Christ the Lord is risen today; Christ, who once for sinners bled, Christians, haste your vows to pay; Now the firstborn from the dead, Offer ye your praises meet Throned in endless might and power, At the Paschal Victim's feet. Lives and reigns forevermore. For the sheep the Lamb hath bled, Hail, eternal Hope on high! Sinless in the sinner's stead; Hail, thou King of victory! “Christ Lord is Risen,” today we cry; Hail, thou Prince of life adored! Now he lives no more to die. Help and save us, gracious Lord.
Corpus Christi: The Body and Blood of Christ, Pope Benedict XVI, Corpus Christi homily, May 22, 2008
What is the precise significance of today’s Solemnity, of the Body and Blood of Christ? The answer is given to us in the fundamental actions of this celebration we are carrying out: first of all wegatheraround the altar of the Lord, tobe together in his presence;secondly, there will be the procession, that iswalking with the Lord;and lastly,kneeling before the Lord,adoration, which already begins in the Mass and accompanies the entire procession but culminates in the final moment of the Eucharistic Blessing when we all prostrate ourselves before the One who stooped down to us and gave his life for us....
Corpus Christireminds us first of all of this: that being Christian means coming together from all parts of the world to be in the presence of the one Lord and to become one with him and in him....TheCorpus Christiprocession teaches us that the Eucharist seeks to free us from every kind of despondency and discourage-ment, wants to raise us, so that we can set out on the journey with the strength God gives us through Jesus Christ....
Each one can find his own way if he encounters the One who is the Word and the Bread of Life and lets himself be guided by his friendly presence. Without the God-with-us, the God who is close, how can we stand up to the pilgrimage through life, either on our own or as society and the family of peoples? The Eucharist is the Sacrament of the God who does not leave us alone on the journey but stays at our side and shows us the way . . . .
Adoring the God of Jesus Christ, who out of love made himself bread broken, is the most effective and radical remedy against the idolatry of the past and of the present. Kneeling before the Eucharist is a profession of freedom: those who bow to Jesus cannot and must not prostrate themselves before any earthly authority, however powerful. We Christians kneel only before God or before the Most Blessed Sacrament because we know and believe that the one true God is present in it, the God who created the world and so loved it that he gave his Only Begotten Son (cf. Jn 3: 16). We prostrate ourselves before a God who first bent over man like the Good Samaritan to assist him and restore his life, and who knelt before us to wash our dirty feet. Adoring the Body of Christ, means believing that there, in that piece of Bread, Christ is really there, and gives true sense to life, to the immense universe as to the smallest creature, to the whole of human history as to the most brief existence. Adoration is prayer that prolongs the celebration and Eucharistic communion and in which the soul continues to be nourished: it is nourished with love, truth, peace; it is nourished with hope, because the One before whom we prostrate ourselves does not judge us, does not crush us but liberates and transforms us. This is why gathering, walking and adoring together fills us with joy.
Eucharistic Miracle: Reunion Island, Indian Ocean (Property of France)—1902
At St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, Fr. Lacombe exposed the Blessed Sacrament for 40 hours devotion and looked up to behold the face of Christ in Agony.Fearing an optical illusion, he said nothing, but could not banish the image from his thoughts. He sent a man to look at the Host.The man hurried back, crying that he has seen the face in the Monstrance.Altar boys returned in amazement with the same reports.A girl, who also saw the face, said, “I cannot forget what I have seen, I will always remember the Face of Our Lord... it has made an indelible mark on my life.” Word spread quickly.People flocked to the Church. Around 2:00 p.m. the image of Christ in the Host changed to a crucifix.Crowds gathered to adore Our Lord, and as they were singing “Tantum Ergo” the image disappeared.
Pope John Paul II, Poland, Apostle of the Eucharist & Adoration (1920-2005) Anniversary of Death—April 2 St. Pope John Paul II wrote “I wish once more to recall this truth and to join you, my dear brothers and sisters, in adoration before this mystery: a great mystery, a mystery of mercy. What more could Jesus have done for us? Truly, in the Eucharist, he shows us a love which goes ‘to the end’ (cf. Jn 13:1), a love which knows no measure.” “The Holy Eucharist is ‘the heart of the mystery of the Church.’” “Christians ought to be committed to bearing more forceful witness to God’s presence in the world.” (From our John Paul II prayer card, available through us.)
Palm Sunday—April 14
“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 our A-5 pamphlet “Worthy Is the Lamb”)
Holy Thursday—April 18:
“Because of the Eucharist, everyone should see himself as ‘the one Jesus loved’ (Jn. 20:2). You don’t have to feel His love to know it. The simple fact that the God who created the whole universe contains Himself in the small Sacred Host to be our friend and companion in life speaks more eloquently of His love than the intimate scene of St. John resting on His Heart on Holy Thursday night. Nothing is greater proof of His Love than the gift of Himself to us in the Eucharist. Like John, Jesus wants you to exclaim in appreciation: ‘Jesus I believe in Your love for me.’” (From the book Come to Me in the Blessed Sacrament, available through us.)
