6/13/2014 (2 years ago)
Harvesting the Fruits of contemplation (harvestingthefruitsofcontemplation.blogspot.com/)
The time for mincing words is over.
The most significant crisis in the Catholic Church today, from which all the other problems we are experiencing flow, is the fact that an overwhelming majority of those identifying themselves as Catholic, no longer believe that our Lord Jesus Christ is really, truly and substantially present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Blessed Sacrament!
The Eucharist is: Jesus truly present - Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity!
CANASTOTA, NY - The sad but truthful reality is that in far too many of our Catholic
parishes we have lost the sense of the sacred and an appreciation for
the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that are both essential for fostering and
maintaining a belief in the Real Presence.
How can that be?
Our Church's teachings on the Eucharist are long standing, clear and include the following: the Eucharist must be the source and center of our daily lives; whenever possible Catholic Churches are to keep their doors open for some period of time each day to facilitate visits before the Blessed Sacrament; pastors are to encourage such visits; they are also to promote and encourage their parishioners' participation in Eucharistic Adoration, setting an example for their flock by doing so themselves; and they are to support the establishment and continuation of regional chapels of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration when their own parishes are unable to sustain such a vital devotion solely by themselves.
Give the gift of the Word
As someone who has spent more than a dozen years coordinating Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in a local parish and encouraging this devotion elsewhere, it has been difficult to understand at times why there is so much reluctance, if not outright opposition, to promoting Adoration - this despite our Lord's invitation for us to do so and the overwhelming evidence of the fruits that pour forth from such devotion.
The late Apostle of the Eucharist, Father John Hardon, S.J., realized 'that everything, everything, quote EVERTHING of our faith (indeed the virtue of faith itself) depends on our faith in God being really present with us today in both His human and Divine nature, united in His Divine Person in the Holy Eucharist'.
Each of us must come to that same realization if we and those around us are to be the holy people God has called us to be.
Instead of cursing this darkness, ignorance and disbelief, it's time to do something affirmative to console Our Lord and to help rediscover a sense of the 'sacred' and of 'awe and amazement' in this gift of the Eucharist, as Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI had so frequently urged us to do.
We do not need any more study groups or committees or commissions in our Church. All lukewarmness toward or outright opposition to the promotion of Eucharistic Adoration and spirituality must cease. We need Bishops, priests, religious and laypeople to frequently get on their knees before their Eucharistic Lord. It is He, not any of us, Who will gift us with a deep, abiding, life-changing, sanctifying belief in His Real, Human and Divine Presence here among us. Everything else we need or think we need individually or as Church will flow from Him.
Stop a minute and ponder these Truths.
Our God does not need any of us, not even for a millisecond. Yet, as Jesus hung from the cross more than 2000 years ago, He let us know He was thirsty - not a physical thirst - but an unquenchable spiritual thirst as our Lord, Savior and Redeemer to be loved by those He created and for whose eternal benefit He died.
In the ensuing centuries, not enough of us have made sufficient effort to quench His thirst. For the most part, many of us ignore His plea to love Him as He loves us. He still thirsts for our love. He is still waiting for us to love Him! Has He not waited long enough? Why have so many of us been unwilling to quench His thirst?
There is only one credible and honest answer to that question - one that should make each of us uncomfortable but spur us to action:
If we really believed Jesus Christ was truly here with us, we would go visit Him. Nothing would prevent us from doing so. We would not permit anyone or anything to take precedence over Him. But we do not come as we ought because not enough of us believe He is here! We are the only ones who can quench His thirst. All we have to do is come into His Presence and tell Him we love Him! That's it! But most of us don't and won't.
He remains not only thirsty but heartbroken!
Shame on us for denying Him what He deserves, what He has asked of us and that which would be so very easy to give Him!
I am a simple man and can not offer a learned and theologically profound treatise on this subject. I am not qualified to do so. Moreover, such a book is not the type of writing those Our Lord longs to see, have the time or inclination to read.
Let me be frank.
Most of us spend little or no time on spiritual reading. We are one to two minute sound bite people. We do not like to read anything of any length. It is for those reasons that I kept the essays in this book brief - short sound bites intended to catch your attention and challenge you to come into His Presence or go there more frequently.
