Giotto di Bondone
Tempera on wood, 44,5 x 43 cm
Berenson Collection, Settignano
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque Fr. Don Miller, OFM
Image: Stained glass, depiction Christ appearing to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and showing her His Sacred Heart | St. Francis Xavier Basilica, Vincennes, IN
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
Saint of the Day for October 16
(July 22, 1647 – October 17, 1690)
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque’s Story
Margaret Mary was chosen by Christ to arouse the Church to a realization of the love of God symbolized by the heart of Jesus.
Her early years were marked by sickness and a painful home situation. “The heaviest of my crosses was that I could do nothing to lighten the cross my mother was suffering.” After considering marriage for some time, Margaret Mary entered the Order of the Visitation nuns at the age of 24.
A Visitation nun was “not to be extraordinary except by being ordinary,” but the young nun was not to enjoy this anonymity. A fellow novice termed Margaret Mary humble, simple, and frank, but above all, kind and patient under sharp criticism and correction. She could not meditate in the formal way expected, though she tried her best to give up her “prayer of simplicity.” Slow, quiet, and clumsy, she was assigned to help an infirmarian who was a bundle of energy.
On December 21, 1674, three years a nun, she received the first of her revelations. She felt “invested” with the presence of God, though always afraid of deceiving herself in such matters. The request of Christ was that his love for humankind be made evident through her.
During the next 13 months, Christ appeared to her at intervals. His human heart was to be the symbol of his divine-human love. By her own love Margaret Mary was to make up for the coldness and ingratitude of the world—by frequent and loving Holy Communion, especially on the first Friday of each month, and by an hour’s vigil of prayer every Thursday night in memory of his agony and isolation in Gethsemane. He also asked that a feast of reparation be instituted.
Like all saints, Margaret Mary had to pay for her gift of holiness. Some of her own sisters were hostile. Theologians who were called in declared her visions delusions and suggested that she eat more heartily. Later, parents of children she taught called her an impostor, an unorthodox innovator. A new confessor, the Jesuit Claude de la Colombière, recognized her genuineness and supported her. Against her great resistance, Christ called her to be a sacrificial victim for the shortcomings of her own sisters, and to make this known.
After serving as novice mistress and assistant superior, Margaret Mary died at the age of 43, while being anointed. She said: “I need nothing but God, and to lose myself in the heart of Jesus.”
Our scientific-materialistic age cannot “prove” private revelations. Theologians, if pressed, admit that we do not have to believe in them. But it is impossible to deny the message Margaret Mary heralded: that God loves us with a passionate love. Her insistence on reparation and prayer and the reminder of final judgment should be sufficient to ward off superstition and superficiality in devotion to the Sacred Heart while preserving its deep Christian meaning.
Information: St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
Feast Day: October 17
Born: 22 July 1647, L’Hautecour, Burgundy, France
Died: 17 October 1690, Paray-le-Monial, Burgundy, France
Canonized: 13 May 1920, Rome by Benedict XV
Patron of: those suffering with polio, devotees of the Sacred Heart, loss of parents
Information: St. Hedwig
Feast Day: October 16
Born: 1174 in Bavaria
Died: October 1243 at Trebnitz
Canonized: 1266 by Pope Clement IV
Patron of: Bavaria; Berlin, Germany; brides; duchesses; death of children; difficult marriages; Görlitz, Germany, diocese of; Silesia; victims of jealousy; widows
St. Margaret Mary
Feast Day: October 16
Born:1647 :: Died:1690
Margaret Mary was born in Burgundy in France. As a child, she was a happy little girl who loved the nuns at school. But when she was eleven, she became very sick.
It was four years before she was well again after she saw a vision of the Virgin Mary. Her father had died, and an aunt had moved into their home.
This aunt and her husband made Margaret Mary and her mother suffer very much. Almost every day, Margaret would hide in the garden to cry and pray. What hurt her most was seeing her mother get hurt.
Her mother wanted her to marry and so did her relatives. They were worried about her, especially when she brought beggar children into the garden to try to teach them.
Margaret Mary hesitated a while, neither marrying nor entering the convent. At last she decided on the convent and joined the Visitation sisters. She was kind and humble but often made others impatient since she was slow and clumsy.
