June – Month of the Sacred Heart – 2

Sacred Heart Window at St. Edward's Church, Kettering

Corpus Christi, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Eucharistic Miracles

Continuing the theme of the month, we have something not only for families with children but which can be adapted for all adults – single, married, living alone or with others so that our parish is truly united in our love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus.    On this Sunday, the wondrous Feast of Corpus Christi (the Body and Blood of the Lord), let us all especially remember in our prayers those children who would have made their First Holy Communion.   As they cannot do so at this time we recognise their disappointment and that of their families and look forward with them to the time when they will be able to receive the loving heart of Our Lord on their future First Holy Communion Day.  Families whose children would have made their First Holy Communion could use the following suggestions to make a special occasion for them.

As promised last week, here are activities which a family can do (or individuals adapt) in preparation for the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus which falls nineteen days after Pentecost Sunday – this year on Friday June 19th.    The activities can be seen at http://archive.wf-f.org/SacredHeart.html an archive page from the Women for Faith and Family website, as follows with additions in italics:

 Family Activities for the Feast of the Sacred Heart

  1. Help the children make a small shrine, (altar) or a table decoration with a statue or picture of the Sacred Heart. Decorate it with flowers or candles (perhaps red and white). A fine family observance during this month would be to gather around the shrine (or altar) and say together the Litany of the Sacred Heart as prayers before bedtime   (full litany is given on http://archive.wf-f.org/SacredHeart.html ).  If the children are small, you might abbreviate it (or together as a family compose your own alternative litany to the Sacred Heart to praise and thank  Him and to show your love for Him for all the wonderful things He has done for us).
  2. Suggest that children make a list of several acts of charity and mercy, representing Jesus’ love for us, and write them on cut-out hearts (which they can decorate and colour in as they like). Each child might pick one of these acts to perform for a family member each day of the coming week, as a special act of unity in love with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
  3. Cut out a large paper heart of white paper (to represent the heart of Jesus) and have the children draw pictures with crayons or markers on the heart of Jesus showing His love by healing the blind and lame, or feeding the hungry, or even of Jesus on the Cross giving His very life (His heart) for us for our salvation. Display all the hearts on the refrigerator, or tape them on the door of the children’s rooms. (The main thing is to keep all the ideas prominent in your home throughout the month so that Jesus’ love for you and your children and your love in return for Him becomes an essential part of your daily living – a theme to continue with after June! If your children are struggling to think of acts of charity and mercy for activity two it might help to inspire them by doing activity three first).
  4. Bake a heart-shaped cake or cookies (or just decorate a round cake with heart shapes). Make the decorations simple enough so that the children can help. SeeValentine Pagefor Heart shaped cookies. A heart-shaped cake to celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart would have a single candle, representing the Light of Christ.   (Make your main meal extra special on that day.   It does not have to be elaborate or expensive.  The simplest food prepared and presented with sincere care and shared with those we love most is the most wholesome of all food.   Scripture records Jesus sharing a meal with His disciples so many times and at the Last Supper gifting us His very body and blood to nurture, comfort and sustain us until we are finally at home with Him.  For those living alone perhaps a place could be set at the table for Jesus who will be there sharing our meal time with us and who is with our loved ones who have gone on before us).

Suggested Research for Adults – How Eucharistic Miracles indicate that Corpus Christi is the Sacred Heart of Jesus

“I am the living bread which has come down from heaven.   Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.”   John 6:51

Chapter six of St John’s gospel is immensely rich in teaching on the nature of the Eucharist and, in common with the rest of his gospel, illustrates with great beauty and sincerity the huge depth of Christ’s love for each of us.    The response of many of those who were listening to Jesus’ explanation of his gift of the Eucharist to us was (understandably) disbelief and sadly they deserted Him;

Jesus was aware that His followers were complaining about it (His doctrine) and said, ”Does this upset you?” .. …” The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.   But there are some of you who do not believe.”  After this, many of His disciples left Him and stopped going with Him. John 6:61,63

Asking the Twelve if they also wanted to go away, Peter answered, “Lord, who shall we go to?  You have the message of eternal life and we believe; we know that you are the Holy One of God.”  John 6:67-68

If you have not yet heard of Eucharistic Miracles you might like to examine websites such as https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/eucharistic-miracles-evidence-of-the-real-presence-0 which gives a historical glimpse into this phenomenon that adds strength to the Church’s understanding from the very beginning that the Eucharist is the Real Presence of the Lord.    The most recent Eucharistic Miracles have been closely examined by eminent scientists with the aid of modern technology and it has been possible to determine that the Host has indeed changed during the consecration at Mass into heart tissue at the moment of excruciating agony just prior to death.

The Holy Mass is the most amazing Eucharistic Miracle!    In the Mass Christ gives to each of us personally His heart of love on a daily basis all over the world.    At this time let us continue to joyfully receive the Real Presence of the Lord as we make our spiritual communion online.  The Miracle of Lanciano is officially recognized by the Catholic Church as a true Eucharistic Miracle.  Watch the video at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PJ8BORx1p8 and the more recent miracle in Argentina (1996) at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttdcfZyQrs4  Others have taken place since, eg: in Poland.  Something for you to research!