The heart knows…

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As I prayed before heading to Mass yesterday, my daughter told me she wanted to draw some hearts with me on some paper. Of course, the fact that she asked me to draw hearts on the day we celebrated the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the day before we remember the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary was pretty cool.
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However, as I sit here waiting to take my son to confession at 3pm today, I can’t help thinking about how we know that the heart is not capable of controlling our emotions, we still see the heart as the center of our feelings. The truth is that feelings and emotions are controlled by the brain, but we attribute them to the heart because of the revelation that comes to us from God about the heart of Jesus and also the heart of Mary, the Mother of God.
There are a few stories about Eucharistic Miracles that have been shown to be the flesh from the heart muscle when examined by laboratories, and to me this is God’s way of revealing that it does not matter what we know the heart’s function in our physical body is, it’s spiritual function is to give and receive mercy and compassion.
My prayer during the Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was to give me a heart, like Jesus’ Sacred Heart. I also asked for true repentance for my sins. Amen!

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Who did he just excommunicate?

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Even though they had celebrated Corpus Christi last Thursday, the Holy Father took the opportunity of the Sunday Angelus to give some further instruction and teaching on the mystery and reality of the Eucharist. (This was probably meant for us!)

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Vatican City, 23 June 2014 (VIS) – At midday Pope Francis appeared at the window of his study to pray the traditional Sunday Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square. The Holy Father commented that today Italy and many other countries celebrate the feast day of the Body and Blood of Christ, “Corpus Domini” or “Corpus Christi”, in which the ecclesial community gathers around the Eucharist to adore the most precious gift that Jesus left to her.

In the Gospel of St. John we find the narrative on the “bread of life”, spoken by Jesus in the synagogue of Capernaum, in which He states: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world”. Pope Francis explained, “Jesus says that he has not come into this world to give something, but to give himself, his life, as nourishment for those who have faith in him. Our communion with the Lord commits us, his disciples, to imitate him, making of our lives, with our attitudes, a bread broken for others, just as the Master broke the bread that is truly His flesh”.

“Whenever we participate in Holy Mass and are nourished by the body of Christ, the presence of Jesus and the Holy Spirit works within us; it shapes our hearts, it communicates inner attitudes that transform within us into modes of behaviour in accordance with the Gospel. Firstly, docility to the Word of God, then fraternity among Christians, the courage of Christian witness, the creativity of charity, the ability to give hope to the disheartened, and to welcome the excluded. In this way the Eucharist helps the Christian lifestyle to mature in us. Christ’s charity, received with an open heart … changes us, transforms us, makes us capable of loving not according to a human measure, which is always limited, but according to God’s measure, and God’s measure is without measure”.

“And then we become able to love even those who do not love us”, continued the Pontiff, “and it is not easy. If we know that a person does not love us we tend not to like that person. But no! We must love those who do not love us! We must oppose evil with good, we must forgive, share, welcome others. Thanks to Jesus and his Spirit, even our life becomes ‘bread broken’ for our brothers. And, living in this way, we discover true joy! The joy of making oneself a gift, to reciprocate the great gift that we have first received, without any merit on our part.

Francis concluded his brief reflection by urging the faithful to recall two things: first, that “the measure of God’s love is to love without measure”, and that our life, “with Jesus’ love, receiving the Eucharist, transforms our life into a gift”.

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This picture was from the story about his excommunication of the Italian mafia!

Thanks be to God for giving us Pope Francis and another day to enjoy our life here on earth and to participate in the joy of bringing more people to a greater relationship with Jesus!  (The look of concern on his face communicates his concern for those who have been led astray by hypocrites!)

This is the antichrist!

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The people who tell you that all you have to do is show up and say and say a few prayers, and don’t preach the hard reality of the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist are the antichrist!

The translation from yesterday’s Office of Readings from the Divine Office website, had this title from the 2nd letter of John.  When I looked it up on the USCCB website for the same reading, the same verse was shown as follows:  Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh; such is the deceitful one and the antichrist.  (2 John 1:7)  It  refers to the other verses that I have discussed in earlier posts in the footnotes for this mentioning of the antichrist.  As I read it yesterday morning, I realized that John was calling out the antichrist.  I understood that he was talking about what I found earlier when comparing his visions from the book of Revelation to his gospel, especially related to the number of the beast and what that refers to in John’s gospel.  It is clear to me that even back at the beginning of Christianity, the apostles were dealing with folks that not only wanted to convince people that their version of Christianity was better, but also that the idea of Jesus coming in the flesh and offering that flesh for the life of the world, was not important.  Since tomorrow is Pentecost and the end of Easter season in the church, this will probably be the last time I am asked to share this news with you this year.  Also, if we are believers than we must believe that we do not have forever to tell others this news and continue to warn others about the antichrist that has been present in the world since Jesus first told them about the offering of his flesh that would be present until the end of the age.