By Kevin Burke, LSW
In the month of June we journey into the Heart of Catholic devotion, and quite literally, to the actual Heart of Jesus.
This month gives us an opportunity to bring together 3 different, but intimately interconnected aspects of our Catholic Faith. You will discover here some mind-bending miracles that will affirm your faith.
- The Feast of Corpus Christi
The June 6th Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ offers an opportunity to focus on a disturbing trend in Catholic belief. A 2019 Pew Research Center survey finds that most self-described Catholics don’t believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
- Close to seven-in-ten Catholics (69%) say that during Catholic Mass, the bread and wine used in Communion “are symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ.”
- Just one-third of U.S. Catholics (31%) say they believe that “during Catholic Mass, the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus.”
Many Catholics, if they have any knowledge at all about past miracles associated with the Eucharist, dismiss them as medieval superstition. But perhaps as a heavenly response to this growing ignorance among Catholics, in 1992, miracles associated with the Eucharist started occurring again.
Between 1992 and 2013 a series of events from Buenos Aires to Poland involved consecrated communion hosts turning into fleshy and bloody substances.
What was happening here?
Using Modern Science to Study the Phenomena
The substances, previously consecrated communion wafers, were studied by a series of doctors and scientists. In a number of these cases, doctors were not told the source of the material, to further aid objectivity.
Here’s what they discovered as reported by Jeanette Williams in her article “The Amazing Science of Recent Eucharistic Miracles”:
- The blood is human, AB blood type; human DNA was found… in one case, the blood clearly emanated from within, because the blood on the surface had begun to coagulate but the interior blood was still fresh, as with a bleeding wound.
- The flesh is human myocardium tissue of the left ventricle of an inflamed heart; in the miracles from Argentina and Poland, there was evidence of trauma from the presence of thrombi, indicating repeated lack of oxygen; lesions present showed rapid cardiac spasms typical in the final phases of death.
- In the Sokolka miracle, the remaining host is tightly interconnected with the fibers of human tissue, penetrating each other inseparably – as if the bread were transforming into flesh. “Even NASA scientists, who have at their disposal the most modern analytical techniques, would not be able to artificially recreate such a thing,” affirmed Dr. Sobaniec-Lotowska, one of the examining experts.
With this understanding of Eucharist as traumatized Heart tissue of our crucified Lord, we can enter into an even deeper appreciation for the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
- The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Devotion to the Sacred Heart presents the Heart of Jesus, encircled by thorns, crowned with the cross, and burning with love for the human family. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus goes back to the 11th century. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque had multiple visions of Jesus and the Sacred Heart between 1673 and 1675.
Jesus shared 12 promises with St. Margaret Mary for those who honor the Sacred Heart. A few of these promises are particularly relevant given the events of the last few years: family peace, comfort in times of trial, and most importantly, Jesus shared “sinners will find in My Heart, an infinite ocean of mercy.”
The scientific research with Eucharistic miracles reveals a powerful connection between the Sacred Heart of Jesus devotion, the merciful Heart of Christ, and the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist:
Jesus wants to, quite literally, share his Heart with us in intimate communion.
- The Heart of Healing: Restoring Trust after Abuse and Trauma
Even with such amazing miracles and devotions, some will still struggle to draw near to the Heart of Jesus.
There are some experience of sin and trauma, such as abortion and sexual abuse that attack our ability to trust, and make it difficult to open our hearts and souls to receive the love, mercy and healing that emanate from the Heart of Jesus.
One has to harden the heart to repress the natural pain that follows these intimate experiences of pain and loss. That makes it difficult for those who have experienced abortion and other abuse to process their experiences, to grieve, and to trust others. This can impact our relationship with God.
Many women and men will benefit from the experience of an abortion healing program like Rachel’s Vineyard and a retreat for victims of abuse, Grief to Grace, both developed by Theresa Burke, Ph.D. The emotional and spiritual healing process of these programs safely opens up the heart and soul so you can share and process the memories and feelings of those painful events.
As participants journey through the special scripture meditations and therapeutic exercises, and tell their stories, they come to see they are not alone. Light begins to shine where there was darkness. As the retreat progresses, the heart softens, and is now open to receive God’s forgiveness, healing and mercy.
Inspired by these modern Eucharistic miracles, and the love of Jesus revealed in the Sacred Heart devotion, and in healing programs like Rachel’s Vineyard, I am pleased to share this original song, “Holy Heart.” The song was written and performed with my co-writer, producer, and very talented musician, Henry Gennaria.