Sacred Heart of Jesus: June 2010 Archives

Blessed Marie-Joseph Cassant

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Where His Treasure Was, There Was His Heart

Among Cistercians and Trappists, June 17th marks the memorial of Blessed Marie-Joseph Cassant, a Trappist monk of the Abbey of Sainte-Marie-du-Désert beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 3, 2004. Father Marie-Joseph died on June 17, 1903; he was twenty-five years old. Solemnly professed for three years, he had been a priest for only nine months. From childhood he wanted nothing else. “Where your treasure house is, there is your heart also” (Mt 6:21).

The Greatness of the Priesthood

In his last letter to his family, he wrote, “For such a long time we hoped against hope to be able to have the whole family together after my ordination so as to share the joy of being present and receiving Communion together at my first Mass. The good Lord heard our deepest wishes. It now remains to us to thank Him and to enter more and more deeply into the greatness of the priesthood. Let us never dare to equate the Sacrifice of the Mass with earthly things.”

An Intercessor

Since 1903 more than 2200 persons from thirty different countries have attested to favours received through the intercession of Father Marie-Joseph. The catalogue of graces attributed to the young monk is impressive: conversions, reconciliations, cures, and comfort in uncertainties and doubts. My friend Father Jacob and I went in pilgrimage to his tomb in 1982 and prayed that both of us might become priests. I was ordained four years later.

Towards La Trappe

Father Marie-Joseph’s road to the priesthood was not an easy one. His parish priest judged him intellectually inadequate for theological studies. After tutoring him for fifteen months in French and Latin, he saw that the young Joseph was not suited for the diocesan seminary. He directed him instead to the Trappe of Sainte-Marie-du-Desert where the monks were ordained to the priesthood after a simpler course of studies, given that they had no pastoral responsibilities or outside ministry.

June 17th is the dies natalis of Marie-Adèle Garnier, Mother Mary of St. Peter, Foundress of the Adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Tyburn, O.S.B. In 1913 Blessed Columba Marmion wrote to one of her spiritual daughters, saying, "The special characteristic of your Mother is heroic confidence in the midst of impossibilities."

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Monastic Roots

Marie-Adèle Garnier was born in France on the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 15, 1838. She was baptized on the feast of the Holy Name of Mary, September 12. Marie-Adèle’s native Burgundy is the land of Cluny, of Cîteaux, and of Paray-le-Monial. Her life was marked, from the very beginning, by an environment shaped by the Rule of Saint Benedict, by the ardour of Saint Bernard, and by the mystery of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The Heart of Jesus and the Eucharist

As a young woman, Marie-Adèle grew in awareness of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, Priest and Victim: the Sacred Heart truly present in the Sacrament of the Altar where ceaselessly He glorifies the Father and intercedes for all men. Marie-Adèle was impelled by the Holy Spirit to seek a life wholly illuminated by the Sacrifice of the Mass, and marked by perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Happy, So Happy

In 1872, Marie-Adèle, after having read an article on the proposed basilica of Montmartre, heard an inner voice saying to her: “It is there that I need thee.” “At the same moment,” she writes, “I saw an altar raised on high and sparkling with lights, dominated by the Blessed Sacrament exposed in the monstrance. I felt so overcome by this that I had to lean against the door to save myself from falling. And then I felt so happy, so happy, that I could make nothing of it.”

Like many of her contemporaries drawn to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Marie-Adèle heard the interior summons to a life of reparation and doxology. “I felt Jesus speaking to my heart, illuminated by a light of surpassing brightness; He told me that it was His Will that His Heart present in the Holy Eucharist should be the object of the worship of Montmartre, and that the Blessed Sacrament should be exposed there night and day.”

Salutary Failure

Marie-Adèle first attempted to respond to her vocation by living in solitude on Montmartre, close by the site of what would become the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. God allowed her to experience a salutary failure without, however, withdrawing the attraction to a life of reparation and adoration at Montmartre. Her first sojourn at Montmartre ended on the feast of the Compassion of the Blessed Virgin Mary, September 15, 1876.

