To Jesus through Mary! Greetings to you on the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. As usual, our Catholic Faith gives us a lot to celebrate and this week is no exception. Yesterday we celebrated the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, today we honor the Immaculate Heart of Mary, tomorrow is Father’s Day, and this coming Wednesday is the feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist!
If you’re like us, you try to see how things fit together. So, how do we tie all this up into a cohesive whole? What common thread runs through these great days? Answer: boldness! It’s okay if that thematic idea doesn’t jump out at you just yet, we ask you to stick with us for a moment and maybe you’ll see it too!
It all started when we read the Gospel for this coming Sunday in which Jesus says these words: “What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.” We also hear Him tell us not to be afraid. Jesus is asking us to be bold… to be unafraid… to be who we are so that the world may see us and hear us!
Today we want to look at our feast days and celebrations through the lens of boldness and how it might inspire us to step out in faith and courage. So, without further ado, let’s get into this!
Both yesterday and today we celebrate the feasts of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. Never before were two hearts so united in love, mercy, and mission. When we gaze on the images of the hearts, we see them exposed, vulnerable, held out to us in absolute accessibility.. Can you imagine anything bolder than holding out your heart without shielding it? In their vulnerability, we see their intense love. We found 3 Insights the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts Give Us to be a lovely summary of the beauty of this devotion that inspired us to not only love Jesus and Mary, but to also love others in this same heroic way.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Sacred Heart is an image showing Jesus’ love for us, so also is the Immaculate Heart of Mary indicative of Mary’s maternal love for us. We Catholics have a devotion to the Mother of God that is grounded in Scripture, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary is no different. To read about the Scriptural roots of the Immaculate Heart, follow this link. To learn more about the meaning of the 4 symbols used in the image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, head over to Church Pop.
Authentic Fatherhood – not for the faint of heart
We asked Andy (Katie’s husband) to chime in for this as he knows a bit more about fatherhood than either of us. Here is what Andy had to say about bold fatherhood:
Fatherhood exists first in the Holy Trinity. Jesus came among us to show us his Father. The fact that in some way, however small, I am supposed to be a reflection of the fatherhood of God is more than a little daunting. But I’m convinced it’s necessary in the world we live in today if our children are to live joyful, meaningful lives. We know what happens when there is no father or a negligent father in a home.
A good father is a safeguard over a child’s virtue and helps them know who they are. My own fatherhood is dissolving many illusions I once entertained about myself and is preparing me for the trial of becoming who my children need me to be. I think that might be the case for most dads. I’m sure it’s a lifelong battle, but luckily we have the best Father to learn from. This video from Strong Catholic Dad gets it.
The Importance of Bold, Faith-Filled Action
Most of us would agree that we are in unprecedented times. Health scares, political and civil unrest, and a predominantly Godless culture has put us in bad way. Luckily, Catholics are opportunists, and we believe that God purposely meant us for times such as this!
If you have been on the fence about evangelization, if you have felt afraid to step out in Faith, if you have been unsure of yourself as a disciple, well consider this your call to arms! The Importance of Bold Faith-Filled Action has never been more important, and the more time we waste waffling about our qualifications or wondering if God is calling us, the more souls are lost.
(No, we’re not trying to make you anxious and itchy, but we are stressing the importance of YOUR role in evangelization!) Check out the article above if you need a little push in the right direction.
John the Baptist – a model of boldness
He wore rough camel’s hair and ate locusts – it’s obvious that John was a man set apart. And, while his methods are extreme, his work of leading others to God and speaking of repentance are just as necessary today as they were then. Sure, God may not be calling you to such extreme measures, but He is calling you to live out the mission He has for you with courage and humility. We celebrate this bold first follower of Christ this week. To learn more about his nativity, check out this link!
Yesterday, on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI traveled to Germany to be with his older brother who is ill. The two spent time together including concelebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. To read more about this, visit the National Catholic Register.
A film director from France encountered the Sacred Heart of Jesus after a car accident nearly took her life. You can read more about her experience and how she is bringing Jesus to others through film by following this link.
With some great feast days this week, here are some ideas of arts and crafts and activities to do with your family to celebrate the Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. John the Baptist.
Marian Center Update
The exhibit on Marian Apparitions is open to the public! We are open for our full schedule from Tuesday-Saturday, 10 to 4. Hope to see you soon!
To Christ Through Mary,
Katie Moe and Lori Mercer
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