Jan/Feb/Mar 2018Newsletter 127
“We saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him.” (Matt 2:2)
“Today the Magi gaze in deep wonder at what they see: heaven on earth, earth in heaven, man in God, God in man, one whom the whole universe cannot contain now enclosed in a tiny body.” (St. Peter Chrysologus)
by Dan Burke
A number of years ago I had an extraordinary experience in adoration. I had suffered for years with chronic and often debilitating pain. The pain caused me to isolate myself because after fighting the pain, I had so little energy to interact with or serve others. After the prompting of the Holy Spirit and aperiod of reflection and prayer, I decided that I would try to fight through the pain to serve others anyway. I had no idea how I could accomplish this goal, but I purposed to do so.
An opportunity came shortly thereafter when my wife was attending a retreat at a nearby parish. I made the decisionto try to go and spend an hour praying for them for the Spirit of God to meet each of these women in a special way. After a long sleepless night, it took everything I had to get out of my home and into the car. I arrived at the Church and slowly crawledout of the car and then walked slowly into the sanctuary.
Every movement was resisted by the inflamed nerves in my body asI slouched onto the hard cold chair. Doubled over before the Blessed Sacrament I was barely able to sit let alone pray. If the Church wasn't so cold I would have been tempted to slide off the chair onto the floor. Even so, I began to beseech our Lord on their behalf.
The first victory was simply the ability to pray at all. My mind wandered to my senses in complaint and then to prayer and back. I didn't think I could make it another few minutes let alone an hour. I stayed engaged anyway. Unexpectedly, after about ten minutes I slowly gained the ability tostraighten up in the chair. This ability wasn't rooted in my effort. Then I found myself able to focus beyond the pain. As the tension of anguished muscles began to lift, my body relaxed so that I could sit up and pray in comfort. With the physical torment fading, I slipped into a prayer of painless peace. Not only was I able to sit up but I felt strong and rested. I prayed for the remainder of the hour and beyond almost effortlessly.
No doubt amiracle. I have never forgotten that transcendent transition from the inward isolation and self-focused battleto the complete absorption, ease, and selflessness in worship and prayer. Beyond this event, I have regularly been surprised at what happens to me in adoration. It seems that distractions fade, discomfort disappears, and hours pass. Have you encountered the Lord in a special way in adoration?
Our Lady of Lourdes Novena Devotions:“Lord, we adore Thee! Lord, we believe in Thee! Lord, we hope in Thee! Lord, we love Thee! Jesus, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God! Thou art the Bread which came down from heaven! Thy flesh is food indeed! Thy blood is drink indeed! Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me whole: Lord, Thy will be done!
O Mary, health of the sick, pray for us! O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee!
Queen of Peace, pray for us! Our Lady of Lourdes, bless the Pope, Vicar of Jesus Christ! Our Lady of Lourdes, bless our country! Our Lady of Lourdes, give us holy priests! St. Bernadette, pray for us! Lord, we adore Thee!
Lord, we bless Thee! All peoples of the world, praise ye the Lord! (Say 1 Glory be to the Father)
Solemnity, Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God & World Day of Peace—Feast, Jan. 1:
“For 2,000 years, the Church has been the cradle in which Mary places Jesus and entrusts Him to the adoration and contemplation of all peoples. May the humility of the Bride cause to shine forth still more brightly the glory and power of the Eucharist, which she celebrates and treasures in her heart. In the sign of the consecrated Bread and Wine, Christ Jesus risen and glorified, the light of the nations, reveals the enduring reality of His Incarnation. He remains living and real in our midst in order to nourish the faithful with His Body and Blood.” (St.John Paul II)
Sts. Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops, Doctors, Cappadocia (4thc.)—Feast, Jan. 2:
In the life of St. Basil the Great we find one of the first references of the Holy Eucharist being reserved for Adoration. At Mass, St. Basil divided the Blessed Sacrament into three parts: the first, he consumed; the second, he gave to his monks; the third, he placed in a special golden dove (like a tabernacle) in the Church for veneration.
Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus:Blessed be His holy name!— Feast, Jan. 3:
“All the nations shall come to adore You and glorify Your name, O Lord”(Ps 86:9) Praised be Jesus Eucharistic!
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Widow, Mother, Convert, Religious, U.S. (1774-1821)—Feast, Jan. 4:
“Unite me to yourself, O adorable victim, life-giving heavenly bread, feed me, sanctify me, reign in me, transform me to yourself—live in me, and let me live in you, let meadoreyou.”(St. Elizabeth Ann Seton)
St. JohnNeumann, Redemptorist Priest, Bishop, Bohemia (1811-1860)—Feast, Jan. 5:
St. John Neumann had a tremendous devotion to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and wanted to institute the Forty Hours Devotion when he came to the United States. The devotion began centuries earlier in Europe. This idea encountered much resistance and numerous objections of every kind. There had been hostility and violence toward Catholics in his Diocese of Philadelphia at that time. One night, after nearly abandoning his dream, St. John Neumann fell asleep, from total exhaustion, while writing at his desk. A little while later he awoke to the smell of smoke, a lit candle had overturned and started a fire. Before him were the charred remains of his papers. There was only one letter remaining, that had not burned, the letter he had written about the Forty Hours Devotion!
