Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Morning Offering and the Sacred Heart

Fr. Ambrose, a Benedictine monk of St. Louis Priory (http://www.stlouisabbey.org/)
invited me to visit and to meet with a group of catechists who are reviving the old CCD--Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. The manuals of the CCD indicate that their spirituality was based on the Apostleship of Prayer. Thus they were interested in hearing more about the Apostleship. I spoke with them for about 40 minutes and then answered questions. One of the questions motivated me to write this particular entry: "What is the relationship between the Morning Offering and the Sacred Heart of Jesus?"

The heart is a symbol of love. The Heart of Jesus, pierced and opened, is a symbol of the total love of God. Pope Benedict writes eloquently about this love in his first encyclical "Deus Caritas Est." It is a love that is passionate and self-sacrificing. This Heart is present in the Blessed Sacrament. Pope John Paul II, in his Apostolic Letter announcing the Year of the Eucharist--"Mane Nobiscum Domine"--wrote:

The presence of Jesus in the tabernacle must be a kind of magnetic pole attracting an ever greater number of souls enamoured of him, ready to wait patiently to hear his voice and, as it were, to sense the beating of his heart. “O taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Ps 34:8).

The Heart of Jesus is given to us in Holy Communion to fulfill the prophecies that appear in the Prophet Ezekiel Chapters 11 and 36, that God would take from us our hard hearts and give us a human heart. The Eucharistic Heart of Jesus transforms our hard hearts into loving hearts, as God intended our human hearts to be.

Having this new Heart beating with our hearts and transforming them allows us to love as Jesus loved--totally. With this Heart we can fulfill the two commandments to love God and to love our neighbor. We do this one day at a time by making a daily offering of ourselves, uniting our day with Jesus' total offering of Himself in the Eucharist. United to this Heart, we share Its concerns and desires which come to us in a particular way through Christ's Vicar on earth--the Holy Father.

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