“Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know Himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.”–St. John Paul II Preface to Fides et Ratio
Fides et Ratio Reflections
Today is the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Whose heart is love itself. St. John Paul II, in Fides et Ratio, draws from Vatican II’s constitution Dei Verbum and emphasizes the significance of that merciful core of Jesus, Who revealed it in history:
“Contemplating Jesus as revealer, the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council stressed the salvific character of God’s Revelation in history, describing it in these terms: ‘In this Revelation, the invisible God (cf. Col 1:15; 1 Tim 1:17), out of the abundance of his love speaks to men and women as friends (cf. Ex 33:11; Jn 15:14-15) and lives among them (cf. Bar 3:38), so that he may invite and take them into communion with himself. This plan of Revelation is realized by deeds and words having an inner unity: the deeds wrought by God in the history of salvation manifest and confirm the teaching and realities signified by the words, while the words proclaim the deeds and clarify the mystery contained in them. By this Revelation, then, the deepest truth about God and human salvation is made clear to us in Christ, who is the mediator and at the same time the fullness of all Revelation’” (No. 10).
God speaks to us “out of the abundance of His love”—exemplified especially in His Most Sacred Heart. Elsewhere, the Holy Father characterized devotion to Jesus’ Heart this way: “In that Divine Heart beats God’s infinite love for everyone, for each one of us individually.”
Individually and personally, we are loved. I am loved. You are loved. Infinitely. In response, this morning I prayed this Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I invite you to pray it as well:
“Lord Jesus Christ, I consecrate myself today anew and without reserve to Your divine Heart. I consecrate to You my body with all its senses, my soul with all its faculties, my entire being. I consecrate to You all my thoughts, words and deeds, all my sufferings and labors, all my hopes, consolations and joys. In particular I consecrate to You this poor heart of mine so that it may love only You and may be consumed as a victim in the fire of Your love. I place my trust in You without reserve and I hope for the remission of my sins through Your infinite mercy. I place within your hands all my cares and anxieties. I promise to love You and to honor You till the last moment of my life, and to spread, as much as I can, devotion to Your most Sacred Heart. Do with me what You will, my Jesus. I deserve no other reward except Your greater glory and Your holy love. Take this offering of myself and give me a place within Your divine Heart forever. AMEN.”
It’s About Time
The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus & The Immaculate Heart of Mary
It is back-to-back “holy days” with today’s Sacred Heart solemnity and tomorrow’s memorial of The Immaculate Heart of Mary, who “kept all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).
Our school system has a long affiliation with devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, beginning with the foundation of “Sacred Heart Academy” in Fargo in September of 1897. The last class to graduate from SHA was the Class of 1950; the Class of 1951 was the first to graduate from “Shanley High School.”
The Sacred Heart statue pictured at the top of this post was dedicated in the fall of 1955 by then-Bishop Leo Dworschak and placed in the southeast stairwell of Shanley. It was moved to its present location just outside Presentation Chapel at the “new” Shanley High School in the summer of 2002.
Moreover, two years ago, in June 2021, our middle school was re-named “Sacred Heart Middle School,” and that designation was perfect, given our history and our identity as a Catholic school.
Sacred Heart of Jesus: “Save us.”
Immaculate Heart of Mary: “Pray for us.”
Los Angeles Dodgers
In October 1965, the Los Angeles Dodgers broke my six-year-old heart by defeating my Minnesota Twins in the World Series, four games to three.
In June 2023, the Los Angeles Dodgers are breaking many hearts in honoring—yes, honoring—the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” at tonight’s game. Vin Scully must be rolling over in his grave.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops gives this overview and call to prayer:
“Catholic Christians traditionally recognize June as the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. During this time, we call to mind Christ’s love for us, which is visible in a special way in the image of His pierced heart, and we pray that our own hearts might be conformed to His, calling us to love and respect all His people.
“This year, on June 16—the day of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus—a professional baseball team has shockingly chosen to honor a group whose lewdness and vulgarity in mocking our Lord, His Mother, and consecrated women cannot be overstated. This is not just offensive and painful to Christians everywhere; it is blasphemy.
“It has been heartening to see so many faithful Catholics and others of good will stand up to say that what this group does is wrong, and it is wrong to honor them. We call on Catholics to pray the Litany of the Sacred Heart on June 16, offering this prayer as an act of reparation for the blasphemies against our Lord we see in our culture today.”
Here is the link to participate in praying the Litany of the Scared Heart today: Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus | USCCB
Father’s Day & Bishop Folda’s 10th Anniversary
Sunday is Father’s Day and I wish a hearty, happy Father’s Day to all dads, grandpas, great-grandpas, and “father figures” who make all the difference in the lives of children. May you be blessed in your indispensable roles.
I likewise wish a hearty, happy 10th ordination anniversary on Monday to the Diocese of Fargo’s spiritual father, Bishop John T. Folda. He was consecrated as Bishop on June 19, 2013, in the first cohort of bishops appointed by Pope Francis.
Please join me in praying for the eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Fargo:
“God, eternal shepherd, You tend Your Church in many ways and rule us with love. You have chosen Your servant, John, to be a shepherd of your flock. Give him a spirit of courage and right judgment, a spirit of knowledge and love. By governing with fidelity those entrusted to his care, may he build Your Church as a sign of salvation for the world. AMEN.”
“Do not let the past disturb you, just leave everything in the Sacred Heart and begin again with joy.”–St. Teresa of Calcutta
Hagstrom’s Attempt At Humor (HAAH!)
Sunday Psalm Sampler
11th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
“Everything written about Me in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.”–Luke 24:44b
Lectionary Readings: Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 100: 1-2, 3, 5
Responsorial Refrain: “We are His people: the sheep of His flock.” (Ps 100:3c)
“Psalm 100” was the name given to one of Shanley’s vibrant choral ensembles established by the legendary Mrs. (now “Dr.”) Rebecca Raber, who taught here from 2002-2016. The first stanza of today’s Responsorial Psalm demonstrates the reason for that name: “Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; serve the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful song” (Ps. 100:1). For years, those Shanley singers were beautiful witnesses of that joy.
“Joy,” writes St. Padre Pio, “comes from the enjoyment of possessing what we love.” He then asks, “Now isn’t God the highest good the soul loves, and in loving Him, doesn’t the soul possess Him?”
With pastoral imagery, the Psalmist celebrates the truth that we are God’s creation and possession, His flock. Joy accompanies that certitude and envelops our love of Him Who first loved us. With thanksgiving, then, let us sing this week, “We are His people: the sheep of His flock.”