Thursday, April 29, 2010

St. Catherine of Siena: The Excess of God's Love

"O inestimable charity! Even as You, true God and true Man, gave Yourself entirely to us, so also You left Yourself entirely for us, to be our food, so that during our earthly pilgrimage we would not faint with weariness, but would be strengthened by You, our celestial Bread.

"O man, what has your God left you? He has left you Himself, wholly God and wholly Man, concealed under the whiteness of bread. O fire of love!

"Was it not enough for You to have created us to Your image and likeness, and to have recreated us in grace through the Blood of Your Son, without giving Yourself wholly to us as our Food, O God, Divine Essence? What impelled You to do this? Your charity alone. It was not enough for You to send Your Word to us for our redemption; neither were You content to give Him us as our Food, but in the excess of Your love for Your creature, You gave to man the whole Divine essence..."

~ St. Catherine of Siena ~

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI: Kneeling Before the Most Blessed Sacrament

"Adoring the God of Jesus Christ, who out of love made himself bread broken, is the most effective and radical remedy against the idolatry of the past and of the present. Kneeling before the Eucharist is a profession of freedom: those who bow to Jesus cannot and must not prostrate themselves before any earthly authority, however powerful. We Christians kneel only before God or before the Most Blessed Sacrament because we know and believe that the one true God is present in it, the God who created the world and so loved it that he gave his Only Begotten Son (cf. Jn 3: 16). We prostrate ourselves before a God who first bent over man like the Good Samaritan to assist him and restore his life, and who knelt before us to wash our dirty feet. Adoring the Body of Christ, means believing that there, in that piece of Bread, Christ is really there, and gives true sense to life, to the immense universe as to the smallest creature, to the whole of human history as to the most brief existence. Adoration is prayer that prolongs the celebration and Eucharistic communion and in which the soul continues to be nourished: it is nourished with love, truth, peace; it is nourished with hope, because the One before whom we prostrate ourselves does not judge us, does not crush us but liberates and transforms us."

~ Pope Benedict XVI, Corpus Christi Homily, May 22, 2008 ~

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Reflections on the Mass: Experiencing Jesus in the Eucharist

What is more important than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? The liturgy is literally "heaven on earth" and provides a daily opportunity to personally experience Jesus in the Eucharist, which the Church calls the "source and summit" of the Christian life. Clearly "it's the Mass that matters"! And now more than ever, it is absolutely crucial that Catholics embrace more fully their role as active participants at the Mass.

DVD available here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Saints and the Eucharist

"Here in the Blessed Sacrament we can talk to Him straight from the heart.

We can open our souls to Him, tell Him what we need, beg Him for powerful graces.

We are perfectly free to approach the King of the universe with full confidence and without fear."

~ St. Alphonsus Liguori ~

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fr. Aloysius Ellacuria, CMF: Four Basic Beliefs About the Eucharist

We must first profess our faith in the Eucharist. I have four basic beliefs about this sacrament.

FIRST, I assert that Jesus is really and truly present in this Sacrament. This is not simply a sign or figure of speech, but a literal fact. His is really present.

SECCONDLY, I believe that what was bread and wine has been changed into the Body and Blood of Christ - so that there is no longer such a thing there as brad and wine, existing together with the Body and Blood. All that remain are the appearances of bread and wine. What exists after consecration of the Body and Blood of Christ.

THIRDLY, I believe that the whole Christ, body, blood, soul and divinity, is contained under the appearance of either wine or bread.

FOURTHLY, I believe that this presence is not limited to the liturgical action which causes it, but that the true Body of the Lord remains in the consecrated hosts that are left over and is to be adored as such. These four assertions of faith are derived from the teaching of the Council of Trent. (Canon on the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, 1-6. Denzinger 355)

THIS BELIEF in the Real Presence has been constant in the Church since the beginning. The Council of Trent formulated the belief only to counteract some other teachings that were contrary to the tradition handed down.

~ Fr. Aloysius Ellacuria, excerpt from here

and more information about Fr. Ellacuria here ~

Thursday, April 8, 2010

St. Faustina: Preparation for Holy Communion

"The most solemn moment of my life is the moment when I receive Holy Communion. I long for each Holy Communion, and for every Holy Communion I give thanks to the Most Holy Trinity.

"If the angels were capable of envy, they would envy you for two things: one is the receiving of Holy Communion and the other is suffering." (Diary 1804)

~ St. Faustina, from Divine Mercy in My Soul ~

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

St. Faustina's Prayer of Eucharistic Adoration

I adore You, Lord and Creator, hidden in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I adore You for all the works of Your hands, that reveal to me so much wisdom, goodness and mercy, O Lord. You have spread so much beauty over the earth and it tells me about Your beauty, even though these beautiful things are but a faint reflection of You, incomprehensible Beauty. And although You have hidden Yourself and concealed Your beauty, my eye, enlightened by faith, reaches You and my soul recognizes its Creator, its Highest Good, and my heart is completely immersed in prayer of adoration.

My Lord and Creator, Your goodness encourages me to converse with You. Your mercy abolishes the chasm which separates the Creator from the creature. To converse with You, O Lord, is the delight of my heart. In You I find everything that my heart could desire. Here You light illumines my mind, enabling it to know You more and more deeply. Here streams of graces flow down upon my heart. Here my soul draws eternal life. O my Lord and Creator, You alone, beyond all these gifts, give Your own self to me and unite Yourself intimately with Your miserable creature.

O Christ, let my greatest delight be to see You loved and Your praise and glory proclaimed, especially the honor of Your mercy. O Christ, let me glorify Your goodness and mercy to the last moment of my life, with every drop of my blood and every beat of my heart. Would that I be transformed into a hymn of adoration of You. When I find myself on my deathbed, may the last beat of my heart be a loving hymn glorifying Your unfathomable mercy. Amen.