March/April 2006                                                                                                                                                                   Newsletter No. 99

“The bread I will give is my flesh for the life of the world” (Jn 6:51).

 

“The Church relives the mystery of Easter [Holy] Thursday in the light of the Resurrection. Easter Thursday also has its own Eucharistic procession with which the Church recreates Jesus' exodus from the Cenacle to the Mount of Olives. . . .Jesus truly gives His body and His blood. Crossing the threshold of death, He became living Bread, true manna, inexhaustible nourishment for all time. The flesh became bread of life” (Pope Benedict XVI, May 26, 2005).


Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, present—Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity—is God’s love and mercy made manifest to us now and till the end of time. From this Blessed Sacrament Jesus pours out His life, His light and His love to all who come into His glorious presence.

 

“When on Holy Thursday I left Myself in the Blessed Sacrament,
you were very much on my mind”
-Words of Jesus to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy Diary, 1774


“Jesus gave this act of oblation an enduring presence through his institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper. He anticipated his death and resurrection by giving his disciples, in the bread and wine, his very self, his body and blood as the new manna (cf. Jn 6:31-33). The ancient world had dimly perceived that man’s real food—what truly nourishes him as man—is ultimately the Logos, eternal wisdom: this same Logos now truly becomes food for us—as love. The Eucharist draws us into Jesus’ act of self-oblation. More than just statically receiving the incarnate Logos, we enter into the very dynamic of his self-giving. The imagery of marriage between God and Israel is now realized in a way previously inconceivable: it had meant standing in God’s presence, but now it becomes union with God through sharing in Jesus’ self-gift, sharing in his body and blood” (From Pope Benedict XVI's first encyclical Deus Caritas Est, 13).

 

“Consider my Love in the Blessed Sacrament.
Here, I am entirely yours, soul, body and divinity, as your Bridegroom”
(Jesus, Diary,1770).


“The Eucharist makes the Risen Christ constantly present, Christ Who continues to give Himself to us, calling us to participate in the banquet of His Body and His Blood. From this full communion with Him comes every other element of the life of the Church, in the first place the communion among the faithful, the commitment to proclaim and give witness to the Gospel, the ardor of charity towards all, especially towards the poor and the smallest” (Benedict XVI, 4/20/05).

In 1931, in Poland, Jesus appeared to Sister Maria Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament, and gave her a message of love and mercy for the world. While she was praying before the Most Blessed Sacrament Jesus appeared. Emanating from His Heart were two rays of light, one red and one white. He later revealed “These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross” (Divine Mercy Diary, 299).

Has there ever been a time in human history when we have needed God's Divine Mercy, love and guidance more? Pope John Paul II said, “Anyone who prays to our Saviour [in the Blessed Sacrament] draws the whole world with him and raises it to God . . . . Through adoration, the Christian mysteriously contributes to the radical transformation of the world” (Letter to the Bishop of Liege, 1996). “Especially from the Eucharist, grace is poured forth upon us as from a fountain” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 10).

 

“I desire that Adoration take place for the intention of imploring Mercy for the world” “Adore in the Blessed Sacrament, My Heart which is full of mercy” (Jesus, 1070 and 1572). “Adore, my soul, the mercy of the Lord” (St. Faustina, 1652).

START PERPETUAL EUCHARISTIC ADORATION IN YOUR PARISH TODAY!
Jesus is Risen-Alleluia!!! We wish you and your loved ones a Blessed and Joyous Easter!

 

A Lenten Journey


Since the early Church, Catholics have spent the Season of Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday, preparing for the great feast of Easter. The Lenten season is spent with more prayer, fasting sacrifice, scripture study, almsgiving, spiritual and corporal works of mercy, meditation and contemplation on Our Lord’s “Way of The Cross”, while taking up our cross. All of this wonderful preparation is part of our journey of developing a closer relationship with the Lord through more intimate daily contact with Him in His Eucharistic Presence, Mass, Communion, and Eucharistic Adoration. “Come to Me all of you who are weary and find life burdensome and I will refresh you” (Mt. 11:28). Having been nourished by His Eucharistic Love and become more intimate with Him we are enabled to reach out to Him disguised in our brothers and sisters, the poor, hungry, cold, sick, dying, elderly, unborn, outcast and all who are in need.
 

