Through perpetual [Eucharistic] adoration Jesus longs to open up the floodgates of His merciful love on a troubled world. He longs to heal a broken humanity. Otherwise, He continues to weep in spirit and say: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you slay the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often have I wanted to gather your children together as a mother bird collects her young under her wings, and you refused me! Your temple will be abandoned I say to you, you shall not see me until the time comes when you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord'" (Luke 13:34-36).
- From "Worthy Is the Lamb"
Jesus is condemned by His own people, by the very ones He showered with His favors. He is condemned as a fomenter of rebellion, He Who is goodness itself; as a blasphemer, He Who is holiness itself; as one seeking power, He Who made Himself the least of all. He is condemned to die on the Cross like the lowest of slaves.
Jesus lovingly accepts this sentence of death: He came down to this earth in order to suffer and die and to teach us to do the same.
In the Holy Eucharist Jesus is again condemned to death: primarily in His graces, which are rejected; in His love, which is slighted; in His sacramental state, by the unbeliever who denies Him, by horrible sacrilege...
Jesus is more cruelly treated by bad Christians than by the Jews. In Jerusalem He was condemned only once, but in the Blessed Sacrament, He is condemned everyday and in thousands of places, and by an appalling number of unjust judges.
And yet Jesus allows Himself to be insulted, despised, condemned: He still continues His sacramental life in order to show us that His love for us is without condition or reserve, that it is greater than our ingratitude.
O Jesus, forgive, I beseech Thee, all sacrileges! Should I ever have committed any, I want to pass my life making reparation for them and loving and honoring Thee for them that despise Thee. Grant me the grace to die with Thee!
- From the "Stations of the Cross" by St. Peter Julian Eymard
A reflection on the Adoring Love of St. Joseph from the writings of St. Peter Julian Eymard:
For three months the Blessed Virgin guarded her secret alone. No one but her knew that she bore her God within her womb. But when Saint Joseph learned of it from the angel, his faith acquiesced at once in blind submission. For six months he poured forth his soul in sublime adoration to God Who dwelt within Mary.
Words cannot express the perfection of his adoration. If Saint John leaped in the womb at the approach of Mary, what feeling must have coursed through Joseph during those six months when he had at his side and under his very eyes the hidden God! If the father of Origen used to kiss his child during the night and adore the Holy Spirit living within him, can we doubt that Joseph must often have adored Jesus hidden in the pure tabernacle of Mary? How fervent that adoration must have been: My Lord and my God behold your servant! No one can describe the adoration of this noble soul. He saw nothing, yet he believed; his faith had to pierce the virginal veil of Mary. So likewise with you! Under the veil of the Sacred Species your faith must see our Lord. Ask Saint Joseph for his lively, constant faith.
When later he carried the Child in his arms, acts of loving faith welled up constantly in his heart. It was a worship that pleased our Lord more than that which he receives in heaven. Picture to yourself Saint Joseph, adoring the little Child in his arms as his God. He tells of his readiness to die for Christ, of all his plans to promote Christ�s glory, and to win more souls to his love. No lover builds more scintillating plans for his loved one than a saint. The purer and simpler a soul, the more magnificent its love and adoration. Adore the Word present on the altar, born as a little Child for you; no matter what you do, your adoration will never equal in worth that of Saint Joseph. Join with his merits. A soul that loves God offers everything to Him in love and God listens to such a soul, for she is worth a thousand others.
"The Bread of angels has
become the Bread of mankind;
This heavenly Bread puts an
end to all images;
O wonderful reality!
The poor, the slave, and the
humble can eat the Lord."
- St. Thomas Aquinas, Panis Angelicus
"Adorers are among those towards whom Saint Joseph tends to be partial. They can count on him first of all because they are seeking a master who will teach them how to offer worship to God and share his function of helper of the Universal Church as they kneel before the Blessed Sacrament. Then there are points of similarity between the lowly and hidden life of Christ with Mary and Joseph and the mode of being Christ assumes in the Eucharist. When living in Nazareth, 'though he was divine (Christ) did not cling to his equality with God' (Ph. 2:6) but appeared like other human beings without glory to which he was entitled and the power inherent of his divinity."
"Here in the Eucharist His very humanity is concealed. 'Truly God is hidden with you, the God of Israel, the saviour' (Is 45:15). Adorers can remain hours before the Blessed Sacrament or as happens in many centres return in relays to maintain the perpetuity of adoration. All they see is the appearance of bread, a substance that has ceased to exist. What a difference between the inertness of the Host and the infinite power compressed as it were in the invisible reality of Christ's Body! To Saint Joseph the lowliness of the Species is a reminder of a hidden life which he shared with Jesus and Mary. And it is because adorers have so much in common with him that he feels impelled to make their aspirations and difficulties his own,"
"More than this. Because our function as adorers is so reminiscent of his lifework and mission, he recognizes in us a potential which he does not hesitate to seize upon: just as he was the incarnation of the Father's love of the Incarnate Word, so does he count on us to incarnate his own love of and his complete dedication to the same Christ present in the Eucharist. We thus prolong Saint Joseph's presence on earth by reproducing his sentiments. Like Saint Peter Julian the adorer can look upon himself as the 'Joseph of the Eucharist.'"
- From the article "Saint Joseph and the Adorer" by Fr. Roland Huot
The eternal spring is hidden
in this living bread for our life's sake,
although it is night.
It is here calling out to creatures;
and they satisfy their thirst,
although in darkness,
because it is night.
This living spring that I long for,
I see in this bread of life,
although it is night.
