Beautiful sacred space


Steven and I spent Memorial Day weekend in Brownsville, so we looked forward to Mass.  But where to go?  We couldn’t decide between Immaculate Conception Cathedral and one of its two missions several blocks away on East Elizabeth Street.

Timely decisions

I introduced Steven to Sacred Heart Church, July 24, 2011, but didn’t revisit.  Steven prefers early morning Mass— Saturday evening only if we can’t attend Sunday at nine— so eleven-thirty was too late for him.

When home in Brownsville, Steven and I had attended Saturday evening Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe exclusively.  But how could we decide on a church home if we didn’t give other sacred spaces a chance? 

We tried St. Mary’s, but it wasn’t right for us.  Back to Guadalupe we went.  Still, something was missing.

“How about the cathedral downtown?  Ten-thirty Mass is in English.”

Sunday morning Mass

Steven experienced Immaculate Conception, my heart of hearts, for the first time this year.  And he loved it!  Yet Sacred Heart, my wind song, has tugged at me in ways that I can’t even begin to express.  How could we not give it a second chance?

SHC52613-38Then this past weekend Steven asked, “Where do you want to go for Mass?”

We were down to the only two choices: Immaculate at ten-thirty or Sacred Heart at eleven-thirty.  Fr. Joe and Fr. Amesse from the cathedral also celebrate Mass at Sacred Heart, so either church would be just as sweet.  Still, I refrained from answering so Steven kept repeating himself.

But did either of us even know the answer?

Sunday we got up at the usual time— certainly early enough for ten-thirty Mass at the cathedral— but Steven wasn’t in any rush to get ready.  Had he finally accepted that my heart was truly set on Sacred Heart that morning?

I could hardly wait to get there, but we didn’t talk about it.  We dressed for church and drove into town for eleven-thirty Mass.

The right place

Wonder of wonders, Steven really enjoyed Sacred Heart and shared his thoughts.

I have a preference for early Mass, but that’s how I was reared.  The rest of the day was then uninterrupted if I wanted to work (or play).  The late Masses were always for lazy folks who slept in on Sunday, so that was something of a social stigma when I was growing up.

I think the people at Sacred Heart are very nice.  There’s less haste after Mass since there’s no service afterwards.  So, yes.  I’m with you on SHC being our likely church home in Brownsville.   Although the schedule isn’t one that I prefer, I can see how the change will be good.  It has the ability to force a day of rest; and, being that there’s no rush before or after, it’s very mellow.  If I have stuff to get done, I’ll get up early and do it while the day’s cool or wait until Monday.

That said, 11:30 A.M. Mass was great, very relaxed and leisurely.  I think I adapted immediately to it, not to mention that it is the only one, so there are no options.  It’s the right place, so Mass time has to be the right time.

Beautiful sacred space

To me Sacred Heart feels richly familiar.  Mass with Aunt Rachel, then Segy and Acacia, and now Steven.  Fathers Moran, Sheehan, and Lanese.  An inclusive church community.  Discovering the Holy Infant, traveling to Prague to learn more about him, growing my devotion, and seeking him out in the churches that I visit.  In this beautiful sacred space my mind, heart, and soul resonate with love, joy, and peace.  I’m home at last, so it’s only natural that I should want Steven to experience the same.

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Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Most sweet Jesus, redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly kneeling before your altar.  We are yours and yours we wish to be; but, to be more surely united with you, each one of us freely consecrates himself today to your most sacred heart.

Many have never know you.  Many, too, have rejected you.  Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to your sacred heart.  May you be recognized as Savior by all those who are still in the darkness of disbelief.  Draw them into the light and kingdom of God.

Grant, O Lord, to your Church freedom and immunity from harm.  Give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the divine heart that wrought our salvation.  To it be glory and honor forever.  Amen.

More prayers

One…  Jesus, reveal your sacred heart to me and show me its attractions.  Unite me to it forever.  Grant that all my desires and every beat of my heart, which does not cease even while I sleep, may be a witness to you of my love for you and tell you, “Yes, Lord, I am yours!”  The pledge of my loyalty to you rests ever in my heart and shall never cease to be there.  Accept the little good that I do and be pleased to make up for all my wrong-doing so that I may be able to praise you in time and in eternity.  Amen.

Two…  Lord Jesus, I come before you just as I am.  I am sorry for my sins.  I repent of my sins.  Please forgive me.  In your name, I forgive all others for what they have done against me.  I renounce Satan, the evil spirits, and all their works.  I give you my entire self, Lord Jesus, now and forever.  I invite you into my life, Jesus.  I accept you as my Lord, God, and Savior.  Heal me.  Change me.  Strengthen me in body, soul, and spirit.

