Eucharistic Adoration: The Light of Christ

01-17-2021Eucharistic Adoration

Winter brings darkness, cold, and sometimes a great deal of snow. The lackof sunlight and the monotony of our days can cause many people to losehope. Yet Jesus promises to be our light and our salvation. He promises toguide our paths and that the darkness will not overcome us. In EucharisticAdoration we come before the Lord of Heaven and Earth, the Lord who wasnot afraid to stand as a light in the darkness. He remains with us to strengthenour hearts to persevere when all appears dark and we feel lost. He remainswith His children to remind them “The light shines in the darkness,and the darkness has not overcome it.” —John 1:5

Holiness is Ordinary

01-10-2021Weekly ReflectionBr. Elijah Dubeck O.P.

Each year in early to mid-January, the Church’s celebration of Christmas comes to a close, meaning that we now find ourselves in what the English-speaking world calls “Ordinary Time.” The priests return to wearing green vestments; we hear a continuous flow of the Gospel readings from Sunday to Sunday; and hymn choices switch out of holiday mode. Yet, if we were to look at a missal or breviary in Latin or from before the liturgical reforms following Vatican II, we would be hard pressed to find the phrase “Tempus Ordinarium.” The Latin instead reads “Tempus per annum” or “the time during the year.”

Why do we call it “ordinary,” then? Instead of getting into the often fiery debates of translation, let’s look at a less well-known text that teaches us about the liturgy: The Ceremonial of Bishops.

READ MORE

If the Angels Could be Jealous...

01-10-2021Eucharistic Adoration

“I give you praise, Father...for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.” Luke 10:21

St. Maximillian Kolbe once stated, “If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." This is a profound reality to ponder. Angels who look upon the face of God, who are in Heaven, who cannot suffer, still do not possess the greatest gift which God has given to humanity: the Eucharist. It can often be tempting to forget that the ordinary bread and wine are truly the body and blood of Jesus Christ, yet God is with us. He remains with us and He gives Himself completely to us. Let us rejoice in the greatness and the goodness of our God, acknowledging that while our time on earth may be filled with trials and sufferings, God never asks us to walk alone.

What the Magi Teach Us

01-03-2021Eucharistic Adoration

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Epiphanythe manifestation of Jesus as the Christ or ‘Anointed one of God’ to all the world. The Magi teach us a great deal about how we ought to approach Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration. First they approached with faith, recognizing that this was no ordinary child but rather the Son of God. We too must look upon the consecrated host, not as ordinary bread but as the hidden God. Secondly they presented the Lord with gifts, the best of what they had to offer. When we approach the Lord Jesus we must present Him with all that we are and all that we have our minds, and our hearts. In this way our Lord will continue to manifest His presence to us and through us to all the world.

Rosemary in the Life of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

01-03-2021Weekly ReflectionMargaret Rose Realy

Joseph would have added sprigs of rosemary to the stable‛s straw, to protect infant Jesus from bugs.

The purple of Advent and Lent is the color that bookends the life of Jesus. Both holy seasons are penitential, in preparation for the coming of the Christ: the Incarnation, Resurrection and Return. I like the continuity of a color that threads its symbolism through our religion. We know by altar linens and chasubles of priests what season we are in, and what prayers will be said. The purple of penitence and preparation, reds of sacrifice, whites of virtue and victory and the green of hope and freedom.

There is also symbolism in the plants used in our rituals; the most familiar are the fronds on Palm Sunday (burned to create the Ashes of Wednesday that mark the start of Lent) and evergreens throughout Advent and Christmas.

READ MORE

God With Us

12-20-2020Eucharistic Adoration

“She will bear a Son, and you shall name Him Jesus for He will save His people from their sins.”—Matthew 1:21

In Advent the Church prepares for the three comings of Christ. She prepares for His coming as a little baby at Christmas. She prepares for His coming at the end of time, when He will come to judge the living and the dead. She also prepares for the coming of Christ in the Eucharist. Emmanuel means “God is with us” (Matthew 1:23). In the Eucharist Jesus is truly ‘God with us’. When Jesus came as a little baby He was vulnerable and weak; He hid his divinity. In the Eucharist Jesus continues to make himself vulnerable and weak, and hides both his divinity and his humanity. God came to save us from our sins 2000 years ago, yet He remains in the Eucharist to heal us from the effects of our sin.

Vaccines for COVID-19

12-20-2020Weekly ReflectionMost Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades

Important Message from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

There appears to be some confusion in the media regarding the moral permissibility of using the vaccines for COVID-19 developed by Pfizer Inc. and Moderna. We would like to offer some clarifications. Neither the Pfizer nor the Moderna vaccine involved the use of cell lines that originated in fetal tissue taken from the body of an aborted baby at any level of design, development, or production.1 They are not completely free from any connection to abortion, however, as both Pfizer and Moderna made use of a tainted cell line for one of the confirmatory lab tests of their products. There is thus a connection, but it is relatively remote. Some are asserting that if a vaccine is connected in any way with tainted cell lines then it is immoral to be vaccinated with them. This is an inaccurate portrayal of Catholic moral teaching. There are three documents from the Holy See that treat the question of tainted vaccines: 1) the 2005 study by the Pontifical Academy for Life, "Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared from Cells Derived from Aborted Human Foetuses"; 2) paragraphs nos. 34-35 in the 2008 Instruction on Certain Bioethical Questions (Dignitatis Personae) by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; 3) the 2017 Note on Italian Vaccine Issue, by the Pontifical Academy for Life. These documents all point to the immorality of using tissue taken from an aborted child for creating cell lines. They also make distinctions in terms of the moral responsibility of the various actors involved, from those involved in designing and producing a vaccine to those receiving the vaccine. Most importantly, they all make it clear that, at the level of the recipient, it is morally permissible to accept vaccination when there are no alternatives and there is a serious risk to health.

The Three Comings of Christ

12-13-2020Eucharistic Adoration

In Advent the Church prepares for the three comings of Christ. She prepares for His coming as a little baby at Christmas. She prepares for His coming at the end of time, when He will come to judge the living and the dead. She also prepares for the coming of Christ in the Eucharist. Emmanuel means “God is with us” (Matthew 1:23). In the Eucharist Jesus is truly ‘God with us’. When Jesus came as a little baby He was vulnerable and weak; He hid his divinity. In the Eucharist Jesus continues to make himself vulnerable and weak, and hides both his divinity and his humanity. God came to save us from our sins 2000 years ago, yet He remains in the Eucharist to heal us from the effects of our sin.

Beholding the Glory of God

12-06-2020Eucharistic Adoration

“No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor has the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.”—1 COR 2:9

Heaven is the place where we shall behold the face of God unveiled. On this Earth we can also behold the face of God yet only the eyes of faith are able to recognize Him. St. Thomas says that on the cross Jesus hid His divinity but in the Eucharist He hides both His divinity and His humanity. It is only through faith that we can look upon the white host and recognize the Lord and giver of life, for “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen”— Hebrews 11:1. May we look upon our God with faith on this Earth so that we may behold Him in His glory in Heaven.