Mine is an uncomplicated approach. I invite the reader to take a reflective look at the issues raised in these short essays that I have divided into four basic themes: Lack of belief in the Real Presence; Adoration; the Priest as alter Christus; and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Wait a minute! If Popes, theologians, saints and brilliant lay folk have been unable to convince others to reverence, love and visit our Eucharistic God, then isn't it foolish and arrogant to think that anything a simple man may have to say on the subject will have any better results or bear any better fruit? Absolutely! It is absurd to think so. But for whatever His reason, this is the burden and passion God has placed on my heart. I must obey it.
In the end, the essays in this book are just words, observations and opinions of a simple sinful man and (thankfully) a faithful monk. But that is all we can do in response to God's never ending promptings and nudgings to share what He has placed in our hearts. Any value these words may have rests not in the men who typed and assembled them, but in He of Whom we write. We pray that by and through His power these inadequate words may penetrate, inspire and reignite the hearts of those He loves, for whose love He continues to thirst and whom He never ceases to invite into His Presence - ALL of us!
To have such a great gift, to have a God so easily accessible and not to reverence and appreciate that Gift, is the greatest of all human failings.
Love Him! Reverence Him! Visit Him! Quench His thirst!
[From the Introduction to the author's recently released book, I Thirst for Your Love. Copies can be purchased here and here.
We need to Pray, light a virtual candle today
A blog through which I promote zeal for the salvation of souls, awe and amazement for the Holy Eucharist and Eucharistic Adoration, and fidelity to the Truths of our Catholic Faith.
By Michael Seagriff
This is not a political post. It is a moral exhortation, a plea to save human lives and souls!Speaking the Truth should not be a rarity in the pulpits of our country. Since the salvation of souls is the primary purpose of the Catholic Church's existence, Truth ... continue reading
By Norm LeDonne
If you had a choice to be anywhere, where would you pick? The beach? The city? A deserted island? The forest? According to the psalmist who wrote Psalm 84, the court of the Lord is the best place. Matt Redman has put Psalm 84 to music in his song Better Is One Day. The ... continue reading
By Michael Seagriff
We celebrated the memorial of our Lady of the Rosary on October 7, which was instituted by Pope Pius V. He attributed the naval victory over the Turks at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 to the Blessed Mother's intercession after the Christian world sought her aid through ... continue reading
By Tara K. E. Brelinsky
My abuela, aka grandmother, had faced injustice in her life. She'd felt the sting of rejection, yet rather than disavow injustice, she passed it on. Standing there in the aisle of Toys 'R Us, my eyes darted left then right. It was such a hard decision; choosing how to ... continue reading
By Norm LeDonne
I have attended Mass in probably 25 to 30 different Catholic churches over the past 35 years, including the Basilica in Rome when the Pope celebrated Mass. The churches have been in several different countries, as well as across the US. I've heard Mass in Spanish, ... continue reading
By Norm LeDonne
Jesus Christ is the embodiment of love. He lived his life demonstrating acts of love and mercy as an example for us all. As a reward for his love, he was crucified. Little did his executioners know or understand that his death, necessary to redeem our sins, heralded ... continue reading
By Norm LeDonne
I never gave much thought as to how the New Testament came to be written. I had assumed that someone carefully compiled the various writings sometime in the late 1st century, and that an intact New Testament existed from that time. That being said, I was frequently ... continue reading
By Chaplain Adele M. Gill, RN, BSN, CPC
There is so much to prayer beyond simply asking God for all that we need in this life. When we trust in Jesus, and subsequently praise and worship Him for all that He is, we are surprisingly and profoundly filled with hope for today and eternity, we encounter sublime ... continue reading
By Norm LeDonne
Humble people often have times in their lives when they receive an honor that they think they did not deserve. This praise may lead them to ask the question "who am I to deserve this?" They consider themselves unworthy of the glory for whatever reason and they question ... continue reading
By Jackie Stammen
The powerful winds swirled and twisted around my body as I stood there motionless. It danced so close to me, yet left me completely unscathed. It circled round me as if I was the eye of it's existence standing there in it's center completely calm and at peace. My arms ... continue reading