St. Br. Andre Bessette, Miracle Worker, Holy Cross Brother, Montreal, Canada (1845-1937)—Feast, Jan. 6:
Beginning as a youth, St. Andre spent hours in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. He developed a strong, personal devotion to St. Joseph and many miracles were wrought through his intercession. St. Andre said, “If you ate only one meal a week would you survive? It is the same for your soul. Nourish it with the Blessed Sacrament.”
Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord—Feast, Jan. 7:
“Adore the Word present on the altar, born as a little Child for you.”(St. Peter Julian Eymard)
Feast of the Baptism of the Lord—Feast, Jan. 8: “At Christmas he was born a man; today he is reborn sacramentally.Then he was born from the Virgin; today he is born in mystery. When he wasborn a man, his mother Mary held him close to her heart; when he is born inmystery, God the Father embraces him with his voice when he says: This is mybeloved Son in whom I am well pleased: listen to him. The mother caresses thetender baby on her lap; the Father serves his Son by his loving testimony.The mother holds the child for the Magi to adore; the Father reveals thathis Son is to be worshiped by all the nations.”(St. Maximus of Turin)
Day of Penance for Violations to the Dignity of the Human Person—Feast, Jan. 22:
“This is My Body, given up for you.” Lord Jesus, we hear Your words each day at Mass. You have used these words to teach us the meaning of Your love for us, a love that brought You to the cross to give Your life so we might live. You use these words also to teach us the meaning of our love for one another, a love which leads us to give ourselves away that others might live. “This is my body.” Lord, we also hear these words used by those who think they can take life, just because that life is growing within their body. We hear these words distorted by those who support abortion. Grant that all Your people may learn that human fulfillment is never found by pushing someone else out of the way, but only and always by pushing ourselves out of the way. May all Your people live their lives according to Your most sacred words, “This is my body, given up for you!” (Prayer to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist)
St. John Bosco, Priest, Salesian Founder, Patron of Editors, Italy (1815-1888)—Jan. 31:
“For sixty years St. John Bosco received remarkable dreams which were almost visions. Probably his best-known dream-vision was that of the Church like a ship taking refuge between two pillars in the sea. In May 1862 he shared his experience of this dream. He could see a very big ship in the sea which he understood as the Church. There were many smaller ships drawn up to do battle against the big ship, they were the enemies of the Church and persecutions. Two pillars or columns were protruding from the sea a little distant from each other. On the top of one was a statue of Our Lady withHelp of Christianswritten beneath. On top of the other pillar was a host beneath which was writtenSalvation of the Faithful . . . . In this remarkable dream-vision experienced by St. John Bosco the Church has two means to save itself in the midst of her persecutions; devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist and devotion to Our Lady.” (Fr. Tommy Lane)
The Presentation of the Lord—Feast, February 2: “The same Jesus is with us in our churches who at His birth was laid on straw and adored by the Magi, who fled into Egypt, who was sought for by the Blessed Virgin and found in the Temple, who changed water into wine, who restored the sight to the blind, made deaf to hear and the dumb to speak. Beloved Christian, you esteem Simeon happy in having been permitted to take the Infant Jesus in his arms; and were you to receive a grace like him, no doubt you would exclaim: ‘Now dost Thou dismiss Thy servant in peace: because my eyes have seen Thy salvation.’”(The Holy Eucharist,Jose Guadalupe Trevino)
St. Blase, Bishop and Martyr, Armenia (d. 316)—Feast, February 3: St. Blaise was devoted to the Holy Eucharist. While imprisoned for his faith, he ministered to others and saved a child who was choking to death on a fish bone. News of the miracle spread and this led to the custom of the blessing of throats, with two candles, in Church on his feast. St. Blaise was beheaded for his witness to Jesus.
St. Agatha,Virgin, Martyr, Patroness of Nurses, Breast Cancer, Italy (251)—Feast, Feb. 5: St. Agatha refused the advances of the Roman Governor, since she chose to belong totally to Jesus at a young age. She was brutally tortured, mutilated, and left to die. Miraculously healed, the Governor was furious and sentenced her to death by burning. St. Agatha prayed to be faithful to Jesus to the end and won a martyrs crown.Devotion to St. Agatha in the early Church grew with such popularity that her name was included in the first Eucharistic prayer. St. Agatha, as a victim of unfair torment,you know suffering well. Through your deepest faith,you stood in great courage against the pain you were forced to bear. Your endless devotion made you unyielding in belief and firm in lovefor the One who saves us, Jesus Christ. As a martyr and patroness of those who suffer from breast cancer, hear our pleas as we ask for your intercession - [Speak you intention]May we be moved to imitate you in faith, especially during the physical and emotional trials of cancer, by remembering to trust always in God. Amen.
