Heart

The heart is an amazing part of our body in both the physical and metaphysical. In the physical, the heart sustains life in every beat, and in the metaphysical, it is compassionate and feels the pain of loss. It is both a muscle and an emotion. Without the heart, the body fails and life cannot be sustained. When considering the miracle of the human heart, one cannot deny the miracle of God’s intent. He created each of us and gave us a heart that sustains us physically and drives our emotional connection to each other and by extension the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 

June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and it is the physical heart, wounded by the spear meant to end His life, and the heart wounded emotionally through the intense love for each of us. We must allow ourselves to focus on the Sacred Heart and accept that connection to His divinity. God sent us His Son, our Savior, and gave Him a physical heart that sustained Him as He delivered the message of redemption.  The duality of His heart can be seen in His passionate love for every one of us. It does not matter to the Son of God if you are the Samaritan woman at the well, the tax collector or the thief seeking forgiveness. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is connected to every person sent by God and entrusted to a mother and father through the miracle of conception and that connection remains intact as we find ourselves traversing the boundary between this world and the next. 

The Sacred Heart of Jesus, wounded by love, is God’s gift to humanity. It is the wounded heart of Jesus that brings God closer to our human emotions and the pain we feel when a loved one dies. Through the Sacred Heart, we are connected to God emotionally and it is in our relationship with Him that our pain can find some relief. God sent His only Son to open the gates to paradise and all we need to do is accept Him into our hearts. As modernists seek to replace God and try to convince us that Heaven is merely the creation of the human mind, we understand that God is real and through the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the path to paradise is clear. Heaven is real and it is up to each of us to follow the path to eternal happiness with the ones we love. 

God bless,

Andrej Lah

Director of Cemeteries

Making Time for Faith, Hope, Remembrance, and Love

The month of June is full of opportunities for celebrations and socializing. Graduations, weddings, and family gatherings are scheduled into our busy summer calendar. It is important during this busy time to make time for faith, hope, remembrance, and love. The liturgical season of Ordinary Time is a time of growth and new life in the Church, reflected in the green of the liturgical vestments. It is the time when we are called to “go out to all the world and tell the good news.” Focusing on renewing our faith when times are ordinary means that when times are difficult, such as when we suffer the loss of a loved one, and we need our relationship with God to lift us and give us strength- it’s there for us as solid support.

June also marks celebrating the feasts of Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The feast of Trinity Sunday calls us to look at the relationship between God, the Father, Jesus, His Son, and the Holy Spirit. We relate to God who is above us, Jesus, who is always beside us, and the Holy Spirit who lives within us. We find hope being in this symbiotic relationship. Our faith relationship is always developing and never-ending because God is, was, and always will be-He is eternal and His love for us is unwavering, and we only need to call upon Him to strengthen us throughout our lives, during the ordinary times, the great times and especially during the times when we suffer. Corpus Christi, the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, reminds us of the Redemption of Jesus Christ and the victory over death and hope in eternal life given to us. Losing our loved ones is never easy, however, our faith tells us, and especially during the celebration of these important feast days, that we always have hope in eternal life.

The additional feast days in June allow us to reflect on the ways that we are called to be like the saints- to be witnesses to God’s love, like the apostles and martyrs, and to let the Heart of Jesus ignite the flame within our own hearts to spread His message of love. Make the time for renewing your faith. Have the hope of eternal life that His blood shed for us on the Cross gives. Remember those you love who have died. Honor their memories and lives with your full heart and know that we are called to be saints and to live holy lives so that ultimately, we may be where they are- with our Lord in Heaven. Finally, spread your love to all those whose hearts you can touch. Let the Sacred Heart of Jesus inflame and set your heart afire so that you may, in turn, set the world on fire with His love.

Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

Written by,

Kathleen Gallagher McKiernan

Marketing & Communications Manager

Promise

Promise is a word used often in our daily interactions, and many of us rely on it to make very important decisions.  A promise builds trust and allows us to look to one another when we need each other most.  A kept promise means we can move forward knowing that we can rely on a person’s word, and we all know what it means when a promise is not kept. 

Every day we wake up to news that seems to be worse than the day before.  Anxiety about the future can be overwhelming.  It seems that uncertainty is the new normal.  Will we have food on our shelves or fuel to move through our daily lives?  In this uncertainty, so many of us are also faced with the recent death of someone we love and all of us grieve loved ones lost even though it may be decades ago.  How do we move forward when it may seem that everything is falling apart?  Where do we turn when uncertainty becomes overwhelming? 