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Beginnings

In 1898, having returned to Montmartre with a companion, Marie-Adèle began a hidden life of adoration, reparation, and intercession for the Church under the special protection of Saint Peter the Prince of the Apostles, and Saint Michael the Archangel. From the beginning the Rule of Saint Benedict inspired and guided the new monastic family. On June 9, 1899, Marie-Adèle, now known as Mother Mary of St. Peter, and her first daughters, made their profession in the crypt of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the altar of Saint Peter. Two days later, June 11, Pope Leo XIII consecrated the whole human race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Tyburn

The anti-clerical laws of 1901 obliged the fledgling community to leave Montmartre for England. Mother Mary of St. Peter and her daughters established themselves at Tyburn in the heart of London on the site of the cruel torments and death of England’s glorious Catholic Martyrs. Her companion, Mother Agnes, wrote, “And we ourselves, little as we were, but supporting our littleness on the Heart of Jesus, we, too, were coming to labour, within the limits of our vocation, in the great work of the conversion of England.”

Blessed Columba Marmion

From 1908 onward, Mother Mary of St. Peter was under the direction of the Benedictine Abbot Blessed Columba Marmion. It was to Abbot Marmion that she wrote on December 23, 1909: “In spite of this humiliating burden of misery and worries, my soul dwells in her God, because He supports her, holds her up, carries her, sustains her in a life of faith, of love, of confidence, not sensibly consoling, but supremely happy!”

Happy With God and With My Children

Abbot Marmion died in 1923, leaving Mother Mary of St. Peter and her daughters to mourn his passing and, at the same, to live in gratitude and joy from his spiritual patrimony. The following year on June 17, after much suffering, Mother Mary of St. Peter died. Her last intelligible words were: “I am so happy with God! And with my children.” Today Mother Mary of St. Peter's Benedictine Congregation of the Adorers of the Sacred Heart has monasteries in England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, Peru, New Zealand, Ecuador, Colombia, and Rome, Italy.


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Feast Instituted by Benedict XV

On 9 November 1921, Pope Benedict XV instituted the feast of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus to be celebrated on the Thursday within the Octave of the Sacred Heart with a Proper Mass and Office. The feast continues to be celebrated in some places and by some communities, notably by the Redemptorists who maintain it in their Proper Calendar. In instituting the feast, Pope Benedict XV wrote:

The chief reason of this feast is to commemorate the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the mystery of the Eucharist. By this means the Church wishes more and more to excite the faithful to approach this sacred mystery with confidence, and to inflame their hearts with that divine charity which consumed the Sacred Heart of Jesus when in His infinite love He instituted the Most Holy Eucharist, wherein the Divine Heart guards and loves them by living with them, as they live and abide in Him. For in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist He offers and gives Himself to us as victim, companion, nourishment, viaticum, and pledge of our future glory.

Even to the Consummation of the World

The adorable mystery of the Eucharist sums up, contains, and communicates to us the entire mystery of Christ: His incarnation, life, passion, death, resurrection, and ascension, and outpouring of the Holy Spirit. If you seek the open Side of the glorious ascended Christ, you will find it in the Eucharist. If you seek the pierced Heart of Christ, beating with love for the Father and with mercy for sinners, you will find it in the Eucharist. The Communion Antiphon of the Mass of the feast is meant to be repeated and treasured. It is, at once, a promise and an invitation: "Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world" (Mt 28:20).

Here, apart from the Epistle, Gradual, Alleluia, and Gospel, is my own translation of the Proper of the Mass of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, together with (optional) General Intercessions.

Introit

SCIENS Jesus quia venit hora ejus ut
transeat ex hoc mundo ad Patrem:
cum dilexisset suos, qui erant in
mundo, in finem dilexit eos. Alleluia,
alleluia. Ps. 97. 1. Cantate Domino
canticum novum: quia mirabilia
fecit. Gloria Patri.

