A Time for Recollection
It is the Eve of Pentecost, and the Apostles are locked up in the Cenacle, praying and waiting with Mary. I have often heard that it is always darkest before dawn, so I imagine this was a particularly dark night. Their fears were probably intensified. “How long, Lord?” their hearts uttered as they quietly prayed the Psalms. The Holy Spirit within Mary whispered words of hope and encouragement in the dark.
It is the Eve of Pentecost…
Who is the Holy Spirit? How is our relationship with this Divine Person? How often do we converse? Is the Spirit our “go-to” person? How has this relationship grown since Confirmation? As we prepare for Pentecost is an ideal time to ponder these questions.
“It is our duty to consult him… to do nothing without him.” How well are we doing this? How often do we tackle things on our own? Perhaps thinking they are too small to bother Almighty God. How often do we think, “I got this, God, I’m good.” Perhaps we act like we have limited “help credits” and want to save for when we “really” need God. Whatever the reason or excuse, if we bring it to the light, God will reveal the lie we are functioning from. At the bottom of any break in relationship, there is always a lie. The ironic thing? Guess who we need to discern the truth from the lies…
“Come Holy Spirit! “… this prayer should always be on our lips and hearts. He is permanently dwelling in us, wanting to guide us, to sanctify us. To form Jesus in us.
I love the thought that He is concerned with our least needs. I love how God reveals Himself in answering the small, insignificant prayers. Those are times I really feel loved by Him. They are reminders that He is constantly watching, delighting in my awareness of His Presence and attentiveness toward me. As my awareness grows, so does my trust. I then find it easy to consult Him, knowing He delights when I go to Him.
It is the Eve of Pentecost…
If I Love You More
We are all called to mission. Our lives here on earth do have a purpose. Like so many great Saints, a contemplative life is desired where we meditate in the goodness of God toward us, that we may grow ever thankful, but not to just stay immobile there, but to be recharged that we may go out into the world and live a saintly life of service.
Just like Saint Peter Julian Eymard or Saint Teresa of Calcutta, who spent daily time in front of the Blessed Sacrament, we are called to contemplation, that we may be emboldened to live our thanksgiving through compassionate action toward our brothers in need. We are called to be agents of justice, change, and peace. We are called to make the world a better place, one encounter at a time.
There is always a possibility that we see only our actions, what we accomplish, as the source of our comfort or the basis of our faith, which would be incorrect. What we do must not be the goal but the result of our relationship with Christ. From connecting to the source of our faith and receiving the grace gifted to us through our relationship with Christ, we can perform the actions of love and mercy with the most ordered and correct intent. We must not forget where our charity, faith, and hope come from. Saint Peter Julian Eymard had it right when he founded his order to be contemplative and apostolic.
We receive much from our relationship with Christ so that we may share of our plentiful bounty with those who need us. In the correct and ordered way, from our relationship with Christ, we are able to love more, for we are definitively not loved any less. We are not diminished but enhanced. God does that for us. He holds us lovingly in His hand.
Without cost, we are receiving. From Christ’s banquet, we are fed, and there in His presence, we are nourished and looked after. Our presence united with His allows us to commune with the infinite and peek into God’s mysteries. There He shares with us Grace, a gift to take with us if we accept it. In our acceptance of His gift, we become His to guide and command. This is how we become His instruments of grace to the world.
When we are sent, it is not always the same way. Some of us are sent to nourish the domestic Church and raise families in love, hope, and faith. Some of us are sent to sit by the tabernacles of the world in faithful adoration, sentinels of the light of Christ. Some are sent to the streets to care for the indigents and the lost. Some are sent to hospitals and homes to care for the sick and the infirm... We are all sent into service as Marthas from the love we receive as Marys. One is not more important than the other. Our higher calling is to do both...
As we look into our lives in the light of Jesus’s call to service, let us always remember what Saint Paul said, “I will most gladly spend and be utterly spent for your sakes. If I love you more, am I to be loved less?”
Let us pray: Lord, let us be in Your presence that we may look into your heart. Take our hearts and make them one with yours, that our love may be as your love, and that as we all go through this earthly life, we may be able to share your heart with all we encounter. Help us so that we may love more. Amen.
By Laura Catherine Worhacz
“The Priest is Mary’s privileged child.” Saint Peter Julian Eymard
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
Happy Feast of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament. This title for our mother has been honored and invoked prominently by Saint Peter Julian Eymard. Perhaps he realized the sacredness of the priesthood to its mission, and duty to its extreme, through Mary’s heart. The indelible mark on the soul of a priest raises him to the Holy Order of an ordained minister; Our Father in Heaven makes the priest one with Christ. A high office on this side of the Kingdom. The hands of a priest, a privileged gift to consecrate, by the power of God, a simple piece of bread to be made holy into the BODY OF CHRIST. Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Blessed Mother of the Eucharist, and our priests, an excellent title for Mary; she beholds the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
My parish of Saint Vincent de Paul in Holiday, Florida, is served by the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. A statue of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament resides in the Church, and Mary has always been special to me and our community under this title due to her presence there. In an older 2005 journal, I wrote, “Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament calling.” I did not realize some years after, on May 23, 2018, I would receive an Imprimatur for a Consecration book; the Holy Spirit inspired me to prepare in what was first on this blog site in 2017. God can do amazing things through our participation, through our yes, uniting in the mission of our Church through the heart of Mary.
Since Easter, I have been on a journey with Our Lady to Pentecost. Thinking and imagining where Mary was during the 50 days in waiting for the breath of life from the Holy Spirit to be cast upon those in the Upper Room. The daily scriptures keep us in a pattern of prayer in our Church. We follow Jesus in the written Word as we are led through this season of Easter and of hope. We are on a mission with Mary to make known the Eucharistic Mystery.
With Mary, we can be strong in Christ. Our world is hurting. In prayer, I sometimes cry out, “God LOVES you. God made you perfect. He does not make mistakes. You are beloved by God Our Father and redeemed in Christ and can live out of this world in grace, by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Every year, a unique gift is given in renewing my consecration to Jesus through Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament. It is not always revealed outwardly; sometimes, quiet blessings come to the heart. This year I recall uniting with Mary’s intentions evermore. In this union, we are drawn out of ourselves and even out of our sorrows to enter something greater. To be part of something more than the things of this world elevates us to Heaven now. A privilege to be a child of Mary and to care for what she cares for. In this, we support the sacred priesthood and partake in the life of the Church through our vocational call to holiness.
“And a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” (Revelation 12:1
May 13, 1856, the commemoration of the Founding of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, Memorial of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament and also remembrance of Our Lady of Fatima.
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We are Ivonne J. Hernandez, Rick Hernandez and Laura Worhacz, Lay Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, and brothers and sisters in Christ.