Thursday, June 14, 2012

Book Review: A Heart on Fire

A Heart on Fire: Rediscovering Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by James Kubicki, S.J. Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 2012 Sometimes people feel as if devotions such as that to the Sacred Heart went the way of the horse and buggy after Vatican II. Nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, we need these devotions more than ever in our modern world which so often forgets about God and the love of Jesus.

In "A Heart on Fire: Rediscovering Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus," Fr. James Kubicki, National Director of the Apostleship of Prayer, explores the history of this devotion and its relevance for the world today. He examines the history of this devotion, beginning with the revelations of God's love in the Hebrew Scriptures, followed by the life of Jesus himself, its manifestation in the writings and teachings of the early Church, followed by the visions of several saints, such as St. Lutgard, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Mechthild, and St. Gertrude the Great.

St. Margaret Mary is the saint most associated with this devotion. Jesus appeared to her four times in 1673 and asked her to have a feast instituted in honor of His Sacred Heart. In 1856, Blessed Pius IX placed the feast on the Church's liturgical calendar and in 1899, Pope Leo XIII consecrated the world to the Sacred Heart. Fr. Kubicki also explores the connection between devotion to the Sacred Heart and devotion to the Eucharist. "Devotion to the Sacred Heart is simply a relationship with Jesus Christ that grows ever more personal and deep. What is the best way to develop such a relationship? The answer is simple: through the Eucharist." He also examines the relationship of the Sacred Heart devotion with that of Divine Mercy.

One of the most interesting parts of "A Heart on Fire" was an explanation of the parts of the Traditional Morning Offering of the Apostleship of Prayer. This prayer is well-known, but it was fascinating to learn of its history and the meaning behind the various parts. "A Heart on Fire" offers a solid history of devotion to the Sacred Heart and offers sound reasons why we should develop this devotion in our lives. In addition, Fr. Kubicki offers several "prayer exercises" to help us do just that.

Book Trailer The Lily Trilogy

Wing Tip Book Trailer from caritaspress on GodTube.

Wing Tip; Book Trailer

Wing Tip Book Trailer from caritaspress on GodTube.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Movie Review: Vito Bonafacci

Vito Bonafacci is a successful businessman who has much wealth and a lavish lifestyle.   One night he dreams that he had a heart attack and his mother appears to him and admonishes him to abandon his pursuit  of worldly goods and  pursue true life in the Lord. 

Vito seems unsure of how to do what his mother is telling him.  He repeatedly asks "am I a good person"?   He also questions the existence of heaven and hell.  He discusses his doubts with several people throughout the story,  but none of them has the answers.  In the end, he finds the answer is in the Catholic Church and reception of the sacraments.

I enjoyed the story and how it is told, but one technique I did not care for was that  in a couple scenes, when his mother is speaking, the camera closes in on her mouth.  I found this distracting.

My favorite quote from this film is "much of what the world holds in esteem, the Lord holds in disdain".

A very good story that follows a search for truth and ends up with the truth of the Church.  It will reinforce your own faith in the Church.

Monday, June 4, 2012

App Review: MyConsecration

I reviewed this app over the weekend.
The MyConsecration App is a free app for those that want to make the St. Louis de Montfort Consecration with all of the convenience of doing it on their iPhone (or iPad).
It has many features to aid in progressing toward consecration to Our Lady.
  • The :Prayers" tab includes several prayers to Our Lady, for example the Magnificat and the Litany of Our Lady.
  • The "Prepare" tab is 12 days of  prayers to prepare for Consecration to Our Lady.
  • The "Plan" tab is my favorite.  It lists all the feasts of Our Lady, and the start and end dates of the consecration prayers leading up to each.  For example, the next prayers start on June 13 and end on June 16, the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
  • The "Settings" tab is pretty cool.  It allows you to set a reminder, text-only or text with audio (a note of chant :),  to remind you when to start the prayers for each feast.
There is also a "Share" button which will allow you to share your daily consecration on Facebook
    This app is an excellent tool to consecrate yourself to Our Lady.  I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing it and will definitely be using it in my own consecration. You can get it free by searching for MyConsecration in the App Store.  For more information, visit the site below.

     I highly recommend this App!

    Update: a reader informed me they are in development stage for an Android App.