Thursday, August 4, 2011


It might seem that I am on the road a lot these days but I'm not. I'll be home in Milwaukee for the next three weeks and much of that time will be devoted to writing. I have several regular writing commitments:

  • a daily reflection for the Apostleship of Prayer web site which usually consists of long quotes from the saint of the day or from a papal homily, speech or letter that pertains to the monthly intentions of the Holy Father;

  • a daily two minute radio reflection for the "Morning Air" show on Relevant Radio and a condensed one minute version that can be used throughout the day and which also appears on our web site's daily reflection page as a YouTube video;

  • our monthly leaflets designed to help people pray for the Pope's monthly intentions;

  • a one page summary of the monthly intentions for the magazine Homiletic and Pastoral Review designed to help those in parishes who preach or prepare the Prayers of the Faithful incorporate the Pope's monthly intentions into the Liturgy;

  • a monthly 5 minute reflection on each of the papal intentions that is made into a YouTube video and can be found on our home page;

  • occasional blog posts like this one.

But in the coming weeks I'll also be working hard to finish a book. Last fall Ave Maria Press approached me about writing a book on the Sacred Heart and so in the past months, in between all the above writing and my travels, I've been writing that book. It's working title is "A Heart on Fire: Rediscovering Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus." Three of the nine chapters have been sent to the publisher and I'm almost finished with three more. Now I have to work on the last three and also on quotes that will appear throughout the chapters and prayer exercises that will come at the end of each chapter.

Here's an outline of the book. In Chapter 1 I'll talk about the "heart" symbol and how it is a universal and perennial symbol of love. Chapters 2 and 3 will be what I like to call "The True Love Story." I'll talk about how devotion to the Heart of Jesus is really God's devotion to us and our response to that devotion. Thus, we can say that the devotion begins before time, in the Heart of God. I'll also go through how Sacred Heart Devotion developed in history. Since Sacred Heart Devotion is Eucharistic, in Chapters 4 and 5 I'll talk about how we encounter the Heart of Jesus in both parts of the Mass--Word and Sacrament. Chapter 6 will offer an explanation of an often misunderstood theological concept--reparation. In Chapter 7, which I've just begun to write, I will talk about Sacred Heart Devotion in terms of living a Eucharistic life and making a daily offering. Chapter 8 will go through various Sacred Heart practices (like personal consecration, enthronement, badges, and the 12 Promises), looking at them from a contemporary perspective. I'll also discuss the relationship between Sacred Heart Devotion and Divine Mercy. Finally, Chapter 9 will be a summary and conclusion.

That's the plan, so rather than writing about it, I'd better get down to actually writing the book. It's due at the publisher on September 1! The plan is to start advertising it in the winter catalog of Ave Maria Press and to have it in print and available next spring.

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