You Need These 7 Things to Make This Lent Your Holiest Lent Yet (Part 1)

02-23-2020Weekly ReflectionChloe Langer

The beginning of Lent is almost upon us. And while it may seem that you just took down your Christmas tree, before you know it, it will be Ash Wednesday. Lent is time for prayer, fasting and alms-giving. It’s time to take a look at how we’re doing spiritually and make changes so that we can grow closer to God. But that can be a hard task to go at alone. Want to make this your holiest Lent ever? Father William Casey’s latest book, Making a Holy Lent can help tackle areas in our life where we need to grow.

1. Prayer

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Eucharistic Adoration

02-23-2020Eucharistic Adoration

“Be still and know that I am God.”—Psalm 46:10

Our life on earth could be compared to a tread-mill; it can be monotonous yet it never stands still. What is true on the physical level can also be said of the spiritual. If we do not ‘continue to go forward’ with Jesus we will ‘fall off the tread-mill’. Therefore everyday we must honestly evaluate whether we are growing closer to Christ or making compromises and readjust from there. Further, just as our daily routine can become burdensome and monotonous, so also our prayer life can feel this way. Although it may seem like nothing is happening when we pray and nothing is changing in our circumstances yet in faith we know that God is providing for our deepest needs and is keeping us afloat ‘on the treadmill’. Our relationship with God is strengthened when we are faithful to His commandments and to prayer. May we embrace the invitation He offers us through Eucharistic Adoration.

Why the Pelican with Chicks is a symbol of the Eucharist?

02-16-2020Weekly ReflectionFather Van Sloun

An image of a mother pelican with her chicks is carved into the capital on top of a pillar at the Cenacle, the upper room on Mount Zion in Jerusalem where tradition holds that Jesus shared the Last Supper with his apostles and instituted the Eucharist.

It is the only artwork in the entire room, and it is singularly appropriate because it is a symbol for Jesus and the Eucharist. Mother pelicans lay their eggs in a nest, and after the chicks hatch, the mothers leave the nest to hunt for food, return and feed the chicks. Many birds feed their young with worms. Pelicans usually live near the water, and their prey tend to be small fish, frog tadpoles, crayfish or salamanders.

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How to Receive

02-16-2020Eucharistic Adoration

“Be still and know that I am God.”—Psalm 46:10

Perhaps Adoration can seem counter-intuitive. All day long at work and in school we are expected to pay attention and to be productive. We can even begin to measure success by how much we are able to accomplish. Understandably then, coming into a silent chapel and sitting before God in the Eucharist can seem to go against everything within us. Yet, God teaches us that to receive we do not have to do or give anything, we simply need to be open. God’s grace is not earned but it is not “cheap” either. He asks only for a heart ready to receive the good things He has in store for us.

The Fruits of the Eucharist

02-09-2020Weekly ReflectionRev. Father Rafael Ibarguren, EP

In previous meditations we have addressed the fascinating topic of the fruits of the Eucharist, although not in an exhaustive form because, how can we cover something so unspeakable? However, we can outline some basic concepts that may be helpful for the faithful.

We will only address this vast subject of the Eucharistic mystery in what the fruits of sacramental communion is concern.

To receive Jesus, the Bread of Life, is the immediate object of the institution of the sacrament. "Take and eat", "take and drink", "Do this in memory of me": This is the formal mandate of Christ at the Last Supper, before His passion and death. It is clear that communion implies worship, as both go together.

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No Eye Has Seen

02-09-2020Eucharistic Adoration

“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen.”—Hebrews 11:1

It is difficult to imagine how glorious Heaven will be. St. Paul says, “What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).We have small glimpses of the joys that await God’s faithful ones even on earth, but they are simply that— glimpses. We experience the joy of good food and this is a foreshadowing of Heaven as an eternal banquet. We experience the joy of love in human relationships and this foreshadows the joy of communing with the Triune God. One of the greatest joys of Heaven will be to behold the beauty of God, face to face. Yet even now, we have a glimpse of that glory when we pray before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The joys of Heaven will be truly amazing but God does not wait until Heaven to commune with us, He does so now through the Eucharist.

Calm in the Storm

02-02-2020Eucharistic Adoration

“O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, behold I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires.”—Isaiah 54:11

There is a deep sense of peace in Jesus’ Eucharistic presence. This calm is perhaps most palpable when we feel storm-battered and worn thin from the cares of the world, work, and our family obligations. Jesus calls us to Himself especially when we feel close to drowning, when we feel the waves of adversity going far above our heads. In those moments, Christ addresses Himself to us in the same way that He addressed St. Peter, “Take heart it is I; have no fear.” (Matthew 14:27). Jesus takes us by the hand and provides the strength and courage we need to endure in trials. The peace of Christ brings healing and fortitude.

Beholding the Face of God

01-26-2020Eucharistic Adoration

“Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.”—Matthew 5:8

In the beatitudes Jesus reveals that those who are clean of heart will be able to see God. Purity is a requirement to behold God both in Heaven and on Earth. Yet what does it mean to be clean of heart? It means to strive more and more to see others as they truly are: beloved children of God who are made in His image and likeness. It means seeking to find Jesus hidden in our neighbor. Purity and faith go hand in hand. The pure recognize Jesus hidden in humanity. The faithful recognize Jesus hidden in the Eucharist. May we be granted the grace to recognize Jesus always and in everyone..

The Light of Christ

01-19-2020Eucharistic Adoration

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

New Year's Resolutions

12-29-2019Eucharistic Adoration

Every New Year’s we make resolutions to quit bad habits and to live healthier lifestyles. At base these resolutions can be good since they reveal a dissatisfaction with mediocrity and a desire to experience abundant life. But why not make a resolution which is not only good for you physically but also spiritually? Consider making Eucharistic Adoration part of your New Year’s resolutions. What we spend our time on reveals what we value. If you desire peace, healing, and fullness of joy then spending time with God will allow you to become fully alive. When we dedicate specific time to prayer we are able to receive the good things God desires to grant us.

God With Us

12-22-2019Eucharistic 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.

The Three Comings of Christ

12-15-2019Eucharistic 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.

Counting Your Blessings

12-08-2019Eucharistic Adoration

“I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord.”—Psalm 116:17

Eucharist means thanksgiving. When we go to Mass we are offering God a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for all that He has done for us and all that He continues to do. In a special way Eucharistic Adoration is also a prayer of thanksgiving. When you find it difficult to pray or do not know what to say to God why not count your blessings? Try to think about the ways God has blessed you today, in this week, in this year. Once you begin to recognize the many ways God is already blessing you, your heart will overflow with praise.

Beholding the Glory of God

12-01-2019Eucharistic 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.

How To Use An Advent Wreath

12-01-2019Weekly Reflection

Advent wreaths are a Christian tradition with roots in 16th-century Germany. They are seen both in churches and in homes and are an excellent way to prepare for the celebration of Christmas. Here is a step-bystep introduction to the practice and how to implement it in your home.

Create (or buy) an Advent wreath

There is no hard and fast rule regarding what an Advent wreath looks like. A traditional wreath contains a circle of evergreen leaves surrounding a set of four candles. There are usually three purple candles and one rose (pink) candle. However, some traditions have four red candles and others contain an extra white candle. For the purposes of this article we will focus on the three purple and one rose.

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