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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April 15, 2016
Fr. Leo John Dehon: founder of the Priests of the Sacred Heart 
In his meditation book, The Retreat with the Sacred Heart, Fr. Dehon writes in the person of Jesus.  He does this so that people will feel Jesus speaking directly to them in prayer:
I wanted to share the grace and honor of the apostolate with others.  I wanted to have collaborators who would work with me for the salvation of people.  I went to those whom my Heart had chosen and I invited them to join me in the quest for souls.  Their sights were set on earthly goals, and I raised them to the things above.
To those who were fishing and whose principal concern was catching fish, I said, “Come with me and I will make you fishers of humanity; your nets will bring in those who are trapped in Satan’s snares and the depths of sin.”
To those who were admiring the beautiful harvests that were ripening in the sun and who were troubled by the inadequate number of laborers needed to store the grain in barns, I said, “There are other harvests that are ripening, these are souls who are ready to be saved, but more laborers are needed to gather them into my Father’s barn; come, and I will use you to save souls.”
And when we were on the mountain and there was an immense crowd of poor and hungry people before us, I taught my disciples to share the compassion of my Heart for this crowd.  They distributed the bread that I had multiplied and I led them to understand how the poor would be helped and lifted up by the reign of the Gospel.
Now I turn to you.  The works of the apostolate and of teaching require people of good will.  The harvest is great; the workers are few.  Do you not want to lend your hand in the work of salvation?  If you love me, feed my lambs.  They have no shepherd; they are hungry and thirsty.  Lead them to green pastures.
The times are urgent; wolves are devouring the lambs, foxes are ravaging the harvest, my people are oppressed, souls are falling away like leaves from a tree.  Who will rise up to help me and work with me?
The Retreat with the Sacred Heart, 33rd Meditation: “The Apostolic Vocation, The Special Grace of the Heart of Jesus”


Lived and Shared: contemporary expressions of Dehonian Spirituality
I am an ordinary man.  I know that is why God chose me to be a religious priest and bishop, so that anything that happened or will happen in my priesthood can’t be attributed to my goodness, but to the love and power of God.
I will be a priest 50 years this year—39 years in South Africa.  Many people touched my heart and life there, but I always recall one poor, old, dying Xhosa woman, whom I had the privilege to hold her hand and pray with before she passed away.  Her relatives told me when she heard the church bells ring that Sunday, she said she wanted to be with Jesus. 
She was just waiting for Father to come, so that she could go to Jesus.  And she did.  My whole priesthood was worth it to be with the poor, dying woman.  She seemed to be unknown and insignificant, but she was precious to the Lord.
None of us religious and priests are called because we are righteous.  We are called because we are common folks.  I worked in a factory, served in the Air Force as an enlisted man before entering religious life.  St. Paul wrote in I Corinthians 1:27-29, “God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong…those who count for nothing…so that no human being might boast.”  God touches the hearts of people through those of us “who count for nothing.”
Joe Potocnak, SCJ
Reflection Questions: seeds for personal understanding and growth

How is God calling you to collaborate with the work of Jesus?
If you love God, how can you tend to the needs of God’s people?
How is God using you to touch the hearts of individuals who may be discerning a call to join Jesus in his quest for souls?


Prayer: hands lifted in prayer; hands prepared to serve

Sunday, April 17, is World Day of Prayer for Vocations.  In your kindness throughout the coming week, please remember in your prayer women and men of all ages who are discerning God’s call.  You may find helpful the following prayer, based on Psalm 65, composed by Charles Flood, SCJ, and included in his book, Water and Enrich My Heart, Prayers Based on the Psalms.
Your choice has fallen on me, Lord.
You have lifted me out of the humdrum
and set me aside for your special service.
I look to you with complete confidence
that you will pardon all my sins and negligences.
Fill my heart with love and wonder
at the marvelous things you have done
for all whom you love.
Bring relief;
water and enrich my heart;
by your bounty
expand my emotional horizons
to take in the length and breadth
of all your beauty.

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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