Eucharist

Adoration

Adoration is an external act of the virtue of religion by which we express the honor and reverence due to the divine excellence. Exterior adoration is an expression and an overflow of interior adoration, which is primary, and serves at the same time to arouse and preserve interior adoration. And because God is in all places, we can adore God both internally and externally in all places, although the most proper place is in his temple, because he resides there in a special manner. Moreover, the very atmosphere of a church or chapel helps to withdraw us from the noise and distractions of the world, while many holy objects contained there serve to arouse devotion, and the presence of other worshipers likewise nourishes the spirit of adoration. –Father Jordan Aumann ‘Spiritual Theology’

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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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A day of with the Eucharist and St Peter Julian Eymard

Two quotes from St Peter Julian Eymard, and a third from his biography by Father Andre Guitton

“Live on the divine Eucharist, like the Hebrews did on the Manna. Your soul can be entirely dedicated to the divine Eucharist and very holy in the midst of your work and contacts with the world.”

“Keep your soul at peace, in order to be able to be attentive and very faithful to the inner movement of the Holy Spirit.”

“O Raphael, (Archangel) I can remember very clearly that afternoon when I ran out of this room, down the stairs, and out the front door. I ran into the church with all the energy of a five-year-old. It was empty. I did something so out of place. I climbed and sat on the table of the altar and I just leaned my head against the tabernacle. My sister, Marianne, asked me, “What are you doing there?” I quickly answered, ‘I am near Jesus and I’m listening to him.’ Marianne had a difficult time explaining this to our dear mother.

God is good. The day retreat at St. Paschal Baylon and the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament proved edifying. Tomorrow morning is the second, calling forth a five AM start of the day. Three mysteries of the Rosary with quality devout fellowship. I am being absolutely blessed with spiritual exercises in abundance. I am mentally exhausted after ten hours of discussions, a Holy Hour, prayers, song, meals, and mass. St Eymard has etched his way into my consciousness. The priest of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament are a special bunch of religious men. Conspicuous in his absence, Father Paul Bernier is out of town. Matters were easily made comfortable after attending the cook-out and encountering several people from St Paul’s Shrine.

The Eucharistic retreat was a hallowed time amongst a mature and adolescent crowd. The teens on retreat joined us for several events, including sharing lunch with us and mass. The organizer of the teen retreat had the teens break up and sit within the adult groups. Interspersed amongst the lectures, we would gather in smaller groups of eight to ten. In total, there were six smaller groups. The groups held steady throughout the day, allowing intimacy to develop. Two female teens joined our group. Enthused, the girls provided inspiration and intelligence. I am deeply touched when sharing faith with young people

No more. I read and retire, excited to wake early for excellent fellowship and resounding Rosaries before a favorite statue of Mary. I will take a photo for posting. I find the photo of St Peter Julian Eymard absolutely fascinating. The history of the photographic camera dates back to the 1840’s in regards to substantial technological advancements. I am not sure of the date of the photograph, although St. Eymard passed away in 1868. He would have been alive and active in France during the Lourdes apparitions occurring in 1858 and the papal defining, Pope Pius IX, of Mary as free from sin, the Immaculate Conception, in 1854.

St Peter Julian Eymard

St Peter Julian Eymard

 

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Emmanuel

A link to an interesting Eucharistic website: Emmanuel, the magazine of Eucharistic Spirituality, has been published continuously since 1895. It is one of the oldest and most respected Catholic periodicals in the United States.

I enjoyed the Polish movie ‘Ida‘ immensely.  The no holds-bar realism within its masterful cinematic storytelling moved me deeply.  The honesty of a discernment focused upon truth, harshly humanistic, achingly compassionate and loving in the telling of a young Polish sister embracing her religious vocation expanded my heart, broadened my love of the Church, increased my comprehension of Catholic relevancy.  There is a review of the film on the Emmanuel website that I am convinced strikes a deep and insightful tone.  Just the thought of the film brings tears, and it is not tears of emotion, rather extreme depth. Someone truly understands faith upon the level it has worked throughout my life.  It is not about being Catholic.  It is about being authentically human, and through being human we become deeply and truly Catholic.  If we do not understand our sinful, hurting and weak nature, we do not understand the healing the Church, the Eucharist, Christ, is able to provide.  We are not superior people of righteousness attempting to rule the world.  We are broken people opening ourselves to the grace of salvation, and in the process learning to see Christ in all our brothers and sisters.  A wonderful movie.  A must see for all those of piercing faith.

