St. John Vianney would notice a peasant come to his small church everyday and sit on the last bench. One day he went up to him and asked him, "My good fellow, what are you doing here? Are you praying? You seem to be doing nothing." And pointing to the Blessed Sacrament, he said in reply, "I look at him - and he looks at me."
God does nothing unnecessarily. While it is true that we can access God present in our hearts and through our prayer, there is something profoundly necessary about Eucharistic Adoration. As creatures we need something tangible to ‘hold onto’. God accommodates this ‘need’ of the human heart by making Himself the Bread of Life. We gaze upon Him with our human eyes and He gazes back. We can take God into our hands, into our mouths, and into our hearts. God allows us to interact with Him on our terms. He is truly with us.
Prayer can be a mixed bag. Sometimes there is deep joy and peace, other times there is dryness and distraction. Yet God is always teaching us something even if His method of teaching changes. God’s ways can seem, not only mysterious but also ironic. We see God’s sense of humor most poignantly in the lives of the saints. In Abraham we see a man who was to be a great nation, yet is called to sacrifice His only son. In St. Therese we see a young woman who desired to be a missionary yet died in a cloister. Even in Our Lady, we see a woman called to be both Virgin and Mother. God transforms us little by little. But often it is not in the way we would choose. God’s ways are not our ways.
70. The family founded upon marriage is the basic cell of human society. The role, responsibilities, and needs of families should be central national priorities. Marriage must be defined, recognized, and protected as a lifelong exclusive commitment between a man and a woman, and as the source of the next generation and the protective haven for children.8 The institution of marriage is undermined by the ideology of "gender" that dismisses sexual difference and the complementarity of the sexes and falsely presents "gender" as nothing more than a social construct or psychological reality, which a person may choose at variance with his or her biological reality (see Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, no. 224). As Pope Francis has taught, "the removal of [sexual] difference creates a problem, not a solution" (General Audience, April 22, 2015). "Thus the Church reaffirms . . . her no to 'gender' philosophies, because the reciprocity between male and female is an expression of the beauty of nature willed by the Creator" (Pope Benedict XVI, Address to the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, Jan. 19, 2013). This affirmation in no way compromises the Church's opposition to unjust discrimination against those who experience "deep-seated homosexual tendencies," who "must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2358).READ MORE
Every day we encounter inconvenience, temptation, and the painful recognition of our own weakness. These struggles can often feel like more than we can bear, so how can we stay afloat? In Eucharistic Adoration Jesus strengthens us to ‘do battle’ and to view the difficulties of daily life as a participation in His Cross. Not only do we receive the vision to see reality—but also the hope necessary to endure faithfully to the end. God’s grace is sufficient.
63. Politics is a noble mission to promote the common good. As such, it is about ethics and principles as well as issues, candidates, and officeholders. To engage in “politics,” then, is more than getting involved in current polemics and debates; it is about acting with others and through institutions for the benefit of all. The fact that much of our political rhetoric has become very negative and that political polarization seems to have grown should not dissuade us from the high calling to work for a world that allows everyone to thrive, a world in which all persons, all families, have what they need to fulfill their God given destiny. In our democracy, one aspect of this task for all of us requires that we weigh issues and related policies. In this brief summary, we bishops call attention to issues with significant moral dimensions that should be carefully considered in each campaign and as policy decisions are made in the years to come. As the descriptions below indicate, some issues involve principles that can never be abandoned, such as the fundamental right to life and marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Others reflect our judgment about the best way to apply Catholic principles to policy issues. No summary could fully reflect the depth and details of the positions taken through the work of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). While people of good will may sometimes choose different ways to apply and act on some of our principles, Catholics cannot ignore their inescapable moral challenges or simply dismiss the Church’s guidance or policy directions that flow from these principles. For a more complete review of these policy directions and their moral foundations, see the statements listed at the end of this document.READ MORE
Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship - A Call to Political Responsibility From the Catholic Bishops of the United States
Why Does the Church Teach About Issues Affecting Public Policy?
The Church’s teachings concerning contingent situations are subject to new and further developments and can be open to discussion, yet we cannot help but be concrete—without presuming to enter into details—lest the great social principles remain mere generalities which challenge no one. . . . The Church’s pastors, taking into account the contributions of the different sciences, have the right to offer opinions in all that affects people’s lives, since the task of evangelization implies and demands the integral promotion of each human being. 14 (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, no. 182)READ MORE
There are many forms of prayer. We can offer praise to God for who He is. We can offer thanksgiving for what He has done, but we can also pray for others and make their needs and concerns our own. This is called intercessory prayer. Often in times of trial or difficulty the only thing we can say to someone who is struggling is that we will pray for them. We can place that person on our hearts and then go before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and offer Him our hearts. He will hear our prayers and answer them according to what is truly good for us and for others.
The Parish of St. Magdalen de Pazzi made some changes to insure everyone’s health & safety as we navigate through this pandemic. We have recently updated our bathrooms to become less hands on and more sanitary. The Church is being cleaned and sanitized and hand sanitizing stations have been placed throughout the Church and Narthex. We have removed all missals, books and pamphlets. The State of NJ has now raised our seating capacity to 150 and we are ready to accommodate this new mandate. We have strategically roped off our pews to provide social distancing and we are enforcing that everyone must wear face masks properly to help stop the spread of this virus. If you been away, we welcome you back.READ MORE
CNA Staff, Aug 25, 2020 / 02:52 am MT (CNA).- Evidence suggests that church services following public health guidelines do not present a greater risk of spreading the novel coronavirus than other similar activities, doctors said last week. Washing hands, social distancing, and mask requirements have helped prevent the spread of COVID-19, even in cases when contagious, pre-symptomatic parishioners took part in church events, three members of the Thomistic Institute Working Group on Infectious Disease Protocols for Sacraments & Pastoral Care concluded. Doctors Thomas McGovern, Deacon Timothy Flanigan, and Paul Cieslak authored an article for Real Clear Science on Mass attendance and COVID-19 Aug. 19.
“For Catholic churches following [the] guidelines, no outbreaks of COVID-19 have been linked to church attendance, even though we have examples ... of asymptomatic, unknowingly infected individuals attending mass and other parish functions,” they wrote. “Their attendance could have led to an outbreak if appropriate precautions were not followed, yet in each case, we found no evidence of viral transmission.”READ MORE
Adoration can be compared to sun-bathing-we sit, receive, and are changed by simply being in God’s presence. But what if you are distracted and don’t feel like the Lord is doing anything for you? This experience of prayer could be compared to spending an overcast day at the beach. It may not seem like you are getting any sun, but if you leave off your sun-screen, you will soon feel how wrong you have been.
God’s ‘rays’, just like those of the sun, still ‘touch’ us, even if we cannot perceive them. Our feelings are not always in conformity with reality. Even if we experience distraction and restlessness-God is still at work.