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FF, FG, SF or Ireland's King - Which do you want?

Today is Passion Sunday. Passion Sunday is the fifth Sunday of Lent, marking the beginning of Passiontide. In 1969, the Roman Catholic Church removed Passiontide from the liturgical year of the Novus Ordo, but it is still observed in the traditional Latin Rite. On this day 150 years ago, Irish Bishops together with priests consecrated Ireland to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Taken from an 1873 edition of The Irish Monthly -

An event took place in Ireland three months ago, which did not affect the funds and hardly furnished the theme of one leading article, but which nevertheless was assuredly of sovereign importance in the one real work that is going on in this world of ours, the one work for which this world of probation exists - which one work is of course the glory of its creator, to be wrought out in the salvation and sanctification of the souls for which Jesus Christ died. Assuredly that divine work has been marvellously advanced, the salvation and sanctification of many generations of souls will be promoted in ways and degrees far beyond our ken, by the grand national Act of Faith, Contrition, Hope and Charity, by which on Passion Sunday, March 30th, 1873, Catholic Ireland, through the Pastors of her Church, consecrated herself and all her children for ever to the special love and worship of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In 1899, Pope Leo XIII consecrated the human race to the Sacred Heart in his encyclical Annum Sacrum, writing,

"This world-wide and solemn testimony of allegiance and piety is especially appropriate to Jesus Christ, who is the Head and Supreme Lord of the race. His empire extends not only over Catholic nations and those who, having been duly washed in the waters of holy baptism, belong of right to the Church, although erroneous opinions keep them astray, or dissent from her teaching cuts them off from her care; it comprises also all those who are deprived of the Christian faith, so that the whole human race is most truly under the power of Jesus Christ. For He who is the Only-begotten Son of God the Father, having the same substance with Him and being the brightness of His glory and the figure of His substance (Hebrews i., 3) necessarily has everything in common with the Father, and therefore sovereign power over all things. This is why the Son of God thus speaks of Himself through the Prophet: "But I am appointed king by him over Sion, his holy mountain. . . "

This 150 year anniversary of Ireland's consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus reminds us again of how far Ireland has fallen. Just a few short generations ago, the length and breath of Ireland was covered with Holy images and statues and one of the most common within Irish homes was the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was an image that was an outward sign of devotion to their Most Holy King and a constant reminder of His love and care. Unfortunately, the past few generations have largely abandoned their King. Sadly many priests of The One True Church also abandoned Ireland's King and broke God's commandments by committing many evil deeds. Large sections of the laity, instead of defending the Holy Name of their perfect King, decided to use the example of the evil priests to justify their own decision to abandon Jesus Christ. The hypocrisy is clear when in response to their complaints of evil priests breaking God's Commandments, they respond by choosing to break His Commandments too. When fallen away Catholics say "I left the Catholic Church because some of its members committed horrible crimes", should they not also throw away their Irish passports because some of its citizens have committed horrible crimes too? No, they are still happy to chant "proud to be Irish" while Irish society descends deeper into depravity. Their motto appears to be "they done evil, so we can do evil too". The evils of this current Irish society are too many to list in this short article, but all is not lost, the solution to these evils is to encourage all to return to Jesus Christ and His One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

The past few years have seen an increase in disrespect shown towards the Sacred Heart of Jesus, but the increasing animosity from Irish public figures towards Jesus Christ has also been the catalyst for a renewed dedication among a growing number of Irish Catholics in publicly defending their Lord and Saviour. Some such examples of these public displays of defence and Honour of Jesus can be seen in the growing Men and Women's rosary rallies, public processions and reparation vigils. It has also been a motivating factor in prompting more than a few fallen away Catholics to return to The Church and obedience of God's commandments.

On this anniversary of the consecration of Ireland to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we should take courage and let the positives motivate us to step up and defend the Holy Name of our Most Holy King. There are many simple things we can do to proclaim Jesus as our King - start Nine First Fridays Devotion of Reparation to The Sacred Heart of Our Lord, place an image of the Sacred Heart in your home, place a statue of the Sacred Heart on your property or town square, fly a Tricolour with a Sacred Heart or hold public prayer rallies in reparation for the offenses against the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Pope Pius XI mentioned the benefits of such reparation in his 1928 encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor - "There is surely no doubting, Venerable Brethren, that from this devotion piously established and commanded to the whole Church, many excellent benefits will flow forth not only to individual men but also to society, sacred, civil, and domestic, seeing that our Redeemer Himself promised to Margaret Mary that "all those who rendered honor to His Heart would be endowed with an abundance of heavenly graces."

Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Sinn Fein and the rest will continue to disappoint and lead people into darkness, whereas returning to our King Jesus Christ will lift us out of the depravity which we have fallen into. As many get lost in the senseless debates and corrupt politics, we should set out to remind everyone that Jesus Christ is the solution and to repent and return to His Church. For those who use the excuse of the "institutional" Church being corrupt as their reason for leaving, consider this following excerpt from Frank Sheed's Christ in Eclipse -

“In the criticisms uttered by many who do not get around to leaving the Church, there is the same failure to see Christ as the whole point.

“So much in her daily running they find depressing – the sermons, they say, take no one deeper into the reality of God or man; this priest or that cares for nothing but money, the sick neglected, the old rejected; the hierarchy know nothing of the emotional or intellectual problems that are eating away at the vitality of their people’s faith; the Curia is simply a bureaucracy, using every trick to hold on to its power; as for the pope …. It adds up to the ‘Institutional Church,’ with so many wondering if their spiritual integrity will permit them to remain in her.

“I am meeting this wherever I go. I have fallen into the way of reminding the objector that Institutional Israel, the Chosen People, as the Prophets show it, was even worse than the harshest critics think the Catholic Church: yet it never occurred to the holiest of Jews to leave it.

“They knew that however evilly the administration behaved, Israel was still the people of God. So with the Church: an administration is necessary if the Church is to function, but Christ is the whole point of the functioning.

“We are not baptized into the hierarchy, do not receive the cardinals sacramentally, will not spend eternity in the beatific vision of the pope.

“St. John Fisher could say in a public sermon: ‘If the Pope will not reform the Curia, God will.’ A couple of years later he laid his head on Henry VIII’s block for papal supremacy, followed to the same block by Thomas More, who had spent his youth under the Borgia pope, Alexander VI; lived his manhood under the Medici pope, Leo X; and died for papal supremacy under Clement VII, as time-serving a pope as Rome had had.

“Christ is the point. I myself admire the present pope, Paul VI; but even if I criticized him as harshly as some do, even if a successor proved to be as bad as some of those who have gone before, even if I sometimes find the Church as I have to live in her a pain in the neck, I should still say that nothing a pope could do or say would make me wish to leave the Church, though I might well wish that he would.

“Israel, through its best periods as through its worst, preserved the truth of God’s Oneness in a world swarming with gods, and the sense of God’s Majesty in a world sick with its own pride. So with the Church.

“Under the worst administration – say as bad as John XII’s a thousand years ago – we could still learn Christ’s truth, receive His life in the sacraments, be in union with Him to the limit of our willingness. In awareness of Christ, I can know the Church as His Mystical Body. And we must not make our judgments by the neck’s sensitivity to pain!”

Pope Leo XIII, from the encyclical Annum Sacrum (1899) - And since there is in the Sacred Heart a symbol and a sensible image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ which moves us to love one another, therefore is it fit and proper that we should consecrate ourselves to His most Sacred Heart – an act which is nothing else than an offering and a binding of oneself to Jesus Christ, seeing that whatever honour, veneration and love is given to this divine Heart is really and truly given to Christ Himself.

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