“‘Unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it bears much fruit’ (Jn 12:24). In this saying, the Lord compares the course of his whole earthly existence to that of a grain of wheat, which only by dying can produce fruit. He interprets his earthly life, his death, and his resurrection from the standpoint of the Most Holy Eucharist, which recapitulates his entire mystery. He had experienced his death as an act of self-oblation, an act of love, and his body was then transfigured in the new life of the resurrection. He, the Incarnate Word, now becomes our food, food that leads to true life, life eternal. The Eternal Word—the power that creates life—comes down from heaven as the true manna, the bread bestowed upon man in faith and in sacrament. The Way of the Cross is thus a path leading to the heart of the Eucharistic mystery: popular piety and sacramental piety of the Church blend together and become one. The prayer of the Way of the Cross is a path leading to a deep spiritual communion with Jesus; lacking this, our sacramental communion would remain empty . . . . The God who shares our sufferings, the God who became man in order to bear our cross, wants to transform our hearts of stone; he invites us to share in the sufferings of others. He wants to give us a ‘heart of flesh’ that will not remain stony before the suffering of others, but can be touched and led to the love that heals and restores . . . . ‘If any man would come after me , let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me’ (Mt 16:24). Jesus himself interpreted for us the meaning of the ‘Way of the Cross’; he taught us how to pray it and follow it: the Way of the Cross is the path of losing ourselves, the path of true love. On this path he has gone before us; on it he teaches us how to pray the Way of the Cross. Once again we come back to the grain of wheat, to the Most Holy Eucharist, in which the fruits of Christ’s death and Resurrection are continually made present in our midst. In the Eucharist Jesus walks at our side, as he did with the disciples of Emmaus, making himself ever anew a part of our history” (Pope Benedict XVI, Way of the Cross 2005).


“Christ’s sacrifice on the cross imparts to the believer the dynamism of His generous love; the Eucharistic banquet nourishes the faithful with the Body and Blood of the divine Lamb sacrificed for us” (Pope John Paul II).

On Holy Thursday night in the Garden of Gethsemani Jesus, in agony, called out to his friends and said “Could you not watch one hour with me?” He is calling you now, please say “yes”!


“Our Christian communities must become genuine ‘schools’ of prayer, where the meeting with Christ is expressed not just in imploring help but also in thanksgiving, praise, adoration, contemplation, listening and ardent devotion, until the heart truly ‘falls in love’” (John Paul II).


Intentions: Remember my loved ones in your prayers during the Lenten & Easter Seasons:
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Ash Wednesday—March 1
“Come before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament this Lent and beg for more grace to give your heart, mind, and strength to Him. Receive His sacred Body and precious Blood more frequently at Mass....Seek Him in adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Seek His forgiveness for your sins in the confessional. In this way, you will indeed heed His call to follow Him” (Fr. Joseph, MIC).


St. Katharine Drexel, Religious, America (1858-1955)—Feast, March 3
“The sacred host exposed on the altar gives my soul food for ‘admiration.’ I admire my Divine Spouse in His humility but above all His love which has placed Him to be there” (St. Katharine).


St. Dominic Savio, Patron of Children, Italy (1842-1857)—March 9
This “Schoolboy Saint” loved to visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. He said: “When I am near Him I would gladly crawl in the mud to pay Him homage.” “I’d jump into a furnace if I could get a spark of that infinite love which made Him give us this great Sacrament.” St. Dominic asked his friends to visit Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and be devoted to Mary too!


St. Patrick, Bishop and Patron of Ireland (d. 461)—March 17
St. Patrick brought Ireland the True Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist to, which made their faith strong in the face of persecution. “Though robbed of their beautiful cathedrals and parish churches, though deprived of their Mass-houses and hovels, the priests and people would not bow the knee to Baal. With the quick instinct of devotion, and the grand daring of affection, they once again found places wherein to worship their Eucharistic God and King. They went forth to the valleys, the hills and the mountains, to the caves and caverns of this Irish soil, and inaugurated a period of imperishable piety” (Ireland’s Loyalty to the Mass, Fr. Augustine O.F.M. Cap.).


St. Joseph, Patron of Universal Church, Spouse of B.V.M.—March 20
“At Nazareth Joseph’s days were filled with work which necessarily took him away at times from his Infant God. During these hours Mary replaced him, but when evening brought him home again, he would pass the entire night in adoration, never tiring, only too happy for the chance to contemplate the hidden riches of Jesus' divinity. For he pierced the rough garments the Child wore, until his faith touched the Sacred Heart. In profound adoration he united himself to the special grace of each one of the events in the life of Jesus. He adored our Lord in His hidden life and in His Passion and Death; he adored in advance the Eucharistic Christ in His tabernacles: there was nothing that our Lord could hide from Saint Joseph . . . . St. Joseph, first and most perfect of adorers, obtain for me the grace to love, adore, and serve Christ Eucharistic as you did” (St. Peter Julian Eymard).
 


Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord—March 25

“In an instant the Holy Spirit overshadows her [Mary],
making her a living ciborium privileged to bear within herself for nine months
the Guest who is the Host of the world”
(Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen).