- St. John of the Cross
"My Lord Jesus Christ, who, for the love You bear to mankind, do remain night and day in this Sacrament, full of pity and love, awaiting, calling, and receiving all who come to visit You; I believe that You are present in the Sacrament of the Altar; I adore You from the depths of my own nothingness; I thank You for the many graces You have given me, and especially for having given me Yourself in this Sacrament...,"
- St. Alphonsus Ligouri
"Without [these] lights and [this] little throne our Lord cannot come out of His tabernacle. We give them to Him, and we say to Him: 'Thou are on a beautiful throne. It is we that have erected it for Thee. It is we that have opened the door of Thy prison and rent the cloud that hid Thee, O Sun of Love. Dart Thy rays now on every heart,'"
- St. Peter Julian Eymard
"Blessed be Thou, my Lord Jesus Christ, who didst foretell Thy death before the time, and in the Last Supper didst wonderfully consecrate Thy precious Body of material bread, and also charitably gave it to Thy Apostles, in memory of Thy most worthy Passion,"
- St. Bridget
"Just as the divine Redeemer, dying on the Cross, offered Himself as Head of the whole human race to the eternal Father, so also in this "clean oblation" (Mal 1:2), He, as Head of the Church, offers not only Himself but, in Himself, all His mystical members."
"In this manner [Eucharistic adoration] the faithful testify to and solemnly make evident the Faith of the Church according to which the Word of God and the Son of the Virgin Mary who suffered on the Cross, who lies present hidden in the Eucharist, and who reigns in heaven are believed to be identical."
- Pope Pius XII
If the Word of God is living and powerful, and if the Lord does all things whatsoever he wills; if he said, "Let there be light", and it happened; if he said, "let there be a firmament", and it happened; ...if finally the Word of God himself willingly became man and made flesh for himself out of the most pure and undefiled blood of the holy and ever Virgin, why should he not be capable of making bread his Body and wine and water his Blood?... God said, "This is my Body", and "This is my Blood."
- St. John of Damascus
The King Of Love My Shepherd Is
St. Columba (Celtic Hymn)
The King of Love my Shepherd is,
Whose goodness fails me never;
I nothing lack if I am His,
and He is mine forever.
Where streams of living water flow
With gentle care He leads me,
And where the verdant pastures grow
With Heav'nly food He feeds me.
Perverse and foolish I have strayed
But yet in love He sought me,
and on His shoulder gently laid,
and home, rejoicing brought me.
In death's dark vale I fear no ill
With You, dear Lord, beside me,
Your rod and staff my comfort still,
Your Cross before to guide me.
You spread a table in my sight,
Your saving grace bestowing;
And O what joy and true delight
>From Your pure chalice flowing!
And so through all the length of days
Your goodness fails me never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing Your praise
Within Your house forever.
"O outstanding miracle! O marvelous and most divine Sacrament!... What the priest takes up is not what he replaces on the altar. That which is taken up and placed down seems to be the same in appearance, colors and taste. Completely different, however, is that which appears from that which lies within. Common bread is lifted up from the altar; the immortal Flesh of Christ is set down upon it. What was natural food has become spiritual food. What was the momentary refreshment of man has been made the eternal and unfailing nourishment of angels,"
- Stephen, Bishop of Autun (1139)
O Blessed Joseph, happy man, to whom it was given not only to see and to hear that God Whom many kings longed to see, and saw not, to hear, and heard not; but also to carry Him in your arms, to embrace Him, to clothe Him, and guard and defend Him.
V. Pray for us, O Blessed Joseph.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
O God, Who hast given us a royal priesthood, we beseech Thee, that as Blessed Joseph was found worthy to touch with his hands, and to bear in his arms, Thine only begotten Son, born of the Virgin Mary, so may we be fit, by cleanness of heart and blamelessness of life, to minister at Thy holy altar; may we, this day, with reverent devotion partake of the Sacred Body and Blood of Thine only begotten Son, and may we in the world to come be accounted worthy of receiving an everlasting reward. Through the same Christ our Lord.
> From the writings of St. Alphonsus Ligouri:
Jesus Christ finds means to console a soul that remains with a recollected spirit before the Most Blessed Sacrament, far beyond what the world can do with all its feasts and pastimes. Oh, how sweet a joy it is to remain with faith and tender devotion before an altar, and converse familiarly with Jesus Christ, who is there for the express purpose of listening to and graciously hearing those who pray to him; to ask his pardon for the displeasures which we have caused him; to represent our wants to him, as a friend does to a friend in whom he places all his confidence; to ask him for his graces, for his love, and for his kingdom; but above all, oh, what a heaven it is there to remain making acts of love towards that Lord who is on the very altar praying to the Eternal Father for us, and is there burning with love for us. Indeed that love it is which detains him there, thus hidden and unknown, and where he is even despised by ungrateful souls! But why should we say more? "Taste and see."
