The inspired words of the Letter to the Romans describe the reality of our daily living in Christ which reaches its destiny with Christ in the Kingdom of Heaven:
Brethren: I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us… For we know that every creature groaneth, and travaileth in pain even till now. And not only it, but ourselves also, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves grown within ourselves, waiting for the adoption of the sons of God, the redemption of our body in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The inspired Scripture describes the Christian hope, infused into our souls by Our Lord and nourished by the unceasing outpouring of the Holy Spirit from His glorious pierced Heart.


Our hearts, resting in His Sacred Heart, even though they suffer the most serious disappointments, disillusionments, and sadness, remain confident and serene. In his commentary on the texts of today’s Holy Mass, and especially upon the text from the Letter to the Hebrews, Dom Prosper Guéranger writes:
Divine union is still offered to the world, but at what a cost of trouble and travail! We may still enjoy the eternal music of triumph, and all the joys of the divine nuptial banquet; but oh! What a long prelude of signs and sobs must precede!


The Gospel account prefigures the daily situation of the faithful Christian. We are so often tempted to give up the struggle, like the Apostles who had labored all night and caught nothing. But Our Lord ever in our midst in His holy Church, precisely at the moments of greatest discouragement, tells us: “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a catch.” How often the Church Herself has experienced the truth of Our Lord’s words! How often we, in our personal lives, have experienced the same truth.


One thinks of how Our Lord has unfailing sent and accompanied His Church to the very ends of the world, amidst seemingly impossible obstacles and fierce persecutions. When Simon Peter wanted Our Lord to depart from him because of his great unworthiness, Our Lord responded: “Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.” We think, too, of how Our Lord brings us through the most painful situations, never failing to show us His mercy and love. In every moment of our lives, we must pray, as we will pray in the Communion anthem: “The Lord is my support, and my refuge, and my deliverer: my God is my helper.”
It greatly pleases me to visit you, the Secular Canons of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest and the faithful of Sacred Heart Church, and to offer the Pontifical High Mass for your intentions. Surely, you have known the temptation to discouragement before seemingly insuperable obstacles, the temptation to give up in the midst of great sufferings. Yet, you have trusted in Our Lord, and He has not failed to show His mercy and love, even as He continues to do today.


I remember visiting Sacred Heart Church at the time when the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest first wanted to purchase it, so that it could once again be the House of God in your midst. The condition of the church building and of the adjoining presbytery was deplorable, and yet, despite all of the sad results of neglect over many years, the canons of the Institute and the faithful who joined them could see the original beauty of these buildings at the service of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and trusted that such beauty, with the help of the Sacred Heart, could be restored. Such restoration, thanks be to God and to your tireless efforts, is well on its way. So well on its way that you are prepared today for the celebration of the Solemn Pontifical Mass in Sacred Heart Church. Who would have imagined today’s celebration at the time of my first visit here!


May all that Our Lord has been accomplishing through you at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Limerick be an inspiration for your daily living. As Our Lord has helped you to overcome many obstacles in order to restore Sacred Heart of Jesus Church as a true House of God, be confident that He will never fail to accompany you in whatever sufferings you may experience in your personal lives and in whatever attacks may be made upon His holy Church, both from within and from without.

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