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Dehonian Spirituality includes prayers and reflections based in spirituality of Fr. Leo John Dehon; it is published weekly by the US Province of the Priests of the Sacred Heart.
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March 11, 2016
International Dehonian Vocations Day
 
 
Fr. Leo John Dehon: founder of the Priests of the Sacred Heart 
 
There are occasions when we must give thanks in a very particular manner: the occasion of a conversion, for instance, or a special vocation to the priesthood or the religious life.  How can we avoid expressing hymns of love and gratitude at the sight of this special love of the Sacred Heart when we feel its effects in such a striking manner? 
 
Yet, what ought to rouse our love and enthusiasm to the highest pitch is our vocation of devotion to the Sacred Heart.  By this vocation, we become a spiritual vessel through the reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus within us; a vessel of honor through the signal honor this Sacred Heart shows us by associating us with his life of reparation and stamping us with the salutary sign of the cross. 
 
We become a vessel of piety and tenderness, a singular vessel of devotion because we bear in our heart his Eucharistic life, the eternal organ of thanksgiving in heaven and on earth.  But we should not consider too much these privileges in ourselves, except to be filled with confusion for having profited by them so little.
 
Let us beg this Divine Heart that the host of friends of this devotion should be really the mystic heart, the spiritual vessel, the vessel of honor and of piety, which will spread abundantly and beyond measure the fragrance of love over the whole Church and over each of its members.  Such is the mission the Divine Heart of Jesus has reserved for the Church in his goodness and love.
 
Leo John Dehon, SCJ, Crowns of Love for the Sacred Heart III, 5th Mystery, 4th Meditation
 
 
 
 
  
 
 

Oblation: The daily peace of offering oneself to God's will
 
Among the “host of friends” of devotion to the Heart of Jesus, Fr. Dehon commends a select group.  Together with these models, patrons, and protectors, the Priests of the Sacred Heart join their oblation to that of Jesus, who offers his life to spread love to all of God’s people. 
 
St. Joseph is a model for us especially in his interior life, his spirit of faith, his abandonment, his purity, and his love for Jesus and Mary.  He submitted in the most perfect manner to the will and designs of God, even when they were incomprehensible to him or painful to fulfill.  He was an instrument in the divine hands to carry out God’s plans and consequently, was a perfect model of the life of a victim.”
 
St. John, being the apostle of love, the apostle of the Sacred Heart, is necessarily the patron and model of the Priests of the Sacred Heart.  All his words, his letters, his Gospel breathe the love which burned in his heart, enkindled especially in the Cenacle and under the Cross on Golgotha.”
 
St. Francis de Sales invites us to perform all our actions out of love.  He has a beautiful thought on disinterested love of God and of God’s will.  ‘We must consider what God wants,’ he says, ‘and having recognized it, we must try to perform it, joyfully or at least courageously; and not only that, but we must love God’s will and the consequence which follows for us’.” 
 
St. Ignatius of Loyola is a model of ardent zeal for the glory of God.  He would do everything to restore the glory due to God and to gain souls who would honor and love God.  We too should burn with desire to gain souls for the Heart of our Savior, and to make amends to him by serving him with fervor.”
 
“Jesus took delight in the heart of St. Gertrude, because he found there the same outpourings of love, of fidelity, of compassion, and of devotion, that he had found in the midst of his friends at Bethlehem, Nazareth, Bethany, in the Cenacle and Gethsemane, and on Calvary.”  
  
St. Michael, the Archangel, is the wonderful standard-bearer of the Sacred Heart.  His name in Hebrew means, “Who is like God?”  It was his motto when he rose up against the apostate angels and put down their revolt.  Let us invoke him with confidence.”
 
St. Augustine is called the doctor of the love of God.  He did not know the symbol of the Heart of Jesus, exposed on his chest, but in everything else he can be called a saint of the Sacred Heart.  He wrote, ‘God created the world as if he had a need of being known and loved’.”
 
“Certainly, of all the singular features between the Heart of Jesus and the heart of St. Francis of Assisi, the principle one is love for God.  His life was one of prayer and contemplation.  Above all, he loved to ponder the mysteries of the incarnation and passion, which are the most perceptible manifestations of the great love of our Lord for us.”
 
St. Francis Xavier was not concerned for himself, but sought only the glory of God and the good of souls.  His mission to India was similar to that of the apostles by the extent and speed of its success.  He left India with a flourishing group of Christians and went on to Japan where he also had great success.  He is a powerful protector for our missionaries.  Let us not forget to ask for his intercession for them.”
 
St. Margaret Mary held herself before our Lord as an expectant canvas, on which our divine Savior, after the manner of a skilled painter, designed the image of his Heart.  It was no lifeless painting, but a living image reproducing in detail the traits of the divine Master.  Let us likewise be a white canvas before our Lord so that he may imprint the seal of his Heart upon us.”
 
Leo John Dehon, SCJ, various writings
 
Cloth Banners, paint on fabric, hanging in the chapel of the Generalate of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, Rome.  Left panel, from top: Joseph, John the Apostle, Francis de Sales, Ignatius of Loyola, and Gertrude.  Right panel, from top: Michael, Augustine, Francis of Assisi, Francis Xavier, and Margaret Mary.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Reflection Questions: seeds for personal understanding and growth

A vocation of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus makes us spiritual vessels through the reign of the Heart of Jesus within us.  How can my daily life witness to the priority of God’s ways over human ways?
 
A vocation of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus makes us vessels of honor to be associated with Jesus’ oblation even to death on a cross.  How can I remind myself throughout the day of the honor and the responsibility of collaborating with God’s plans, even if burdensome?
 
A vocation of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus makes us singular vessels of devotion as we partake in the Eucharistic life of Jesus.  For the benefit of whom or what can I “break open” my body this day?
 
 
 
 
 

Prayer: hands lifted in prayer; hands prepared to serve

Monday, March 14, is International Dehonian Vocations Day.  In your kindness throughout the coming week, please remember in your prayer all those whom God calls to live the spirituality of the Dehonian Family.  You may find helpful the following consecration, based on the formula for the profession of vows with the Priests of the Sacred Heart.
 
For God’s glory alone,
I wish to embody the sentiments
of the Heart of Jesus
and offer myself with him
as a living sacrifice of love.
 
To accomplish this most beneficially,
I unite myself to the Dehonian Family
with all my heart.
With the grace of the Holy Spirit
and the encouragement of Mary,
model of our life of oblation,
may we together
serve God by lovingly serving God’s people.
 
Amen.
.
 

 
The backstory
 
Each week reflections and prayers based in the Dehonian charism are published on the Dehonian Spirituality page of the U.S. Province website of the Priests of the Sacred Heart. This is an email version of that update. 

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The Dehonian Spirituality updates are edited by David Schimmel, U.S. Province director of Dehonian Associates. Questions or comments for David? 
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Dehonian Associates Office
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