“The bread that I will give is My flesh for the life of the world” (Jn 6:51). “During this Easter season I encourage all of you to discover ever more fully in the Eucharist, the sacrament of Christ's sacrificial love, the inspiration and strength needed to work ever more generously for the spread of God's Kingdom and the growth of the civilization of love” (cf. Sacramentum Caritatis, 90). -Pope Benedict XVI, April 20, 2007 Dec. 8,’07 the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy issued a letter encouraging dioceses to start Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration to Pray for the Priesthood. Following are excerpts:
“In his Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI concretized the perennial teaching of the Church on the centrality of Eucharistic adoration in ecclesial life by a direct appeal addressed to all pastors, bishops, priests, as well as the People of God, for perpetual Eucharistic adoration: ‘With the Synod Assembly, therefore, I heartily recommend to the Church’s pastors and to the People of God the practice of Eucharistic adoration, both individually and in community. (194) Great benefit would ensue from a suitable catechesis explaining the importance of this act of worship, which enables the faithful to experience the liturgical celebration more fully and more fruitfully. Wherever possible, it would be appropriate, especially in densely populated areas, to set aside specific churches or oratories for perpetual adoration. I also recommend that, in their catechetical training, and especially in their preparation for First Holy Communion, children be taught the meaning and the beauty of spending time with Jesus, and helped to cultivate a sense of awe before his presence in the Eucharist” (Sacramentum Caritatis, n. 67). “Specific places are to be reserved for continuous Eucharistic adoration. To that end, parish priests, rectors, and chaplains are encouraged to introduce the practice of Eucharistic adoration in their communities, both personally and communally, in a collective effort to enhance prayer life. Let everyone be involved, beginning with children preparing for First Holy Communion.” “Initiatives directed at local clergy, especially those relating to the continuing formation of priests, should be always permeated by a Eucharistic spirit, specifically devoting a suitable time to the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, so that it may become—together with the Holy Mass—the driving force for each individual and communitarian undertaking.”
World Day of Prayer for Vocations—April 13: Perpetual Adoration for Vocations!
Adore “the living Christ in the Eucharist, falling ever more in love with Him, Who is our brother and true friend, the Bridegroom of the Church, the faithful and merciful God Who loved us first. Thus, you young people will be ready and willing to welcome His call, if He wants you totally for Him in the priesthood or in consecrated life” (Pope Benedict XVI, June 6, 2006). O Father, raise up among Christians abundant and holy vocations to the priesthood, who keep the faith alive and guard the blessed memory of your Son Jesus through the preaching of his word and the administration of the Sacraments, with which you continually renew your faithful. Grant us holy ministers of your altar, who are careful and fervent guardians of the Eucharist, the sacrament of the supreme gift of Christ for the redemption of the world. Call ministers of your mercy, who, through the sacrament of Reconciliation, spread the joy of your forgiveness. Grant, O Father, that the Church may welcome with joy the numerous inspirations of the Spirit of your Son and, docile to His teachings, may she care for vocations to the ministerial priesthood and to the consecrated life. Sustain the Bishops, priests and deacons, consecrated men and women, and all the baptized in Christ, so that they may faithfully fulfil their mission at the service of the Gospel. This we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen. Mary, Queen of Apostles, pray for us (Pope Benedict XVI, March 5, 2006).
St. Katharine Drexel, Religious, America (1858-1955)—Feast, March 3 “I adore the host which Jesus instituted to be forever the memorial of His death. I adore my Savior who was crucified, dying and entombed on Calvary” (St. Katharine Drexel).
Sts. Perpetua & Felicity, Martyrs, Mothers, Rome (d. 203)—Feast, March 7 These young mothers gave their lives in witness to their Catholic faith. Both women suffered terrible conditions in prison. They remained peaceful and courageous in the face of terrible persecution, torture and death. When asked to put on the pagan clothing in the arena, before their martyrdom, St. Perpetua replied: “We came to die out of our own free will so we wouldn’t lose our freedom to worship our God. We gave you our lives so that we wouldn’t have to worship your gods.” St. Perpetua wrote an account of their conversion, imprisonment and impending martyrdom which was read at early liturgies.
St. John of God, Religious, Ptn. of Heart Patients, Portugal (1495-1550)—March 8 St. John grew up in a holy family. As a youth, he entered the military and left his faith, but later returned and devoted his life entirely to God. Nourished by his great love of the Holy Eucharist, St. John spent himself totally caring for the poor, sick, and sinners. He founded the Brothers Hospitallers of St. John of God to help aid in this work. He is the patron of booksellers, the sick, health care providers, firefighters and alcoholics. St. John wrote, “Labor without ceasing to do all the good works you can while you still have time.”
