He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David His father; and He shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of His kingdom there shall be no end (Lk 1:32-33).
May the Virgin Mary, the Woman of the Eucharist, introduce us into the secret of true adoration. Her humble and simple heart was ever pondering the mystery of Jesus, in whom she adored the presence of God and of His redeeming love (Pope Benedict XVI, 6/10/07).
As we approach the Christmas Season this year let us remember to focus on The Reason for The Season. Amidst the bright lights, gifts, garlands, and glitter sometimes it is difficult to see the Crib, the Manger (that little feeding box that held the Christ Child at His birth) in Bethlehem. More importantly it is sometimes difficult to see Who is in the Manger. With the hustle and bustle of this busy time we sometimes forget to spend time visiting Jesus in the Monstrance. Consumed with thoughts of love and affection for our family and friends we sometimes forget to thank the One Who is the giver of life and all that we have. Sometimes we overlook those He has put before us to share our bounty with. He tells us I assure you as often as you did it for one of my least brothers you did it for me (Mt 25:40). This Christmas let's try to keep things in perspective. On the first Sunday of Advent set up your Nativity set. Every time you or anyone in your family goes to Mass, receives Holy Communion, makes a Holy Hour of Adoration, or does a good deed for others, place a piece of straw in Jesus Manger so He will have a huge and fluffy soft Manger of gifts of love for others on Christmas morn when you place Him in the manger! This Christmas Remember Jesus is the Reason for The Season!
And the Word became flesh. That truth became a reality in the manger at Bethlehem. But it was to be fulfilled in yet another form: Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood, has eternal life. The Savior, who knows that we are human beings and will remain human beings who have to struggle daily with weaknesses, comes to our assistance in a truly divine manner. Just as the human body is in need of daily bread, so also does the divine life in us require constant nourishment. Whoever really takes this as his daily bread, experiences EACH DAY the mystery of Christmas, the Word made flesh (St. Teresa Benedicta).
By means of the angels, Jesus calls the poor and simple shepherds, in order to manifest Himself to them. He calls the learned men by means of their science. And all of them, moved by His inner grace, hasten to adore Him. He calls all of us by divine inspiration, and communicates with us by means of His grace. How many times has he invited us, too? And how readily have we responded? My God, I blush and become embarrassed when I have to answer such a question (St. Padre Pio).
The humility of Jesus can be seen in the crib, in the exile to Egypt, in the hidden life, in the inability to make people understand Him, in the desertion of His apostles, in the hatred of His persecutors, in all the terrible suffering and death of His Passion, and now in His permanent state of humility in the tabernacle, where He has reduced Himself to such a small particle of bread that the priest can hold Him with two fingers. The more we empty ourselves, the more room we give God to fill us (Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta).
The Eucharist completes the restoration begun in the Crib. Make merry therefore on this beautiful day, on which the sun of the Eucharist is rising. Let your gratitude never separate the Crib from the Altar, the Word made flesh from the God-Man made Bread of Life in the Most Blessed Sacrament (St. Peter Julian Eymard).
All Saints Day November 1
Blessed Henry Suso says that Jesus will grant the petitions of the Faithful in His Eucharistic Presence sooner than in any other place. The Saints realized this, and in all their trials and sufferings they hastened to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament (Fr. Lukas Etlin, O.S.B.).
All Souls Day November 2
"Eternal Father, I offer You the Holy Wounds of Your Son, and His Precious Blood, for the conversion of sinners and for the relief of the Souls in Purgatory" (St. Margaret Mary de Pazzi offered this prayer 50 times a day).
St. Martin de Porres, Patron of South America, Surgeon, Peru (1579-1639) Nov. 3
Miracle Worker, Healer, Mystic, and Friend of the Poor, St. Martin drew his strength from Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. He spent many hours a day in Adoration, in the midst of routine tasks.
Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, Carmelite Nun, France (1880-1906) November 8
[Before] the Blessed Sacrament exposed ... Those are divine hours spent in this little corner of heaven where we possess the vision in substance under the humble host. Yes, He whom the blessed contemplate in light, and we adore in faith is really the same one (Bl. Elizabeth).
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Religious, Patron of Immigrants, Italy (1850-1917) Nov. 13
My Jesus, I want to adore You for all, wrote St. Frances Xavier, who loved the Holy Eucharist from a young age. As Foundress of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who traveled the Americas and Europe founding schools, orphanages and hospitals, Mother Cabrini encouraged her sisters to find their strength in the Sacred Eucharistic Heart of Jesus through Mass and by starting Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
St. Gertrude the Great, Benedictine & Patroness of the West Indies (1256-1302) Nov. 16
After I had received the Sacrament of Life, I saw a ray of light, like an arrow, dart forth from the Sacred Wound in Thy right Side, on the Crucifix . . . It advanced toward me and pierced my heart. Then Thou didst say to me: May the full tide of thy affection rise to Me, so that all thy pleasure, thy hope, thy joy, thy grief, thy fear and every other feeling be sustained by My love!
