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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August 19, 2016
Fr. Leo John Dehon: founder of the Priests of the Sacred Heart 
Woman, behold your son [John 19:26].  Jesus expresses his last wishes as his testament.  He does not want to die without giving a final testimony of friendship to Mary, his mother; to St. John, his beloved disciple; and to all of us in the person of St. John.  This is the testament of his Heart.  He gives to Mary the support of the loving, virgin apostle; to St. John and to all of us he gives a mother.  These words were as much an act of detachment as an act of charity.  What sacrifice for Jesus and Mary!
In this moment, we are born as children of Mary.  Mary spoke her “fiat” [Let it be with me according to your word] as she had spoken it regarding her divine motherhood.  She has accepted us as her children.  We have taken a place in her heart. 
At once, St. John came into possession of his precious legacy and took Mary to himself.  And from that hour, the disciple took her into his own home [John 19:27].  As did St. John, we welcome this legacy which is given to us and from which we profit.  Let us take Mary as our mother.  Let us honor her as such.  Let us love her.  Let us ask her advice, her help, and her maternal protection.  Let us be devoted to her as St. John, let us promote veneration for her, and win for her devoted children.

The Year with the Sacred Heart, Wednesday of Holy Week, “The Words of Jesus on the Cross.”


Lived and Shared: contemporary expressions of Dehonian spirituality

A devotion to Mary, mother of our Lord, Jesus Christ, has always been a center of my experience and enjoyment of being Roman Catholic.  One of the first gifts I received at my conversion to the Catholic faith was a small rosary in a gold box with a jeweled cross on the cover.  I have treasured and carried this gift with me for the past 51 years as a reminder of both the grace from heaven and the gift of a very good friend who took me to Mass.  This gift and guidance to my first full Mass was in November of 1965, and my heart and life have been inside the Church since that time.
Jesus looks down from the cross and says the words that put his mother into the care of the disciple and through this dialogue we see Mary becoming the spiritual mother of all humanity.  She is the best model of what it is to make yourself available to God in all things and for all people.  She is truly the sign leading all to her Son, pointing always to Jesus as the path to heaven.  But she is also the comfort of the Holy Mother during times of great pain, sorrow, and need to all her children on earth.  She is able to enfold us in the loving arms of a mother so great that she was the choice and vessel of God.
In the many times of great anguish in my life, I have been able to turn to Mary in devotion and find peace and strength.  How can you be alone if Mary and Jesus are always with you?  How wonderful it is to feel the mantle of Mary enfold you, holding you close to her heart, when you have great pain or sorrow.  When prayer is hard to come by, hard to start, and hard to stay with, how comforting it is to go to the rosary and find peace and comfort in the prayers so simple and pure that opens our hearts to the mercy of God.
All my life as a Catholic, I have been able to find my center and strength to go forward—to move across bridges that cannot be traveled twice—always listening for the call of God to the service of his people and watching for Mary, as she points toward her holy Son.

Chuck Wonch, SCJ
Reflection Questions: seeds for personal understanding and growth

Following Mary’s example, what do you do to
  • hold fast to God’s Word?
  • offer yourself as God’s servant?
  • proclaim the greatness of God’s mercy to those in need?

Prayer: hands lifted in prayer; hands prepared to serve

August 22 is the Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  For a number of years on this day, members of the Priests of the Sacred Heart in the U.S. Province made the first profession of their vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.  Other profession dates were September 8, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary; and August 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  In your kindness throughout the coming week, please remember in your prayer the Priests of the Sacred Heart and their commitment to live faithfully their vows.
You may find helpful this Prayer of Oblation, adapted from the Prayer Book of the Priests of the Sacred Heart.
Loving God,
in your providence you called Mary
to bear your beloved Son
and to be near him when he gave his life for us.
Following her example,
may we hold fast to your Word
and offer ourselves as your servants.
May we proclaim the greatness of your mercy,
which raises up the lowly
and fills the hungry with good things.
Together with Mary, our mother,
we offer you our prayer,
our daily work,
and our loving service.
Accept this spiritual worship
to the glory of your name.

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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