But she was dear to Jesus. Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary and showed her his sacred heart. His heart was encircled by a crown of thorns that was a symbol of his great sacrifice. Jesus told her how much he loves each one of us and wanted her to spread devotion to his Sacred Heart.
It was a very hard thing to do as not many people believed she had really seen Jesus. Some were angry with her for trying to spread the new devotion.
This brought her lots of suffering. Yet she did her best to carry out the Lord’s wish. Jesus blessed her hard work and pain. Today, this wonderful devotion to the Sacred Heart is practiced all over the world.
Our Lord made twelve great promises to St. Margaret Mary for those who are devoted to his most Sacred Heart. They are:
- I will give them all the graces they need in life.
- I will create peace in their families.
- I will comfort them in all their troubles.
- They shall surely find in My Heart protection during life and especially at the hour of their death.
- I will shower them with blessings in everything that they do.
- Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
- Weak souls shall become fervent.
- Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
- I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.
- I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.
- Those who spread this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be erased.
- The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine continuous months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My heart shall surely be their protection at that last hour.
From St. Margaret Mary we can learn to trust in the Heart of Jesus, which – as she wrote – is filled with “love to meet our every need.”
CATHOLIC ALMANACMonday, October 16
Liturgical Color: Green
Bl. Anicet Koplinski died on this day in
1941. He was one of the 108 Polish
Martyrs of World War II. Mostly Catholic
priests and religious, they were killed in
the Nazi death camps (1939-1945)
because of their Catholic faith.
Ordinary Time: October 16th
Optional Memorial of St. Hedwig, religious; St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, virgin; St. Marguerite d’Youville (Canada)
Old Calendar: St. Hedwig, widow; St. Gerard Majella (Hist) ; Other Titles: Jadwiga; Eduviges; Eduvijes; Margarita Mary Alacoque; Margherita Mary Alacoque; Marguerite Mary Alacoque
Hedwig (1174-1243), the aunt of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, was married at an early age to Henry, Duke of Silesia. After their six children had been born, they both strove to advance in sanctity and to enrich Silesia and Poland with monasteries, hospitals, and leper asylums. When Henry died in 1238, Hedwig took the habit of the Cistercian nuns at Trebnitz (where one of her daughters was the abbess), but retained the administration of her property so that she could give personal relief to the suffering.
After a girlhood marked by painful illness and even more painful family discord, Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) entered the Visitation convent of Paray-le-Monial, France, at the age of 22. She was ignorant, sickly, and clumsy, but she had great charity and humility. Our Lord chose her to spread devotion to his Sacred Heart, at a time when rebellion without (Protestantism) and heresy within (Jansenism) were doing their best to separate Catholics from their faith and their God.
Marguerite d’Youville is the first native Canadian to be elevated to sainthood. She founded the Sisters of Charity.
According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the feast of St. Margaret Mary is celebrated on October 17. St. Gerard Majella, listed in the Roman Martyrology, was a native of Muro in southern Italy. He was apprenticed to a tailor before asking to be received by the Redemptorists as a lay-brother. He continued his trade in the monastery, where he soon attracted the attention of St. Alphonsus de Liguori, who shortened his novitiate. His wonderful and well authenticated life was a series of supernatural phenomena — bilocations, reading of consciences, prophecies, multiplying of food, etc. He was canonized in 1904 and is the patron of expectant mothers and unborn children.
Hedwig was born in 1174 in Bavaria, the daughter of the Duke of Croatia. She was the maternal aunt of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. She married Duke Henry of Silesia and raised seven children, with the boys being quite a handful. She outlived all but one of her children, Gertrude. Hedwig persuaded her husband to use her dowry to found a Cisterian monastery for nuns at Trebnitz. Their daughter Gertrude later became abbess of the monastery.
Hedwig led a life of piety and solicitude for the sick and poor, including their religious education. She lived a life of poverty and humility, despite her prominent position. Every day, even in winter, she would walk barefooted, so her feet were in bad shape. A story tells us her husband sent her a pair of shoes, insisting that she not be without them — so she kept them under her arm. After the death of her husband Hedwig completely renounced the world and entered the monastery of Trebnitz which she had founded. She died on October 15, 1243 and is venerated as patroness of Poland. She is not to be confused with St. Hedwig, Queen of Poland (1371-1399), canonized by John Paul II. (Her feast day is February 28.)
