2012 Martin Mallon
(Ireland) Martin's previous
A PILGRIMAGE TO PARAY-LE-MONIAL
Last week I, together with my wife and daughter, went on a Pilgrimage to Paray-le-Monial (Paray), a small town in the
Paray-le-Monial is commonly called the home of the Sacred Heart and is where Our Lord started the devotion to his Sacred Heart by a series of Revelations to St Margaret Mary Alacoque, a Visitation Nun at the convent in Paray, in the seventeenth century. Margaret Mary's revelations from Christ led to the establishment of the Holy Hour and to reception of Holy Communion on the first Friday of every month. Through these revelations Our Lord also established the feast of the Sacred Heart. Margaret Mary received strong support from St Claude de la Colombiere, a Jesuit, who was confessor to her convent in Paray for a period.
Some interesting quotes from Jesus’ revelations to Margaret Mary:
" Behold this Heart which has loved men so much, it spared no means of proof - wearing itself out until it was utterly spent. This meets with scant appreciation from most of them; all I get back is ingratitude - witness their irreverence, their sacrileges, their coldness and contempt for me in this Sacrament of Love. What hurts me most is that hearts dedicated to my service treat me in this way.”
Jesus could be speaking today, there are no new sins.
”I thirst with such terrible thirst to be loved by men in the Blessed Sacrament that the thirst consumes me. Yet I find no one trying to quench it according to my desire by some return of my love.”
Since the time of Margaret Mary, Eucharistic Adoration has been established as a common form of devotion, particularly since Vatican II with perpetual adoration being found in parishes all around the world. If we believe what our Church has believed since the time of Christ, that He is the Eucharist, no explanation of this devotion should be necessary.
Such an encounter with Jesus, adoration, transforms our heart for compassion and evangelisation; as Jesus said to Margaret Mary “If you believe, you will see the power of my heart” and this was witnessed to by many present in Paray during our stay.
While we were in Paray, the Emmanuel Community, the largest Catholic charismatic community in the world, was holding an international gathering of its members. Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard gave a teaching to the gathering of about 5,000. In his teaching he highlighted the imperative to be given to compassion and mercy when evangelising; it should be a matter of free disinterested love for others and he based this on gospel examples of the compassion of Jesus. He showed that Jesus is not indifferent to our sufferings. The Cardinal said that coming to Paray was a source of strength from the heart of Jesus.
The Cardinal then stated that Mt 11:28-30 ˜Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” needs concrete charity/love when we are evangelising.
Then Cardinal Ricard quoted from Vatican II's Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity, #12:
The presence of the Christian faithful in these human groups should be inspired by that charity with which God has loved us, and with which He wills that we should love one another (cf. 1 John 4:11). Christian charity truly extends to all, without distinction of race, creed, or social condition: it looks for neither gain nor gratitude. For as God loved us with an unselfish love, so also the faithful should in their charity care for the human person himself, loving him with the same affection with which God sought out man. Just as Christ, then, went about all the towns and villages, curing every kind of disease and infirmity as a sign that the kingdom of God had come (cf. Matt. 9:35ff; Acts 10:38), so also the Church, through her children, is one with men of every condition, but especially with the poor and the afflicted. For them, she gladly spends and is spent (cf. 2 Cor. 12:15), sharing in their joys and sorrows, knowing of their longings and problems, suffering with them in death's anxieties.
The Cardinal said that communion is the source of truth, be with the sinner, not teaching a lesson to the sinner but welcoming a brother. It is not just a question of teaching others what is right, that is evil, unless teaching with love. It is love which converts.
A short teaching on St Margaret Mary and her revelations can be found at this link