St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Wife, Mother, 3rd Order Franciscan(1207-1231) November 17
Elizabeth tirelessly cared for the poorest and sickest daily, and gave away her riches following her husband's death. Her spiritual director testified to her holiness, saying I declare before God that I have seldom seen a more contemplative woman. Her great love was the Holy Eucharist.
Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary November 21
Our Lady's parents, Sts. Anne & Joachim, presented her in the temple when she was a small child. From her earliest years Mary led a life of prayer. She said yes to God's will.
Feast of Christ the King November 25
The Kingdom of God is at hand repent and believe in the Gospel (Mk 1:15).
Jesus, may all nations declare Thee God and King; may they fall on their knees before Thee! May they throw down their vice, open their hearts, and lift up their souls to adore Thee! Amen.
St. Catherine Laboure, Religious Mystic and Visionary, France (1806-1876) Nov. 28
Messenger of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, St. Catherine saw Jesus in the Holy Eucharist visibly present throughout her entire novitiate. She found grace for souls at the foot of the altar.
St. Andrew the Apostle, Advent Novena, Feast day Nov. 30
St. Andrew testified to his Eucharistic faith, while martyred, saying to Edeus who asked him to worship gods: I offer daily to Almighty God, the Immaculate Lamb. Though He is really offered, and the faithful eat His flesh, He remains whole and entire and alive.
St. Andrew Novena: Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen. (It is piously believed that whoever recites the above prayer fifteen times a day from the feast of St. Andrew, November 30, until Christmas will obtain what is asked. Imprimatur: Michael Augustine, Archbishop of NY).
First Sunday of Advent December 2
Advent Prayer: O Jesus, little child, come into my heart on Christmas morn, to wash away my sins and remain there in eternally. O Mary, Mother of my Savior, prepare for Jesus a cradle in my heart. Amen. O Come Let Us Adore Him in The Holy Eucharist!
St. Francis Xavier, Jesuit Priest, Patron of Missionaries, Spain (1506-1552)-December 3
St. Francis Xavier, St. Francis Regis and others spent whole hours during the day and, frequently, a great part of the night at the foot of the [Blessed Sacrament of the] altar; it was in these long interviews with Jesus Christ that they advanced the good works they had in hand, converted sinners, and obtained success in all their undertakings for the glory of God and their own sanctification (Bl. J. B. Marcellin Champagnat).
St. Nicholas, Bishop, Patron of Children and Russia, Myra (4th century) Dec. 6
Known for his generous spirit in serving and caring for children and others and defending the faith. St. Nicholas drew his strength from the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.
Feast of the Immaculate Conception December 8
In each communion we look up to the Immaculate Conception. The light of that far-reaching mystery is in our faces on the altar-step. It beams direct upon us, and so full is it of the same light as the Blessed Sacrament that we seem almost to hear our Mother's voice from that distant fountain, Eat, O friends, and drink, and be inebriated, my dearly beloved(Fr. Faber).
Feast of Our Lady of Loreto, Italy December 10 Our Lady of Loreto, pray for us!
O merciful God, You have consecrated the house of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the mystery of the Word Incarnate and placed it in the midst of Your children (Pope Benedict XV).
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Conversions & Miracles, (App. 1531) Mexico Dec. 12
I vividly desire that a church be built on this site, so that in it I can be present and give my love, compassion, help and defense, for I am your most devoted mother . . . to hear your laments and to remedy all your miseries, pains and sufferings (Our Lady of Guadalupe's words to Juan Diego).
St. Lucy, Virgin, Martyr and Patroness of Eye Patients, Italy (d. 304) Dec. 13
St. Lucy gave her life to God, as a mere youth. Refusing to marry, St. Lucy was tried for being a Christian. St. Lucy chose to die before sinning, she displayed heroic faith until the end. She lived until she received Holy Communion, though she was pierced in the heart with a sword!
St. John of the Cross, Priest, Carmelite Reformer, Spain (1542-1591) December 14
This Doctor of the Church wrote: The loftier were the words of the Son of God, the more tasteless they were to the impure, as happened when He preached the sovereign and loving doctrine of the Holy Eucharist; for many turned away [Jn. 6:60-61, 67]-Living Flame of Love.
Merry Christmas, O Come Let Us Adore Him, Our Eucharistic Savior!!! December 25
From His entry into the world, even while still enclosed in Mary's womb as in a living ciborium, Jesus singled out Mary and Joseph to be His adorers . . . . And after the Child's birth at Bethlehem, Joseph and Mary adored Him uninterruptedly as He lay before their eyes. They represented all mankind at the feet of Christ (St. Peter Julian Eymard).
