Journey with us...

Journey with us...

Thursday, March 31, 2016

First Friday

Well, it has been a wonderfully busy week of celebrations and we are only half-way through the Octave!  I just wanted to put up a very short post to say that tomorrow is First Friday!  Please take some time to console Jesus and His Most Sacred Heart! God bless you and ...

HAPPY EASTER!!!  
ALLELUIA!!! ALLELUIA!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Thank you



Thank you for your prayers for the Supreme Court Case yesterday.  The results are quite interesting:  4:4 split so the final ruling will be postponed to the end of June! Month of the Sacred Heart.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Pray with Us!!

Live + Jesus
In the middle of Holy Week, on what the Church often refers to as "Spy Wednesday", The Supreme Court will hear the case of a number of religious organizations who have petitioned to be exempted from the recent HHS mandate which would require them to support and provide funds for employees wishing to use birth control, abortion, and other "healthcare" desires which go against our morals.  Two of the plaintiffs in this case I know well: The Diocese of Pittsburgh (yup, I'm from the 'burgh) and the Little Sisters of the Poor.  




Bishop David Zubik writes better than I could on the case itself.  Please take a moment to follow the link and read the article.  The following article is from the Pittsburgh Catholic:

Zubik vs. Burwell | Bishop David Zubik's Bridging The Gap | Pittsburgh Catholic Newspaper: It’s something I never expected in my life. Yet here I am, a guy from a small town in Beaver County, Ambridge, and I have a Supreme Co ...
Supreme Court to hear Diocese of Pittsburgh case March 23 | Local and State News & Features | Pittsburgh Catholic Newspaper: WASHINGTON (CNS) — The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments March 23 in seven pending appeals in lawsuits brought by the Dioces ...

Also a link to the Little Sisters of the Poor website where they have a few articles about praying with them, people who have supported them, and other information:
Little Sisters of the Poor
Little Sisters of the Poor Homepage

Personally, I have been entrusting it all to St. Joseph (who is a very special patron of the Little Sisters of the Poor... and of me) because he is "the just man" and who better to stand up for life than him who saved Mary from stoning and took Jesus under wing as an infant.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us
St. Joseph, pray for us
St. Michael the Archeangel, Pray for us
St. Jeanne Jugan (foundress of the Little Sisters), pray for us
All you Saints and Angels, pray for us

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Holy Week

Dear Friends, as we begin Holy Week I just want to share one sentence from our Homily this morning which, I believe, can carry us through the entire week:

"Let us remain close to Love Himself"
 

St. Joseph

A day late and a dollar short... Although I began this little article with hopes of putting it up yesterday the Lord had other plans.  As we begin Holy Week, I feel it is still appropriate to reflect on Joseph.  Let us have His faith!  As one priest recently reflected, "The reason why Joseph had to die before Jesus began His public ministry was that if Joseph had been alive during the time of the Passion, nobody would have DARED to crucify Christ!"  I love it.  Yes gentle , but powerful Joseph give us your Love for Christ as we enter into Holy Week.  

Quotes on St. Joseph
 Happy Feast Day dear Patron of the Universal Church!!!!

The Virtues of St. Joseph
"All virtues and perfections were then reflected absolutely in St. Joseph, so that it almost seemed as if he were as perfect and possessed all virtues in as high a degree as the glorious Virgin our Mistress." Conf XIX, On the Virtues of St. Joseph, p. 368
"Certainly St. Joseph is most justly said to resemble the palm (tree), always constant, persevering, strong, and valiant. There is a great difference between these four virtues. We call a man constant when he remains firm, and prepared to suffer the assaults of the enemy, without surprise or loss of coruage during the combat. Perseverance, however, has chiefly to do with a certain weariness of mind which comes upon us when we have suffered a long time, and this weariness is as powerful an enemy as we can meet with. Now, perseverance enables a man to disregard this enemy that he gains the victory over it by continual calmness and submission to the will of God. Strength makes a man vigorously resist the attacks of his enemies. And valor is a virtue which makes us not only hold ourselves in readiness to fight or to offer resistance when the occasion presents itself, but also to attack the enemy at the moment when he least expects it." Conf XIX, On the Virtues of St. Joseph, p. 378

