Wednesday, May 26, 2010

St. Philip Neri: Overcome With Love for Jesus in the Eucharist

"Our sweet Jesus,
through the excess of His love and liberality,
has left Himself to us in the Most Holy Sacrament."

~ St. Philip Neri ~

The time came for Philip Neri to become Father Philip Neri. His confessor convinced him he could do more good fighting the heresies and paganism destroying the very fiber of our Church and the Mystical Body of Christ, as a priest. He obeyed! He was ordained at thirty-six. His first Mass, he became so overcome with emotion, shaking almost uncontrollably, he could barely pour the wine and water into the chalice. At the moment of Consecration, when he elevated the Host, he had to lean against the altar for support, as he feared he would fall over if he did not brace himself. This would repeat itself at every Mass he said.

He was never too sick to celebrate the ongoing Sacrifice of the Cross every day. He united himself so deeply with the Lord, His last hours on the Cross, that at the moment of elevation, he would levitate, suspended over the altar for more than two hours. For this reason, toward the end of his life, in order to not attract attention to himself, rather than to the Mass and what is truly happening on the altar, he celebrated Mass privately in a little chapel adjacent to his room. His first biographer said he came upon St. Philip many times, elevated as high as six feet from the floor while saying the Mass.

...During the forty hour devotions, which he loved, he preached so passionately about the God-Man Jesus Who was alive in the Monstrance that one day there were thirty conversions, young men who had come to church to ridicule Father Neri and disrupt the Mass, but after hearing him, converted and asked to go to confession. More and more people returned to the Sacraments after many years away from the Church. He began teaching in his private chamber; from this, more and more came, and before you know it the Congregation of the Oratory was formed. Philip Neri was thirty seven years old.
~ Excerpts from here ~

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