“When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those inside the city must leave it, and those out in the country must not enter it; for these are days of vengeance, as a fulfillment of all that is written.
Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress on the earth and wrath against this people; they will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken away as captives among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
We face times in our lives when we feel like we’re surrounded by armies and desolation is at hand. Maybe it’s not the Roman legions pounding on our gates. But desolation comes in many forms: depression, addiction, loneliness, hopelessness, and their allies. We each have faced them; we will again.
Today we remember Blessed Bernard Francis de Hoyos, SJ, an eighteenth century Jesuit. Known as Spain’s first “Apostle of the Sacred Heart”, de Hoyos died at age 24, from typhoid fever just after his thirty-day retreat. As we face desolation, now or in the future, let us be reminded to look to the heart of Jesus, to the compassionate found there for each one of us. In opening ourselves to this mercy, we find the greatest consolation, Jesus himself. As de Hoyos prayed frequently while dying, may we pray, “Oh, how good it is to dwell in the Heart of Jesus.”
—Mark Bartholet is a John Carroll University alumnus who coordinates the Contemplative Leaders in Action program and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at St. Peter Catholic Church, the Jesuit parish in Charlotte, NC.
Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing,
I adore you, I love you and will a lively sorrow for my sins.
I offer you this poor heart of mine.
Make me humble, patient, pure, and wholly obedient to your will.
Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in you and for you.
Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions;
give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs,
your blessings on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death.
Within your heart I place my every care.
In every need let me come to you with humble trust saying,
Heart of Jesus, help me.