St. Joseph's Constancy
"Now, our glorious St. Joseph was endowed with all these virtues (constancy, perseverance, strength, valor) and practiced them marvelously well. As regards his constancy, did he not display it wonderfully when seeing Our Lady with child, and not knowing how that could be, his mind was tossed with distress, perplexity, and trouble? Yet, in spite of all, he never complained, he was never harsh or ungracious towards his holy Spouse, but remained just as gentle and respectful in his demeanor as he had ever been. But what valor and strength did he not display in the victory which he gained over the two greatest enemies of man, the devil and the world? And that by the practice of a most perfect humility, as we have said, throughout the whole course of his life. The devil, who for want of humility, and because he would not accept if for his inseparable companion, was driven out of heaven and cast down into hell, is so great an enemy to the lowly virtue, that there is no sacrifice or invention he will not use to make men fall away from it - so much the more because it is a virtue which renders them infinitely pleasing to God. We may therefore well say, "Valiant and strong in humility; he will be conqueror at once of the devil and of the world, which is full of ambition, vanity, and pride." Conf XIX, On the Virtues of St. Joseph, p. 379

Prayer to Joseph
Power is given to some of the saints to help in particular necessities but to St. Joseph power is given to help in all necessities and to protect all who devoutly turn to Him -St. Bernard

Friday, March 11, 2016

Sister Benigna Consolata

For those of you interested in learning more about our holy sisters, we have just finished a short summary of the life of Sr. Benigna Consolata for our website!  Enjoy a few quotes below or visit our website for the entire article (http://vistyr.org/sr-benigna-consolata)

“The Little Secretary of Jesus”

The information for the short biography has been taken from: Sister Benigna Consolata Ferrero(page #s in parenthesis and full citation at end of article).
Birth
Sister Benigna was born in Turin, Italy on August 6, 1885, The Feast of the Transfiguration.  At the time names were very important and in order to honor the many relatives who were dear to the family sister was baptized as Maria Consolata Rosalia Theresa Philomena Gaetano Ferrero.  Although, as a child, she was referred to simply as Maria Consolata.
Early Years
Her parents were very interested in making sure their children were well educated and she began school at the age of 5, and by the age of 8 was attending a boarding school with the Sisters of St. Joseph to prepare her for Holy Communion and Confirmation.  During these early school days she was well loved by all her teachers for her caring attitude and her intelligence.  Her deep love for the Lord can be seen in a small book she kept at the time of her First Communion, where she composed a prayer for this special day.
O good Jesus, come into my poor heart; come and help me to raise my spiritual edifice: build it so well that it may merit to be placed by Thee in the celestial Jerusalem (14).
Call to the Visitation
Jesus tells her that she is to be a religious and even informs her that she is to enter the Order of the Visitation.  He gives her three reasons for her entrance:
1. Because it is My Will;

2. Because at the Visitation thou canst not only become holy, but thou canst attain to the degree of sublime perfection which I desire for thee;

3. For the spiritual good of others… when thou shalt have tasted the life of the cloister thou wilt not desire to return to the world at any cost. (47) 
Our sister was accepted to enter the Visitation Monastery in Como, Italy where the Novice Mistress and Superior were concerned only with her ability to live the life in a humble, obedient manner.  They found her to be very obedient and humble in all aspects of the life.  Always ready to serve and assist, she soon became a model religious.


After 11 months as a postulant, our sister received the Holy Habit on November 5, 1908 and the name Sister Benigna Consolata.  Becoming more and more exact in her observance of the rule during her time of the Novitiate, Sister Benigna Consolata professed her Simple Vows on November 23, 1909 and her Solemn Profession on November 12, 1912.

Jesus the Teacher
What was Our Lord communicating to her during these years?  Let us look at a few quotes from her notebooks:

“Confidence is the key which opens the treasures of My Mercy” (28)
“If souls had more faith, they would live on mortification as they live on bread, whereas they fly from it as they would the plague” (88)
“Provided I find good will in a soul, I am never weary of looking upon its miseries.  My love is fed by consuming miseries; the soul that brings Me the most, if the heart is contrite and humble, is the one that pleases Me the most, because she gives Me an opportunity of exercising more fully my office of Savior” (101)
“The greatest pleasure souls can give Me is to believe in My Love” (101)
“Love has need of nothing, but it must find no resistance” (106)
“To obtain solid virtue, it must be sought in the Heart of Jesus” (48)
“The principle thing I desire to make known is that I am all Love; the greatest pain souls can give Me is to doubt My goodness” (106)
“I am in Infinite Treasure which My Father has placed at the disposal of all” (108)


 



God be Praised!

 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Hand-Picked by the Sacred Heart

God be Praised!

This morning we had one of our diocesan priests for Mass, Father Ryan Silva.  It is always an honor when they come to celebrate with us.  Many of the younger priests have a particular sister here who was "assigned" to pray for them through their seminary years and so we have these brother priests to hold up to Jesus in a special way.

I wanted to share just a few thoughts from this morning's homily, in which Father Ryan spoke of who we are as Visitation Sisters and what we are called to do.  He spoke from his heart a plea for prayer...

