Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday September 18 Thoughts on the Eucharist

We know that the Eucharist is the center of Christian life but all too often the Eucharistic Celebration, where Jesus becomes present for us becomes routine.  What happens at the altar should have feet on it so when we walk out of the Church the presence of this mystery should be seen in our way of life. 


We all get so busy that we even can’t remember the readings of the day for the  Mass.



So it is good to take time as we are doing today and reflect on what the Eucharist means, and is for each of us.


Today we will consider these points. A)  Where Jesus Christ is found.   B) Some Saints that found inspiration from the Blessed Sacrament and C) what can we do to further our own devotion to the Eucharist.


Where Christ is found.

In the Vatican documents, you remember,   it states that Christ can be found in 4 ways, I add a fifth way. 1.) Christ is present in His sacraments especially in the Eucharist, 2.) Christ is present in the Word, 3) Christ is present in the priest, 4)Christ is present in the assembly of people at prayer and 5)Christ is present in the poor.


·      Christ is present in His Sacraments especially the Eucharist; the Eucharist is the source of all power, energy and grace.

Pope Urban the IV asked Thomas Aquinas to write the mass for Corpus Christi; story of Bonaventure

Sequence from the Mass of Corpus Christi– all good Theology of the Eucharist



·      Christ is present in the word; the word of liturgy of the Eucharist and putting those words in practice in our own lives.

·      The Hebrew Bible tells of the manna that came down from Heaven; also the Jewish people devour their Torah readings like it was and it is nourishment for the soul. 

·      Christ is present in His priests.  Francis had a great reverence for priests because they were able to bring down from heaven Jesus on our altars- story of an unworthy priest. We who are baptized also share in this priestly vocation and therefore not specters at the Eucharist, as we would be at a football game. We offer with the priest our lives, on the paten and in the cup.

·      Father Pierre Chardin, a Jesuit, wrote a book called Hymn f the Universe.  While he was on an archeology dig in Asia, he wrote this.  “I have neither bread, nor wine, nor altar, but I will raise myself beyond these symbols. I your priest, will make the whole earth my altar and on it will offer you all the labors and sufferings of the world…grant me the remembrance and the mystic presence of all those whom the light is now awakening to the new day.  One by one, Lord, I see and I love all those whom you have given me to sustain and charm my life. I call before me the whole vast anonymous army of living humanity. Over every living thing which is to spring p, to grow, to flower, to ripen during this day say again the words; this is my body, and over every death-force which waits in readiness to corrode, to wither, to cut down, speak again your commanding words, which express the supreme mystery of faith; This is my Blood.”  So we have here Chardin’s idea of the Cosmic Christ offering the cosmic Mass.  We can do the same at our Eucharistic Celebration or our time spent before the Blessed Sacrament. At the preface of the Mass we call down with the priest  “with all the angels and archangels, with all the company of heaven.  This is the communion of saints.  All who are with us at this Eucharist, our loved ones, living or deceased, those suffering.  We are one in/ the one body of Christ.



·      Christ is present in His people gathered in prayer.  We can see The image of Saint Francis holding up St. John’s Lateran Church in Rome (then the papal Church) the Church is yours and mine to embrace; not the attitude “my Church, wrong or right’ but our attitude of knowing that we are the Church, and we, part of the church, are sinners and isn’t it wonderful that we are welcomed in this Church.  Anne Dillard became a Catholic and when reporters asked her why she became a Catholic she said, “ When I look around in Church I say to myself here comes everybody.” We, in a Eucharistic manner and moment welcome everyone or if we don’t we should make every effort to welcome everybody.  It is easy to become cynical about the church especially as we get older.  I remember once a sister asking a priest, “Why does the church do this or that and hurt people.  And his response was,”We all can sit in a corner and lick our wounds, but one has to make up their mind that when we are shelved we will become sweet pickles