Nothing can compare with the ardor and power of a soul as it seeks its Beloved and longs for Him; it finds its happiness in longing for Him and seeking Him. The God of the Eucharist conceals Himself in order to be desired, veils Himself in order to become an object of contemplation; He wraps Himself in mystery in order to spur on and perfect the soul's love. The Holy Eucharist thus becomes food ever new, ever powerful over the heart it inflames. Something akin to what happens in heaven then takes place: a hunger and thirst for God ever keen and ever satisfied; the loving soul penetrates the depths of divine love and never ceases discovering new riches therein; Jesus manifests Himself by degrees to the soul to draw it ever more purely and strongly to Himself,"
- St. Peter Julian Eymard
"The devotion which leads the faithful to visit the Blessed Sacrament draws them into an ever deeper participation of the Paschal Mystery. It leads them to respond gratefully to the gift of him who through his humanity constantly pours divine life into the members of his body. Dwelling with Christ our Lord, they enjoy his intimate friendship and pour out their hearts before him for themselves and for their dear ones, and pray for the peace and salvation of the world. They offer their entire lives with Christ to the Father in the Holy Spirit, and receive in this wonderful exchange an increase in faith, hope and charity. Thus they nourish those right dispositions which enable them with all true devotion to celebrate the memorial of the Lord and to receive frequently the bread given to us by the Father,"
- From Vatican Council II
"Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament is the queen of all devotions. It is the central devotion of the Church. All others gather round it, and group themselves there as satellites; for others celebrate his mysteries; this is Himself. It is the universal devotion. No one can be without it, in order to be a Christian. How can a man be a Christian who does not worship the living Presence of Christ?,"
- Fr. Faber
"I place myself in the presence of Him, in whose Incarnate Presence I am before, I place myself there.
I adore Thee, O my Saviour, present here as God and man, in soul and body, in true flesh and blood.
I acknowledge and confess that I kneel before that Sacred Humanity, which was conceived in Mary's womb, and lay in Mary's bosom; which grew up to man's estate, and by the Sea of Galilee called the Twelve, wrought miracles, and spoke words of wisdom and peace; which in due season hung on the cross, lay in the tomb, rose from the dead, and now reigns in heaven.
I praise, bless, and give myself wholly to Him, who is the true Bread of my soul, and my everlasting joy,"
- Venerable John Henry Newman
The 'yes' of Mary gave us the Holy Eucharist, as the body of Jesus was formed from the Immaculate Heart of His Mother, from whose flesh Jesus took the flesh He gives us in the Blessed Sacrament.
The joy of the Annunciation continues to sound in our ears today, because the good news of the Gospel is God's love for us, "The Virgin shall give birth to a Son and they shall call Him Emmanuel, a name which means 'GOD IS WITH US' This is our joy today! Jesus chose the name 'Emmanuel' BECAUSE OF HIS INFINITE DESIRE TO DWELL WITH US ALWAYS IN THIS MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT, as absolute proof of HIS EVERLASTING LOVE and CONSTANT AFFECTION for each of us.
- From the book Come to Me in the Blessed Sacrament
The following is a meditation written by Melito of Sardis, a Second Century Monk:
He came on earth from heaven for suffering man, becoming incarnate in a virgin's womb from which he came forth as man; he took on himself the sufferings of suffering man through a body capable of suffering, and put to an end the sufferings of the flesh, and through his spirit incapable of death he became the death of death which is destructive of man.
For led like a lamb, and slaughtered like a sheep, he ransomed us from the slavery of the world of Egypt, and loosened us from the slavery of the devil as from the hand of Pharaoh, and sealed our souls with his own spirit, and our bodily members with his own blood.
This is the one who covered death with the garment of reproach, who put the devil in mourning garb as Moses did Pharaoh. This is he who smote lawlessness and rendered injustice bereft of children as Moses did Egypt.
This is the one who rescued us from slavery to liberty, from darkness to light, from tyranny to the kingdom of eternity (who made us a new priesthood, a people chosen, eternal).
This is he who is the Passover of our salvation; this is he who suffered many things in many men. This is he who in Abel was slaughtered, in Jacob was exiled, in Joseph was sold, in Moses was exposed, in the lamb was immolated, in David was persecuted, in the prophets was maltreated. This is he in whom the virgin was made incarnate, on the cross was suspended, in the earth was buried, from the dead was resurrected, to the highest of heaven was lifted up.
This is the lamb without voice, this is the lamb slaughtered, this is the lamb born of the fair ewe this is he who was taken from the flock, and dragged to immolation, and at evening slaughtered, and by night buried.
This is he who on the cross was not broken, and in the earth did not decay, but from the dead rose again, and raised up man from the depths of the tomb.
"At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge for future glory is given to us,"
- Vatican Council II
"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive
honor, glory and praise!" (Rev. 5:12)
THE GLORY OF FAITH
"Indeed, this is the Will of My Father,
that everyone who looks upon the Son
and believes in Him shall have eternal life.
Him I will raise up on the last day." (JN 6:40)
The glorious resurrection of Our Lord
continues in the glory of this most Blessed Sacrament
BECAUSE THIS IS WHERE OUR RISEN SAVIOR DWELLS,
pouring out His life, His light, and His love
to all who come into His presence.
We pray through the Immaculate Heart of Mary
that You help our parish and all parishes
to become a faith community by responding to Your appeal
to be loved day and night in this most Blessed Sacrament,
where You call us to "pray without ceasing",
for this is where You, Our Risen Savior, dwell,
helping us by the power flowing from You resurrection
to share in the pattern of Your sufferings,
that we may share also in the glory of Your resurrection.
"ALL I WANT IS TO KNOW CHRIST JESUS..."
- from "Come to Me"
"The voice of my Beloved knocking: Open to Me, My sister, My love, My dove, My undefiled" (Song 5:2).
Such are the words which Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament speaks to those who love and desire him. Open to me, he says, O soul, thy heart, and there I will come to unite myself to thee; so that, being one with me, thou mayst become my sister by resemblance, my friend by participation in my riches, my dove by the gift of simplicity, my undefiled by the gift of purity, which I shall communicate to thee. And then he goes on to say, "Open to me, for my head is full of dew and my locks the drops of the night." As if he said: Consider, my beloved, that I have waited for thee all the night of the bad life thou has led in the midst of darkness and error. Behold, now, instead of bringing scourges to chastise thee, I come in the Blessed Sacrament, with my hair full of heavenly dew, to extinguish in thee all impure desires towards creatures, and to kindle in thee the happy fire of my love. Come, then, O my beloved Jesus, and work in me what Thou wilt.
