January/February/March 2009                                                                                                                                                        Newsletter No. 115

 

 

“Within your temple, we ponder your loving kindness, O God” (Ps 47:10).

 

Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle—Jan. 25
“We must still confess with St. Paul, ‘To will, is present with me; but to accomplish that which is good, I find not’ (Rom 7:18). The Blessed Sacrament, however, affords us strength

to fight the good fight” (Fr. Lukas Etlin, OSB).

 

“True Christians, therefore, do not seek their Heaven upon earth in perishable things, but, as St. Paul admonishes, they ‘seek the things that are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God’ (Col. 3:1)....And yet, there is a true heaven here upon earth, a heaven so genuine, so beautiful, so grace-abounding, that the human heart finds in it a true foretaste of the joys of Paradise. This heaven is the Eucharistic Tabernacle, where our God dwells with us in the Blessed Sacrament. Before the Tabernacle all our labors are lightened and sweetened; there our heart is satiated with the Bread of Life.  There we receive eternal, inexpressibly precious graces and gifts” (The Blessed Sacrament:God With Us).

 

Lenten Reflections

“O how unspeakable is this sacrament which sets the affections ablaze with the fire of charity and sprinkles our home’s lintel, on both doorposts [lips], with the immaculate Lamb’s blood! What wholesome provision for our dangerous journey we receive in this food! What strengthening manna enriches the traveller! It invigorates the weak, brings back health to the sick; it increases virtue, makes grace abound, purges away vices, refreshes the soul, renews life in the languid, binds together all the faithful in the union of charity! This Sacrament of Faith also inspires hope and increases charity. It is the central pillar of the Church, the consolation of the dead, and the fulfillment of Christ’s Mystical Body” (St. Thomas Aquinas).

 

“My soul, if you wish to penetrate the depths of this Mystery, your gaze must be illumined by Love! You need to see and understand! Contemplate the Last Supper: see Jesus Who knows that He will soon be separated from the body of His humanity, and yet wishing to be united to us forever; contemplate the Love by which He institutes this Sacrament which permits Him to be corporeally and forever united to mankind. O Inextinguishable Love! O Love of Christ! O Love of the human race! What a true Furnace of Love! O Jesus, You already saw the death which awaited You; the sorrows and atrocious tortures of the Passion were already breaking Your Heart, and yet You offered Yourself to Your executioners, and permitted them, by means of this Sacrament, to possess You forever as an Eternal Gift, O You, Whose delights are to be with the children of men!” (St. Angela Foligno).

 

“The extent of one’s love for another is measured, not so much by words of affection spoken, as by acts of kindness which a loving heart prompts. To part with what is dear to us for the sake of our friends is always regarded as a proof of love. The dearer the gift, the deeper the love; but to part with life for the sake of a friend is heroic love. Jesus showed His love for us by His labors, lessons, prayers and miracles. 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—Jan. 1:
“Welcoming Jesus and bringing Him to others is the true joy of Christians! Dear brothers and sisters, let us follow and imitate Mary, a deeply Eucharistic soul, and our whole life can become a Magnificat (cf. Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 58), praise of God. May this be the grace that we ask from the Virgin Most Holy” (Pope Benedict XVI, Address, May 31, 2005).

 

Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus—Jan. 3:
“Let us always whisper His name of love as an antidote to all the discord that surrounds us. We cannot say the rest. The harmony of heaven begins for us, while, silent from all the world, we again and again repeat, ‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!’ And how many say the adored name, looking beyond Him:while looking for Him, they deny Him on His altar” (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton).

 

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Widow, Mother, Religious, U.S. (1774-1821)—Jan. 4:
“That he is there—oh, heavenly theme!—is as entirely true as that bread naturally taken removes my hunger, so this Bread of Angels removes my pain, my cares; warms, cheers, soothes, contents, and renews my whole being. Merciful God, and I do possess You! Kindest, tenderest, dearest friend, every affection of my nature absorbed in You, still is active, nay, perfected in its operations through Your refining love. Hush, my soul, we cannot speak it. Tongues of angels could not express our treasure of peace and contentment in Him.”

 

St. John Neumann, Redemptorist Priest, Bishop, Bohemia (1811-1860)—Jan. 5:
St. John Neumann began the 40 hours of Adoration devotion in his diocese, organizing it so that each parish would take turns and there would be ongoing Adoration. He attended as often as possible and promoted Adoration to keep his diocese rooted in the Holy Eucharist.

