By: Laura Catherine Worhacz
Dearest Eucharistic family, please take time to read this message with a light shining upon St. Peter Julian Eymard’s feast day, August 2nd; he has left us a Memorial of love in his Eucharistic life.
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
The above excerpt may seem to be words fashioned to find principles, structure, and power. My favorite line in the above is “it now resides in the family, who can freely fashion it according to its wishes.” St. Peter Julian passed from this life very soon after establishing the order he worked so hard to bring to us, the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament.
To me, the wish of every human person is to find happiness, healing, and some security in this life, to be loved and to love. We are born into exile and redeemed in baptism, with the hope to nourish this redemption through our sacramental lives.
What does this mean?
St. Peter Julian found the meaning of life in the Eucharist; he looked at life through the light of Heaven in the Eucharistic mystery, this holy man of God. His own sufferings, of the time in which he lived (mid-1800’s France), the loss of his mother, and his father’s disappointment at his seeking the call to the priesthood, all drew him ever more deeply to prayer and discernment.
All we are searching for can be found in the Eucharist.
I was inducted into the Lay Association of the Blessed Sacrament on December 9th, 2012. St. Peter Julian was canonized on 12/9/1962. On August 2nd, our Catholic Church celebrates and remembers Saint Peter Julian Eymard; he was inserted into the public calendar of saints in 1995, only 26 years ago. It seems the legacy of St. Peter Julian’s spiritual insight is more important than ever for our day.
St. Pope John Paul II declared St. Peter Julian an “Outstanding Apostle of the Eucharist.”
The sacredness of my induction promise is central to my life in the Liturgy. Our lives are fashioned in the love of God and finding His will for our lives. In our awareness of the presence of God, we are attentive to the needs of those around us. Our true longing is fulfilled in setting and living the constitutions of God’s love found in Christ amidst every breath of our days.
St. Peter Julian passed from this life with the constitutions of his order not yet attained. The Priests of the Congregation have sought insight into their Constitutions through the Sacred Triduum, mainly the Mandatum (washing of the feet), to find the richness of their holy founder. It is by lives of dedicated service and sacrifices beyond telling, through adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, that apostolic zeal and a fire of love have sent forth the gifts of the Holy Spirit in forming the Constitutions of the Congregation. The Eymardian family lives on; the Eucharistic people of God live in faith, hope, and love!
I have been sending regular communication to my parish, the Mothers of the Blessed Sacrament prayer cenacle, and other groups, emails to share important information and spiritual insights. I know many of you do the same by working as God’s messengers through social media. This past year in memory of Corpus Christi, I sent out the two photos below. When I opened the email, the two pictures stuck me with joy—a picture of St. Peter Julian Eymard blessing the people of God, and a picture of Rev. William Fickel, S.S.S. blessing the people of God after the Corpus Christi procession this year, 6/3/2021.
Rev. William, S.S.S. celebrates the 40th anniversary of his ordination to the Priesthood this August 1st, 2021. He is a blessed Sacrament priest. St. Peter Julian has left us a memorial of aspiring to live a Gift of Self. Father William has found this pathway through his holy founder and continues to bless us with his life.
The Constitutions of the Blessed Sacrament live on in love through the lives of those who dedicate themselves to being Apostles of God’s love. Father William is the spiritual advisor to Elisheba House, among many other services he renders to make the love of God present in the Eucharist known to the world.
May the Eucharist help us to find a constitution of love through the heart of our mother, Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament, and St. Joseph, so the Reign of Heaven may come.
(Note: St. Peter Julian’s death anniversary, August 1st, his feast day, August 2nd)
St. Peter Julian Eymard, Apostle of the Eucharist, pray for us.
Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament, pray for us.
Jesus, in Your compassion, have mercy on us.
After high school graduation, I went on to study engineering in college. I graduated and went on to work as a software engineer for a few years. I really enjoyed working in that field. I had problems to solve, and I used flowcharts and rules to achieve the desired results. When a test failed, I had methods to follow to find the error, and everything eventually made sense. I’m sometimes tempted to think that my “engineering brain” gets in the way of my growth in holiness, but it is quite the opposite. It is that desire in me for understanding Truth that always leads me to the Cross, where eventually everything makes sense.
In order to remain in Jesus’ love and have complete joy, we must love one another as He loves us. How can we do this? We can’t, at least not on our own. We need His love in us; we need His heart in ours. At first glance, the scripture passage above seems like a catch-22, but it is not. In His command, Jesus is inviting us to discover how He loves us. He points us to the answer, the Cross. This is where we begin, and this is where we end.