- St. Alphonsus Ligouri
"This worship, given therefore to the Trinity of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, above all accompanies and permeates the celebration of the Eucharistic liturgy. But it must fill our churches also outside the timetable of Masses. Indeed, since the Eucharistic mystery was instituted out of love, and makes Christ sacramentally present, it is worthy of thanksgiving and worship. And this worship must be prominent in all our encounters with the Blessed Sacrament, both when we visit our churches and when the sacred species are taken to the sick and administered to them,"
- Pope John Paul II
A Third of Fourth Century prayer to our Eucharistic Lord:
Today we have seen
our Lord Jesus Christ on the altar.
Today we have gained possessions
of the burning coal in whose shadow
the cherubim sing.
Today we have heard
a voice say, sweet and strong:
This body burns the thorns of sin.
This body gives light to the souls of all believers.
This body the woman touched
that had the flux of blood,
and gone was her bitter anguish...
See, children, what a body
we have eaten, see what blood
we have drunk, what a covenant
we have made with our God.
O to be proof against shame
on the day of requital.
We can sufficiently praise
the mystery of your grace?
We have been enabled
to take our share of the gift;
may we keep it safe to the end,
that so we may come to hear
the blessed voice,
the sweet, the holy, saying:
Come, you that have received
a blessing from my Father;
take possession of the kingdom
that awaits you.
"O Jesus! on this day, you have fulfilled all my desires.
From now on, near the Eucharist, I shall be able
To sacrifice myself in silence, to wait for Heaven in peace.
Keeping myself open to the rays of the Divine Host,
In this furnace of love, I shall be consumed,
And like a seraphim, Lord, I shall love You."
- From St. Therese of Lisieux's poem,
"Canticle of a Soul Having Found
the Place of Its Rest!..."
When Christ manifested Himself to Margaret Mary, and declared to her the infinitude of His love, at the same time, in the manner of a mourner, He complained that so many and such great injuries were done to Him by ungrateful men � and we would that these words in which He made this complaint were fixed in the minds of the faithful, and were never blotted out by oblivion: "Behold this Heart" � He said � "which has loved men so much and has loaded them with all benefits, and for this boundless love has had no return but neglect, and contumely, and this often from those who were bound by a debt and duty of more special love." In order that these faults might be washed away, He then recommended several things to be done, and in particular the following as most pleasing to Himself, namely that men should approach the Altar with this purpose of expiating sin, making what is called a Communion of Reparation � and that they should likewise make expiatory supplications and prayers, prolonged for a whole hour � which is rightly called the "Holy Hour." These pious exercises have been approved by the Church and have also been enriched with copious indulgences.
- Pope Pius XI
O Mary, Immaculate Virgin,
Pure crystal for my heart,
You are my strength, O sturdy anchor!
You are the weak heart's shield and protection.
O Mary you are pure, of purity incomparable;
At once both Virgin and Mother,
You are beautiful as the sun, without blemish,
And your soul is beyond all comparison.
Your beauty has delighted the eye of the Thrice-Holy One.
He descended from heaven, leaving His eternal throne,
And took Body and Blood of your heart
And for nine months lay hidden in a Virgin's Heart.
O Mother, Virgin, purest of all lilies,
Your heart was Jesus' first tabernacle on earth.
- Blessed Faustina Kowalska of the Blessed Sacrament
From the Diary Divine Mercy in My Soul, by Blessed M. Faustina Kowalska of the Blessed Sacrament:
The mercy of God, hidden in the Blessed Sacrament, the voice of the Lord who speaks to us from the throne of mercy: Come to Me, all of you...
Behold, for you I have established a throne of mercy on earth � the tabernacle � and from this throne I desire to enter into your heart. I am not surrounded by a retinue of guards. You can come to me at any moment, at any time; I want to speak to you and I desire to grant you grace.
...You left us Yourself in the Sacrament of the Altar, and You opened wide Your mercy to us. There is no misery that could exhaust You; You have called us all to this fountain of love, to this spring of God's compassion. Here is the tabernacle of Your mercy, here is the remedy for all our ills. To You, O living spring of mercy, all souls are drawn; some like deer, thirsting for Your love, others to wash the wound of their sins and still others, exhausted by life, to draw strength.
O Jesus, concealed in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, my only love and mercy, I commend to You all the needs of my body and soul. You can help me, because You are Mercy itself. In You lies all my hope.
Be adored, O God, in the work of Your mercy,
Be blessed by all faithful hearts
On whom Your gaze rests,
In whom dwells Your immortal life...
In Your inconceivable love, You allowed Your most holy side to be opened,
And streams of Blood and Water gushed forth from Your Heart.
Here is the living fountain of Your mercy,
Here souls receive consolation and refreshment.
In the Blessed Sacrament, You left us Your mercy;
Your love deigned to arrange it so,
That, going through life, suffering and toil,
I might never doubt of Your goodness and mercy...
Prayer of St. Catherine of Siena
(Third Order Dominican and Doctor of the Church)
O boundless charity!
Just as you gave us yourself,
wholly God and wholly man,
so you left us all of yourself as food
so that while we are pilgrims in this life
we might not collapse in our weariness
but be strengthened by you, heavenly food.
O mercenary people!
And what has your God left you?
He has left you himself,
wholly God and wholly man,
hidden under the whiteness of this bread.
O fire of love!
Was it not enough to gift us
with creation in your image and likeness,
and to create us anew to grace in your Son's blood,
without giving us yourself as food,
the whole of divine being,
the whole of God?
