Journey with us...

Journey with us...

Friday, November 23, 2018

14th Station of the Sacred Heart: Peter Do you love Me?



Fourteenth Station

Peter Do you love Me?
Heart of Jesus longs to forgive.

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

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”He then said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” [Jesus] said to him, “Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”-Jn 21:15-19

Reflection:

This final station, this final word from His Sacred Heart sounds so much like the first, “Do you love Me?”  The Heart of Jesus continues to cry out for love!  This time, His cry also restores and renews Peter as he now stands as the head of the Church.  Peter represents the Church before God and Jesus cries out, “People of God, do you love Me?”  Can we hear once more:

 “Behold this heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to the point of spending itself and being consumed to prove its love to them. And in return, I receive from most men only ingratitude because of their irreverence and sacrileges and the coldness and scorn they have for me in this Sacrament of love. But what offends me most is that hearts consecrated to me act in this way. Do thou at least console me by supplying for their ingratitude, as far as thou art able.”
His Heart continues to thirst, thirsting for love, thirsting to pour out those rivers of blood and water upon souls in need of forgiveness, of strength… of LOVE.
Prayer:
Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, we do love You.




Concluding Prayers:

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have Mercy on us.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.


Friday, November 16, 2018

13th Station of the Sacred Heart: Thomas places his hand into Jesus' Side



Thirteenth Station 

Thomas places his hand into Jesus’ side
Heart of Jesus desires to be touched and to show mercy.

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

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”Jn 20:24-29


Reflection:

His Heart is open.  His Body is resurrected.  Yet, there is still doubt among his closest followers.  Thomas places not just his finger, but his hand into the side of Christ. A man’s hand.  A hand grasping for physical proof, reaching out from a heart grasping for love.  This hand finds itself touching the beating heart of Christ.  Yes, Thomas drops to his knees and believes for he has just felt the pulsations of Divine Love in a heart pierced and raised from the dead. Here is the mercy of God, as He has reminded us through the revelations to St. Faustina.  Trust in Me and you too will feel the pulsations of my Heart, of my Divine Love.

Prayer:
Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, we place our trust in You

Friday, November 9, 2018

12th Station: Piercing of the Heart of Jesus



Twelfth Station 

Piercing of the Heart of Jesus
Opens the door of His Heart and Heaven

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

Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down.So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs,but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out.An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may believe.For this happened so that the scripture passage might be fulfilled:
And again another passage says:

Reflection:

The piercing of the Heart of Christ, so very central to the Sacred Heart devotion that this wound is depicted in every image of the Sacred Heart. But why?  What is this piercing of this physical organ?  It is an opening of the Heart of God as a gateway to Heaven. The very first image of the Sacred Heart, drawn in the monastery where St. Margaret Mary lived, shows this wound to be as large as the entire width of the Heart.  Inside this gaping hole is found the word “Charitas”, Love.  Love which gives.  Jesus seems to remind us that this wound remains open.  It is still pouring out the water and the blood. Water to bring death to sin and blood to give us life in God.  This opening is a physical reality showing us the spiritual reality of heaven.  Love, now and forever more open to all humanity so long as they themselves are open to the cleansing flood which gushes forth from His Side.

Prayer:
Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, help us to open our hearts and to receive Your gifts

Friday, November 2, 2018

11th Station of the Sacred Heart: Gethsemane




Eleventh Station 

Gethsemane
Heart of Jesus chooses to suffer for humanity

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

Then going out he went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him.When he arrived at the place he said to them, “Pray that you may not undergo the test.”After withdrawing about a stone’s throw from them and kneeling, he prayed,saying, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done.”And to strengthen him an angel from heaven appeared to him.He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground.When he rose from prayer and returned to his disciples, he found them sleeping from grief.He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test.”-Lk 22:39-46


Reflection:

The anguish of Jesus, the pain of surrender which his human will feels at the final and complete submersion with the Divine Will.  This is experienced most fully by that physical, human organ where the two have dwelt together: the heart.  The anguish is so real that the heart beats with enough intensity to burst the capillaries of Jesus’ flesh and so, push blood-tinged sweat out of His pores.  Divine Love, expressed so eloquently in the priestly prayer in the Gospel of St. John, is made physically manifest in the work of the Sacred Heart to bring that prayer to fruition.

Prayer:
Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, teach us how to surrender to the Will of the Father




Friday, October 26, 2018

10th Station: the Last Supper



Tenth Station 

The Last Supper
Heart of Jesus gives Itself fully in the Eucharist and is heard by John as he rests his head on Jesus’ breast

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

When the hour came, he took his place at table with the apostles.He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passoverwith you before I suffer,for, I tell you, I shall not eat it [again] until there is fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”Then he took a cup,gave thanks, and said, “Take this and share it among yourselves;for I tell you [that] from this time on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you; do this in memory of me.”And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you. -Lk 22:14-20

One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved,was reclining at Jesus’ side.So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant.He leaned back against Jesus’ chest and said to him, “Master, who is it?”Jn 13:23-25

Reflection:

The Heart of Jesus, the Flesh of the Eucharist, the desire to give Himself fully, the tenderness of the heartbeat heard by John.  This is the Last Supper.  We know from the multiple Eucharistic miracles that the Eucharist is the flesh from His Heart.  The Sacred Heart is seen both in its radical self-gift and in its gentle calling of souls. That very heart, gently beating to be unified with John as he lays his head on Jesus’ breast, is at the same time being given as food and feeling the sting of betrayal given by Judas.  In these moments Jesus’ Heart is tangible visibly in the form of bread, audibly through the ears of John, and spiritually as He conveys His ardent love for the disciples, exposing His Heart in such vulnerability in the midst of the disciples who will flee, betray, and deny Him. “Master, who is it?”  The question echoes in the hearts of all those present as they receive His Flesh for the first time.

Prayer:
Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, thank You for your Eucharistic presence, please grant us the grace to remain united to you and not turn our backs on You

Friday, October 19, 2018

9th Station of the Sacred Heart: Jesus Weeps



Ninth Station 

Jesus weeps for Jerusalem
Heart of Jesus weeps for the sinfulness of the people and teaches contrition for sin

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

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but you were unwilling! Behold, your house will be abandoned, desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”-Mt 23:37-39

As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it,saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace but now it is hidden from your eyes.For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides.They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”-Lk 19:41-44

Reflection:

The Heart of Jesus weeps.  It is not only an external sorrow or a detached pity over the sins of these chosen people, living in this chosen city.  Scripture tells us that Jesus became sin (2 Cor 5:21), this is how far the unity of the Sacred Heart goes.  Here He weeps not just for Jerusalem, but also, in a sense as Jerusalem. Imagine Jesus standing before the throne of the Father full of shame and sadness.  He feels sorrow and contrition for all the sins of the world so fully and completely that He becomes those sins in order to offer due contrition to the Father.  This weeping for the city of Jerusalem shows the contrition of His Heart and, while it precedes His cry from the cross, “Father, forgive them”, it already cries out to the Father in sorrow.  He takes upon Himself these sins of the present and weeps in true contrition for them for “they know not what they do”.

Prayer:
Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, teach us true sorrow for our sins



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