Centered on Christ: As you know, our parish mission statement is ten simple words: “Inspired by Saint Paul, Centered on Christ, Called to Holiness.” During this challenging year, I can think of no better response than turning to Christ in new ways. And, I am excited to share with you a plan to help us grow deeper in our call to be “Centered on Christ”.
Nine Month Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus: The First Friday of the month is traditionally devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. On the First Friday of September, we began a nine-month novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This novena consists primarily in praying the Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the conclusion of all of our daily and Sunday Masses. The Novena will end in May. Then, in June, the Month of the Sacred Heart, we will continue to pray this prayer in celebration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We will be enthroning our parish to the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the 6:15 PM Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on Thursday, June 10. We might simply summarize the goal of this novena in these 9 simple words: “Receive His Love, Return His Love, Share His Love.”
Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus: The prayer to the Sacred Heart that we will pray throughout this year is as follows:
O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing,
I adore you, I love you and with 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. Amen.
Growing Deeper in our Enthronement: On Divine Mercy Sunday of this past year, I led the parish through the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart and we proclaimed Jesus to be the King of our parish. The image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was formally enthroned in our Church the weekend of August 22-23. It is my hope that this nine-month novena will help us to grow deeper in what it means to recognize Jesus as our King: the King of our hearts, the King of our families, the King of St Paul the Apostle Parish. And, as we have just consecrated our parish to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I invite you to join me in asking Our Lady to pray for us that her Divine Son might become more and more Our King.
Enthrone Your Home to the Sacred Heart: As part of our nine-month novena, I am encouraging every family in the parish to enthrone your home to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. And, it could not be more easy with the help of this website: welcomehisheart.com/…. The website is also a great way to learn more about the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Simply hanging an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary in a prominent place in your home is a powerful way for your family to do what our parish family is doing: to proclaim Jesus as the King of your family and Mary as the Queen of your family. We read in the Book of Revelation: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, [then] I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.” (Rev. 3:20) Our Lord Jesus is knocking on the front door of every one of our homes just as he knocks on the door of our hearts. By enthroning your home to the Sacred Heart, you will be welcoming Him in a powerful way.
Virtue of the Month: In each of the 9 Months of the Novena we will be invited to grow deeper in one of the Virtues of the Heart of Jesus. One of the simple goals of our Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is that our hearts will become more like His. All of the virtues are found in their perfection in the Heart of Jesus. The following virtues will be our “Virtue of the Month” for each of the 9 Months of our Novena: Love/Charity- September; Patience-October; Humility- November; Meekness- December; Obedience- January; Kindness- February; Honesty- March; Trustworthiness- April; Love-May. The virtue of love forms the bookends of the novena. All of the virtues are found within the virtue of love. I encourage families to pray the prayer to Sacred Heart as part of your dinner prayer or your evening family prayer. This prayer would also be a great addition to the end of your family rosary. In addition, I encourage families to focus each month on the Virtue of the Month in your family life.
Sacred Heart Congress: One of the highlights of our year will be hosting the Sacred Heart Congress at Saint Paul on November 14. The Congress will be livestreamed as well as having limited seating opportunities in the church.
Please join me in praying that we as a parish respond generously to this invitation to open our hearts and our homes and our parish to the Lord Jesus in greater ways. I pray that this Novena will help us to receive His love, return His Love, and share His Love with a world that is so broken and in need of the healing love of Christ.