theROCK

Results filtered by “Jill Fischer”

Sacred Heart of Jesus

main image

June celebrates a lot of fun things like National dairy month, National candy month, National fruits and vegetables month, and even National Turkey Month.  June is also the month for us to pay attention to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

As with nearly all religious art, symbolism is very important, because faith was shared through images rather than words since many could not read until recent history. Pictures truly meant a thousand words. The imagery of the Sacred Heart speaks to Jesus’ redeeming love as characterized by his heart. It demonstrates the love of God for humankind. “The human heart, a person’s deepest self, is where God has written his covenant as demonstrated in the gospels” (The Catholic Sourcebook, 2007, p357).

The image itself resulted from a series of apparitions to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque from 1673-1675 where Jesus spoke of his concern about the indifference and coldness in the world in response to his love. He asked her to promote the devotions to his heart to bring an end to the coldness and indifference. This sounds like something we could certainly benefit from now, too.

Those who have a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus are the recipients of twelve promises as part of the apparitions to St. Margaret Mary. Jesus promises:

  1.  I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
  2. I will give peace in their families. 
  3. I will console them in all their troubles. 
  4. I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.
  5. I will abundantly bless all their undertakings.
  6. Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
  7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
  8. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
  9. I will bless those places wherein the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.
  10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
  11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names eternally written in my Heart.
  12. In the excess of the mercy of my Heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without
    receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.

How can you begin a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to receive these promises? It is very simple. You need only begin to pray. Here are the words to include in your daily prayers.

O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing,
I adore you, I love you and will a lively sorrow for my sins.
I offer you this poor heart of mine.
Make me humble, patient, pure, and wholly obedient to your will.
Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in you and for you.
Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions;
give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs,
your blessings on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death.
Within your heart I place my every care.
In every need let me come to you with humble trust saying,
Heart of Jesus, help me.
Amen.

Posted by Jill Fischer

Fire in the Belly

main image

If you’re like me, you learned as a child that the Holy Spirit is a dove. This is the traditional symbol for the presence of the Holy Spirit in Scripture and religious art. I held this image for much of my life. The image of a dove isn’t one that I could relate to unlike the images of God the Father and Jesus which are human in nature. As a person who is not a big fan of birds, the Holy Spirit was a distant entity of the Trinity for me. That was until about 2007 when I read the book, "The Shack," by William P. Young. While this is not a theologically accurate book, it is an interesting piece of fiction that made me grapple with the very content that I was teaching my fourth grade students at the time, and my own understanding and appreciation of the Holy Spirit. The concept of the Holy Spirit was prevalent in the religion curriculum as it related to the sacraments of initiation. I needed to spend time with students engaging in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This was the perfect storm for a conversion moment – a compelling novel, new understanding of the Holy Spirit, and moral responsibility to teach the Truth. Working through all that was before me, I developed a deeper, more profound connection and relationship with the Holy Spirit. It is less about the dove and more about the fire. The fire that descended upon the disciples at Pentecost and burned in their bellies to give them the zeal and fortitude to carry out Jesus’s mission for all time. Every morning, I now ask the Holy Spirit to be with me and guide me, to grant me the gifts of wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and courage to do what the Lord needs me to do. I can do all things through God, the Holy Spirit, who strengthens me. I have come to appreciate that the Holy Spirit is the power. The Holy Spirit is the force. The Holy Spirit is the energy brought out through love of God and love of Jesus. 

Anger vs. Patience

main image

I am finding myself angry these days. I don’t normally make it a practice to be angry as it is, in my mind, a wasted emotion. Good rarely comes of it. However, I am angry. When I have a moment, I try to get at the core of what is angering me. I think it is the enormity of speculation surrounding us. Speculation that is taken as fact. Speculation leads to gossip and rumor. I find these things very dangerous for a person’s psyche and mental and emotional well-being. There is very little right now that is making sense to me; fact is blurred, logic has been lost, contradiction is the norm. I try to stay the course – essentially lowering my head and moving forward with what facts are in place –and do what I need to do. Speculation is driving me nuts! I am hanging on to what isn’t changing to keep me sane and to stay grounded. My heart hurts. My head hurts. I’ve had enough of this change.

While I could just stop there and wallow in my own pity, I’m not going to. Anger is a vice. It’s corresponding virtue is patience. I am, we are, being called to virtue. Patience just happens to be one of the virtues that is hard for me. I want things done yesterday. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense why this situation is angering me. I want to get on with it, and I can’t. I need to have patience. Patience with God’s plan. Patience with God’s time. This all leads back to the
concept of total surrender. Just when you think you are there, you are not there. I went to one of my spiritual sages, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, to put myself back in check. I found this nugget:

To surrender to God means that we offer him our will, our reason, our life. We do this in pure faith, even if our soul is in darkness. Truly, trials and sufferings are the surest test of blind surrender. Surrender is also a sign of our true love for God and for souls. If we really love others, we must be ready to take their place, to take their sins upon ourselves and to expiate them through penance and continual mortification. We must be living holocausts for those
souls who are most in need. 

Previous12345678910 ... 1415