THE EUCHARIST, MARY, AND THE 'BATTLE' FOR PEACE
Our Holy Father recently released new mysteries of the Rosary of the Virgin Mary, for our meditation called the Mysteria Lucis or "Mysteries of Light." In his apostolic letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, he listed the five new mysteries: 1) Our Lords Baptism in the Jordan, 2) Our Lords Self-Manifestation at the Wedding of Cana, 3) Our Lord Proclaims the Kingdom of God and Calls Us to Conversion, 4) Our Lords Transfiguration 5) Our Lords Institution of the Eucharist as the sacramental Expression of the Paschal Mystery. The fifth mystery of light calls us to a deeper faith in the real Presence of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, the institution of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper. Pope John Paul II writes, "Each of these mysteries is a revelation of the Kingdom now present in the very person of Jesus, by focusing our eyes on Christ, the Rosary also makes us peacemakers in the world. By its nature as an insistent choral petition in harmony with Christ's invitation to 'pray ceaselessly' (Lk 18:1), the Rosary allows us to hope that, even today, the difficult 'battle' for peace can be won." In the second Mystery of Light, the Wedding at Cana, Mary, the Mother of Jesus said "Do whatever he tells you" (Jn 2:5). Our Blessed Mother continues to echo these words to us today. When we receive and adore Jesus we can better hear and obey Him. Mary, Mother of The Eucharist, Mother of the world, Mother of the Church, Mother of the unborn, Mother of hope, our Mother, Mary, Queen of Peace . . . pray for us!
St. Paul writes, "It is He [Jesus] Who is our peace" (Eph 2:13). Why, then, are we not at peace? What makes us fight without and within? We have forgotten Him Who is our peace. We have forgotten how Jesus won peace for us and how He wants to give peace to us still. We must begin to do what Jesus did, as St. Paul said, "making peace through the Blood of His cross" (Col 1:20). The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass makes present the one same sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. This is the perfect prayer. Our Savior conquered the world with love--Crucified love. Jesus was born into the world as a baby and stays hidden, even smaller, among us under the appearance of bread. If we want peace, we have only to receive and spend time with Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration! No matter how dark the world gets, Jesus--the Light of the world--is with us; His Light is infinitely stronger than the darkness. Jesus stays with us always in the Blessed Sacrament yearning for the day that we will expose Him Who is the Light in all of our Churches, that He may dispel the evil and overcome the dark night of the world. Our Savior waits for us to come to Him in this Most Holy Eucharist. Come, let us bring Him our hopes, our prayers, our tears and our fears. It is not until we truly sing His praises and enthrone Him as King that peace will reign in our world. Pope John Paul II recently reaffirmed the four pillars of peace (truth, justice, love and freedom) put forth by Pope John XXIII in his encyclical Peace on Earth. In their writings, both Holy Fathers' concur that true peace can only come from God. What the world needs most is not the absence of war, but the Eucharistic Presence of God, Who is Peace. Will we give Him, Who is Peace, the chance to enter our hearts and recreate our world? (Adapted from the book Bread of Life, available through us).
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St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Widow, Mother, Religious (U.S.) 1774-1821--Jan. 4 St. Elizabeth, foundress of the Sisters of Charity, started the first parochial school in the United States, and was the first native born citizen to be canonized. It was St. Elizabeth's belief in the real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament which led to her conversion to Catholicism. She wrote, "God is everywhere, in the air I breathe, yes everywhere, but in His Sacrament of the Altar He is as present actually and really as my soul within my body; in His Sacrifice daily offered as really as once offered on the Cross."
St. Raymond of Penyafort, Priest, Theologian, (Spain) 1175-1275--Jan. 7 St. Raymond was a Spanish Dominican who was very learned in theology and canon law. He had a deep prayer life and was very devoted to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in Mass and Adoration. Once a lay brother attended a mass offered by St. Raymond. At the moment of consecration, when St. Raymond elevated the Body of Christ (in the Host), there appeared, in place of the Host, the human form of Jesus as an infant!
St. Francis de Sales, Bishop, Doctor, Patron of Writers (France) 1567-1622--Jan. 24 He wrote, "As mountain hares become white in winter because they neither see nor eat anything but snow, so by adoring and feeding on beauty, purity and goodness itself in the Eucharist you will become altogether beautiful, pure, and good." He said, "Nowhere do we find our Savior more tender or more loving than here where He, so to speak, annihilates Himself and reduces Himself to food in order to penetrate our souls and to unite Himself to the hearts of His friends." "We must visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament a hundred thousand times a day."
St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor, Patron of Catholic Schools (Italy) 1225-1274--Jan. 28 Thomas was known as "The sun of theological schools" and for his great love of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, he wrote many prayers and hymns which the Church continues to use to honor Our Lord in The Eucharist. St. Thomas said "The Sacrament of the Body of the Lord puts the demons to flight, defends us against the incentives to vice and to concupiscence, cleanses the soul from sin, assuages the anger of God, enlightens the understanding to know God, inflames the will and the affection with the love of God, fills the memory with spiritual sweetness, confirms the entire man in good, frees us from eternal death, multiplies the merits of a good life, leads us to our everlasting home, and reanimates the body to eternal life." On his deathbed with tear filled eyes, before receiving communion, he said "I firmly believe that Jesus Christ, true God and true man, is present in this august Sacrament. I adore You, my God and my Redemption, the Viaticum of my pilgrimage, for whose honor I have studied, labored, preached and taught."
St. John Bosco, Priest, Salesian Founder, Patron of Editors (Italy)1815-1888--Jan. 31 St. John Bosco, wrote "I beg you to recommend to everyone, first adoration of the Blessed Sacrament then reverence for the most holy Mary."
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