Patron: Bavaria; brides; duchesses; death of children; marital problems; Silesia; victims of jealousy; widows.
Symbols: noble lady holding statue of Virgin and Child; noble lady holding a church (symbol of monastery); lady holding pair of shoes under arm.
Things to Do:
- On this feast in Poland, there is a bread called Hedwigsohlen (Shoe Soles of St. Hedwig) that used to be distributed to the poor of Trebnitz on her feast day. The shoe soles remind us of her generosity to the poor, and the fact that she sacrificed her own comfortable shoes in walking to church. A recipe can be found in Cooking with the Saints by Ernest Schuegraf, but any recipe for a bread that can be formed into a specific shape can be used. Form them into soles of shoes.
- One of the great Eastern Europe/Slovakian (including Polish) traditions is the colored Easter eggs, or pisanki (pysanky — multiple-colored eggs) and krashanki (single colored eggs). These eggs seem to have been associated with burial customs and the oldest written knowledge connects St. Hedwig with this custom. After her canonization in 1267 this miracle was attributed to Hedwig:
When the son of a prominent judge was still unable to walk at eight years of age, his mother brought the boy to the grave of St. Hedwig in her arms and was praying to St. Hedwig to heal him when, lo!, a miracle happened. In the presence of the priest who baptized him and the abbess of the monastery, the boy suddenly stood up, took an egg that lay before him and walked around the saint’s grave. The abbess took other decorated eggs and threw them at the feet of the young boy, compelling him to walk further from the tomb. This miracle is said to have happened near Easter between 1274 and 1287 (p. 107, Polish Customs, Traditions, & Folklore by Sophie Hodorowicz Knab).
- Find out more about these Easter eggs, and try your hand at making these works of art.
- October is harvest time all over the world, but especially in Poland. Late September usually brings frost, so usually only the root crops, like cabbage, turnips, beets and carrots are remaining to be harvested. Old Polish legends talk about harvesting these late root crops and sowing of winter wheat on or just after October 15 which is St. Hedwig’s Day or Sw. Jadwiga in Poland. It is said that she sweetens these crops if they are left till then. See Polish Customs, Traditions, & Folklore by Sophie Hodorowicz Knab for more details.
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
A self-effacing nun in the Visitation Convent at Paray-le-Monial, France, was inspired by the Lord Jesus to establish the devotion of the Holy Hour. Her name was St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, and from the age of seven, when she received her first Holy Communion, she had always manifested an intense love of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Our Lord appeared to her often, usually as the Crucified Christ. Her simplicity caused her to feel that these apparitions were also granted to others who had recourse to Jesus in the sacrament of His love. Once the Master appeared to the young girl as she was returning from a dance and reproached her for not espousing Him.
When twenty-four years of age, Margaret entered the cloister, choosing the most menial tasks. Gifted with intelligence and common sense, she made great progress in holiness. Our Lord entrusted to her the mission of establishing the reign of the Sacred Heart among the children of men. Criticism did not hamper her zeal, and her charity toward her opponents won them over to the cause of the Master.
In the first revelation of the Sacred Heart to the nun, Our Lord made known His burning desire to be loved by all men, and His design of manifesting to them His Sacred Heart with its treasures of mercy. Margaret Mary communicated Our Lord’s wish that the faithful receive Holy Communion on the first Friday of each month and observe the Feast of the Sacred Heart on the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi.
After nineteen years in the convent, St. Margaret Mary died October 17, 1690. Many pilgrims to her tomb have sought and obtained favors. Through her apostolate of devotion to the Sacred Heart many sinners have repented and found grace with God.
Patron: against polio; devotees of the Sacred Heart; loss of parents; polio patients.
Symbols: nun in habit of the Order of the Visitation and holding a flaming heart; nun in habit of the Order of the Visitation and kneeling before Jesus exposing His heart to her; Sacred Heart; heart.
Things to Do:
- Find out more about the Jansenist heresy.
- Read the Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; Strive to fulfill the obligation for the Nine First Fridays.
