Jan/Feb/Mar 2019 Newsletter 131
“But the Lord is in His holy temple Let all the earth be silent before Him.” (Habakkuk 2:20)
“It is important . . . that what we propose, with the help of God, should be profoundly rooted in contemplation and prayer. Ours is a time of continual movement which often leads to restlessness, with the risk of ‘doing for the sake of doing.’ We must resist this temptation by trying ‘to be’ before trying ‘to do’” (St. Pope John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte, 15).
“Without silence, there is no light. Darkness feeds on the incessant noise of this world, which prevents us from turning to God. Take the example of the liturgy of the Mass today. It brings us to adoration, filial fear and love in the presence of God’s greatness. It culminates in the Consecration where together, facing the altar, our gaze directed to the host, to the cross, we commune in silence in recollection and in adoration.” (Cardinal Robert Sarah, May 22, 2018, Homily to Chartres pilgrims) Cardinal Sarah said that the crisis we face today is that the Church’s “CENTER is no longer God and the adoration of Him, but rather men and their alleged ability to ‘do’ something to keep themselves busy” (address on address on Summorum Pontificum). In his book The Power of Silence, Cardinal Sarah magniloquently describes the awesome silence where we encounter Jesus in the Eucharistic adoration.
“The holy hour in our modern rat race is necessary for authentic prayer.... We are not called to great penances, and many would interfere with our duty, but the [holy] hour is our daily sacrifice in union with Christ.” (Archbishop Sheen) When we go to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament we have a personal encounter with the living God. We go to our best friend, our soul mate, the one who loves us the most—for now and forever more. There is not a thing we can tell Him that will make Him love us less! He knows us better than we can ever know ourselves. He desires our presence, our closeness, our thoughts, words, and our hearts. He yearns to become one with us to hold, heal, and herald us to eternity. Let us go to Him today and every day in Mass, Communion and Adoration!
“As a response to the secularism of our time, the grace of God seems to be drawing many Christians, in the midst of the world, to a deeper life of contemplation, marked particularly by adoration of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.” “The contemplative encounter with the infinite mystery of God is only possible through the encounter with Jesus Christ, God the Son Incarnate, particularly in His Eucharistic Presence . . . . Contribute to rekindking the ‘Eucharistic amazement’ which Saint John Paul II wished for the whole Church.” (Cardinal Raymond Burke)
“On the eve of giving his life what more had He to give? No other but Himself. This priceless gift He bestowed by instituting the Blessed Sacrament ...All He asks in return is the love of our hearts for Him in this great sacrament of love” (St. Katharine Drexel).
Solemnity, Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God & World Day of Peace—Feast, Jan. 1:
“May Thy kingdom come! May it spread far and wide; may it gain prestige; may it progress in every way! That is what we must wish our Lord on this New Year’s Day. May He be known and loved by those who neither know or love Him! May everyone complete in himself the work of the Incarnation and of the Redemption! Get to know our Lord better. Study His life, His sacrifices, and His virtues in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Study His love. Instead of always remaining within ourselves, let us go up to Him.” (St. Peter Julian Eymard)
Sts. Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops, Doctors, Cappadocia (4th c.)—Feast, Jan. 2:
Sts. Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen are fourth century Eastern Saints. St. Basil was the first to begin reserving the Blessed Sacrament in tabernacles at Churches. He promulgated belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, saying not only that it was the mark of a Christian to eat the Bread and drink the Cup of Christ, but also to keep in perpetual remembrance Him who died for us and rose again. He wrote these beautiful words about our Eucharistic King: “Eternal Son of the living God, Whom I here acknowledge really present! I adore Thee with all the powers of my soul. Prostrate with the Angels in the most profound reverence, I love Thee, O my Saviour, Whom I now behold on the throne of Thy love! O dread Majesty, O infinite Mercy! Save me, forgive me! Grant that I may never more be separated from Thee.”
Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus: Blessed be His holy name!— Feast, Jan. 3:
“Unto His humble/Manger they came/ And bowed their heads/In Jesus’ name.” (Langston Hughes)
Praised be Jesus Eucharistic!
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Widow, Mother, Convert, Religious, U.S. (1774-1821)—Feast, Jan. 4:
St. Elizabeth, foundress of the Sisters of Charity, started the first parochial school in the United States, and was the first native born citizen to be canonized. It was St. Elizabeth’s belief in the real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament which led to her conversion to Catholicism. She wrote, “God is everywhere, in the air I breathe, yes everywhere, but in His Sacrament of the Altar He is as present actually and really as my soul within my body; in His Sacrifice daily offered as really as once offered on the Cross.”
