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Friday, May 02, 2008

First Friday!

Today is a First Friday, a devotion I've held now for a few years. The Sacred Heart of Jesus was always a very prominent theme in the home where I grew up, and when I experienced my own conversion, Jesus continued to come to me in this image through pamphlets, holy cards, and random reminders of His heart burning with love for us all.

I often don't make it to daily mass for many reasons, but I tend to do all I can to get there on a First Friday, and usually go to Confession within days (either day of or maybe day after). It's a beautiful devotion, and I encourage all of you to learn about it and practice this devotion.

Bride of Christ

Yesterday at work, I was rushing to finish preparing for the First Communion Masses. 'Tis the season! Many parishes have begun them, many are still amidst the childhood sacraments, and some of us are finally arriving at the dates. This is my first one, my first year preparing these little souls for the sacrament...and yesterday all I could think was that I was forgetting something!

I spoke with Father with regard to a few things, relieved that the sacristan and he would take care of some of the issues. I asked him, "My gosh, why am I so nervous? I feel like I'm planning a WEDDING!"

And that's when it hit me; that's exactly what I'm doing. I'm planning a wedding for Jesus. The symbolism of the white dress and veil for little girls isn't accidental. They ARE little Brides. (And don't tell the boys, but they're brides, too, in this context.) For Catholics, the word "Bride" applies to us all, each time we receive Christ in Holy Communion. Each Mass is a wedding, and we are reminded that Jesus gives Himself to us, body, blood, soul and divinity, and calls us all to give ourselves to him, completely. It is a marriage.

And this figures in so closely with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, burning with love for us. The Eucharistic Miracle at Lanciano, when tested in the 1980's revealed the flesh to be specifically cardiac muscle...heart muscle. Jesus quite literally gives us His Most Sacred Heart.

How appropriate that our First Communions begin just after a First Friday, and in fact, on a First Saturday, comemorating the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And I'll let YOU ponder the significance of that!

V. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
R. Have mercy on us!
V. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
R. Have mercy on us!
V. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
R. Have mercy on us!
V. Immaculate Heart of Mary
R. Pray for us.


Anonymous said...

Today at our parish yard sale a woman found a picture of a statue of Mary with the heart prominent on it. She is renewing her catholic life, and was thrilled with it. She is moved to thinking of how Mary is our mother for all christians, Amen!


Adoro te Devote said...

I just love our Blessed Mother...she always knows just when to show up!