 

Bl. Br. Andre Bessette, Br., Miracle Worker, Montreal, Canada (1845-1937)—Jan. 6:
“O Holy angels, make me see God on the altar as you see Him in heaven” (Bl. Br. Andre).

 

Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord—Jan. 6:
“Now Magi fall down and present gifts, and recognize the King of all, and adjudge him King of heaven, thanks to the glorious testimony of the star...Come then, let us join them in adoration” (St. Gregory Nazienzen).

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord—Jan. 13:
“In the Most Blessed Trinity we find the origin of the Eucharist, but we also find the explanation of the Eucharistic Jesus: He is the Son of the eternal Father. Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God! Our encounter with Him is an encounter also with the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit” (Justin Cardinal Rigali).

 

Day of Penance for Violations to the Dignity of the Human Person—Jan. 24:
“If people spent one hour per week in Eucharistic Adoration, abortion would be ended” (Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta).

 

St. Francis de Sales, Priest, Bishop, France (1567-1622)—Jan. 24:
St. Francis called the Eucharist, “the sun of all spiritual exercises.” “At no other time is our Lord more loving and more tender than when He, as it were, humbles Himself and comes to us in the form of food that He may enter our soul and enter into intimate union with us.”

 

St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest, Doctor of the Church (c. 1225-1274)—Jan. 28:
“I firmly believe that Jesus Christ, true God and true man, is present in this august Sacrament. I adore You, my God and my Redemption” (St. Thomas).

 

St. John Bosco, Priest, Salesian Founder, Italy (1815-1888)—Jan. 31:
After his death Louis Colle, the young son of Count Louis-Fleury Colle, appeared to St. John Bosco, saying: “Make the children receive Communion frequently, and admit them early to the Holy Table. From the age of four or five, show them the Sacred Host, and make them adore it in order to prepare them for their first Communion.”

 

 

 

The Presentation of the Lord—Feast, February 2:
“My eyes have seen the salvation...for all peoples to see”
(Lk 2:30-32). Praised be Jesus, Our Eucharistic Savior, now and forever!

 

St. Blaise, Bishop, Martyr, Patron of Throat Diseases, Armenia (316)—Feast, Feb. 3:
Remembered for healing choking child, St. Blaise’s is also one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. St. Blaise intercede for us that we may know the healing Presence of Jesus.

 

St. Scholastica, Benedictine Nun, Abbess, Italy (480-547)—Feast, February 10:
Lord, may our reception of the body and blood of your Son keep us from harmful things. Help us by the example of Saint Scholastica to grow in your love on earth that we may rejoice for ever in heaven. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. (Prayer after Communion).

 

Our Lady of Lourdes, (France)—Feast, February 11:
      “Gabriel Gargam was a postal worker assigned to the Bordeaux-Paris express trains. In a railway wreck on December 18, 1899, he was thrown about sixty feet from the tracks by the force of the collision. Upon being brought to the hospital, it was found that he had broken his clavicle, his legs, and that he also had received some head injuries. The shock had created some serious internal troubles, and he was paralyzed from his hips down. He could not eat and his weight had gone down from 160 to 72 pounds. At the medical examination conducted by the doctors of the railroad, it was learned that he was a total disability case. All his organs were afflicted, and only his mind was left intact.
      “In 1901, although his condition was hopeless, his mother took him to Lourdes. He was immersed in the water, apparently without result. His nurse quipped that there was no reason for him to be blessed by the Sacrament during the procession because by that time he would be dead. At this moment the man declared dead rose, and in his bare feet, clad only in his long shirt, he walked behind the baldachin placed over the Eucharist. Immediately, sixty-three doctors examined this ‘human ghost,’ as they called him, and checked the official diagnosis, which stated that his entire organism was destroyed. His heart, liver, kidney had malfunctioned, yet without convalescence he had been totally and entirely cured. And he died in 1953 at the rather ripe old age of eighty. After his miraculous cure he became one of the brancardiers in Lourdes, performing the heaviest and most difficult work”
(The Book of Miracles, Zsolt Aradi).

 

St. Valentine, Martyr  (Italy) c. 269—Feast, February 14:
While imprisoned for his faith, St. Valentine sent his friends notes to remind them that God, Who is Love, is always with us. “The greatest love story of all time is contained in a tiny white Host” 
(Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen).