St. John Neumann, Redemptorist Priest, Bishop, Bohemia (1811-1860)—Feast, Jan. 5:
Despite safety concerns and criticism, St. John started 40 hours of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the U.S.. One night, he fell asleep while working at his desk. The candle on the desk overturned and all of his papers burned, except the letter he wrote about 40 hours. God seemed to tell him: “As the flames are burning here without consuming or injuring the writing, so shall I pour out My grace in the Blessed Sacrament without prejudice to My honor. Therefore, do not fear profanation and do not hesitate any longer to carry out your designs for My glory.” St. John began and spread 40 hours, and people came to adore Jesus in droves!
Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord—Feast, Jan. 6:
“Consider the humble sacrifice that the shepherds and the three Wise Men made in their long journey to adore the Christ Child. Only the humble shepherds and the wise astrologers followed the star of faith to Bethlehem. He was the King, much greater than they were. No journey was too long because any trouble they had was infinitely worth the sacrifice. When they saw Him, they bowed down before Him. Where was the rest of the world? Who could understand then that the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes was the hidden Incarnate Word of God? He came quietly and lovingly. Only the humble and wise could see the humble Jesus lying in a manger. The rest of the world passed Him by. Look at how God has never stopped honoring the shepherds and the magi for honoring His Son in Bethlehem. The humble sacrifice of their long journey is praised in Scripture. And around the world in every church and Christian home at Christmas, they are included in every Nativity scene. In the Blessed Sacrament, Jesus comes to us even more humbly than He did before. That is why your sacrifice will give God even greater glory than the glory given Him by the shepherds and the three Wise Men. And God will honor you even more than the shepherds and the three Wise Men for all eternity for honoring His Son” (From our A-2 “Value of Sacrifice” pamphlet).
Feast of the Baptism of
the Lord—Feast, Jan. 13:
“What then could be a greater proof of kindness and benevolence than that he who washes with water should set the soul free from uncleanness? Or that he by anointing it with chrism should grant it reign in the heavenly kingdom? Or that he as the Host of the banquet should provide his own Body and Blood?” (Nicholas Cabasilas, 4th century monk).
Day of Penance for Violations to the Dignity of the Human Person—Feast, Jan. 22:
“If people spent one hour per week in Eucharistic Adoration, abortion would be ended” (Mother Teresa of Calcutta).
St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest, Doctor of the Church, Italy (c. 1225-1274)—Jan. 28:
“Christ’s true body, born from the Virgin Mary, is contained in the sacrament of the altar.” (St. Thomas Aquinas)
St. John Bosco, Priest, Salesian Founder, Patron of Editors, Italy (1815-1888)—Jan. 31:
“I beg you to recommend to everyone, first adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and then reverence for the most holy Mary” (St. John Bosco).
The Presentation of the Lord—Feast, February 2:
“Simeon gave back Jesus to His Mother, he was only suffered to keep Him for one moment. But we are far happier than Simeon. We may keep Him always if we will. In Communion He comes not only into our arms but into our hearts” (St. John Vianney).
St. Agatha,Virgin, Martyr, Patroness of Nurses,
Breast Cancer, Italy (251)—Feast, Feb. 5:
St. Agatha made a promise of virginity to God. After refusing the advances of a consul, St. Agatha was sent to a house of prostitution. She stood firm in her faith, not sacrificing to idols as commanded, and was brutally tortured. An earthquake shook the city, ending her torture. St. Agatha’s intercession is invoked for protection against volcanoes, earthquakes, and by victims of torture. A bread is baked on her feast, portraying her role as a woman and intercessor, then blessed as a sacramental to prevent fire.
St. Paul Miki, Jesuit Priest and Martyr, Japan (1564-1597)—Feast,
St. Paul was the first Japanese religious and martyr. Following the life and death of St. Francis Xavier, Christians in Japan numbered 200,000. Missionaries were ordered to leave the country. St. Paul, the son of an affluent Japanese military chief, and the majority of Jesuit missionaries remained clandestinely. The Jesuits did not want to leave the faithful without the Holy Eucharist and Sacraments. St. Paul, a gifted speaker, defended the faith against Buddhists, while preparing for the priesthood. St. Paul was crucified along with two other Jesuits and 23 other Christians.
St. Josephine Bakhita, Religious, Africa (1869-1947)—Feast,
“Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself, ‘Who could be the Master of these beautiful things?’ I felt a great desire to see him, to know him and to pay him homage.” Following her release from slavery, St. Josephine became a Catholic and Religious, spending many hours in Eucharistic Adoration. She prayed for the conversion of souls and helped all in need. St. Josephine pray for the people of Africa!