- Find out more about the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart, and establish this practice in your home. A book to read on this is Enthronement of the Sacred Heart by Francis Larkin, SS.CC. Find out more information from Congregation of the Sacred Hearts Online.
St. Gerard Majella
St. Gerard was born in southern Italy on April 6, 1726. His father died while Gerard was still young, forcing him to be apprenticed to a tailor. His frail health, quiet disposition, and gentle ways led him to being bullied by fellow workers and by his employers.
He was refused admission to the Capuchin Order on account of his youth, so he lived for a time as a hermit. His great love for Jesus crucified caused him to lead a very ascetical lifestyle. Getting to know the Redemptorists, he applied to them but was initially rejected because of his poor health. On his insisting, however, he was reluctantly accepted and sent to the novitiate with a note saying: “I am sending you a useless lay brother.”
Gerard was professed in July 1752, and quickly disproved the prediction of his uselessness by his excellent service as porter, tailor, and sacristan. His prayerfulness and dedication began to be too great to overlook and so he gained a reputation for sanctity. This brought a large number of persons to him for guidance in the spiritual life. He readily responded, revealing a remarkable gift for sensing the deep interior reality of a person. Because of this genius, of his ability to bring relief to the sick, and of his care for women in childbirth, many miracles were attributed to him and he gained the nickname “The Wonderworker.”
His popularity eventually led to accusations of sexual misconduct, which he bore patiently until they were proven false.
He died on October 16, 1755, worn out by his austerities and by tuberculosis. Very many Catholics throughout the world honor him as the special patron of new mothers and of families, and his reputation as “The Wonderworker” continues to our day. — The Redemptorists
Patron: Childbirth; children; expectant mothers; falsely accused people; good confessions; lay brothers; motherhood; mothers; pregnant women; pro-life movement; unborn children.
Things to Do:
- Read this longer life of St. Gerard here.
- If you live close to Trenton, NJ make a pilgrimage to the National Shrine of St. Gerard where an annual procession is held on his feast day or you can pay a virtual visit to the website.
St. Marguerite d’Youville
Marguerite d’Youville, the first native Canadian to be elevated to sainthood, was born October 15, 1701 at Varennes, Quebec. She was the eldest child born to Christophe Dufrost de Lajemmerais and Marie-Renée Gaultier. Her father died when she was seven years old leaving this family of six in great poverty. It was only through the influence of her great grandfather, Pierre Boucher, that she was enabled to study for two years at the Ursulines in Quebec. Upon her return home, she became an invaluable support to her mother and undertook the education of her brothers and sisters.
She married François d’Youville in 1722 and the young couple made their home with his mother who made life miserable for her daughter-in-law. She soon came to realize that her husband had no interest in making a home life. His frequent absences and illegal liquor trading with the Indians caused her great suffering. She was pregnant with her sixth child when François became seriously ill. She faithfully cared for him until his death in 1730. By age 29, she had experienced desperate poverty and suffered the loss of her father and husband. Four of her six children had died in infancy.
In all these suffering Marguerite grew in her belief of God’s presence in her life and of his tender love for every human person. She, in turn, wanted to make known his compassionate love to all. She undertook many charitable works with complete trust in God, who she loved as a Father.
She provided for the education of her two sons, who later became priests, and she welcomed a blind woman into her home. Marguerite was soon joined by three young women who shared her love and concern for the poor. On December 31, 1737, they consecrated themselves to God and promised to serve him in the person of the poor. Marguerite, without even realizing it, had become the foundress of the Sisters of Charity of Montreal, “Grey Nuns”.
Marguerite always fought for the rights of the poor and broke with the social conventions of her day. It was a daring move that made her the object of ridicule and taunts by her own relatives and neighbors. She persevered in caring for the poor despite many obstacles. She was in weakened health and mourning the death of one of her companions when a fire destroyed their home. This only served to deepen her commitment to the poor. On February 2, 1745, she and her two early companions pledged themselves to put everything in common in order to help a greater number of persons in need. Two years later, this “mother of the poor” as she was called, was asked to become director of the Charon Brothers Hospital in Montreal which was falling into ruin. She and her sisters rebuilt the hospital and cared for those in most desperate human misery. With the help of her sisters and their lay collaborators, Marguerite laid the foundation for service to the poor of a thousand faces.
