THE YEAR OF THE EUCHARIST
“Father, all those You gave Me I would have in My company”(Jn 17:24).
“Let us beseech the Lord to reawaken in us the joy at his presence and that we may once more adore him. Without adoration, there is no transformation of the world.”
“The measure of life in the Church, the measure of her inner openness, will be seen in that she will be able to keep her doors open, because she is a praying Church. I ask you all therefore from the heart, let us make a new start at this. Let us again recollect that the Church is always alive, that within her evermore the Lord comes to meet us. The Eucharist and its fellowship, will be all the more complete, the more we prepare ourselves for him in silent prayer before the Eucharistic presence of our Lord” (Quotes from Pope Benedict XVI’s book God is Near Us: The Eucharist, The Heart of Life, published as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger).
Habemus Papam!—Excerpts from Pope Benedict XVI’s First Mass as Holy Father:
“In a very significant way, my pontificate starts as the Church is living the special year dedicated to the Eucharist. How can I not see in this providential coincidence an element that must mark the ministry to which I have been called? The Eucharist, the heart of Christian life and the source of the evangelizing mission of the Church, cannot but be the permanent center and the source of the petrine service entrusted to me . . . .
“The Eucharist makes the Risen Christ constantly present, Christ Who continues to give Himself to us, calling us to participate in the banquet of His Body and His Blood. From this full communion with Him comes every other element of the life of the Church, in the first place the communion among the faithful, the commitment to proclaim and give witness to the Gospel, the ardor of charity towards all, especially towards the poor and the smallest . . . .
I ask everyone to intensify in coming months love and devotion to the Eucharistic Jesus and to express in a courageous and clear way the real presence of the Lord . . . .
“Nourished and sustained by the Eucharist, Catholics cannot but feel stimulated to tend towards that full unity for which Christ hoped . . . . ‘Mane nobiscum, Domine!’ Stay with us Lord! This invocation, which forms the dominant theme of John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter for the Year of the Eucharist, is the prayer that comes spontaneously from my heart as I turn to begin the ministry to which Christ has called me.”
Ideas inspired by Ecclesia de Eucharistia to help celebrate the Year of the Eucharist:
Week 35 “Every worthwhile gift . . . [is] from the Father” (Js 1:17). “Our longing for the goal of unity prompts us to turn to the Eucharist, which is the supreme sacrament of the unity of the People of God” (43). Pray for Christian unity in weekly Mass and Adoration intentions.
Week 36 “That all may be one” (Jn 17:21). “The Eucharist brings about [the Church's unity] through the Lord's sacrifice and by communion in his body and blood” (44). Invite couples to sign up for Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, especially those preparing for marriage.
Week 37 “Mary brought a pound of costly perfume made of genuine aromatic nard, with which she anointed Jesus’ feet” (Jn 12:3).“Like the woman who anointed Jesus in Bethany, the Church has feared no ‘extravagance’, devoting the best of her resources to expressing her wonder and adoration before the unsurpassable gift of the Eucharist” (48). Ask your pastor to preach about the Holy Eucharist at Sunday Mass throughout this month.
Week 38 “Feed My Sheep” (Jn 21:17).“It is in the Eucharist that prayer for vocations is most closely united to the prayer of Christ the Eternal High Priest” (31). Invite those who recently made their Confirmation to sign up for and attend weekly Adoration, with a friend or individually, that they may hear and respond to God’s call to feed His sheep.
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Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus—June 2
“All that is within us, all that is without, is filled with God, with His Love. The Blessed Sacrament is a fruit of Jesus’ love. Jesus’ entire life and all His ministry is the Love of His Sacred Heart” (St. Maximilian Kolbe).
Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary—June 3
“The body was prepared for the Son, through Mary’s putting herself entirely at the disposal of the Father’s will and thus making her body available as the tabernacle” (Pope Benedict XVI). “The Blood that is in the Chalice is from the living Heart of Jesus. It was shed in the Passion before it was shed in the Chalice. It had lived long in His Sacred Heart before He shed it; and He took it at the first, with His spotless Flesh, from the Immaculate Heart of Mary” (Fr. Faber).
St. Anthony of Padua, Doctor of the Church, Italy (1195-1231)—June 13
“Anthony was a friend of St. Francis and became a Franciscan priest. He was a great preacher on the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and told everyone he met about his love for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. St. Anthony was also known as a great miracle worker who loved the poor and sick people very much. Wherever he went, St. Anthony performed many miracles to help feed the poor, heal the sick, and care for the needy. He is known as a great Doctor of the Church, patron of the poor, and finder of the lost” (Adoration for Children).
St. Thomas More, Patron of Lawyers, Chancellor of England (1478-1535)—June 22
As a husband, father and lawyer, St. Thomas More was devoted to daily Mass and Adoration. St. Thomas was steadfast in his Faith, defending the Pope, and the Church even though it cost him his life, by martyrdom! He wrote, “Give me, good Lord, a longing to be with Thee . . . give me warmth, delight and quickness in thinking upon Thee. And give me Thy grace to long for Thine holy Sacraments, and specially to rejoice in the presence of Thy very blessed Body, Sweet Saviour Christ, in the Holy Sacrament of the altar.”
Birth of St. John the Baptist—June 24
“ We do well also to invoke the intercession of the Lord’s great precursor [St. John the Baptist], now adoring Him perpetually in this Sacrament. We should ask him to win for us a share in the joy that filled him even while still in Elizabeth’s womb” (Fr. Richard Foley, S.J.).
“Feed My Sheep” (Jn 21:17).
“One of the basic characteristics of a shepherd must be to love the people entrusted to him, even as he loves Christ whom he serves. ‘Feed my sheep,’ says Christ to Peter, and now, at this moment, He says it to me as well. Feeding means loving, and loving also means being ready to suffer. Loving means giving the sheep what is truly good, the nourishment of God’s truth, of God’s word, the nourishment of His presence, which He gives us in the Blessed Sacrament” (Pope Benedict XVI).
PRAYER FOR POPE BENEDICT XVI
Lord, source of eternal life and truth, give to Your shepherd, Benedict XVI, a spirit of courage and right judgment, a spirit of knowledge and love. By governing those entrusted to his care may he, as successor to the Apostle Peter and Vicar of Christ, build Your Church into a sacrament of unity, love, and peace for all the world. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen. (Roman Missal)
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