Good Friday—April 19:
“On the cross, Jesus was lifted up in hatred . . . Through perpetual adoration, He is lifted up in love. From adoration of Jesus in the Monstrance, we draw down upon the parish and the world, the graces and merits of the Cross. I—once I am lifted up . . . will draw all men to myself.” (Jn 12:32) By coming to Him in unceasing praise, we tell the world: This is Jesus, Our Adorable King of Love. Through perpetual adoration we proclaim Him King by giving Him the honor He truly deserves. We take Him off the cross of shame, and replace the crown of thorns with a throne of glory by surrounding Him with love day and night.” (From the book Letters to a Brother Priest, available through us.)
Holy Saturday—April 20:
“There are times in our lives when we feel entombed, cut off from God and men, alone. We may be imprisoned by fear, depression, anger, or pain which—like a boulder—blocks the rays of the dawn. St. Therese’s final crisis of faith reminds us that we have only to give everything to Jesus, our weakness and our sinfulness, that He may heal and strengthen us. [She writes:] ‘Although You have re-ascended to Light inaccessible, Your permanent abode, You design to remain in the valley of tears, hidden under the appearances of a white Host.’” (From The Little Way of Healing Love Through the Passion of Jesus, available through us.)
Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord—April 21:
“In this Eucharistic mystery Jesus exclaims: ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’ (Jn 11:25)
Through our Eucharistic Adoration we witness to His resurrection and tell the world:
‘He is risen . . . He is here!’ (Lk 24:34) ‘My strength and my courage is the Lord.’” (Is 12:2)
(From Rosary Meditations from Mother Teresa: Loving Jesus With the Heart of Mary, available through us.)
Feast of Divine Mercy Sunday—April 28:
“If we want to be forgiven, if we want to be healed, if we want to see miracles, we have only to come to Jesus in the Eucharist. To wash His feet with the perfume of our prayers and the tears of our hearts, and ask Him to enter into our lives. If we make this one little act of faith and trust, His Power, Mercy and Love in the Most Blessed Sacrament will penetrate our hearts and transform our lives. For it is this ripple of faith and love of ours which touches the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, unleashing waves of His Power, Mercy and Love upon our souls and the souls of the whole world.” (From the book Behold the Lamb, available through us.)
St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin, Church Doctor, Ptn. of Italy (1347-1380)—April 29
“St. Catherine loved to receive Jesus in Holy Communion and spend time talking to Him in adoration . . . . When St. Catherine looked at the Sacred Host in the Priest’s hands, after consecration, she saw Jesus as a little baby! Because she received and adored Jesus in the Holy Eucharist so often, God gave her great gifts. She became very wise and helped teach people about Him. St. Catherine wrote many things about the love of God for us in the Blessed Sacrament. She explained that when we receive Holy Communion we receive the Holy Trinity. It was from His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament, people said, that she was made strong.” (From the book Adoration for Children, available through us.)
St. Joseph the Worker—May 1
“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) Order our St. Joseph prayer card today!
St. Damien Joseph of Molokai, Apostle to the Lepers, Belgium (1840-1889)—May 10
“He arrived on Molokai, called the island of ‘dread and death,’ with a resolve of giving himself without reserve to the eight hundred poor lepers to administer to their spiritual and bodily needs. He would become their counselor, physician, priest, judge, sheriff, builder, carpenter, undertaker and grave-digger. He bathed their wounds and bandaged their sores . . . . He gave them what they needed most: respect and love . . . . An Anglican minister who wrote Fr. Damien asked what was the secret of his strength for such heroic work. Fr. Damien answered: ‘The continued presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament and the daily reception of the Holy Eucharist alone gave me the strength to endure.’” (From Hidden Treasure, available through us.)
Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady of Fatima—May 13
“O Virgin Immaculate, you are the perfect model of adorers of the Blessed Sacrament. You adored Jesus in the little white Host with the same faith, reverence and wonder with which you adored Him on the first Christmas night and during all the years you lived with Him. Teach us not to forget that the small white Host is truly our God, infinite, eternal and omnipotent. Help us to conduct ourselves at all times in His presence with the modesty and reverence we owe to our God.” (From the novena to Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament, available through us.)