Jesus, knowing that His hour had come
to pass out of this world to the Father,
having loved His own who were in the world,
loved them to the end (Jn 13:1).

Collect

DOMINE Jesu Christe, qui divitias
amoris tui erga homines effundens
Eucharistiæ Sacramentum condidisti:
da nobis, quæsumus; ut amantissimum
Cor tuum diligere, et tanto
Sacramento digne semper uti valeamus:
Qui vivis.

Lord Jesus Christ,
Who in pouring out the treasures of Your love for mankind,
instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist,
grant us, we beseech You,
always to cherish Your most loving Heart,
and worthily to avail ourselves of so great a Sacrament.
Who live and reign with God the Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.

Epistle: Ephesians 3. 8-12, 14-19
Brethren: To me, the least of all the Saints, is given the grace, to preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ: and to enlighten all men, that they may see what is the dispensation of the mystery which hath been hidden from eternity in God, Who created all things: that the manifold wisdom of God may be made known to the principalities and powers in heavenly places through the Church, according to the eternal purpose which He made in Christ Jesus our Lord: in Whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him. For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of Whom all paternity in Heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened by His Spirit with might unto the inward man, that Christ may dwell by faith in your hearts: that being rooted and grounded in charity, you may be able to comprehend with all the Saints, what is the breadth and length, and height and depth: to know also the charity of Christ which surpasseth all knowledge. That you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.

Gradual

EXSULTA et lauda, habitatio Sion,
quia magnus in medio tui Sanctus
Israel. Notas facite in populis adinventiones
ejus.

Exult and praise, O abode of Sion, for
great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst
of thee. Among the people make known His
works.

Alleluia

ALLELUIA, alleluia. V. Quid bonum
ejus est, et quid pulchrum ejus, nisi
frumentum electorum, et vinum
germinans virgines. Alleluia.

Alleluia, alleluia. V. What is His good and
what is His beauteous thing, but the wheat of
the elect, and wine bringing forth virgins?
Alleluia.

Gospel: Luke 22:15-20
At that time Jesus said to His disciples: With desire I have desired to eat this pasch with you, before I suffer. For I say to you that from this time I will not eat it, till it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And having taken the chalice, He gave thanks and said: Take and divide among you. For I say to you that I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, till the kingdom of God come. And taking bread, He gave thanks and brake and gave to them, saying: This is My Body, which is given for you. Do this for a commemoration of Me. In like manner, the chalice also, after He had supped, saying: this is the chalice, the new testament in My Blood, which shall be shed for you.

General Intercessions

That the Church may more worthily celebrate, adore, and contemplate
the Sacrament that reveals the Face of Christ shining for all peoples
and the Sacrifice that presents to all His Pierced Side
flowing with living water,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That the leaders of nations
may turn from every temptation
to greed, violence, and the abuse of power,
and seek the things that make for peace,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That those who are enemies of the Cross may find
reconciliation and healing in its embrace;
that the sick may find strength in the Body and Blood of Christ;
and that those tempted against hope
may find comfort and peace in the Sacrament of the Altar,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That families broken by divorce,
divided by misunderstandings,
or wounded by the refusal to forgive and be forgiven,
may be repaired and healed
by the love that ever streams from the Eucharistic Heart of Christ,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

That by offering our adoration to the Eucharistic Heart of Christ today
we may in some way make reparation
for those who fail to recognize in the Sacrament of the Altar
a mercy ready to forgive every sin,
a love capable of healing every wound,
and a joy surpassing all joys,
to the Lord we pray: Christ, hear us. R. CHRIST, GRACIOUSLY HEAR US.

Collect at the General Intercessions

O God, who, in the Heart of Your Son, wounded by our faults,
have opened for us the treasures of Your infinite love,
grant that, with all the saints, we may contemplate this mystery
and, in the gift of the Most Holy Eucharist
recognize the wedding feast of the Lamb,
the sacrifice that saves the world,
and the abiding presence of Him who with great desire
longed to share the paschal meal with His disciples
before He suffered.
Who lives and reigns forever and ever.