What drove you?
Nothing but your charity,
mad with love as you are!
"Come, blessed soul! enter the kingdom prepared for you before the foundation of the world. It is Himself. If we saw Him eat fish and honeycomb by the lake, we could not be more sure. O how He is drawing our soul to Him! Sweet compulsion, which makes the will more free than ever! beautiful constraint, that emancipates by its captivity! whence come these attractions that are now drawing us to themselves? They come from the altar-throne, and from the Human Soul and Body that are there. I will draw them, says He in the monstrance, with cords of Adam, the bands of love.
"Ah Lord Jesus! we spoke of Thee as in heaven and lo! Thou art here, and all heaven is with Thee here. O Blessed Sacrament! Thou makest all life now like one continued walk to Emmaus. Our hearts burn, and it is not that we know not why, but that we will not remember why. "I was like a foster-father to Ephraim: I carried them in my arms; and they knew not that I healed them." But how long shall these things be. O that our hearts were modelled upon Thee as creation was, and crowned by Thee as creation is, and that since thou hast our nature, we might participate more abundantly in Thy grace, and that as Thou wilt lead us to glory hereafter, so now Thy hidden Sacramental presence might already be our glory here!"
- Fr. Faber
"The time you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the best time you will spend on earth. Each moment that you spend with Jesus will deepen your union with Him and make your soul everlastingly more glorious and beautiful in Heaven, and will help bring about everlasting peace on earth,"
- Mother Teresa of Calcutta
"I adore and venerate you as much as ever I can, though my love is so cold, my devotion so poor. Thank you for the good gift of this your holy Body and Blood, which I desire to receive...,"
- St. Anselm (Archbishop and Doctor of the Church)
"When I was in Church waiting for confession, I saw the same rays (that is, as those depicted on the revealed image of the Divine Mercy) issuing from the monstrance and they spread throughout the church. This lasted all through the service. After the benediction (the rays came forth) on both sides and returned again to the monstrance. Their appearance was bright and clear as crystal. I asked Jesus that He deign to light the fire of His love in all souls that were cold. Beneath these rays a heart will be warmed even if it were like a block of ice; even if it were as hard as rock, it will crumble into dust,"
- Blessed Faustina Kowalska
Meditation of St. Francis of Assisi
Let everyone be struck with fear,
the whole world tremble,
and the heavens exult
when Christ, the Son of the living God,
is present on the altar in the hands of a priest!
O wonderful loftiness
and stupendous dignity!
O sublime humility!
O humble sublimity!
The Lord of the universe,
God and the Son of God,
so humbles Himself
that He hides Himself
for our salvation
under and ordinary piece of bread!
See the humility of God, brothers,
and pour out your hearts before Him!
Humble yourselves that you may be exalted by Him!
Hold back nothing of yourselves for yourselves,
that He Who gives Himself totally to you
may receive you totally!
"My soul, if you wish to penetrate the depths of this Mystery, your gaze must be illumined by Love! You need to see and understand! Contemplate the Last Supper: see Jesus Who knows that He will soon be separated from the body of His humanity, and yet wishing to be united to us forever; contemplate the Love by which He institutes this Sacrament which permits Him to be corporeally and forever united to mankind. O Inextinguishable Love! O Love of Christ! O Love of the human race! What a true Furnace of Love! O Jesus, You already saw the death which awaited You; the sorrows and atrocious tortures of the Passion were already breaking Your Heart, and yet You offered Yourself to Your executioners, and permitted them, by means of this Sacrament, to possess You forever as an Eternal Gift, O You, Whose delights are to be with the children of men!
"O my soul, how can you refrain from plunging yourself ever deeper and deeper into the love of Christ, who did not forget you in life or in death, but who willed to give Himself wholly to you, and to unite you to Himself forever?"
- St. Angela Foligno
"Mary's adoration was profound, interior, intimate. It was the gift of herself. She offered her whole self to the service of love of the Eucharistic God. For love lays down no conditions, makes no reservations; it thinks no longer of self, lives no longer for self; it is a stranger to itself and lives only for the God which it loves. Everything in Mary was directed to the Blessed Sacrament as Its center and end. A current of grace and love established itself between the Heart of Jesus-Hostia and the heart of Mary-Adoratrix. These hearts were like two flames blended into one. God was then perfectly adored by His creature,"
- St. Peter Julian Eymard
When his excellency, Bishop Ott, spoke to Mother Teresa of Calcutta, he asked her "how she got so many women to join her religious order". She explained: "We were just like other religious congregations with few vocations. Then at our chapter in the 1970s we made a decision to have a holy hour in all our convents each evening. Many blessings resulted from this Holy Hour the Bishop witnessed, for Mother Teresa continued, "We began to see more clearly our mission to serve the poor in Christ�s name. We began to live a more fruitful family life among ourselves. We experienced double the number of vocations in our congregation. And we grew personally in our intimacy with the Lord present in the Eucharist." The Bishop is "confident" that this will occur in his diocese too.
- "Bishop�s Notebook", Stanley Joseph Ott, Bishop of Baton Rouge, "The Catholic Commentator", August 5, 1992, p. 4
The following is a Victorian reflection from the writings of Cardinal Nicholas Patrick Wiseman (1802-1865) on the Blessed Sacrament & Catholic Heroism:
..."The great and generous thoughts of Catholic heroism are conceived, or rather inspired, at the altar where the Adorable Sacrament reposes; there, depend upon it, in silent prayer the noble damsel in heart rejects the world and its vanities, and plights her troth to the Spouse of her chaste heart; there the young ecclesiastic, bowing in meditation calm and sweet, muses on the triumphs of his schoolmates over the swords and red-hot pincers of Tonquin, and resolves to share in their crown of martyrdom; there whatever is planned for the Church of God that requires zeal and persevering energy is matured and resolved."
