By: Laura Worhacz
“Mary effaced herself, aiming at being nothing more than a human appearance, as it were, whose whole being and substance are changed, transformed into Jesus Christ.”
(Eymard, Eymard Library Volume 7, p. 155)
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
There is a rhythm of the church, a heartbeat of the Liturgy that is calling out to us. We are still in the Easter season remembering all that happened to Jesus of Nazareth during His Passion, Death, and Rising. We recall the time our Lord spent on earth teaching and preaching. It seems a time of mourning is long forgotten in our society. We are so busy, we barely have time to remember anything. Rather, we go to the next thing. I love that the church gives us fifty days to ponder before the celebration of Pentecost.
If we think about Jesus wandering the earth after the Crucifixion and why He chose to, we may think of our souls being transformed. Jesus’ humanity to His glorified state strengthens us from our human existence to the rising of the power of the Holy Spirit. We need silence, prayer, and total self-submission to the will of God to be receptive and receive God’s gifts. Even after the witness of the resurrection, Jesus knew His loved ones, Apostles and Disciples, would go back to former ways. Jesus visited the earth to guide us to the hope and longing of Heaven. It is there where He would sit at the right hand of God the Father Almighty forever, and we too are invited.
Saint Peter Julian Eymard received a mystical reality close to the end of his life. He was called by Jesus to become a total Gift of Self and to offer Christ the Gift of his personality. By this submission Saint Peter Julian lost his human appearance allowing Jesus to live through him completely. God loves us perfectly in the way He created us. While on earth, Mary had a human appearance, yet she was infused with every blessing from God. The fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit espoused her existence and raised her human life to the divine. In the above excerpt, we read “Mary effaced herself.” Her human appearance adapted to the rhythm of the Church through her espousal to the Holy Spirit. Mary lived in a song of praise, in the heartbeat of the Liturgy, and humbly prayed for the Eucharistic Kingdom while she remained on earth.
As we continue to journey to Pentecost let us offer all our mourning and weeping to Jesus Crucified. Let us open our hearts to the graces our Father longs to deliver. Let us offer our human appearance to the Altar of God where Our Father will help us look more like Jesus Christ, His Son, by the gift of our lives.
By: Ivonne J. Hernandez
“Amen, amen. I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.” (Jn 14: 11-14)
Can you believe the power in these words from Jesus? Can you imagine doing greater works than those Jesus did while He walked among us? He called Lazarus by name and he came back to life! Can you even imagine doing something like that? Jesus says we can… if we believe.
The Acts of the Apostles are full of stories of great miracles. The Apostles’ faith was so strong that “they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and mats so that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them” (Acts 5:15). We even hear of a boy named Eutychus, who after falling to his death, is restored to life by St. Paul (Acts 20:9-12). The Apostles were witnesses of the Resurrection, and their faith produced great works. But Jesus said, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (Jn 20:29).
The dictionary defines the word belief as “an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.” The word acceptance is defined as “the action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered”, and to consent is defined as “to give permission for something to happen.” From this we can understand that the gift of faith is one that has to be met with an action. Faith is a give and take. Faith will not take hold until we give our permission, until we say yes, until we freely say, “I do.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that “faith is both a theological virtue given by God as grace, and an obligation which flows from the first commandment of God.” This obligation is not imposed from the outside, but if flows from the heart, that is, unless we place obstacles in its way: “You shall have no other gods before me.” As we continue to be healed and nourished by God through His action in the Sacraments, we give Him permission to remove, one by one, every lie we have believed, every false god we have placed before Him in our hearts. “Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Mt 17:20).
So, when we wonder why our works do not bear fruit, or why the mountains on our way do not move when we tell them to, let us examine the obligations of our state in life and see which ones we are running away from, or fulfilling begrudgingly, half-heartedly. We will likely find there a lie that we have chosen to believe. A lie that needs to be confronted with truth. “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth” (Jn 8:31). Let us look at the tiny piece of bread on the altar and pray, “I do believe, help my unbelief!” (Mk 9:24). And then we wait, and we trust, because “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6).
By: Laura Worhacz
“The demon has been forced to acknowledge that he is never sure of victory so long as he whom Mary protects retains a breath of life. …God has crowned Mary with glory and honor as the Masterpiece of His love. He alone is greater than she. …But, in the midst of her glory, Mary never forgets that she is our Mother.” – (Eymard, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, p.165-171)
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
A favorite song of mine by Anne Karto, “Take Flight”, raises the soul to the divine life: “Take flight O loved ones, your journey has just begun, take flight.” St. John’s Gospel has always placed a prominent place in my heart. I imagine his journey after the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ beloved, the one who rested his head on the heart of Christ at the Lord’s Supper, the one who remained faithful, standing at the foot of the Cross catching the droplets of blood that poured forth from the Savior of the world. St. John was blessed for his fidelity and the first after Christ to be given Mary as his very own mother.
St. John, often represented by an eagle, teaches us by his example that we can soar over the pains of this present existence. He attached himself to Mary in a bond of love, held tightly through the gift of his relationship with Our Lady and the Eucharist. “The demon has been forced to acknowledge that he is never sure of victory so long as he whom Mary protects retains a breath of life.” St. John’s breath of life inhaled the beauty of Heaven while he remained on earth. His solitude during his final years on earth martyred his human person into a journey of Heaven. The drops of the watershed from his eyes at the foot of the cross are now placed in the chalice of wine that St. John would confect on the altar of God. St. John transformed into the divine life. He lived in God’s triumph, the triumph of Jesus, which is the triumph of Mary. Our lives will be a journey of Heaven now by our reception of Holy Communion. Easter lives in the heart of the believer. Mary stands in the halls of Heaven with Jesus preparing our rooms; she never forgets she is our mother. The present sorrows hold no power over the glory that will come in our eternal salvation. Take Flight!
OUR LADY OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT
To those who will pray the Act of Consecration on May 13th: we will be united in and through the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mary, our mother, and perfect Eucharistic adorer.
By: Ivonne J. Hernandez
This Sunday we will hear the famous story of Jesus walking on water (John 6:16-21). After the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves, Jesus went up a mountain to pray and the disciples embarked in a boat across the sea. We find the disciples in darkness. They embarked on a journey fully trusting that Jesus, who had just manifested a great miracle, would come and meet them, but “it had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing.” In the midst of the darkness and the storm, Jesus shows up, but they become afraid. He then speaks to their hearts: “It is I. Do not be afraid.”
The multiplication of the loaves prepared the disciples for an encounter with the Lord. It built up their trust to get on the boat ahead of Jesus. The strong wind led them to their experience of Jesus dispelling the darkness in their hearts. But to experience the consolation of hearing Jesus speak the words: “It is I. Do not be afraid”, they had to experience the darkness first. The very storm that they experienced became the place of encounter, the place of healing, the place of love.
It is the same with us. We are witnesses of many manifestations of God’s power and glory all around us. We give thanks to God and share in the joy of our brothers and sisters. But it is only when we are “walking through the dark valley” (Psalm 23), when we are experiencing fear and desolation, that we are in a position to let Jesus come in and dispel the darkness in our hearts. It is in the dark, through the tears, that we lift up our hearts and seek God. Our faith tells us He will show up; He always shows up and speaks to our hearts: “It is I. Do not be afraid.”
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff comfort me.
You set a table before me
in front of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Indeed, goodness and mercy will pursue me
all the days of my life;
I will dwell in the house of the LORD
We are Ivonne Hernandez, Rick Hernandez and Laura Worhacz, Lay Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, and brothers and sisters in Christ.