St. Paul Miki, Jesuit Priest and Martyr, Japan (1564-1597)—Feast, February 6: A native of Japan, St. Paul’s family converted to Christianity when he was a child.Strengthened by the Eucharist, heproclaimed and defendedthe Catholic faith.St. Paul and 25 other Catholics were crucified during a persecution.While hanging on the Cross, St. Paul encouraged spectators to give their lives for Christ and forgave his enemies. He said: “Like my Master, I shall die upon the cross.Like him, a lance will pierce my heartso that my blood and my love can flow outupon the land and sanctify it to his name.”
St. Josephine Bakhita, Religious, Africa (1869-1947)—Feast, February 8: Following her kidnapping from Darfur, Sudan, St. Josephine was tortured and enslaved. Later, she was bought by a good family, eventually freed, and went to Italy with them at the age of 21. She was attracted to Catholicism because of the true Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. She converted and became a Canossian Sister. St. Josephine spent many hours daily in Eucharistic Adoration. She said: “I will send from heaven lots of graces for the salvation of souls.” St. Josephine, please pray for the people of Sudan!
St. Scholastica, Benedictine Nun, Abbess, Italy (480-547)—Feast, February 10: Lord, may our reception of the body and blood of your Son keep us from harmful things. Help us by the example of Saint Scholastica to grow in your love on earth that we may rejoice forever in heaven. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.(Prayer after Communion).
St. Katharine Drexel, Religious, Foundress, Philadelphia, PA, United States (1858-1955)—Feast, March 3:
“The sacred host exposed on the altar gives my soul food for ‘admiration.’ I admire my Divine Spouse in His humility but above all His love which has placed Him to be there.”(St. Katharine)
St. John of God, Rel., Hospitallers Founder, Patron of Heart Patients, Portugal (1495-1550)—Feast, March 8: “The Son of God came for sinners, and we are obliged to promote their conversion, to exhort them, and to sigh and pray for them.” St. John of God’s love of the Blessed Sacrament was so great that once he spent so much time in adoration that he had to be carried away. Although he strayed from his faith as a youth, St. John returned and spent his life in total care of the poor, sick and suffering.
St. Patrick, Bishop and Patron of Ireland (d. 461)—Feast, March 17: St. Patrick brought Ireland the True Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist which made their faith strong in the face of persecution.“Though robbed of their beautiful cathedrals and parish churches, though deprived of their Mass-houses and hovels, the priests and people would not bow the knee to Baal.With the quick instinct of devotion, and the grand daring of affection, they once again found places wherein to worship their Eucharistic God and King.”(Ireland’s Loyalty to the Mass,Fr. Augustine O.F.M. Cap.)
St. Joseph, Patron of Universal Church, Spouse of B.V.M.—Feast, March 19: “At Nazareth Joseph’s days were filled with work which necessarily took him away at times from his Infant God. During these hours Mary replaced him, but when evening brought him home again, he would pass the entire night in adoration, never tiring, only too happy for the chance to contemplate the hidden riches of Jesus' divinity. For he pierced the rough garments the Child wore, until his faith touched the Sacred Heart. In profound adoration he united himself to the special grace of each one of the events in the life of Jesus. He adored our Lord in His hidden life and in His Passion and Death; he adored in advance the Eucharistic Christ in His tabernacles: there was nothing that our Lord could hide from Saint Joseph . . . .St. Joseph, first and most perfect of adorers, obtain for me the grace to love, adore, and serve Christ Eucharistic as you did.”(St. Peter Julian Eymard)
Holy Thursday—March 29:
“If we but paused for a moment to consider attentively what takes place in this Sacrament, I am sure that the thought of Christ’s love for us would transform the coldness of our hearts into a fire of love and gratitude.” (St. Angela of Foligno)
Good Friday—March 30:
“The cross is the proof that He loved us and the Tabernacle is the proof that He loves us now with tender compassion.” (St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
Holy Saturday—March 31:
You the grieving now smile, You the lonely and abandoned now find your dearest love. You the fearful now have courage, You the humble are now raised up. You the simple now possess wisdom, You the unlearned are lifted to sublime understanding. You the spurned are now embraced, You the forgotten ones now sit before Him. You the poor are now wealthy, You the oppressed are now liberated. You the afflicted are restored to wholeness, You the burdened now find rest. You the confused now walk in knowledge, You the sincere of heart now see His face. You the mocked now stand as princes, You the persecuted now taste justice. You the blind now have the vision of young eagles, You the deaf now hear even the whisper of the winds. You the mute now discourse of His mysteries, You the barren conceive the Word in your hearts. You the brokenhearted now are enraptured by peace, You the contrite now are made pure. You the crippled now leap for joy, You the weak now have mighty strength. You the infirmed now are healed, You the imprisoned now approach without reproach. You the cold now find warmth, You the naked now receive white robes. You the hungry are now fed with the Bread of Heaven, You the thirsty now drink your fill. You the disfigured now possess all beauty, You the outcast now are welcomed. O come let us adore Him. Amen. (CatholicPrayerCards.org)
Copyright 2000-2020 Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament. All rights reserved.