"You are hand-picked by the Sacred Heart"  Yes, we Visitation Sisters have the honor, privilege and duty to be special devotees and promoters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  But what does that mean?  Father Ryan continued, "This means you have a special love for the Eucharist." Because the Eucharist IS the real, true Presence of Christ's flesh and specifically of His Heart.  The Eucharist is also a gift FROM His Heart.  Therefore we, as "hand-picked by the Sacred Heart" must and do have special love and reverence for His Eucharistic Presence.  The real presence of His Heart.  This should lead us then to those individuals who are designed by God for the bringing down of this great mystery, the priests. "Without the priest, there is no Eucharist".  How true a statement!

But what does this all mean?  We, as Visitation Sisters are called very profoundly to prayer for priests... prayer for those men whom the Lord has chosen to bring His Sacred Heart down into the world in its most profound manifestation, the Eucharist.  Our priests need us, and some may be wounded or in some sort of illness (sin) from which they must be cured just as the man in the Gospels today.  Let us send them the hand of Jesus through the hands of our prayer!

Finally, Father Ryan spoke beautifully of the first reading (Ez 47:1-9,12) in which Ezechiel is shown a river of flowing water which slowly gets deeper and wider as it flows toward the sea.  This river has its source in the right side of the temple (a very prominent image used in Sacred Heart Devotion as our Lord was pierced from the right side and blood and water flowed out).  Father wanted to make the analogy of the priests being the trees which grow along the banks of this river of life-giving water whose fruit is for food and whose leaves are for medicine.  But we, devotees of the Sacred Heart, "women of prayer", must be the water, flowing from the side of Christ, to feed and nourish the priests (and the Church) so that these trees may bear good fruit and leaves of medicine.

While this homily was directed to us as Sisters of the Visitation, as hand-picked souls for the Sacred Heart, I feel all those who are devoted to the Sacred Heart have some share in this same mission.  Let us together be sources of the Life-giving water with flows from His Side and intense lovers of the Eucharist, lovers of His Most Sacred Heart.  Amen.

God be Praised!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Part II

As promised, the final 12 Acts of Adoration:

13. We adore You, most tender and most amiable of all Fathers, and to make reparation for the errors and infidelities of Your own children, we offer up to You the faith of the Apostles.  Eternal praise and thanksgiving be to the most Holy and most Divine Sacrament.

14. We adore You, most loving Shepherd, pattern of true charity, and to make reparation for the designs of revenge, conceived in defiance of Your divine prohibitions, we offer up to You the patience and prayers of the martyrs in favor of their persecutors.  Eternal praise...

15. We adore You, inexhaustible fund of treasures, and to make reparation for all the robberies committed in Your Churches, we offer up to You the rich and bountiful donations of Your servants.  Eternal praise...

16. We adore You, O most watchful Advocate, and to make reparation for the many negligences of those who have any authority in the Church, to correct the abuses and irreverences there committed against You, we offer up to You the exact attention and careful solicitude of holy bishops and prelates. Eternal praise…

17. We adore You, O God of Infinite Majesty, whom we can never sufficiently adore and reverence, and to make reparation for all the impious oaths pronounced against You, we offer up to You the pious discourses made in Your honor by the holy doctors of the Church.  Eternal praise…

18. We adore You, O hidden God, and to make reparation for all the contests, disputes, and punctilios of honor, and scandal by which You have been offended, we offer up to You the humility of the holy confessors.  Eternal praise...

19. We adore You, eternal Priest, whose delight is to offer sacrifice, and to make reparation for the insults and affronts done to Your priests, religious, and virgins, we offer up to You Your own invincible patience, together with the true and fervent zeal of all good priests and apostolic preachers.  Eternal praise…

20. We adore You, True Bread of Angels, and to make reparation for the sins committed against Your command of abstinence, we offer up to You the fasts and temperance of the holy anchorets. Eternal praise…

21. We adore You, O God of all purity, and to make reparation for all the sins which have hitherto been committed against the virtue of purity, we offer up to You the modesty and penance of all holy religious men and women.  Eternal praise…

22. We adore You, amiable Spouse of our souls, and to make reparation for all the lukewarmness and indifference shown by many, particularly in time of Holy Communion, we offer up to You the raptures and ecstasies of holy virgins. Eternal praise…

23. We adore You, most worthy object of the love and affection of men and angels, and to repair the profanations committed in Your churches by the effusion of so much innocent blood, as also to make some atonement for the poor and indigent manner in which You are entertained there, we offer up to You the piety of all the blessed saints, and all the distress and want in which Your persecuted servants have ever been. Eternal praise…

24. We adore You, Son of the ever-glorious Virgin, and to make a general reparation, as much as lies in our power, for all the indignities You have suffered from men, since the institution of the adorable mystery, we have recourse to Your Holy Mother, looking upon her, as, under You, the greatest and most secure refuge of sinners.  Eternal praise….