and not sour pickles on the shelf.  What has this to do with the Eucharist, you may ask.  Well, the Church is the body of Christ, one body, no fractions no divisions, diversity yes but in all things charity. (Quote is from the Vatican documents.) When we go up to communion and receive the host, and the priest says, body of Christ, we say Amen, that is Yes, to the whole body, to the person seating next to me, to the people in Iraq, the poor in New Orleans.  It is the attitude of the willingness to wash everyone’s feet in welcoming them.  We are always trying, falling short of the mark, falling down and getting up, beginning again. As Francis says,” Up to now, I have done nothing, Let us begin again.”  Francis said this on his deathbed. Someone asked a Trappist monk what he does all day and he said we fall down and get up again, fall down and get up.  He pointed to a large oak and said see that mighty oak, it once was a little nut that hung on.


·      Read – about Quakers:



Christ is present in his poor:


he Poor are the presence of God






   ·      For us:  What can we do to strengthen our love for the Eucharist.


·      We can derive inspiration from Saints.


·      St Clare of Assisi turned to the Eucharist when the Saracens were attacking Assisi.  Clare went to the Blessed Sacrament, her bedrock and brought the Eucharist out to the Saracens as they were climbing over the wall.  The Eucharist saved Assisi though Clare’s Faith in the power of the Sacrament.


·      St Elizabeth Seton, while in Italy witnessed a Corpus Christi procession and while she was an Episcopalian who did not believe in the Real Presence said that if she did believe in The Real Presence she would walk on her knees to the that Church.  When she returned home to New York from Italy   Elizabeth would go to Church at Trinity Episcopalian Church at  the Wall Street area but sit with her face toward the Roman Catholic Church of St. Peter’s. 


·      Bishop Fulton Sheen always spent an hour every morning before the Blessed Sacrament, as did Cardinal Joseph Bernadin, who was told by his own priests ,"you are not too busy, Cardinal, to stop and spend an hour before the Eucharist."


·      One moment in my own life that has deepened my devotion to the Eucharist began when I was 7 years old.  Our Parish was having 40 hours devotion and the first communion class, of which I was a part, was to walk before the priest who was carrying the Eucharist.  Since I was small and one of the leaders of the procession at the back of the Church my partner and I were to stop and the others take the next pew up until the whole group was lined up to the front of the Church.  When the priest came with the Eucharist a man in the back knelt down and touched the clock of the priest.  It scared me at first but as I grew older I realize that he was acting out the Gospel story where it says, “If I but touch the hem of His garment I will be cured.”  That was faith and humility.  Every time I hear that Gospel story my mind goes back to that man who had such faith.


·      Praying before the blessed Sacrament or during Mass we can to consider the forms of prayer that are used for Mass and to carry them to our private adoration


·      I think of the word SPORTS to help us remember the different forms of prayer found in the Mass which we can also use in our private  moments before the blessed Sacrament












·       S IS FOR SONG
Thanks for reading this and may you find your life in the Eucharist grow.



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wednesday September 17 Feast of Saint Francis' Stigmata


Today the Franciscan family celebrates the Feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis, recalling the marvelous union of Francis with his crucified Lord through his own personal passion, which left the marks of Christ's own wounds on his body. As a modern biographer, Andre Vauchez, says: "What happened on LaVerna on an undetermined day in September 1224? It is difficult to say with any precision, as Fran...cis did not mention it in his writings, and he forbade from speaking about it those rare persons who came to observe the traces of the wounds." The main witness of these events, Brother Leo, later said simply: "The blessed Francis spent forty days on Mount LaVerna, and the Lord's hand was upon him. But after the vision of the Seraph and the impression of Christ's stigmata on his body, he composed these praises, thanking God for the kindness bestowed upon him":

"You are the holy Lord God, Who does wonderful things!

You are strong. You are great. You are the Most High.
You are the almighty king. You, holy Father,
King of heaven and earth.

You are Three and One, the Lord God of gods.
You are the good, all good, the highest good,
Lord God living and true.

You are love, charity; You are wisdom, You are humility,
You are patience, You are beauty, You are meekness,
You are security, You are rest,
You are gladness and joy, You are our hope, You are justice,
You are moderation, You are all our riches to sufficiency.