Mary the dawn, Christ the Perfect Day; Mary the gate, Christ the Heavenly Way! Mary the root, Christ the Mystic Vine; Mary the grape, Christ the Sacred Wine! Mary the wheat, Christ the Living Bread; Mary the rose tree, Christ the Rose blood-red! Mary the font, Christ the Cleansing Flood; Mary the cup, Christ the Saving Blood! Mary the temple, Christ the temple’s Lord; Mary the shrine, Christ the God adored! Mary the beacon, Christ the Haven’s Rest; Mary the mirror, Christ the Vision Blest! Mary the mother, Christ the mother’s Son By all things blest while endless ages run. Amen. (Anonymous)
(Quoted in the book The Eucharist and the Rosary:The Power to Change the World, available through us.)
“Since we all need to pray, God asks of us, as a kind of daily installment, a prayer which is within our reach: the Rosary, which can be recited either in common or in private, either in church in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament or at home, either with the rest of the family or alone, either when traveling or while walking quietly in the fields. A mother of a family can say the Rosary while she rocks her baby’s cradle or does the housework. Our day has 24hours in it. It is not asking a great deal to set aside a quarter of an hour for the spiritual life, for our intimate and familiar converse with God.” (Sr. Lucia of Fatima)
Order Rosary Meditations from Mother Teresa: Loving Jesus With the Heart of Mary from us today!
St. Rita of Cascia, Wife, Mother, Nun, Ptn. of Impossible Cases, Italy (1381-1457)—May 22 “Rita became a widow, and soon after, her two children died. Having lost her entire family, Rita decided to dedicate the rest of her life to Jesus, her first love. Rita became an Augustinian nun and lived out her vocation in prayer and penance, daily spending hours with Jesus in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. She was a stigmatist, her body is incorrupt.” (From Family Hours of Adoration, available through us.)
The Visitation—May 31
“Mary went to help her cousin Elizabeth who was with child. While still in Elizabeth’s womb, John the Baptist recognized Jesus hidden in the womb of Mary, the first tabernacle of the Lord. We now recognize Jesus hidden in the Eucharist. With each Hail Mary we pray—for charity, to love God and others.” (From our pamphlet, “The Eucharist Rosary,” available through us.)
“The most compelling reason for exposition [of the Holy Eucharist] is that the Holy Spirit asks for it. During His Eucharistic discourse, Jesus made this emphatically clear: ‘Indeed this is the will of My Heavenly 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). (From the pamphlet “Could you not watch one hour with Me?” available through us.)
St. Anthony of Padua, Doctor of the Church, Patron of the Poor, Italy (1195-1231)—June 13 St. Anthony was a defender of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. He explained, “Upon the Altar there takes place the transubstantiation of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.That Body which the Virgin begot, which hung upon the Cross and was placed in the sepulchre, which rose again the third day, and ascended to the right hand of the Father, this Body the Church today and everyday presents and distributes to her faithful.When the priest speaks the words:This is My Body,the essence of the bread is changed into the Body of Christ.”
Trinity Sunday— June 16
HEAVENLY FATHER: Lord of the harvest, we earnestly ask you to bless our diocese and our world with many priests who will love you fervently, and gladly and courageously spend their lives in service to your Son’s Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We pray that their lives may be always centered on our Eucharistic Lord, that they may be always faithful to the Holy Father, and that they may be devoted Sons of Mary, our mother, in making you known and loved; and that all may attain heaven. Bless our families and our children and choose from our homes those whom you desire for this holy work. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen. (From our A-9 pamphlet.)
The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus—June 28
“How I have longed to see you and spend some quiet time with you, communing with you ‘heart to heart’ as best friends do. I know you are tired and weary from life’s travails, toils and troubles, and those of the world. Dear One, I want you to tell Me about them—everything. All that concerns you concerns Me. I am a good listener and have all the time in the world. Stay with Me and rest awhile. Let Me fill you with love, joy and peace. I alone can give true peace, a peace that the world cannot give. Tell Me about your needs and desires. Tell Me about your loved ones, how they are doing and their needs, they are My loved ones too.” (“How to Make a Holy Hour,” available from us.)
Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary—June 29
“What is Our Lady’s peace plan from Heaven? Stop offending God with sin. Pray the Rosary daily. Offer prayers and sacrifices of reparation, including the devotion of the Five First Saturdays, with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Consecrate ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Wear the Brown Scapular as a sign of this consecration.” (From the book The Golden Century, available through us).
Sts. John Fisher (1469-1535) & Thomas More, England (1478-1535), Martyrs—June 22 St. Thomas was a husband, father, lawyer and Chancellor of England. He refused to pass a law making King Henry VIII head of the Catholic Church in England, so King Henry could divorce and remarry.Strengthened by daily reception and adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, St. Thomas upheld his Faith, the Pope, and the Church even though it cost him his life by martyrdom!St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, pray that the faithful may always uphold andbe true to the Faith and not succumb to the great apostasy!
Sts. Peter and Paul—June 29 “St. Paul gave witness to these words of Christ: ‘For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes’” (1 Cor 11:26). (From our pamphlet “Heaven Has Nothing Greater!,” order today!)
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