Come, Lord Jesus.  Cover me with your precious blood and fill me with your Holy Spirit.  I love you, Lord Jesus.  I praise you, Jesus.  I thank you, Jesus.  I shall follow you every day of my life.  Amen.

Mary, my mother, queen of peace; St. Peregrine, the cancer saint; all the angels and saints, please help me.  Amen.

Say this prayer (1993, Rookey & Servite Fathers, OSM) faithfully no matter how you feel.  When you come to the point where you sincerely mean each word with all your heart, Jesus will change your whole life in a very special way.  You will see.

Three…  Heart of Jesus, truly human, have mercy on us.  Heart of Jesus, truly divine.  Heart of Jesus, still praying for us to the Father.  Heart of Jesus, in all things like us except sin.  Heart of Jesus, loving your friends to the end.  Heart of Jesus, whose love for men is scorned by many.  Heart of Jesus, my hope in sadness.  Heart of Jesus, my strength in temptation.  Heart of Jesus, my protection in danger.  Heart of Jesus, loving me now despite everything.

Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the heart of your beloved Son and upon the praise and satisfaction he offered you on behalf of sinners.  Forgive those who now seek your mercy in the name of the same Jesus Christ, your son who lives and reigns with you forever and ever.  Amen (Liturgical Prayer Book, 1991, p. 37).

Four…  Thanks be to you, my lord, Jesus Christ, for all the benefits which you have given me, for all the pains and insults which you have borne for me.  O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother, may I know you more dearly and follow you more nearly.  Amen.

June 8, 2013

Mary, your immaculate heart is open to all who ask for your help and intercession.  Teach me how to draw nearer to your son, Jesus.  Show me how to stay close to him at all times (the Word among us, June 2013, p. 28).

June 10, 2013

Looking through my treasure boxes of prayer books, cards, and more I came across some gold nuggets from my great-aunt.  Among them was Tía Queta’s Liturgical Prayer Book, which includes “Jesus prays to his father,” (Psalm 139; Bulleen, 1970, pp. 32-33).

Lord, you examine me and know me.  You know if I am standing or sitting.  You read my thoughts from far away.  Whether I walk or lie down, you are watching.  You know every detail of my conduct.

The word is not even on my tongue, Lord, before you know all about it.  Close behind and close in front you hold me, shielding me with your hand.

Such insight is too wonderful to grasp, a height to which my mind cannot aspire.

Where could I go to escape your spirit?  Where could I flee from your presence?  If I probe the outer space, you are there.  If I lie down in the grave, you are there, too.

Were I to fly to the point of sunrise or westward across the sea, your hand would still be guiding me, your right hand holding on to me.  If I chose to live in perpetual night in a darkness excluding all light, that darkness would not be dark to you.  For you, that night would be as light as day.

Since you, yourself, have created my very being and put me together in my mother’s womb, in wonder I thank you for making me.  How mysterious, like everything you make!

You know me through and through, from having watched my bones take shape when I was being assembled in secret, stitched together in the darkness of the womb.

God, examine my heart to see what I love.  Analyze my mind to see what I think.  Make sure I am not likely to offend you, and guide me on the path that is eternal.


Links of interest…  Catholic diocese of Brownsville TX…  Ignatian Spirituality: blessings (archives / reflections)…  dotMagis (blog) / e-retreatonline community /
picturing Godprayer online / spiritual exercises / Thinking faith (blog) / videos:
(1) What is Ignatian prayer? (2) Ignatian prayer: An overview (3) Finding God in all things…  Jesus: 365 devotions for kids (book; phone app) / devotion (more) / nonviolent revolution…  Miracle prayer (Fr. Peter Mary Rookey; YouTube)…  Sacred Heart: about / beads / book / church (about / centennial / video) / consecration / devotion (more / what to know) / divine love / enthronements / explanations / first Friday / history (visual) / introduction / meaning (more) / meditation / novena (YouTube) / postcards / prayers / reparation / significance / twelve promises…  Wind Song: 1973 / 1996 (Matchabelli fragrance, 1953)…  the Word among us

WP posts…  Angels keeping watch…  Budding relationships…  Building community…  Christ’s sacred heart…  Connected tangents…  Familiar yet new…  Father now retired…  Father’s guided tour…  Guadalupe Church…  Heart of hearts…  Home again…  Marian devotions…  Memory lane…  Noon visit…  Our Lady’s church…  Promise of hope… A real church…  Right at home…  Sacred Heart…  Sacred Heart Church…  Seven dwelling places…  Soulful…  St. Mary’s…  Sweet Jesus