An evening with St Peter Eymard

Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament tonight, a pleasant crowd.  I saw Mary, whom I have not seen since last meeting, the one to encourage me to pursue volunteer work with the Hospice of Western Reserve, a hospice chaplain, an excellent speaker and host.  This is a mature crowd.  Men and women who are spiritually humble, able to provide good conversation, possessing welcoming dispositions.  The younger priest, artist from Wisconsin who spent time in New York City, a vital part of the Emmanuel magazine, Father John showed a movie he put together on the life of St Peter Eymard, built upon trips to France, plenty of live video he shot.  The video coverage proved spellbinding.  I will start taking travel videos with my camera.  Needless to say, the French Alps were astounding; the views and coverage of the churches in St Eymard’s life intimate and personal.  Father Paul Bernier did not attend, as he was visiting his sister in France.  The priest of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament are a strong bunch.  I was given another of the community priest’s, Father B Pelletier, biography of St Peter Julian Eymard ‘Tomorrow Will Be Too Late’.  I do not think it refers to my calling, although I wonder as Father John spoke of the various charisms of the religious life being different, mentioning the call of a Benedictine monk is different from that of a call to the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, voicing the comment with an open palm hand gesture signaling me out when he mentioned the Benedictine calling.  I was a bit startled, feeling he is reading my blog, or something.  I know Father Bernier enjoyed my efforts, but I did not think Father John knew anything about matters.  I am not sure what that was about, yet I took note, my heart warming and racing a bit.  I will say it is not about me. The sense the calling is authentic points through me, beyond to the power and love of God.  I view the world now through a new lens, comfortable with the fact I have been called, curious to see how everything will work out.  It is all about glorifying God. St Peter Eymard gets a lot of attention, however as Father John continually stresses, the saint earns the accolades by pointing us specifically to the Eucharist.

From Father Pelletier’s biography I was moved once again with the realization the spiritual life is one of sacrifice—suffering a critical part of the call of God.  St Eymard’s father is an incredible story.  He personally had suffered so much from the loss of his first wife and six children from that marriage, as well as from the death of his first three children from his second wife before Julian was born.  Enduring the death of nine children and a first wife—only two offspring surviving, Julian, St Peter Eymard, would be his father’s only surviving son, and thus becoming a priest, his father witnessed the end of his branch of the family.  He suffered even from his son becoming a saint.

Archives des Pères du Très-Saint-Sacrement, soumis à copyright


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