"O inestimable charity! Even as You, true God and true Man, gave Yourself entirely to us, so also You left Yourself entirely for us, to be our food, so that during our earthly pilgrimage we would not faint with weariness, but would be strengthened by You, our celestial Bread. O man, what has your God left you? He has left you Himself, wholly God and wholly Man, concealed under the whiteness of bread. O fire of love! Was it not enough for You to have created us to Your image and likeness, and to have recreated us in grace through the Blood of Your Son, without giving Yourself wholly to us as our Food, O God, Divine Essence? What impelled You to do this? Your charity alone. It was not enough for You to send Your Word to us for our redemption; neither were You content to give Him us as our Food, but in the excess of Your love for Your creature, You gave to man the whole divine essence..."
- St. Catherine of Siena
Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration
At St. John Fisher Seminary in Stamford, Connecticut there is a Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration chapel. According to the rector, Rev. Stephen M. DiGiovanni, the reason for beginning Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration was to "encourage young men of the community to find a vocation to the priesthood." The enrollment at the seminary rose 50 percent within the first year that the chapel was founded.
- "Worshipers find solace in perpetual chapel", Robin Denaro, "Connecticut Post", Saturday, January 6, 1998, C2
Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration
Bishop John Magee of Cloyne in Eire, Ireland reports that vocations to the priesthood in his diocese have tripled since he started Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. In 1990 there were 16 seminarians and by 1993 the number had risen to 45.
- "By Your Fruits", Dr. J. F. Boyle. "The Link", January 1996
"Mary adored Jesus as the Bridegroom of souls. Union is the final purpose of love. Jesus by the gift of His substance in the Eucharist unites Himself with our souls as with His dear spouses. As a Bridegroom, He gives them all His possessions, His name, His heart, His whole Self, but on the condition that the soul reciprocates. The soul, His spouse, shall live for Him only,"
- St. Peter Julian Eymard
Jesus described the good shepherd as the one who does not run away but stays with his flock. In the Blessed Sacrament "Christ is truly the Emmanuel, that is: �God is with us�. Day and night He is in our midst, He dwells with us full of grace and truth." (Mysterium Fidei)
He said: "I Myself am the Bread of life." We pray "My Shepherd" because His love is a personal love. Though He loves everyone with an infinite love, He loves you as if your were the only one in the world. The Blessed Sacrament is Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who is present before you for no other reason than that He loves you. He is here to draw you closer to Himself, to deepen the love and friendship you have together with Him. This individual, personal love is described by Pope John Paul II when he said "Jesus waits for us in this Sacrament of Love."
Because He gives us all we need, "there is nothing I shall want." What He inspires in us is to want only Him and His holy Will. In this way, we "repose" in the divine love of His Eucharistic Heart.
The "fresh and green pastures" are the new graces He nourishes our spirit with. Leading us to the Blessed Sacrament, He invites us to drink from "restful waters," the springs of salvation, flowing from His everlastingly glorious wounds, by which we are continually being healed.
In the Blessed Sacrament "He restores morality, nourishes virtues, consoles the afflicted, strengthens the weak." (Mysterium Fidei)
"He is true to His Name" means He is always faithful to us and all the promises He made to us.
No evil to fear is a call to faith that God is in control of everything. Out of any evil allowed, He only brings a greater good. His staff is the strength He gives us in this Sacrament. He is infinitely more powerful than all the onslaught of hell put together.
The "banquet" is Jesus Himself who said "I Myself am the Bread of life." Divine love is the food He serves us. The grace-filled love, peace and joy He offers us when we come before Him in the Blessed Sacrament was prepared for us on Calvary. Holy Thursday goes together with Good Friday, as the Eucharist is the gift of our Lord�s Passion. Like wheat crushed before coming bread, Jesus was crushed on the cross to become our spiritual nourishment, suffering torment to give us comfort, rejection to fill us with love, dying in darkness to bring us the light of hope, opened by a lance to pour out His peace.
An overflowing cup signifies that our Lord gives us incomparably more than we ask for, even though we may not always feel it. Whatever sacrifice we have made to come to make our holy hour, cannot in any way compare to what we receive now and in eternity.
"Goodness and kindness" describe the very name and personality of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, Who dwells with us "all the days of our life." For this reason, our desire is to remain with Him "in the Lord�s own house."
- From the Book "Come to Me in the Blessed Sacrament"
You loved me from all eternity,
therefore you created me.
You loved me after you had made me,
therefore you became man for me.
You loved me after you became man for me,
therefore you lived and died for me.
You loved me after you had died for me,
therefore you rose again for me.
You loved me after you had risen for me,
therefore you went to prepare a place for me.
You loved me after you had gone to prepare a place for me,
therefore you came back to me.
You loved me after you came back to me,
therefore you desired to enter into me and be united to me.
This is the meaning of the Blessed Sacrament.
The mystery of love.
- Archbishop Goodier
"It has been said, and rightly so, that between contemplation and adoration there is so close a union, so mutual a relationship, that they cannot be separated. We adore while contemplating and we contemplate while adoring. The saints in heaven live in perpetual adoration, because their joy is derived from eternal contemplation. On earth, where in some manner we must imitate the life of heaven, Christian devotion has striven to make the Sacred Host the center of perpetual contemplation and adoration, as far as human frailty permits. And both adoration and contemplation have called for perpetual exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.