The promise of paradise was made for us on Calvary through the death of Jesus.  He promised us that in Him is our salvation.  This promise is one we can all rely on and in it we will find our refuge from the uncertainty that surrounds us.  Through His promise, our relationship with our loved ones continues.  When placing your hand on the place where your loved one is interred, allow the promise made by Christ to wash over you.  Allow the joy of His promise to wash away your tears and smile because the path to paradise is there for each of us if we are willing to follow it. 

God bless,

Andrej Lah

Director of Cemeteries

We Are the Easter People

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”

– Saint Pope John Paul II

As we journey through this Holy Week, we reflect on the unconditional, unselfish, and overwhelming love poured out to us as Jesus suffered at Calvary so that we might have eternal life. I feel the utter pain and suffering of Christ, during this Lent, especially. We are living through a time where the invasion of Ukraine has brought global despair and uncertainty to a level that threatens to overshadow the promise of hope. It is easy to lose sight of the promises bestowed upon us at Easter when we are witnessing evil in the world every day. We are humans and we have a connection to others by nature.

We are the Easter people, and the world needs us to act on our faith and share the joy of Easter with all those we meet. When we see the suffering of those who have died in a war or those who are suffering from physical pain or disease, mental illnesses, or when we mourn the death of those whom we love deeply, we feel helplessness and despair.  It is at these exact times that our faith gives us strength and allows our hope in humanity to be renewed.

As Easter people, we can live our lives with a stronger sense of purpose and see beyond despair. We learn to see the goodness that overshadows the evil. We see it in the determination of a people defending their country and we see it in a neighbor or friend who does a kind act of service to those who are grieving.

I reflect on these times, and I realize that we have seen despair before.  Often hope seems to be gone when a loved one dies. However, as Catholics or Christians, we journey through the despair of Holy Week each year, and in the Resurrection, we learn that love has conquered death. Let us allow the Lenten journey and the promise of Easter Sunday to enlighten us and allow us to really see and appreciate the deep love that Jesus has for us. When a loved one dies, let us remember Easter’s promise of eternal life and the words of Saint Pope John Paul II: “Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”

May this Easter bring hope and peace to all and let us remember to be the Easter People each day.

In Peace,

Kathleen G. McKiernan

Marketing and Communications Manager

kmckiernan@clecem.org

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Fatherhood

During the month of March, the Catholic church focuses on the person of St. Joseph, husband of our Blessed Mother and foster father to Jesus.  St. Joseph entered the state of fatherhood when he accepted his role of foster father and took on the responsibility of being there for Jesus.  We find in St. Joseph the true meaning of fatherhood.  We see it in the patience he showed raising Jesus, and in his kindness and understanding.  God chose Joseph to be the earthly father of His son, just as God chooses each of us when He entrusts us with the responsibility of fatherhood.  

The responsibility of fatherhood comes in many forms: paternity, adoption, spiritual and simply being an example to those we connect with in our daily lives.  Fatherhood is a calling to serve those entrusted to our care, to be present, to be an example of God’s love.  It is in the role of father that we feel intense love for the child entrusted to us by God, and this love has no limitation nor condition.  It is because of this intense love that we feel an almost unbearable heartbreak when death severs our earthly relationship. 

When a family experiences death, the emotional burden for the father is overwhelming because of the need to be strong for those left broken by the loss.  A father will feel that he must rise above the pain and become the rock for everyone else.  I am certain that Joseph felt the need to become the rock for Mary and for those suffering the death of Jesus.  In those hours between His death and resurrection, Joseph became the messenger of God’s love.  Fatherhood is a great responsibility, and it comes with God’s unlimited support and the love of Jesus for any man accepting that duty.  A father is the messenger of God’s love and compassion for His children. 

The gift of fatherhood is the responsibility of teaching faith in God and guiding those entrusted to our care to our Heavenly home.  The hour of our separation is not known but God’s gift is the opportunity to be an example of His love and to help guide His children home.  Heartbreak is the natural and human response to death, but the pain is mitigated by the knowledge that we did our best to be an example to our family.  God’s promise to every father is that the separation is temporary, and the path is clear because Jesus, loved by His earthly father, paved the way. 

God bless,

Andrej Lah

Director of Cemeteries