Sunday, June 05, 2016

Fr. Perrone on the Sacred Heart devotion, St. Stanislaus Popcaynski's canonization, Knights of Columbus news

Fr. Eduard Perrone, "A Pastor's Descant" (Assumption Grotto News, June 5, 2016):
The month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

This devotion to our Lord, in its familiar form, is a rather modern development in the Church. While the heart of God and the heart of Christ are known from scriptures, the deeper appreciation of the mercy, compassion, and love of the Saviour revealed to St. Margaret Mary tookits historical time to be realized. Thus you will not find the image of Christ with His exposed Heart anywhere but in the Catholic Church. This, like the revelation later made to Saint Faustina,was a development in the devotion to Christ. Unlike non-Catholic Christians who must, of their own choosing, halt at a certain point of historical time in their acceptance of the mysteries revealed in the bible and in the tradition of the early Church, Catholics are mindful that there is a continuing work of the Holy Spirit to reveal new depths of meaning in what was once given to the Church since apostolic times.

If I were to point to a single advantage of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Christ it would be that it has brought Catholics to a more intimate love for Christ. While we do not repeat the old saw of some Christian sects about cultivating a "personal relationship with Jesus as our Lord and Savior," yet the engagement of the devout Catholic with the Lord through this devotion has brought about a wonderful closeness of many religious, priests and lay people to Him. As I've said elsewhere, this devotion is a mystical thing that must be regarded with profound respect in order to uncover its many treasures. Those who see only an exposed heart with thorns and a flame -- an admittedly unusual manner of portrayal -- will not draw from that alone the depth of meaning and grace which so many have found in Christ through this devotion.

Today at the 9:30 Mass we will be celebrating the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost. In addition we will commemorate the canonization of Stanislaus Papcaynski which will have already taken place in Rome only a few hours previous. A new saint added to the Church's register is always a thing to be glad about. In this case, the Saint will share with Mother Teresa the day when the Pope, in an authentic exercise of his papal authority, declares them certainly to be in heaven. For us at the Grotto, Saint Stanislaus may assume greater prominence as we see the growth of the Order which Brother Esteban has been overseeing in our parish convent.

One more bit of good Grotto news concerning our Knights of Columbus. We have, as you may know, a parish-based Council of the Knights, rather than an inter-parish council with an independent K of C hall. The business of our Grotto Knights does not coincide absolutely with parish business since they form an independent organization regulated by their own governing laws. All the same, the close association of the men of our parish with the Knights through this fraternity means much overlapping in various projects. On account of this distinction of the Council and the parish, I did not make mention hitherto of the fact that one of our parishioners, Christopher Kolomjec, was running for election to the Michigan State Board of the Knights. However, last Sunday at the annual convention of the Knights on Mackinac Island, Chris won the vacant seat in the election. This means that now one of our own holds a position of influence over the whole State of Michigan Knights in helping shape policies, coordinate programs, and create initiatives that involve all the Knights of the State. I'm confident that Chris will represent our Catholic faith there in the way that we are wont to express it: in loyalty to the authentic doctrines and traditions of the Church, and with a rightly motivated patriotism. Since his campaign theme also concerned the family -- that once sacrosanct institution so confusedly portrayed these days -- we can expect that his presence on the State Board is sure to assist in the ongoing defense of the family. We congratulate Chris, his wife Julie, and their children. Their lives will not be the same henceforth for this new turn in Chris's life. We hope that they will find it fulfilling and rewarding to know that Chris will be engaged in authentic witness to Catholic truth in the areas of faith and the family in these very challenging times.

Fr. Perrone