Feast of the Holy Innocents December 28
Mary now sang as Miriam had done, while a second Joseph guarded the Living Bread for which human hearts were starving The murder of the Innocents by Herod recalls Pharaoh's slaughter of the Hebrew children (Life of Christ, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen).
St. Thomas Becket, Archbishop and Martyr, England (1118-1170) December 29
Strengthened by the Eucharist to remain steadfast for his faith, he was martyred at the altar!
Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph December 30
In the Bread which came down from heaven, the family will be able to find the support that will keep it united in the face of today's threats and will preserve it as a bastion of life, steadfast against the culture of death (Pope John Paul II, Message to Archbishop of Seville, June 5, 1995).
We wish everyone a Blessed Christmas Season and a very Happy and Holy New Year!!!
Christmas and The Holy Eucharist
The sacrifice begun at Bethlehem is consummated on the altar at Holy Mass. Oh! How touching is the Midnight Mass in the Christian world! We greet it long beforehand and are always glad to see it come around again. What is it that gives to our feast of Christmas its charm and that pours joy into our carols and rapture into our hearts, if not that on the altar Jesus is really born again, although in a different state? Do not our carols and our homages go straight to His very person? The object of our festive celebration as of our love is present. We really go to Bethlehem and we find there not a memory, not a picture, but the divine Infant Himself.
And see how the Eucharist began at Bethlehem. He was even then the Emmanuel, God with us, Who was come to dwell among His people. On the first Christmas Day He began to live in our midst; the Eucharist perpetuates His presence. At Bethlehem, the Word was made flesh; in the Sacrament He is made bread in order to give us His flesh without stirring any feeling of repugnance in us.
At Bethlehem He also began practicing the virtues of His sacramental state.
He concealed His divinity in order to familiarize man with God. He veiled His divine glory as a first step to the veiling of His humanity. He bound His power in the weakness of a child's body; later He would bind it beneath the Sacred Species. He was poor; He stripped Himself of every possession, He, the Creator and Sovereign Master of all things. The stable was not His own; charity let Him have the use of it. He lived with His Mother on the offerings of shepherds and the gifts of the Magi; later in the Eucharist, He would ask man for a shelter for Himself, the matter for His Sacrament, vestments for His priest and His altar. This is how Bethlehem heralds the Eucharist.
We even find there the inauguration of Eucharistic worship in its chief form, adoration.
Mary and Joseph were the first adorers of the Word Incarnate. They believed firmly; their faith was their virtue: Beata, quae credidisti. Blessed art thou that hast believed. They adored Him by virtue of their faith.
The shepherds and the Magi also adored Him in union with Mary and Joseph.
Mary was entirely devoted to the service of her Son. She was all intent on His service, anticipating His least wishes to satisfy them. The shepherds offered their plain and simple presents, and the Magi their magnificent gifts. They adored Him by the homage of their gifts.
The Eucharist also is the meeting-place for the persons of all conditions; it is the center of the Catholic world. It is the object of that twofold worship of adoration: the interior adoration of faith and love; the exterior adoration through the magnificence of gifts, of churches, and of the thrones on which the divine Host will be exposed (St. Peter Julian Eymard).
Oh Christians, how varied and numerous are the teachings that depart from the grotto in Bethlehem! Oh, how the heart should burn with love for Him who very affectionately became man for us. We should have a burning desire to lead the world to this humble grotto, refuge of the King of Kings, greater than any royal palace of human beings, because it was God's home and throne! (St. Padre Pio).
King of Kings yet born of Mary
As our Lord on earth He stood
Lord of Lords in human vesture
In the body and the blood
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food
(Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence, French Carol).
Mother Mary, lead me to the grotto of Bethlehem, so that I may indulge in the contemplation of the great and sublime event that is about to take place in the silence of the greatest and most beautiful night that the world has ever seen (St. Padre Pio).
Let us contemplate together in wonder this miracle that takes place still today before our very eyes: a child is born, the Glory of God, who even the highest heaven cannot contain, who is conceived by the Virgin Mary and who laid Him in a manger . . . .
The altar and hands of the priest are the place and instrument of Our Lord's coming to us every day until the end of the world . . . .
So let us go back again with our minds and imagination to that first Christian era, to that grotto of Bethlehem and let us imagine for an instant the real scene of Our Lord's birth. Let us leave aside the choreography so dear to us and contemplate Mary as she looks and adores the living bread which came down from heaven. There at her feet is the Promised One, the Christ and Saviour of the World. Mary offers to us the Bread of Life. And what better place could Jesus be born if not in Bethlehem that signifies house of bread?