“The Hail Mary is completely impregnated both with a Trinitarian and a Eucharistic sense. The first words were dictated by the Father to the Angel when He sent him to announce the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word: ‘Hail [Mary] full of grace, the Lord is with thee.’ You are full of grace because in you dwells the fountain of grace, and also because of your union with the most Blessed Trinity. Moved by the Holy Spirit, St. Elizabeth said: ‘Blessed art thou among women, and Blessed is the Fruit of they womb [Jesus].’” (Sr. Lucia of Fatima)

“The bread and wine, by the action of the Holy Spirit, really become the body and blood of Christ, who gives himself to be man's nourishment in his journey on earth.” “The same logic of love precedes the Incarnation of the Word in the womb of Mary and his making himself present in the Eucharist. It is ‘agape,’ charity, love in the most beautiful and pure sense” (From Pope John Paul II's, April 8, 2004 homily).


Holy Thursday—April 13
“I ask this [devotion to the Eucharistic Jesus] in a special way of priests, about whom I am thinking in this moment with great affection. The priestly ministry was born in the Cenacle, together with the Eucharist, as my venerated predecessor John Paul II underlined so many times. The priestly life must have in a special way a ‘Eucharistic form’, he wrote in his last Letter for Holy Thursday. The devout daily celebration of Holy Mass, the center of the life and mission of every priest, contributes to this end” (Pope Benedict XVI, April 20, 2005).


Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion—April 14—Could You Not Watch One Hour With Me?
“It cost our Savior the whole Passion to institute the Eucharist . . . . Oh! How can we forget our Lord’s love, a love that cost Him so much and is so lavish of everything!” (St. Peter Julian Eymard). “From the shedding of His blood, came our redemption. From the beating of His heart in love for us, came the Blessed Eucharist” (Fr. Leonard Feeney, M.I.C.M.).


Holy Saturday—April 15
“O Living Host, support me in this exile, that I may be empowered to walk faithfully in the footsteps of the Savior” (St. Maria Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament, Divine Mercy Diary, 1484).


Easter Sunday, The Resurrection of Our Lord—April 16
Panis Angelicus fit panis hominum;     The bread of angels becomes the bread of man;
dat panis coelicus figuris terminum:     The bread of heaven does away with symbols.
O res mirabilis! Manducat Dominum     What a marvel! The poor, the servant and the humble
Servus, pauper et humilus                      may feed on their Lord.

                -St. Thomas Aquinas

“The risen Jesus is himself ‘our hope’ (1 Tim 1:1). And this our hope is literally embodied with his glorified humanity in the Eucharist, which is the living ‘memorial of his death and resurrection’ [Presbyterorium Ordinis, 5].” “Faith assures us that it is the selfsame risen Saviour who now sacramentally offers his life-sacrifice for us . . . offers himself to us in Communion as the bread of life, and who offers his perpetual presence for our adoration” (Fr. Richard Foley, S.J.).


Divine Mercy Sunday—April 23
“With ever-living ardor, contemplate Christ in the mystery of the Eucharist. Following His example, be ready in all circumstances to make yourselves instruments of mercy and communion. The secret of pastoral success is the crucified and risen Lord, Whom we adore in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. As you well know, in order to be eloquent signs of His love and instigators of His peace in all environments, everyone is first of all asked to cultivate an intimate and constant familiarity with Him. From intense participation in the Eucharist springs the spiritual energy needed to bring all projects of goodness to fruition” (John Paul II, 2/19/05).  Make frequent Holy Hours of Eucharistic Adoration and pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet!


St. Gianna Beretta Molla, Wife, Mother, Doctor, Italy (1922-1962)—April 28
A daily Communicant from her youth, St. Gianna was greatly devoted to the Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady. She found happiness in visiting Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and praying the Rosary daily. St. Gianna was a dedicated and loving wife, mother, doctor and leader in Catholic Action, sharing her faith with youth. She chose to give her life, during her last pregnancy, that her unborn baby might live. St. Gianna, pray for a culture of life in our world!


St. Louis Mary de Montfort, Priest, Missionary, Founder, France (1673-1716)—April 28
“The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass gives boundless honor to the Most Blessed Trinity because it represents the passion of Jesus Christ and because through the Mass we offer God the merits of Our Lord’s obedience, of His sufferings and of His Precious Blood” (St. Louis de Montfort).


St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin, Church Doctor, Patroness of Italy (1347-1380)—April 29
“High eternal Trinity, boundless Love, you revealed your truth to us in Christ’s Blood” “You, eternal Father, are the table that offers us as food the Lamb, your only-begotten Son . . . which feeds and strengthens us while we are pilgrim travelers in this life” (St.Catherine of Siena).