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Offering A Sacrifice Of Praise: Spiritual Exercise 06/21/21

🌻 New Date: We need to move the date from June 14th to the 21st. Thank you for your patience. 🌻

Please join us Monday 06/21/21 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm MDT (8:30 pm to 10:00 pm EDT)

Zoom Link: https://us05web.zoom.us/j/4537185699?pwd=emRVOEZwMTY1eGN1bzYrU2VldWhiZz09

Meeting ID: 4537185699

Opening Prayer:

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. 

Amen

Offering A Sacrifice Of Praise

People are quickly and almost universally captured by stories of unrequited love.  Who hasn’t loved someone and suffered when that love was not returned?

In an article by Lisa A Phillips on the great unrequited love stories of literature, mention is made that even the comic strip Peanuts by Charles Schultz “links its characters in chains of unreciprocated adoration: Peppermint Patty loves Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown loves the Little Red-Haired Girl, Sally loves Linus, who loves his teacher, Miss Othmar. Lucy loves Schroeder, who wants nothing more than to play Beethoven on his toy piano.” Charlie Brown sums up the experience by saying: “Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love.”  

June is the month the Church honors the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In the most famous revelation of the divine love of Jesus’ Sacred Heart, the complaint that comes forth from Jesus is a complaint of unrequited love. Speaking of His revelations, St. Margaret Mary says:

“It was then that He made known to me the ineffable marvels of His pure love and showed me to what an excess He had loved men, from whom He received only ingratitude and contempt.

“I feel this more than all that I suffered during My Passion. If only they would make Me some return for My Love, I should think but little of all I have done for them and would wish, were it possible, to suffer still more. But the sole return they make for all My eagerness to do them good is to reject Me and treat Me with coldness. Do you at least console Me by supplying for their ingratitude, as far as you are able.”

Jesus is so much more than anything we could hope for in a secret admirer. He loved us while we were yet sinners, while there was nothing lovable about us, He who is the most powerful, most beautiful, most benevolent and sensitive, most unwearied in His love for us.  How do we continually fail to notice?  If those are not things we yearn for in our lives, then what are we really looking for?

We profess our love for God when prompted, but we don’t often act like people in love.  How should we respond to the incredible ways God loves us?  Scripture tells us a sacrifice of praise honors the Lord. (Ps 50:23) 

But what do we mean by praise?  How do we praise the Lord without feeling self-conscious?   Here’s an easier way to think about it.  Think about what it’s like to be in love. The gaze of the lover is always on the beloved. The speech of the lover is always singing the praises of the beloved.  Where there is true love, there is no forgetfulness of anything having to do with the beloved.  On the contrary, everything is filtered through thoughts of the beloved to the point where one sees the beloved in everyone and everything. 

An excellent way to praise is to simply think of things you know and love about God and start thanking Him for them, His patience, His attentiveness to you, His willingness to die for you while you were nailing Him to the Cross with the rest of us, His perfect goodness, beauty, mercy, benevolence, etc. Tell Him how much you love and are grateful for the sentiments of His Heart which has rescued the sinner in all of us and continues to do so every time we take the life-line He is constantly tossing to us.

It doesn’t take much to console Jesus when one considers all He has done for us. Simple awareness, acknowledgment, thanksgiving. Even little signs hearten those who love. In fact, to honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus carries with it 12 promises of even more extraordinary graces to come.  Take the time to look them up in the writings of Sr. Margaret Mary Alacoque.  It seems impossible that “Love is not loved.” And yet, that is the complaint of Jesus. Let not that same thing be said of us when our own accounting before the Lord comes. 

Questions for reflection (please reflect in silence for 5-10 minutes 

  1. Have you ever experienced unrequited love?  What did you learn from it?
  2. Do you think you have ever been on the other end as one who has not recognized or returned God’s amazing love?  Why was that?
  3. How do you understand the prayer of praise?  Are you comfortable with it?
  4. Scripture says God inhabits the praises of His people. (Ps 22:3)  Bp. Barron said we become most fully who we are when we engage in praise of God. What do you think he means?   

Our next session will take place July 12, 2021 at the same time. Blessings and Love.

Sr. Anne Marie and Denise Archuleta

“Sacred Heart of Jesus, enriching all who invoke thee, have mercy on us. Amen”

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