In 1765 a fire destroyed the hospital but nothing could destroy Marguerite’s faith and courage. She asked her sisters and the poor who lived at the hospital, to recognize the hand of God in this disaster and to offer him praise. At the age of 64 she undertook the reconstruction of this shelter for those in need. Totally exhausted from a lifetime of self-giving, Marguerite died on December 23, 1771 and will always be remembered as a loving mother who served Jesus Christ in the poor.
Marguerite was one woman, but this daughter of the Church had a vision of caring for the poor that has spread far and wide. Her sisters have served on almost every continent. Today, her mission is courageously carried on in a spirit of hope by the Sisters of Charity of Montreal, “Grey Nuns” and their sister communities: the Sisters of Charity of St. Hyacinthe, the Sisters of Charity at Ottawa, the Sisters of Charity of Quebec, the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart (Philadelphia) and the Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (Pembroke).
Excerpted from Evangelizo.org
The Word Among Us
Meditation: Romans 1:1-7
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, Virgin (Optional Memorial)
Paul . . . called to be an Apostle and set apart for the Gospel of God. (Romans 1:1)
St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans has long been recognized as a theological masterpiece, but that fact can make it seem awfully intimidating. So as we explore Romans over the next few weeks, let’s approach it as an actual letter written by a real person and not as a theological, religious treatise.
Paul wrote Romans while he was in Corinth, probably in AD 57 or 58. He was preparing to take a collection of donations from the Gentile Christians in Macedonia and Achaia to the church in Jerusalem, which was struggling financially. Then, he planned to sail for Rome, where he hoped to set up a base of operations to support a further missionary journey to Spain (Romans 15:26-33). Paul had not personally evangelized Rome, so he wrote this letter as an introduction in the hopes of winning the Roman Christians’ friendship and their support for his missionary work.
How did Paul introduce himself? By spelling out the gospel he proclaimed. He wrote about how God has made it possible for everyone to be reconciled to him through the gift of faith (Romans 3–5). He wrote about the life in the Spirit that Jesus has made available through his cross and resurrection (7–8). And he wrote about how everyone— Jew and Gentile alike—can come to know God and enter the kingdom of heaven (3, 9–11). In a sense, Romans gives us a glimpse into Paul’s heart and mind. It reveals an apostle who was both a deep thinker and a passionate believer, and it points the way for us to follow his example.
As you read through Romans in the next few weeks, ask the Holy Spirit to help you embrace the love of God that is embedded in the letter’s main themes. This letter carries a message that has changed the lives of millions of people over the course of two thousand years. It’s a message that never loses its power to change us as we learn that nothing can “separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39)!
“Father, thank you for speaking to me through the Scriptures. Holy Spirit, open my heart so that God’s love might penetrate to the depths of my soul.”
Marriage = One Man and One Woman Until Death Do Us Part
Daily Marriage Tip for October 16, 2017:
“The spirit of wisdom came to me.” (Wisdom 7:7) What’s the wisest thing your beloved has ever said or done (besides marrying you)? Tell him or her.
Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Father Daniel Ray, LC
Luke 11: 29-32
While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that you are present here as I turn to you in prayer. I trust and have confidence in your desire to give me every grace I need to receive today. Thank you for your love, thank you for your immense generosity toward me. I give you my life and my love in return.
Petition: Lord, help me to recognize the signs of your presence in my life.
1. Three Days in the Fish: When Jonah is swallowed by the whale he dies, and when he is spit out onto the shore, he comes to life again. This is the only sign that Christ promises to his listeners who seek a sign. Christ will be seen by them as truly dead, swallowed by the tomb of the earth. Then, after three days, he will come to life again in the Resurrection. As Jonah preached conversion to the Ninevites after coming back from the dead, so Christ would bring conversion and peace to some of the very ones who abandoned him or cried out for his crucifixion. Even in rebuking the “evil generation”, Christ promises them a sign that will bring hope to any of them who—like the Ninevites—later repent. If later in life they realize their evilness, Christ himself will be there to guide them back to friendship with his Father.
