the Visitation Refectory
Pastel Painting by Sr. Angelica Shanklin


Second Station 

The Birth of Jesus
Heart of Jesus made visible in the child Jesus

We Adore you O Lord and we love You
-Because by Your Sacred Heart You have made manifest Your Love


While they were there, the time came for her to have her child,and she gave birth to her firstborn son.She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock.The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear.The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child.All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds.And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.-Lk 2:6-20


Reflection:
The Love of God which beats in this tiny heart is now visible to the world as Jesus is born and adored by Mary and Joseph, and then by the shepherds. They see this tiny infant and yet they see and know the Love of God through the words of the angels and the amazing child they encounter with faith.  The Heart of Jesus, the Love of God, is now not only dwelling among us, hidden in the womb of Mary, but visible and present for all to see.

Prayer:

Oh Tiny Sacred Heart of Jesus, help us to recognize Your Loving Presence among us