On July 6th the members of the Institute of Christ the King in Limerick were honored by a special visit from His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome. His Eminence offered Pontifical High Mass in the Institute's Sacred Heart Church and blessed the newly installed pulpit and two angelic statues. Here is Cardinal Burke’s homily:

JULY 6, 2014

Rom 8:18-23
Lk 5:1-11


Praised be Jesus Christ, now and for ever. Amen.

The texts for the Holy Mass today address the great struggle of our daily life in Christ. While, on the one hand, we enjoy the gift of the unceasing and immeasurable love of Christ flowing into our hearts from His glorious pierced Heart, on the other hand, we live in a world which suffers the effects of original sin, of the rebellion of our First Parents. We are heirs of the same effects of original sin and know within ourselves the struggle against so many temptations to turn away from Christ and to seek our happiness in ways and places in which it can never be found. Society, too, in so many respects rebels against God’s plan for the world and for us, claiming to provide security and peace, when, in fact, its program of forgetfulness of God and hostility to His laws results in ever great violence and destruction, even in the greatest violence of the attack upon innocent and defenseless human life, and the corruption of the integrity of marriage and the family, the cradle of human life and love.

Rightly we will pray in the Secret:
Receive our offerings, we beseech thee, O Lord, and be appeased thereby; and mercifully compel our rebel wills to yield unto thee.

It is, in fact, in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in which the glorious Christ descends to our altars to make present His Sacrifice on Calvary, that know most fully and perfectly the truth about ourselves and our world, that we perceive the beauty of the law which God has written into all of creation and, above all, upon our human hearts. While Satan, the Father of Lies, seeks to destroy us, Christ will never abandon us in His holy Church. The Holy Spirit, poured forth into our hearts from His Most Sacred Heart, will purify us and strengthen us for the daily struggle of Christian living.

The Truth, Beauty, and Goodness – God the Son Incarnate – made present for us in the Eucharistic Sacrifice is the unfailing source of strength for our daily struggle to live in Christ amidst so many forces, both from within us and from outside of us, which would draw us away from Him and destroy us. The great mystery of our communion with Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament does not lead us to be naïve about the situation of the world and about the suffering necessary to overcome evil, but it gives us assurance of the final victory of Christ in our daily struggles, little and big, and definitively at His Final Coming in glory.

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.

Whatever discouragements you may experience, bring them to Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in which we unite our sufferings to the sufferings of Our Lord for our eternal salvation. In the eternal beauty of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, you will recognize Christ Himself sustaining you and sustaining His holy Church for the day of His return in glory, when He will inaugurate new heavens and a new earth, when He will welcome us all to the His eternal Wedding Feast, the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. Yes, in the words of Dom Prosper Guéranger, after “a long prelude of sighs and sobs,” we will “enjoy the music of triumph, and all the joys of the divine nuptial banquet.”

Let us now lift up our hearts, together with the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus, first opened by the soldier’s spear on Calvary and forever open to receive us with unceasing and immeasurable love. Let us offer our hearts, tempted to give up amidst the struggles in our personal lives and in the world, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Let us unite our sufferings completely to His on Calvary through the Eucharistic Sacrifice. In His Eucharistic Heart our hearts will be cleansed of sin and filled with lasting joy and peace. Through the union of our hearts with His glorious pierced Heart in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, we will hear already the music of the final victory, we will begin to know the perfect joy and peace of the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. Then the words of the Introit of today’s Mass will be ever upon our lips: “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the protector of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?”

Heart of Jesus, fountain of life and holiness, have mercy on us.
Our Lady of Knock, pray for us.
Saint Patrick, Apostle of Ireland, pray for us.









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