Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pope Pius XII: Consecrated Hands of Priests

“In the same way, actually that baptism is the distinctive mark of all Christians, and serves to differentiate them from those who have not been cleansed in this purifying stream and consequently are not members of Christ, the sacrament of holy orders sets the priest apart from the rest of the faithful who have not received this consecration. For they alone, in answer to an inward supernatural call, have entered the august ministry, where they are assigned to service in the sanctuary and become, as it were, the instruments God uses to communicate supernatural life from on high to the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. Add to this, as We have noted above, the fact that they alone have been marked with the indelible sign ‘conforming’ them to Christ the Priest, and that their hands alone have been consecrated ‘in order that whatever they bless may be blessed, whatever they consecrate may become sacred and holy, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.'  (Roman Pontifical, Ordination of a priest: anointing of hands.)  Let all, then, who would live in Christ flock to their priests. By them they will be supplied with the comforts and food of the spiritual life. From them they will procure the medicine of salvation assuring their cure and happy recovery from the fatal sickness of their sins. The priest, finally, will bless their homes, consecrate their families and help them, as they breathe their last, across the threshold of eternal happiness."

~ Pope Pius XII; excerpt from Mediator Dei, #43

~ Related post:  The Beautiful Hands of a Priest ~

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Doctrine of Transubstantiation: Is Jesus Really Present in the Eucharist?

Jesus first repeated what he said, then summarized: "‘I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.’ The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’" (John 6:51–52).

His listeners were stupefied because now they understood Jesus literally—and correctly. He again repeated his words, but with even greater emphasis, and introduced the statement about drinking his blood: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him" (John 6:53–56).

Notice that Jesus made no attempt to soften what he said, no attempt to correct "misunderstandings," for there were none. Our Lord’s listeners understood him perfectly well. They no longer thought he was speaking metaphorically. If they had, if they mistook what he said, why no correction?

On other occasions when there was confusion, Christ explained just what he meant (cf. Matt. 16:5–12). Here, where any misunderstanding would be fatal, there was no effort by Jesus to correct. Instead, he repeated himself for greater emphasis.

~ Catholic Answers; excerpt from Christ in the Eucharist

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI: Do We Really Desire Union With Jesus in the Eucharist?

“I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer” (Lk 22:15). With these words Jesus began the celebration of his final meal and the institution of the Holy Eucharist. Jesus approached that hour with eager desire. In his heart he awaited the moment when he would give himself to his own under the appearance of bread and wine. He awaited that moment which would in some sense be the true messianic wedding feast: when he would transform the gifts of this world and become one with his own, so as to transform them and thus inaugurate the transformation of the world. In this eager desire of Jesus we can recognize the desire of God himself – his expectant love for mankind, for his creation. A love which awaits the moment of union, a love which wants to draw mankind to itself and thereby fulfil the desire of all creation, for creation eagerly awaits the revelation of the children of God (cf. Rom 8:19).

"Jesus desires us, he awaits us. But what about ourselves? Do we really desire him? Are we anxious to meet him? Do we desire to encounter him, to become one with him, to receive the gifts he offers us in the Holy Eucharist? Or are we indifferent, distracted, busy about other things? From Jesus’ banquet parables we realize that he knows all about empty places at table, invitations refused, lack of interest in him and his closeness. For us, the empty places at the table of the Lord’s wedding feast, whether excusable or not, are no longer a parable but a reality, in those very countries to which he had revealed his closeness in a special way. Jesus also knew about guests who come to the banquet without being robed in the wedding garment – they come not to rejoice in his presence but merely out of habit, since their hearts are elsewhere. In one of his homilies Saint Gregory the Great asks: Who are these people who enter without the wedding garment? What is this garment and how does one acquire it? He replies that those who are invited and enter do in some way have faith. It is faith which opens the door to them. But they lack the wedding garment of love. Those who do not live their faith as love are not ready for the banquet and are cast out. Eucharistic communion requires faith, but faith requires love; otherwise, even as faith, it is dead."

~ Pope Benedict XVI; excerpt from Holy Thursday Homily on April 21, 2011 ~

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa: Our Lord Pleads for Eucharistic Reparation

Our Lord pleads for Eucharistic Reparation. An excerpt from the full-length documentary on Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa who was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2004 and has been proposed by the universal church as a patron for the youth. Blessed Alexandrina's great love of Our Lord's Real Presence in the Eucharist is very relevant for today.

Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa jumped from a window in her home so as to protect her purity from three attackers. It was the result of this fall that saw her eventually bedridden for life and her incredible mission of offering her life of suffering as a Victim Soul.

Taken from the full length documentary on the life of Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa produced by Mary's Dowry Productions, this excerpt shows the incredible phenomenon of the Cross that mysteriously appeared at Balasar. Many hundreds of people have taken earth from this Cross over the years but it still remains and defies all attempts to erradicate it. Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa's life and mission was linked closely to this phenomenon.

This is a trailer for a 56 minute documentary on the life and message of Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa who is also known in Portugal as the Fourth Seer of Fatima. This film has been produced by Mary's Dowry Productions to promote the life and message of this Blessed, closely linked to the message of Fatima, strong advocate of the First Saturday devotions and Fatima message. A victim soul, she suffered mystically the Passion of Christ every Friday although paralized from the age of 14 having jumped from a high window to escape intruders and protect her purity. More information at

~ Related post on Blessed Alexandrina da Costa ~

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith: Time to Abandon Communion in the Hand

"...speaking of communion in the hand, it must be recognized that the practice was improperly and quickly introduced in some quarters of the Church shortly after the Council, changing the age-old practice and becoming regular practice for the whole Church. They justified the change saying that it better reflected the Gospel or the ancient practice of the Church... Some, to justify this practice referred to the words of Jesus: "Take and eat" (Mk 14, 22; Mt 26, 26).

"Whatever the reasons for this practice, we cannot ignore what is happening worldwide where this practice has been implemented. This gesture has contributed to a gradual weakening of the attitude of reverence towards the sacred Eucharistic species whereas the previous practice had better safeguarded that sense of reverence. There instead arose an alarming lack of recollection and a general spirit of carelessness. We see communicants who often return to their seats as if nothing extraordinary has happened... In many cases, one cannot discern that sense of seriousness and inner silence that must signal the presence of God in the soul."

"Now I think it is high abandon the current practice that was not called for by Sacrosanctum Concilium, nor by Fathers, but was only accepted after its illegitimate introduction in some countries. Now, more than ever, we must help the faithful to renew a deep faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species in order to strengthen the life of the Church and defend it in the midst of dangerous distortions of the faith that this situation continues to cause."

~ Cardinal Albert Malcolm Ranjith, excerpt from here ~


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pane di Vita Nuova: Bread of Life

Pane di vita nuova Vero cibo dato agli uomini,
Nutrimento che sostiene il mondo,
Dono splendido di grazia.
Tu sei sublime frutto Di quell'albero di vita Che adamo non potè toccare:
Ora è in cristo a noi donato.
 Pane della vita,
Sangue di salvezza,
Vero corpo,
vera bevanda
Cibo di grazia per il mondo.

Bread of Life, new true food given to men,
nourishment that sustains the world,
 splendid gift of grace.
You are sublime fruit of the tree of life that Adam could not touch:
It is now given to us in Christ.
Bread of Life,
Blood of salvation,
 true Body,
 true drink,
Food of grace for the world.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Corpus Christi: "O Sacrum Convivium" (O Sacred Banquet)

Eucharistic procession from Chicago's Holy Name Cathedral, with background music sung by the Daughters of St. Paul ("O Sacrum Convivium," from the album "Adoration").
Translation of Latin hymn follows.

O Sacred Banquet,
in which Christ is consumed,
the memory of his passion is recalled,
the mind is filled with grace,
and a pledge of future glory is given to us.

(Antiphon to the Magnificat, Liturgy of the Hours, Evening Prayer II of the Feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord.)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pope John Paul II: Importance of Reverence for the Blessed Sacrament

"Every act of reverence,
every genuflection that you make before the Blessed Sacrament is important
because it is an act of faith in Christ,
and act of love for Christ.
And every sign of the cross and gesture of respect made each time you pass a church
is also an act of faith."

~ Pope John Paul II, Sept. 29, 1979 ~ 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pope John Paul II: Love, Adore, and Celebrate the Eucharist

"Set the Eucharist at the center of your personal life and community life:
love the Eucharist, adore the Eucharist, and celebrate the Eucharist."

~ Pope John Paul II on the occasion of World Youth Day, Rome, 2000 ~