Our Lady of Lourdes, (France)—Feast, February 11:
Eucharistic Miracle—Lourdes, France (1888)
On August 22, 1888, at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, there took place for the first time at Lourdes the procession together with the benediction of the sick with the Blessed Sacrament. It was a priest who proposed this pious practice and it has not been abandoned since that time. Once, on August 22, 1888, when the Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament was imparted to the sick gathered in front of the grotto of the apparitions, Pierre Delanoy, who had been suffering for years from ataraxy (an illness which impedes the coordination of voluntary movements, and leads to certain death), was healed instantly as the monstrance passed by him. It was the first Eucharistic Miracle that took place at Lourdes. From that day on, the sick who make their way to Lourdes on pilgrimage are blessed with the Blessed Sacrament, and the miraculous healings that have been confirmed through the Blessed Sacrament passing by are innumerable. The Shrine of Lourdes is a shining example of faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. (Retrieved from www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/emc_book003_pdf/e_mir_st_children_96_97.pdf)
St. Claude de la Colombiere, Priest, France (d. 1682)—Feast, February 15
This confessor of St. Margaret Mary wrote: “Full of confidence in the mercy of my God, I have made it a law for myself to procure by all means possible the execution of what I was ordered by my adorable Master concerning His most precious Body in the Blessed Sacrament, in which I believe Him to be truly and really present. Filled with sweetness which I have been able to taste and receive from the mercy of my God without being able to explain it....I have come to recognize that God wishes that I serve Him by procuring the accomplishment of His desires concerning the devotion [to the Sacred Eucharistic Heart of Jesus].”
St. Margaret of Cortona, Mother, 3rd Order Franciscan, Italy (1247-1297)—February 22:
St. Margaret was a
repentant sinner. She wrote of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist: “This morning my
soul is greater than the world since it possesses You, You whom heaven and
earth do not contain.”
St. Gabriel Possenti, Patron of Clerics & Youth, Italy (1838-1862)—Feast, Feb. 27:
“O Mother of Sorrows, by the anguish and love with which thou didst stand at the cross of Jesus, stand by me in my last agony. To thy maternal heart I commend the last three hours of my life. Offer these hours to the Eternal Father in union with the agony of our dearest Lord, in atonement for my sins. Offer to the Eternal Father the most precious blood of Jesus, mingled with your tears on Calvary, that I may obtain the grace of receiving Holy Communion with the most perfect love and contrition before my death, and that I may breathe forth my soul in the adorable presence of Jesus. Dearest Mother, when the moment of my death has at last come, present me as your child to Jesus. Ask Him to forgive me for having offended Him, for I knew not what I did. Beg Him to receive me into His kingdom of glory to be united with Him forever. Amen.” (Prayer of St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows)
St. Angela of Foligno, Widow, Mother, Secular Franciscan,
Italy (1248-1309)—Feast, February 28
St. Angela wrote of the Blessed Sacrament: “O my soul, how can you refrain from plunging yourself ever deeper and deeper into the love of Christ, who did not forget you in life or in death, but who willed to give Himself wholly to you, and to unite you to Himself forever?”
St. John of God, Rel., Hospitallers Founder,
Patron of Heart Patients, Portugal (1495-1550)—Feast, March 8:
St. John was a holy youth and spent the first part of his life as a shepherd. As a young man St. John joined the military and veered from his faith, but later converted and dedicated his life totally to God. St. John founded the Brothers Hospitallers of St. John of God who tirelessly care for the sick. St. John wrote, “Love our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist above all things in the world.” He is the patron of those suffering from heart disease.
St. Joseph, Patron of Universal Church, Spouse
of B.V.M.—Feast, March 19:
“Christ who comes to us in Holy Communion is the same Christ whom St. Joseph knew so intimately at Nazareth . . . . The inevitable result of this close contact with Christ was peace, as St. Paul proclaims: ‘He Himself is our peace’ (Eph 2:14). Hence, St. Joseph, living in the blessed peace of Nazareth, diffused that peace among his fellow men and became united with them through his Foster Son, who would later make to His Father that prayer of all surpassing charity: ‘That all may be one’ (John 17:21) . . . .
“Christ made provision through a miracle of love. On the altar, under the sacramental species, Christ is as truly present as He was in the carpenter shop at Nazareth. But, as St. Thomas points out, in Nazareth only His divinity lay concealed; in the Eucharist, both humanity and divinity are hidden. Because of his unique role of shadow of the Eternal Father, St. Joseph was united with the Father through Christ, and thus lived in continual anticipation of the face-to-face vision of God in heaven. This same consciousness of the Father, this desire for union with Him in heaven, Christ intends His Presence among us in the Blessed Sacrament to effect . . . . Not only is the Holy Eucharist a Sacrament which engenders faith and love; it is the basis of our hope. It prompts us to view all things sub specie aeternitatis—in the light of eternity—and thereby to establish a proper order and peace in our lives. ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.’ St. Joseph, in his devotion to the Divine Child at Nazareth sets an example for our devotion to the same Christ in the Blessed Sacrament” (Reflecting on St. Joseph, Sr. Emily Joseph, C.S.J., 92-93).
May the poverty of my sweet and suffering little Child be your riches. His sighs and His tears the consolation of your days. The love of His adorable Heart your earthly treasure, your all. And the clear vision of His adorable and glorified humanity be your eternal joy and recompense. Amen. (St. Joseph’s Blessing)