St. Joseph, Patron of Universal Church, Spouse of B.V.M.—March 15 “Humility must be the dominant virtue of an adorer. He adores Jesus far more humiliated in the Blessed Sacrament than at Bethlehem or during His mortal life. He serves the King of heaven and earth annihilated under the Sacred Species. Like Saint Joseph the adorer must consider himself unworthy of serving Jesus. He must honor Christ’s Eucharistic abasements by giving up all self-glory, all self-esteem, everything that might draw admiration upon himself. The great rule must be that of Saint Joseph who never appears when there is question of glory in the service of Jesus, and that of Saint John the Baptist who, in answer to praise, cried out: ‘He must become more and more, I must become less and less.’ To Jesus be honor and glory; to me scorn and oblivion. Saint Joseph, who was so humble in the presence of the Man-God, obtain for us grace to lose ourselves in the service of Jesus in the Sacred Host” (St. Peter Julian Eymard).
Easter Sunday, The Resurrection of Our Lord—March 23: Jesus is Risen, He is Here! Christ has become our paschal sacrifice (1 Cor 5:7). Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord—March 31 “Like Mary, let us be full of zeal to go in haste to give Jesus to others. She was full of grace when, at the annunciation, she received Jesus. Like her, we too become full of grace every time we receive Holy Communion. It is the same Jesus whom she received and whom we receive at Mass. As soon as she received Him she went with haste to give Him to John. For us also, as soon as we receive Jesus in Holy Communion, let us go in haste to give Him to our sisters, to our poor, to the sick, to the dying, to the lepers, to the unwanted, and the unloved. By this we make Jesus present in the world today” (Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta). Pope John Paul II, Servant of God, Poland (1920-2005)—Anniversary of Death, Apr. 2 “Spend time in spiritual converse, in silent adoration, in heartfelt love before Christ present in the Most Holy Sacrament” (Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 25).
St. Bernadette, Lourdes Visionary and Nun (1844-1879), France—April 16 From a letter St. Bernadette wrote to her cousins preparing for their First Communion: “Everything about this day should show you how important it is, from the great care they are taking to prepare you for it, to the solemnity with which this beautiful day is always surrounded. Indeed, is there a more sacred or more important act? Inexhaustible treasures of grace are opened to you through the Eucharist and its influence in your lives should increase over the years to come. So pray often. Pray to Our Lord and his Most Holy Mother to help you understand the importance of this great act.” “My dear little friends, this sweet day, the object of your desires, so rich in the happiness and holy joy you have heard spoken of so often, will soon arrive. This day will be beautiful, great and solemn. It will fill your young hearts with holy consolations. It will be a precious memory, since, for the first time, you will be given a place at the heavenly banquet, where you will be nourished with the Body of God. You will be washed and your thirst quenched in His Blood, intimately united with His divinity and blessed with the grace of His love.” “O my dear children, we would have to have the hearts of angels to receive Our Lord as He deserves, so try to receive Him with as much faith, humility and love as you can. And when our Lord is in your heart, trust Him completely and dwell in the delights of His presence. Love, worship, listen, praise. Oh, the happy moment! Eternity alone holds greater joys for us.” “Take advantage of Our Lord’s presence to ask Him for all kinds of graces, for yourselves, for your parents, for all those who prepared you for this important act, for the Church, for our Holy Father the Pope, for the dear souls in Purgatory, for poor sinners. Finally, go to Mary’s altar. Confide your resolutions to her and put the treasure of your innocence and devotion under her protection. You know that we never turn to her in vain. Ask her for the grace to love Our Lord as she herself loves Him and to remain faithful to Him both in life and in death.” (This year marks the 150th anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions at Lourdes).
St. Louis Mary de Montfort, Priest, Missionary, France (1673-1716)—April 28 “It was you, Virgin Mary,/Who gave us this Body and Blood / Which raises our status so high / that it is beyond the reach of the angels. May you be blessed throughout the world / For giving us such a great gift” (St. Louis de Montfort, Hymns, 134:11).