2. Even the Queen Came: Christ is reminding his unbelieving listeners that the Queen of Sheba traveled from afar to hear Solomon’s wisdom. The distance from the Kingdom of Sheba in southern Arabia to Jerusalem would have taken weeks to traverse. It would have been an exhausting and expensive journey, especially considering the entourage that would have accompanied the Queen. She recognized the gift of God in him and relished the pearls of divine wisdom that he shared with her. We need to reflect on how often we avail ourselves of all that God offers us that is not a journey of weeks away, but is just a few miles away: Christ in the Eucharist. Closer still, the Bible on the shelf is filled with Christ’s message of love. All this is within easy reach and is much more than anything Solomon could share with us.
3. Greater than Jonah: The whale was greater than Jonah. It swallowed him whole. Yet that violent death and subsequent resurrection was the key moment in Jonah’s life and mission. It was necessary not only for Jonah’s own salvation (he had been running from God), but it also was necessary for the salvation of the whole city of Nineveh. Christ makes this reference to Jonah as a forewarning to his listeners: He is greater than Jonah. He is greater than the death that would swallow him. This should inspire our faith and confidence in Christ. There is nothing greater than he. There is no greater prophet; no greater event can consume him. All things are under his dominion except one: our free will. That he doesn’t force; that he doesn’t conquer. He leaves it perfectly intact, so that we might respond freely to his call to ongoing conversion, just like the citizens of Nineveh.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, the sign of love that you give is your willingness to die a cruel and humiliating death. Yet that is not everything: You give me your Word in the Gospel. You give me your Body and Blood in the Eucharist. Help me to appreciate these great gifts and to make the most of every opportunity to receive them.
Resolution: At some point today I will offer a prayer of thanksgiving, thanking Christ for the blessings received over the past few days.
Homily of the Day
October 16, 2017
In the Gospel reading Jesus rebukes so many people who refused to listen to the Good News, who, despite all his wonderful cures and miracles, still demanded signs from him. No sign will be given to them, except the sign of Jonah, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” (Jn 2: 19)
The people had hardened hearts, were blind and deaf to his ministry. The people of Nineveh listened to Jonah; the Queen of the South traveled far to hear the wisdom of Solomon: yet here there is greater than Jonah and Solomon.
In the first reading, Paul saw and listened to the signs of the coming of the Messiah and faithfully summarized the Good News of Jesus Christ.
What signs do we see of God’s Good News today? May our eyes, ears and hearts see, hear and read these signs.
One Bread, One Body
One Bread, One Body
Language: English | Espa�ol
All Issues > Volume 33, Issue 6
|<< Monday, October 16, 2017 >>
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
CALLED AND LOVED BY NAME
|“Greetings from Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called…” �Romans 1:1
|Paul was very conscious of being “called to be an apostle” (Rm 1:1). He was also quite aware that he was writing to those “called to belong to Jesus Christ” (Rm 1:6) and “called to holiness, grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rm 1:7). Being called was so important to the early Church that the root meaning of the word we translate “church” is “the called out.” The early Christians considered themselves to be the elect, the specially chosen, “the called out,” called to a special love of the Lord.
For human beings, to be special implies exclusivity, not inclusivity. If everyone’s special, no one’s special. Therefore, we may not feel specially chosen, because we know that God loves everyone. However, the Lord is not bound by our limitations. He can love everyone with a personalized, individualized love. He made each of us as one-of-a-kind. He knows each of us so much better than we can ever know ourselves. He loves each of us not with a generic love; rather, He calls, knows, and loves us each by name (Is 43:1). He has numbered the hairs of our heads (Mt 10:30) and has counted our tears (Ps 56:9). He knows and cares about our comings and goings (Ps 139:3ff).
Each of us is called � specially, uniquely chosen for the Lord’s love. Live in His love (Jn 15:9). Answer the call!
|Prayer: Father, I thank and praise You for Your personal, intimate love for me.
|Promise: “At the judgment, the citizens of Nineveh will rise along with the present generation, and they will condemn it. For at the preaching of Jonah they reformed, but you have a greater than Jonah here.” �Lk 11:32
|Praise: Although St. Margaret Mary only lived forty-three years, her devotions to the Sacred Heart have flourished for over three centuries.