"The Sacred Host perpetually exposed on its Eucharistic throne, and, before it, day and night, loving souls in adoration and contemplation! Is this not truly heaven on earth?,"
- from "The Holy Eucharist" by Jose Guadalupe Trevino
"Adoration will heal our Church and thus our nation and thus our world... Adoration touches everyone and everything... [because it touches the Creator, Who touches everything and everyone]... When we adore, we plug into infinite dynamism and power. Adoration is more powerful for construction than nuclear bombs are for destruction,"
- Peter Kreeft, philosopher at Boston College
"I believe that today we are entering into the reign of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus. In the midst of the winter in the world and even in the Church today innumerable little shoots are sprouting up through the snow. These shoots are chapels of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration growing up around the world... I encourage you to soak up the healing rays of the Sun of Justice and do all you can to promote Perpetual Adoration,"
- Rev. Harold F. Cohen, S.J.
From the writings of St. Catherine of Siena on the Blessed Sacrament:
"O loving, tender Word of God, You tell me: �I have marked the path and opened the gate with My Blood; do not be negligent in following it, but take the same road which I, eternal Truth, have traced out with My Blood.� Arise, my soul, and follow your Redeemer, for no one can go to the Father but by Him. O sweet Christ, Christ-Love, You are the way, and the door through which we must enter in order to reach the Father."
"O unfathomable depth! O Deity eternal! O deep ocean! What more could You give me than to give me Yourself?"
"The Eucharist had so powerful an attraction for the Blessed Virgin that she could not live away from It. She lived in It and by It. She passed her days and her nights at the feet of her Divine Son... Her love for her hidden God shone in her countenance and communicated its ardor to all about her.
"O Mary! teach us the life of adoration! Teach us to see, as thou didst, all the mysteries and all the graces in the Eucharist; to live over again the Gospel story and to read it in the light of the Eucharistic Life of Jesus. Remember, O our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament, that thou art the Mother of all adorers of the Holy Eucharist,"
- St. Peter Julian Eymard
"A Mass said by Padre Pio is as effective as a missionary journey," said Pope Paul VI, because of Padre's great love for Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
Padre Pio himself said, "It would be easier for the world to exist without the sun than without the Holy Mass," and "At times during the Mass I am consumed by the fire of Divine Love. My face seems to burn."
"In the Blessed Sacrament
God loves us so tenderly,
He empties Himself completely.
O, who could believe it?
Withholding nothing, He gives his all.
He gives his flesh for us to eat
He gives his blood for us to drink.
He gives his soul, his infinite being
To transform us into Himself.
Praised be the Blessed Sacrament!"
- St. Louis de Montfort (Hymn No. 30, 3rd Stanza)
Following is an excerpt from Jose Guadalupe Trevino's "The Holy Eucharist", on the love of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament:
"Love watches. A mother prolongs her watches by her baby's cradle till late at night. After lulling him to sleep, she continues her vigil, all the while covering his soul with her silent prayers and, with anxious concern, thinking of his future no less obscure than the night around the house.
"Jesus cannot permit even one mother to surpass Him in love and tender solicitude. At night, when His children are resting in sleep, He watches over them, covers them with His prayers, and protects them, 'as a hen gathers her young under her wings.'"
"'Lord you know that I love you...Lord, you know that I love you' (Jn 21:15-17). The Eucharist is, in a certain way, the culminating point of this answer. I wish to repeat it together with the whole Church to Him, who manifested His love by means of the Sacrament of His Body and Blood, remaining with us 'to the close of the age'" (Mt 28:20)
- Pope John Paul II, General Audience, June 13, 1979
"I am just a speck of dust,
But I want to make my dwelling
In the shadow of the sanctuary
With the Prisoner of Love.
Ah! my soul longs for the host.
I love Him and want nothing more.
It is the hidden God who attracts me.
I am the atom of Jesus...,"
- from St. Therese of Lisieux's poem "The Atom of Jesus-Host."
Day and night Jesus dwells in the Blessed Sacrament BECAUSE OF HIS INFINITE LOVE FOR YOU! "Behold I will be with you always even to the end of the world," because "I have loved you with an everlasting love, and constant is My affection for you." (Mt 28:20; Jer 31:3)
- From "One Lord, One Body, One People"
The Following excerpts were taken from the writings of St. Peter Julian Eymard on the Feast of the Ascension and the role of Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament:
"When Jesus Christ went up to heaven on the day of His Ascension, He went to take possession of His throne of glory and prepare a place for us... However, in order to keep the hope of heaven in us and make it more efficacious, in order to have us wait patiently for the heaven of glory and lead us there, our Lord has created the beautiful heaven of the Eucharist. For the Eucharist is a beautiful heaven; it is heaven begun. Is it not Jesus glorified coming from heaven to earth, and bringing heaven with Him? Is not heaven wherever our Lord is? His state there, although hidden from our senses, is one of glory, triumph, and blessedness. He has done away with the miseries of this life; when we go to Communion, we receive heaven, since we receive Jesus Who is the whole joy and glory of paradise.
"What an honor it is for a subject to receive his king! We receive the King of heaven; let us appreciate the honor done to us. Jesus comes into us lest we forget our true fatherland or, if we are mindful of it, lest we die of longing for it and of homesickness."
"Mary devoted herself exclusively to the Eucharistic Glory of Jesus. She knew that it was the desire of the Eternal Father to make the Eucharist known, loved and served by all men; that need of Jesus� Heart was to communicate to all men His gifts of grace and glory. She knew, too, that it was the mission of the Holy Spirit to extend and perfect in the hearts of men, the reign of Jesus Christ, and that the Church had been founded only to give Jesus to the world.