St. Gianna Beretta Molla, Wife, Mother, Doctor, Italy (1922-1962)—April 28 “St. Gianna, filled with love for God. St. Gianna, filled with love for children. St. Gianna, filled with love for Our Lady and her Rosary. St. Gianna, filled with love for the Most Blessed Sacrament. St. Gianna, who sought the will of God in all things. St. Gianna, generous with those in need. St. Gianna, devoted to prayer. St. Gianna, willing to lay down your life for the sake of the gospel. St. Gianna, patient in suffering. St. Gianna, united to Jesus on the Cross. St. Gianna, called to the vocation of marriage. St. Gianna, who welcomed children as a blessing. St. Gianna, physician to the ill. St. Gianna, faithful daughter of the church. St. Gianna, witness to the sanctity of human life” (From the Litany of St. Gianna).
St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin, Church Doctor, Patroness of Italy (1347-1380)—April 29 “Jesus, every day you give us this food, showing us yourself in the sacrament of the altar . . . And what has done this? Your mercy” “Precious Blood, ocean of divine mercy: Flow upon us! Precious Blood, most pure offering: Procure us every grace! Precious Blood, hope and refuge of sinners: Atone for us! Precious Blood, delight of holy souls: Draw us! Amen.”
Reflections for Lent, Holy Week and the Easter Season
“The Holy Hour is not a devotion; it is a sharing in the work of redemption . . . He [Jesus] asked for an hour of reparation to combat the hour of evil; an hour of victimal union with the Cross to overcome the anti-love of sin” (Archbishop Sheen). Evil must be overcome with good. Greater evil must be overcome with greater good. The extraordinary evils of the world today must be overcome with the extraordinary good of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration!
Holy Thursday—March 20
Prayer for Priests: I beseech You, direct the hearts and wills of the servants of Your Bride, the Holy Church, unto Yourself so that they may follow the poor, bleeding, humble, and gentle Lamb of God on the way of the Cross. Make them angels in the shape of men; for after all, they have to administer and distribute the Body and Blood of Your Only Begotten Son! Amen. (By St. Catherine of Siena) Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion, March 21:Could You Not Watch One Hour With Me? “We adore you, Jesus, and we thank you, for you make truly present in the Eucharist the mystery of that unique gift you offered to the Father 2,000 years ago with your sacrifice on the Cross, a sacrifice that redeemed the whole of humanity and all creation” (John Paul II, Servant of God, March 15, 2005).
Holy Saturday—March 22
“In place of the lamb He [Jesus] gave Himself, His body and His blood. . . . He offered His own life. Only in this way did the ancient Easter find its true meaning.” “At the center of Jesus’ new Easter was the Cross. From there came the new gift He brought. And so it always remains in the Blessed Eucharist, in which we are able to celebrate the new Easter with the Apostles over the course of the centuries” (Pope Benedict XVI, Holy Thursday 2007).
Easter Sunday, The Resurrection of Our Lord—March 23: Jesus is Risen-Alleluia!!!
“We have Him so near in the Blessed Sacrament, where He is already glorified and where we don’t have to gaze upon Him as being so tired and worn out, bleeding, wearied by His journeys, persecuted by those for whom He did so much good, and not believed in by the Apostles . . . . Behold Him here without suffering, full of glory, before ascending into heaven, strengthening some, encouraging others, our companion in the most Blessed Sacrament” (St. Teresa of Avila). We wish you a Blessed and Joyous Easter!
Divine Mercy Sunday—March 30
“In an epoch marked by hatred, selfishness, the desire for false happiness, by the decadence of customs, the absence of father and mother figures, instability in numerous young families and by widespread frailty and hardship to which many young people fall prey, we look to you, Jesus in the Eucharist, with renewed hope. In spite of our sins we trust in your divine Mercy. We repeat to you, together with the disciples of Emmaus, ‘Mane nobiscum Domine!,’ ‘Stay with us, Lord!’ In the Eucharist you restore to the Father all that comes from him and thus bring about a profound mystery of the justice due to the Creator on behalf of the creature. The heavenly Father has created us in his image and likeness; from him we received the gift of life, whose preciousness from conception until death we become particularly aware of when it is threatened and manipulated . . . . ‘Adoro Te devote, latens Deitas!’ We adore you, Jesus in the Eucharist! We worship your Body and your Blood, given for us so that our sins might be forgiven: O Sacrament of the new and eternal Covenant! (John Paul II, March 15, 2005).
Go to Confession, Mass and Eucharistic Adoration. Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet! START PERPETUAL EUCHARISTIC ADORATION IN YOUR PARISH TODAY!
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