Offertory Antiphon

QUAM magna multitudo dulcedinis
tuæ, Domine, quam abscondisti timentibus
te. Alleluia

O how great is the multitude of Your sweetness, O Lord,
which You have hidden away for them that fear You, alleluia (Ps 30:30).

Prayer Over the Oblations

TUERE nos, Domine, tua tibi holocausta
offerentes: ad quæ ut ferventius
corda nostra præparentur, flammis
adure tuæ divinæ caritatis. Qui
vivis.

Look upon us, Lord,
as we offer You this Your holocaust;
and to prepare our hearts for offering it more ardently,
make them burn with the flame of Your divine charity.
Through Christ our Lord.

Preface

VERE dignum et justum est, æquum
et salutáre, nos tibi semper, et ubíque
grátias ágere: Dómine sancte,
Pater omnipotens, ætérne Deus per
Christum Dominum nostrum. Qui
pridie quam pro nobis immolaretur
in ara crucis, dilectionis suæ in homines
divitias velut effundens, de
Cordis sui thesauro Eucharistiæ
prompsit mysterium. In quo credentium
fides alitur, spes provehitur,
caritas roboratur, et futuræ gloriæ
pignus accipitur. Et ídeo cum Angelis
et Archángelis, cum Thronis et
Dóminatiónibus, cumque omni
milítia coeléstis exércitus, hymnum
glóriæ tuæ cánimus sine fine dicéntes:

Truly it is right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.

Who on the day before He was sacrificed
on the altar of the cross,
desiring to pour out upon men the riches of His love,
brought forth from the treasury of His Heart
the mystery of the Eucharist.

In this mystery the faith of believers is nourished,
their hope increased,
their charity strengthened,
and they receive the pledge of future glory.

And therefore with Angels and Archangels,
with Thrones and Dominations,
and with all the hosts of the heavenly army,
we sing a hymn to your glory,
ceaselessly saying:

Communion Antiphon

ECCE ego vobiscum sum omnibus
diebus, usque ad consummationem
sæculi, dicit Dominus. Alleluia.

Behold I am with you all days,
even to the consummation of the world (Mt 28:20).

Postcommunion

DIVINIS donis Cordis tui satiati:
quæsumus, Domine Jesu, ut in tui
semper amore permanere et usque
in finem crescere mereamur. Qui vivis.

Filled with the divine gifts of Your Heart, Lord Jesus,
we pray that we may be found worthy
ever to abide in Your love
and to grow therein unto the end.
Who live and reign forever and ever.

Draw Me to Thy Piercèd Side

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The feast of Saint Lutgarde, a Cistercian, and one of the first mystics of the Sacred Heart, occurs on June 16th. Some years ago I was given a piece of her wooden choirstall: one of my most treasured relics!

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Wounded by Love

Saint Lutgarde was a contemporary of Saints Francis and Clare. She was born in 1182, just one year after the little Poor Man of Assisi. Both were destined to share in the Passion of Christ; both would bear the impression of Christ’s wounds. Saint Lutgarde is often depicted -- as are both Saint Bernard and Saint Francis -- held in the embrace of Jesus Crucified, and invited to drink from the wound in His Sacred Side.

Mother of Preachers

The prolific multiplication of Cistercian-Benedictine monasteries of women in the Low Countries obliged the White Nuns to turn to the newly founded friars, disciples of Francis and Dominic, rather than to their brother monks, for spiritual and sacramental assistance. Lutgarde was a friend and mother to the early Dominicans and Franciscans, supporting their preaching by her prayer and fasting, offering them hospitality, ever eager for news of their missions and spiritual conquests. Her first biographer relates that the friars named her mater praedicatorum, the mother of preachers.

About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

Donations for Silverstream Priory

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