Mary, the little bread maker of Nazareth, for nine months prepared in her womb the Bread of Life and now she contemplates Him with her clear and crystalline eyes and in whose eyes and is reflected the Love of the Father given to man.
Now she is the joyous mother of that small child, but later on Calvary we will find her in agony, at the feet of that Bread nailed to the cross and she will be proclaimed Mother of all humanity.
That Bread which came down from Heaven will return to the Father and this will be the final action, the conclusion of the work of redemption.
Mary offers us Jesus and introduces us into the fullness of the Eucharistic mystery. This action of hers is the logical consequence of her testament: Do whatever He tells you which is Mary's instruction to all of us to feed ourselves on her Son.
Just as the shepherds saw and believed, we now see the consecrated Bread and believe. We believe His Word: If anyone eats of this Bread, he will live forever . . . .
Let us implore the Mother of Heaven . . . guide us to consume the Bread of Life that came down from Heaven, that is Our Lord Jesus Christ so that we may be filled with the joy of Christmas.
What better wishes can we exchange, if not a renewed experience in that faith that transforms life and makes us like Him?
May the peace and happiness of this Christmas of the Lord be for each one of us a pledge for that glory that awaits us in His Kingdom, that glory of which the angels sign above the grotto: Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace among men with who He is pleased!
We who are so personally and intimately loved by Him, let us place ourselves in His wise hands with all our anxieties and worries, all our expectations and hopes, all our trust, certain of not being deluded.
May the Child Jesus bless you all one by one and the most sweet and tender heavenly Mother give each one of you a million kisses and embraces, so that you may experience how sweet it is to live with Jesus. Amen (Fr. Livio Dimatteo).
Mother of the Word, oh, tell me your mystery.
After the moment of the Incarnation,
Tell me how you spent your life buried in adoration.
In a peace wholly ineffable, a mysterious silence,
You entered the Unfathomable Being, bearing within you the gift of God.
Oh, keep me always in the divine embrace.
May I bear the imprint of this God of all Love: Amo Christum (Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity).
Prayer to Christ the King
O Jesus, I adore You, for You are the Lord my God, For You, my Lord, are a great God and a great King above all kings. For in Your hand are all the ends of the earth, and the heights of the mountains are Yours. For the sea is Yours, and You made it; and Your hands formed the dry land . . . . We are the people of Your pasture and the sheep of Your hand (cf. Ps 94). Yes, O Jesus, I am one of Your lambs, one of Your creatures; and I am happy to acknowledge my nothingness in Your presence, and still happier to adore You, O lovely Infant, as my God and my Redeemer. O that all nations would acknowledge You for what You are, that all might prostrate before You, adoring You as their Lord and God!
O Lord You can do this. Reveal Your divinity to all mankind, and just as once You drew the Magi from the East to You, now in like manner unite all peoples and all nations around Your manger.
You have shown me that You want my poor cooperation in order to bring about the coming of Your Kingdom. You wish me to pray, suffer, and work for the conversion of those who are near and of those who are far away. You wish that I, too, place before the manger of gifts of the Wise Men: the incense of prayer, the myrrh of mortification and of suffering borne with generosity out of love for You, and finally the gold of charity, charity which will make my heart wholly and exclusively Yours, charity which will spur me on to work, to spend myself for the conversion of sinners and infidels, and for the greater sanctification of Your elect.
O my loving King, create in me the heart of an apostle. If only I could lay at Your feet today the praise and adoration of everyone on earth! (Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.).
Blessed Sacrament Meditation
"Just as He stood quietly among His apostles . . . so does He abide with us in the Blessed Sacrament, that we may get to know Him, to outlive our tremulous agitation, and the novelty of our surprise, and to grow familiar with Him, if we can, as our life-long Guest. There we can bring our sorrows and cares and necessities at all hours . . . We can choose our own time, and our visit can be as short or as long as duties permit or as love desires. There is an unction and a power in the mere silent companionship of the Blessed Sacrament which is beyond all words . . . . The ways of visiting the Blessed Sacrament must be as various as the souls of men. Some love to go there to listen; some to speak; some to confess to Him as if He were their priest; some to examine their consciences; as before their judge; some to do homage as to their king; some to study Him as their Doctor and Prophet: some to find shelter as with their Creator. Some rejoice in His Divinity, others in His Sacred Humanity, others in the mysteries of the season. Some visit Him on different days by His different titles, as God, Father, Brother, Shepherd, Head of the Church, and the like. Some visit to adore, some to intercede, some to petition, some to return thanks, some to get consolation; but all visit Him to love and, to all who visit Him in love, He is a power of heavenly grace and a fountain of many goods, no single one of which the whole created universe could either merit or confer" (Fr. Frederick William Faber).
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