NOTICE: I am a practicing Catholic, active and in good-standing with my local parish, who professes faith and loyalty to the Church. This ministry - my "little work" - is strictly a personal expression of that faith and loyalty, and not an officially recognized ministry in the Diocese of Honolulu. ~ Peter

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Heart of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist

"Behold, this heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing,
even to exhausting and consuming itself, in order to testify its love..."

~ Words of Jesus to St. Mary Margaret Alacoque, 1675

Today, the Church throughout the world is celebrating the Sacred Heart of Jesus; the beautiful and sublime representation of the unconditional and immeasurable love of God for all mankind... so I'd like to take this opportunity to share an experience I had this past Sunday, May 29th, as a personal testimony to the Sacred Heart. Incidentally, the 29th also happened to be the celebration of another great feast in the Church - the Feast of Corpus Christi (the Body and Blood of Christ) - which, undeniably, is intimately linked to the Sacred Heart Devotion.

So recalling the events of this past Sunday... I decided to attend morning Mass at the Star of the Sea Church, near my home, where I knew the Blessed Sacrament would be exposed for public adoration for an extended period of time prior to their 10:15am Mass. I arrived about 45 minutes before the start of the Mass so I could pray my daily rosary and spend some much-need quality time with Jesus; to soak in his peace and unwind from my long, grueling work week.

A sign from the Blessed Sacrament?  Compare the glowing image of the Sacred Heart in the
photo to the right with the painted image on the left.  The resemblance is striking.
[Click on the photo to view a slightly larger photo]

After finishing the rosary, I sat quietly in the pew and intermittently gazed at our Lord while offering him short prayers in my heart; expressing to Jesus personal sentiments of love, gratitude, and praise, while at the same time asking him to forgive me all my sins. At one point, I felt an overwhelming "urge" to take a photo of the altar, which just wouldn't go away... so I took out my cellphone and snapped about four photos of the sanctuary although I couldn't physically see anything extraordinary going on in the vicinity of the altar. I then put the phone back into my pocket without reviewing any of the photos.

Benediction at Star of the Sea
Church in Kahala, Hawaii
Sometime later, after I got home, I looked at the pictures from the church and was surprised to find a clear image of the Sacred Heart in one of the photos. The picture, as seen above, shows a brilliant light formation on the monstrance in the recognizable form of the Sacred Heart topped with a cross, but minus the thorns and flames. As I mentioned, I was surprised; surprised that God had granted me this signal grace despite my unworthiness... but yet, not surprised, because I firmly believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist; that the Blessed Sacrament is the ultimate fruit of God's Love, which has as its source... the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Let me make it clear that I make no claim that the photo represents a genuine miracle, but for me, personally, the picture is, at the very least - enigmatic. I tried to rationalize my experience, at first, as just an ordinary reflection of light... but there was nothing on the monstrance that remotely resembled a heart; it was just the cross and the familiar sunburst design (see the photo to the right, which is of the very same monstrance used at Star of the Sea Church).  So rather than continuing to try to explain it all away, I finally settled on simply accepting it as Jesus' special way of visibly manifesting his true presence in the Eucharist, which was being celebrated on that particular feast day; that the Lord's heart - "... which has so loved men..." - continues to beat, very much alive, within each Host... and we, Catholics, have the privilege of receiving this very same heart each time we go to Holy Communion.  How awesome is that?

Thank you, Jesus - all glory and praises be to your most Sacred Heart!

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