 

St. Peter Damian, Bishop and Cardinal (Italy) 1007-1072--Feast, February 21:
“Christ cannot be accused of forgetfulness: Christ does not enjoin things contrary to His commands.  He is the Bread that came down from heaven, which is daily brought to the table of the Church, as a heavenly food, which is broken for the forgiveness of sins, which feeds and nourishes unto life everlasting them that eat the same”
(St. Peter Damian).

 

Ash Wednesday—February 25: “Return to me with all your heart”  (Joel 2:12):
Let us pray before our Eucharistic Lord this Lent for an outpouring of charity in our world.
Following in the footsteps of the Saints, may His Presence inspire us to help those in need.

 

St. Gabriel Possenti, Patron of Clerics & Youth  (Italy) 1838-1862--Feast, February 27:
In his teen years, Gabriel spent much time with Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration. It was through these visits that he received his calling and began contemplating the religious life. He was handsome, popular, and loved to dance. Jesus and Our Lady spoke to his heart, confirming his call. He became a Passionist Brother, taking the name of St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows. St. Gabriel had a deep devotion to Jesus Hostia and Our Lady of Sorrows.

St. Katharine Drexel, Religious, America (1858-1955)—Feast, March 3:
“In the sacrament of Eucharistic love He still abides in littleness to stay with us always.”

 

St. Dominic Savio, Patron of Children, Italy (1842-1857)—March 9:
“If he could spend an hour during the day in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, it was his utmost delight; but he always found time for a visit every day, and got someone to go with him if possible”
(The Life of Dominic Savio, St. John Bosco).

 

St. Clement Maria Hofbauer, Poland (1751-1820)—March 15:
St. Clement was assigned to Poland to serve the many Germany Catholics living there. Basic necessities were scarce for himself and his two companions. One day, they ran out of food and money. St. Clement went to the Church and knelt before the tabernacle praying to Jesus for help. Then, he gently tapped on the tabernacle door and said quietly “Lord, we are in great need; come quick and help us.” Soon a stranger knocked on the rectory door and left a large sum of money that provided for their needs for a long time. Devoted to the Holy Eucharist, St. Clement spread Adoration far and wide, renewing the faith of the people.

 

St. Patrick, Bishop and Patron of Ireland (d. 461)—March 17:
St. Patrick brought Ireland the Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist which made their faith strong in the face of persecution. He wrote: “Believe and adore the true sun that is Christ.”

 

St. Joseph, Patron of Universal Church, Spouse of B.V.M.—March 19:
“I am leagues distant from my model, Saint Joseph. My mind flits nervously here and there without every a serious reflection on the purpose of my life. My heart warms to a score of tainted or at least too earthly loves. My actions are not for God but to satisfy my own vanity and self-love. And yet I have given myself entirely to Jesus in His divine Sacrament; I have vowed myself entirely and forever to His service. I have promised to give myself freely
myself and all that I havefor the more glorious reign and more perfect service of Jesus Eucharistic. But if that be so, then whatever does not concern the Eucharistic service should be outside my field of interest and whatever goes against it should be my supreme aversion. My God, from the bottom of my heart I repeat: I give myself, I consecrate myself to Your divine service without condition and without reserve. Be my grace and my life.” (St. Peter Julian Eymard).

 

Bl. Clemens August von Galen, Bishop, Germany (1878-1946)—March 22:
Bl. Clemens condemned Nazism, its attacks against Catholicism and life (e.g. euthanasia). Devoted to the Holy Eucharist, he began Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration at his cathedral.

 

Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord—March 25:
“Our Lady accompanies us every day in our prayers  . . . . In his last Encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, our beloved Pope John Paul II presented her to us as ‘Woman of the Eucharist’ throughout her life
(cf. 53). ‘Woman of the Eucharist’ through and through, beginning with her inner disposition: from the Annunciation, when she offered herself for the Incarnation of the Word of God, to the Cross and to the Resurrection; ‘Woman of the Eucharist’ in the period subsequent to Pentecost, when she received in the Sacrament that Body that she had conceived and carried in her womb” (Pope Benedict XVI, Address, May 31, 2005).

 

St. Margaret Clitherow, Wife, Mother, Martyr (d. 1586), England—March 26:
A convert, St. Margaret married a widower with two sons, and bore two more. During the persecution in England, Margaret remained devoted to the true faith, attended secret Masses and helped hide priests. So deep was her belief in the Holy Eucharist that she was imprisoned twice for her refusal to stop organizing secret Masses, and then cruelly martyred. Although Protestant, her husband attested to her great love and virtue, saying “she is the best wife in all England, and the best Catholic.”

 

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