You are beauty, You are meekness,
You are the protector, You are our custodian and defender,
You are strength, You are refreshment, You are our hope,
You are our faith, You are our charity,
You are all our sweetness, You are our eternal life,
Great and wonderful Lord, Almighty God, Merciful Savior."

May we experience the overwhelming love of God as did Francis!

The image is by Giotto, composed about 1250, and is presently housed in the Louvre, Paris.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Blankets for God's Little Ones.

Left to right
Sisters Barbara Gerlach, Etta Patton and Karen Stapleton
knitted blankets for the Pediatrics Ward for Good Samariton Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Sister Agnes Valimont is still working on her blanket.
Previous to this these Sisters made sweaters for small children for the orginazation of Lamb's Wool.
May God reward their kindness to children.
Praise the Lord now and always.



by achristianpilgrim
MARY suffered terribly at the foot of the cross as she watched her son die an excruciating death. She showed her son her love in the only way she could, by her presence with Him. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, she had eyes of faith that believed God’s plan was coming to fruition, even though it was nowhere to be seen. She cried out at the injustice, but she believed that the power of God would overcome death.
Surrounded by Jesus’ persecutors, Mary herself called to join with Him in His prayer: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). If any sense of condemnation had been in the cry in her heart, Mary would not have been in union with Jesus. Only by turning to the Holy Spirit in her could Mary forgive and bless in the face of complete injustice, hatred, and violence.
All of us will experience the rebuff of others at some time. But can we remain at the foot of the cross with Mary and forgive those who hurt us by their words of deeds? Mary accepted Jesus’ invitation to take His “beloved disciples” as her son, and in doing so, she accepted all His disciples as members of her family. Even now, thirty-three years after the angel’s first visit, Mary again was called to lay down her own ideas of family and of what she wanted for her life. And again, her doing so was the fruit of the Holy Spirit in her.
We, too, are called to love all men and women who call themselves Christian. Are we willing to follow Mary’s example and embrace all of God’s family, setting aside our prejudices?
Many people who are close to us, even we ourselves, will face suffering. We will find it hard to understand why things that seem unfair and painful happen to us and to those we love. Today’s feast, however, reminds us of the grace of God at work in Mary as she shared Jesus’ suffering. Mary encourages us to face our sorrows also with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Jakarta, 15 September 2014
A Christian Pilgrim

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Today thursday September 11, 2014 we remember September 11, 2001

We hold in prayer all those who lost loved ones and ask the deceased to intercede for their familes and loved ones and for our country as we pray that ISIS and all others who desire to hurt innocent people will have a change of heart. May God watch over all of us and give us peace.

Monday, September 8, 2014


Mary Birth-Murillo
In celebrating this special feast of the Virgin Mary, St. Andrew of Crete [c.650-July 4, 712 or 726 or 740] once declared, “Let all creation sing and dance and contribute its fullest measure of joy to the day’s celebration. Today heaven and earth join in a single festival and celebrate together, for today a shrine is fashioned for the world’s Creator! Today a new dwelling is readied by creatures for the Author of creation!” We also can join in the rejoicing, since it was for our sake too that God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus.
We are all familiar with the famous passage from John’s Gospel that says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). We hear this verse and marvel at God’s plan of salvation in Christ. But it’s also marvelous the way God’s plan involved a sinless virgin mother to bear His Son into the world.
From age to age, God has unfolded His plan with painstaking care. He did not just send Jesus to earth one day. He had to choose and form the right parents for His Son, and He even went so far as to choose and form His grandparents, and so on. Imagine all the work God did to shape Mary so that she could become Jesus’ first teacher in what it was like to live in this world and stay close to God.
Recalling all God’s plans shows us how committed God is to us. Indeed, just as God carefully chose Mary to play a special part in His plan of salvation, He now has an important role for each of us to play as we imitate Mary’s humility and trust. Just as He did with Mary, God delights in telling us the plans He has for us!
Jakarta, 8 September 2014
A Christian Pilgrim