On October 20 th the Church celebrated the Feast of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. In the 1600s, Jesus revealed to St. Margaret May Alacoque His wish for her to spread devotion to His Sacred Heart. This devotion was officially added to the Church calendar by Pope Pius in 1856. Pope Pius stated how devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is related to Christ’s love for humanity:
“His Heart, more than all the other members of His body, is the natural sign and symbol of His boundless love for the human race. The Sacred Heart expresses the image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ which moves us to love in return.”
St. John Choir Schola is consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. One way we live out this devotion is through our Prayer Guild, whose members daily consecrate SJCS to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Another way is by celebrating nine consecutive First Friday Masses in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. These First Friday Masses are beautiful opportunities for our community to come together, to offer the Sacrifice of the Mass, and to express beauty through Sacred Music. It is in our celebration of First Friday Mass that we regularly live out our moto “Ad Deum Per Candorem” – “To God Through Beauty”.
We pray that Jesus would shelter our Schola in His most Sacred Heart so that it may be a place that gives glory to God and the leads us to deeper love for Him and others. It is a great blessing to be able to have the opportunity to celebrate First Friday Mass as a community! We warmly encourage all who are able to come, sing with praise and adoration, and place our Schola, families and homes in the care of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary:
(1) I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
(2) I will establish peace in their homes.
(3) I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
(4) I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all, in death.
(5) I will bestow abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.
(6) Sinners will find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
(7) Lukewarm souls shall become fervent.
(8) Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
(9) I will bless every place in which an image of my Heart is exposed and honored.
10) I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
(11) Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in my Heart.
(12) I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. My divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.
St. Margaret Mary, pray for us.
There was a time when voices rose to the heavens with gladness. There was a time when voices sang with ease and enthusiasm. There was a time when the beauty of singing was an integral part of the celebration of the Mass. The significance of the Mass is that it is not a performance. Admittedly, there are times in any service where we listen to the choirs; other times when we are enjoined to participate fully. The importance of music within the Mass is beautifully and fully addressed in the following quote:
"It is good to pray aloud in a spoken voice. To lift that prayer into song shifts it to yet another dimension of communication. We open our mouths and breath drops in, filling our body cavities with air. We simply channel that air into a vowel sound and song begins. However, when we think of that air analogously as the breath of life, the Holy Spirit, we reach another level of understanding, As the breath of life gives birth to wonderful sounds within the assembly, our voices are uniting in prayer to the Father, with Christ in the unity of the the Holy Spirit....Singing is considered to be the most noble form...because it is an exercise of the whole body which engages the pneuma and gives life to the song that is sung to the Author of Life Himself, who gives the breath of life in the first place. It is for this reason that the human voice is upheld and guarded as the primary instrument of the liturgical assembly."