"All Mary�s desire, then, was to make Him known in His Sacrament. Her intense love for Jesus felt the need of expanding in this way, of consecrating itself � as a kind of relief, as it were � because of her own inability to glorify Him as much as she desired.
"Ever since Calvary, all men were her children. She loved them with a Mother�s tenderness and longed for their supreme good as for her own; therefore, she was consumed with the desire to make Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament known to all, to inflame all hearts with His love, to see them enchained to His loving service.
"To obtain this favor, Mary passed her time at the foot of the Most Adorable Sacrament, in prayer and penance. There she treated the world�s salvation. In her boundless zeal, she embraced the needs of the faithful everywhere, for all time to come, who would inherit the Holy Eucharist and be Its adorers...
"Her prayers converted countless souls, and as every conversion is the fruit of prayer, and since Mary�s prayer could meet no refusal, the Apostles had in this Mother of Mercy their most powerful helper. "Blessed is he for whom Mary prays!"
"Eucharistic adorers share Mary�s life and mission of prayer at the foot of the Most Blessed Sacrament. It is the most beautiful of all missions, and it holds no perils. It is the most holy, for in it all the virtues are practiced. It is, moreover, the most necessary to the Church, which has even more need of prayerful souls than of powerful preachers; of men of penance rather than men of eloquence. Today more than ever have we need of men who, by their self�immolation, disarm the anger of God inflamed by the ever increasing crimes of nations. We must have souls who by their importunity reopen the treasures of grace which the indifference of the multitude has closed. We must have true adorers; that is to say, men of fervor and of sacrifice. When there are many such souls around their Divine Chief, God will be glorified, Jesus will be loved, and society will once more become Christian, conquered for Jesus Christ by the apostolate of Eucharistic prayer."
"The Eucharist strikes such fire within us that we are compelled by our actions and our presence to warm the people we live among and to melt the ice of hate, discrimination, indifference, injustice and isolation. 'Can a man hide fire in his bosom and his garments not burn?'" (Proverbs 6:27)
- from the article "They Have Been With Jesus", by Rev. Franklyn M. McAfee
"The twentieth century must be a century of the Blessed Sacrament if it means to be a century of resurrection and of life,"
- Pope Leo XIII
"I know I would not be able to work one week if it were not for that continual force coming from Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament," Mother Teresa of Calcutta said of the strength she and her sisters received in spending Holy Hours before Jesus each day.
"As in the days of Bethlehem the Father imparted the shadows and rights of the blessed paternity mysteriously to Mary and Joseph, and thus made the region of Infancy so glorious and heaven-like, in like manner now he will not leave us without similar consolations. He imparts them to his priests in their relationship to our souls, and, above all, in respect to the Blessed Sacrament. It is part of our Father's love that inside the pale of the Church earth should be one perpetual, and even ubiquitous, Bethlehem. The infant Jesus, the joy of the Father and our joy, is forever there, and in him the Father declared, with rare expletive, that he was well pleased. Still on the altar and in the tabernacle the Babe of Bethlehem is increasing the glory of the Father,"
- from the book "Bethlehem", by Fr. Faber
"Jesus gave Himself as spiritual food and True Presence among us in the Blessed Sacrament. In our own century at Fatima, Mary asked the three children and us to, 'Pray the Rosary every day.' Here we see two marvelous fonts of grace flowing together. When we receive Jesus in the Eucharist, we become united with Him. Adoring his presence exposed on the altar or in the tabernacle we bask in his warmth. Meditating on the Rosary, we recall Jesus' life, death and resurrection and the union of his mother in the work of our salvation. Through the Eucharist and the Rosary, two hearts are joined in love, and we, in love, are joined to those two hearts."
- From the article "Mirroring Divine Love", by Michael Six
"The Church has a special duty to safeguard and strengthen the sacredness of the Eucharist. In our pluralistic and often deliberately secularized society, the living faith of the Christian community � a faith always aware of its rights vis-a-vis those who do not share the faith � ensures respect for this sacredness,"
- Pope John Paul II
"Three times in 1916 the 'Angel of Portugal' (St. Michael), also known as the 'Angel of Peace' appeared to the children. In the first apparition he taught them what has become known as the Angel's Prayer: 'My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You!'
The angel prepared them for the apparitions of Our Lady the following year. During these apparitions, the angel specifically called them to both prayer and Eucharistic adoration. In the third apparition in the fall, he appeared holding a chalice and a Host. He prostrated himself on the ground, while the chalice and Host were suspended in mid-air, and recited with them a Eucharistic prayer."
- Excerpts from "Introducing Children to the Blessed Sacrament", by Rev. John DeMarchi, I.M.C.
"When we go before Jesus on the altar, we always find Him �with Mary His Mother,� as the Magi did at Bethlehem (Mt. 2:11). And Jesus in the sacred Host, from the altar of our hearts, can repeat to each one of us what He said to St. John the Evangelist from the altar of Calvary, �Behold thy Mother� (Jn 19:27),"
- "Jesus, Our Eucharistic Love", by Fr. Stefano Manelli, OFM.
"When our union with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is loved and realized � when we know we are, in Holy Communion, plunged in the Sacred Heart, in the Blood of Jesus � we can say and mean the prayer of thanksgiving after Mass and Holy Communion: Soul of Christ, be my sanctification; Body of Christ, be my salvation; Blood of Christ, fill all my veins...,"
- Fr. Leonard Feeney
St. John Vianney writes of Adoration of Jesus in the Most the Blessed Sacrament:
"If we really loved the good God, we should make it our joy and happiness to come and spend a few moments to adore Him, and ask Him for the grace of forgiveness; and we should regard those moments as the happiest of our lives."
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