Ida

 

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Gaze of Jesus

A session with Dr. Nichta today. Going in, I felt there was nothing of consequence to discuss. After what seemed like a couple breathes and a flood of words, the fifty minutes concluded. The overall message established: I am being moved into a new realm of maturity. Afterwards sitting in front of the Eucharist at St Paschal Baylon, a woman, Shirley, approached me asking if I would repose the Eucharist at nine. The person signed up to come in at eight texted her, informing her they could not make it. I was honored, truly humbled and touched. Shirley showed me the routine, proper placement within the Tabernacle, providing keys, showing me around the sacristy, how to extinguish candles and turn off lights. Once, she left me alone with the Eucharist tears burst forth, my heart beating with joy, adoration, and a sense of wonder. I feel God is trying to tell me something, yet I am not quite sure regarding details. Sitting for the final hour, I pleaded, praying, begging for understanding. To be made aware how He wanted me to serve Him. Abstinence and sobriety I am proud to offer, yet there is so much more I feel I have to give. I was not sure about time since I did not bring my telephone into the church, however bells at the half hour made me confident there would be hourly bells. Sure enough, a wonderful sounding occurred, before nine distinct individual tones announced the arrival of 9:00 PM. Reposing, positioning myself behind the monstrance and altar, kneeling, looking up at the Eucharist, I just felt an overwhelming love to serve. It was a marvelous way to end a day.

Driving home, listening to Pope Francis expound upon Mercy, a prayer concept was presented: the gaze of Jesus, allowing Jesus to look upon us:

“I found three different manners of Jesus’ gaze upon Peter”.

The first is found at the beginning of the Gospel according to John, when Andrew goes to his brother Peter and says to him: “We have found the Messiah”. And “he brings him to Jesus”, who “fixes his gaze on him and says: ‘You are Simon, son of John. You shall be called Peter”. This is “the first gaze, the gaze of the mission” which will be explained “further ahead in Caesarea Philippi”. There, Jesus says: “‘You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church’: this will be your mission”.

…in the meantime, Peter has become an enthusiast of Jesus: he follows Jesus…Gospel of John, chapter 6, Jesus speaks of eating his body and so many disciples say at that moment: ‘This is hard, this word is difficult’”. Thus, “they begin to withdraw”. Jesus then “looks at the disciples and says: ‘Do you want to leave too?’”. And it is “Peter who responds: ‘No! Where would we go? You alone have the words of eternal life!’”. This is “the enthusiasm of Peter”. This is the first gaze: the vocation and the first declaration of the mission”. And, “how is Peter’s spirit under that first gaze? Enthusiastic”.

The second gaze we find late at night on Holy Thursday, when Peter wants to follow Jesus and approaches where He is, in the house of the priest, in prison, but he is recognized: “‘No, I don’t know him!’”. He denies Him “three times”. Then “he hears the cock crow and remembers: he denied the Lord. He lost everything. He lost his love”. Precisely “in that moment, Jesus is led to another room, across the courtyard, and fixes his gaze on Peter”. The Gospel of Luke recounts that “Peter cried bitterly”. Thus, “that enthusiasm to follow Jesus has become remorse, for he has sinned, he has denied Jesus”. However, “that gaze transforms Peter’s heart, more than before”. Thus “the first transformation is the change of name and of vocation. Instead “the second gaze is a gaze that changes the heart and is a change of conversion to love”.

“We don’t know what the gaze (third) was like in that encounter, alone, after the Resurrection. We know that Jesus encountered Peter, the Gospel says, but we don’t know what they said. The third gaze is the confirmation of the mission; but also the gaze in which Jesus asks for confirmation of Peter’s love. Indeed Jesus ask three times—three times. Peter denied Him three times; and now the Lord for the third time asks him to show his love. Each time when Peter says yes, that he loves Him, he loves Him, He gives him the mission: ‘Feed my lambs, tend my sheep’”. Moreover, at the third question — “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” — Peter “was grieved, nearly weeping”. He was sorry because “for the third time” the Lord “asked him, ‘Do you love me?’”. And he answered Him: “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you”. And Jesus replied: “Feed my sheep”. This is “the third gaze: the gaze of the mission”.

Three gazes of Jesus upon Peter. The first is the gaze of the choice, with the enthusiasm to follow Jesus. The second is the gaze of remorse at the moment of that sin so great of having denied Jesus. The third gaze is the gaze of mission: ‘Feed my lambs, tend my sheep, feed my sheep”. It doesn’t end there: ‘you did this for love and then? Will you receive a crown? No. I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go”

Rembrandt and the face of Jesus

Rembrandt and the face of Jesus

Lesson on St Paschal Baylon from Catholic online:

Franciscan lay brother and mystic. Born to a peasant family at Torre Hermosa, in Aragon, Spain on Whitsunday, he was christened Pascua in honor of the feast. According to accounts of his early life, Paschal labored as a shepherd for his father, performed miracles, and was distinguished for his austerity. He also taught himself to read. Receiving a vision which told him to enter a nearby Franciscan community, he became a Franciscan lay brother of the Alcantrine reform in 1564, and spent most of his life as a humble doorkeeper. He practiced rigorous asceticism and displayed a deep love for the Blessed Sacrament, so much so that while on a mission to France, he defended the doctrine of the Real Presence against a Calvinist preacher and in the face of threats from other irate Calvinists. Paschal died at a friary in Villareal, and was canonized in 1690. In 1897 Pope Leo XIII declared him patron of all eucharistic confratemities and congresses.

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