Closing prayer:

   O Queen of Heaven and Earth, hope of mankind, who adore Your Divine Son incessantly, we entreat you, since we have the honor to be of the number of your children, to interest yourself on our behalf, and to make satisfaction for us, and in our name, to our eternal Judge, by rendering to Him the duties we ourselves are incapable of performing.  Amen

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Live+ Jesus

Our Community has a little book called the Visitation Manual. It is a book with many beautiful prayers and devotions related to our charism and history.  We no longer use this book in common (since it is out of print and therefore impossible for each sister to have her own copy), but it is a valuable resource for us all.

I recently came across the following Acts of Adoration which can be used as reparation to Our Lord's Sacred Heart for all the sins committed against Him.  Today we will post the first 12 of the 24 Acts.

The suggestion in the book is to do all of them on Thursdays and Fridays, and especially First Friday (this Friday is a First Friday), or to gather a few friends and share the prayers (each taking one or two).  If I may be so bold as to add my own thoughts... there are 24 days to Holy Thursday, perhaps you could choose one for each of the remaining days of Lent.  I am certain that however the Lord inspires you to use these Acts of Adoration, they will be a source of grace for yourself and will help to repair the wounds in Our Dear Lord's Heart.

  1. Jesus, Our Lord and our God, ever adorable, Oh, that we could be present in all the churches throughout the universe, where You are not adored as You ought to be, and where Your Inflamed Love is not repaid with gratitude worthy of Your Majesty!  We fly, at least in spirit, to those holy places now profaned, and offer on Your altars there, the fervent love and Adoration of Your Holy Mother, in compensation for all the injuries ever done to You. Eternal praise and thanksgiving be to the most Holy and most Divine Sacrament
  2. O Jesus, true Sun, that enlightens the Church, and inflames the hearts of Your servants! We adore You; and to repair the sloth, indifference, and tepidity of so many religious persons, who, though favored with the aspect of so burning a luminary, remain cold, insensible, and inanimate, we offer up to You all the inflamed desires of the Seraphim.  Eternal praise...
  3. We adore You, O Eternal Wisdom, and to repair the gross ignorance which has caused us to offend You, we offer up to You all the knowledge of those most enlightened spirits, the Cherubim.  Eternal praise...
  4. We adore You, O most meek and merciful God, and to repair all the sins of anger, passion and revenge, highly offensive in Your sight, we offer up to You the peace, mildness, and tranquility of the Thrones. Eternal praise...
  5. We adore You, O Sacrament of Love, and to repair all the thoughts and criminal desires, conceived even at the foot of Your altars, we offer up to You all the pure affections and chaste desires of the Dominations.  Eternal praise...
  6. We adore You, O Immaculate Lamb, that takes away the sins of the world, and to repair all the irreverences, gazing at dangerous objects, and disrespectful postures during the time of Mass, we offer to You the profound respect of the Choir of Virtues.  Eternal praise...
  7. We adore You, O Source and origin of all sanctity and innocence, and to repair the abominations committed by wicked priests, who consecrate and receive You in the state of mortal sin, we offer up to You the profound Adoration and Holiness of the Powers.  Eternal praise...
  8. We adore You, sovereign Lord of the universe, to whom all knees both in heaven and on earth, should bend, all reverences be paid, and in order to repair the many blasphemies against Your Honor, we offer up to You the praises and homage of the Principalities.  Eternal praise...
  9. We adore You, Savior of the world, the whom all fidelity and glory are due, and to repair the sacrilegious Communions and treacheries of so many false consciences, we offer up to You the fervent and faithful zeal of the Archangels.  Eternal praise...
  10. We adore You, the delight of heaven and earth, and to repair the neglect, indifference, and contempt which mankind show of that loving invitation, by which You call them to Your sweet embrace in the Holy Eucharist, we offer up to You the ready obedience, content, and happiness of the Angels.  Eternal praise...
  11. We adore You, never failing Bounty and Goodness, and to repair man's offensive diffidence to Your tender Mercy, we offer up to You the steadfast reliance and assurance of the holy patriarchs in Your promises.  Eternal praise...
  12. We adore You, O amiable Jesus, and revere the Sacred Mystery of the Blessed Eucharist, revealed by Your Divine Word, taught by the Church, and proved by miracles; and to repair the doubts which men have had of Your Real Presence in the Holy Sacrament, we offer up to You the due submission shown by the prophets to Your Divine Oracles.  Eternal praise...

God be Praised!