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.
In the beatitudes Jesus reveals that those who areclean of heart will be able to see God. Purity is arequirement to behold God both in Heaven and onEarth. Yet what does it mean to be clean of heart?It means to strive more and more to see others asthey truly are: beloved children of God who are madein His image and likeness. It means seeking to findJesus hidden in our neighbor. Purity and faith go handin hand. The pure recognize Jesus hidden in humanity.The faithful recognize Jesus hidden in the Eucharist.May we be granted the grace to recognizeJesus always and in everyone.
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
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
“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.
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.
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