As we accept His invitation and ponder on the mystery of the Cross, we allow ourselves to receive the love and mercy that pours out from His Sacred wounds. As we let the reality of this mystery wash over us and fill our minds and hearts, His own love living in us allows us to love our neighbor and experience joy.
“Remain in my love,” remain at the Cross. Do not run away. Do not search for happiness in fleeting things but come to the source of complete joy. It might not make sense for a while, but ask for the grace, and “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
By: Rick Hernandez
What does it mean to be a king? And I mean, a king in the Catholic sense, the way we are called to be as part of our office of priest, prophet, and king?
The word king is directly related to and derived from the word kin, which means “family” or “of the same kind.” The word king originally meant “the leader of the kin” or, in more modern terms, “head of the family.” I like to think of a king this way, as the head of the family. The king is meant to provide for the needs of the family, help develop, protect, and nurture the kin. The king is ultimately responsible for his kingdom’s charges, and that is a lifelong calling.
The images we get of a king from TV shows and modern novels paint a different idea of what a king is really supposed to be. Selfishness, incompetence, outsized pride, and covetousness are often portraited. Those are the opposites of the attributes that are necessary for a virtuous king.
The life of this king is not supposed to be about his own needs, though those needs exist. This king is meant to be selfless. His life is meant to be about the needs of his kingdom, his people, his kin. He lives not for his own enrichment but for the betterment of others. It takes a lot of selflessness to make the lives of others the kingly mission. The most important attribute required is humility.
The virtue of humility is defined by St. Thomas Aquinas as: “Keeping oneself within one’s own bounds, not reaching out to things above one, but submitting to one’s superior.”
Saint Bernard presents his own definition of humility as: “A virtue by which a man, knowing himself as he truly is, abases himself. Jesus Christ is the ultimate definition of Humility.”
To be humble is to know oneself but not hold oneself in higher regard than necessary. This is important.
I was told long ago that when a man gets married, he becomes a king, but a different kind of king from what the world envisions, not a ruler but a servant. A new husband leaves behind his father and mother. He leaves behind the life that was only his, to take over the reins of a new domestic kingdom. United with his wife, they become a benign ruling entity over a new creation. Yet, this new kingdom is still an extended part of their original kin, continuing the old history and traditions.
The husband, a future father, is now the guarding entity of this new family. What was, is. What is the job of the new king? It is to selflessly lead, love, and serve with Christ’s humility. To grow into sainthood and lead those under his care to the Kingdom of Heaven.
When it comes to servant kings, I always think of the humblest one, our dear Saint Joseph…
As always, not much is known about the life of Saint Joseph, but we know he was a most humble man. He was chaste, faithful, hopeful, and loving. Saint Joseph was kind to his kin and obedient to his God-given mission. He sacrificed from his own life for the good of the family.
We firmly believe that just as our Mother Mary was selected to mother the child Jesus, our dear Saint Joseph was also chosen to be the king of this kin, the head of this family. Saint Joseph is a perfect example of the humble servant, of the selfless king.
Saint Peter Julian Eymard imagines Saint Joseph gazing upon his kingdom in profound adoration:
Through his relationship with Jesus, Saint Joseph was able to perform his kingly duty throughout his earthly life. Even now, Saint Joseph is available to us, still there to support us with our kingly duties whenever we ask.
Society today has too many kingless families. It is not meant to be this way. We need husbands and fathers who strive to grow in humility, in responsibility, and in their commitment to the Godly mission.
To become great kings, we must become humble servants, even slaves, and we must do it with a joyful heart, following after the actions of our Lord.
So, it is clear. We must not forget what the mission is, to raise our family, protect them, and lead them in the stead of our Heavenly King, that we may all be reunited in the Kingdom of Heaven. To do this, we must pray, unite ourselves to the One who loves us in the Eucharist, partake of His love for us, and listen to the wisdom of His Word. Let us grow in wisdom; let us embrace humility. Let us listen to our charges; they will tell us what they need. Let us listen to the Holy Spirit; He will tell us how to respond.
Our kingship must be active. Being a humble king is a responsibility that is assumed, but it needs our persistent commitment. Are we committed to being teachers and guides? Will we protect, correct, love, and participate in the lives of our charges as guides, the same way our Lord Jesus is our guide? This kingly life is a calling… a heavenly calling. With Saint Joseph’s help, how will we reply?
Let us pray: Lord, help us be ever vigilant towards our duties as heads of our families. Help us to gain wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Helps us to grow ever-humble that we may become the servant kings you call us to be in your image. Help us look up to your foster father, Saint Joseph, as an example of true kingship and Eucharistic spirituality. Help us to grow closer to what you have called us to be and that the ones under our charge can grow ever closer to You, for that is what we desire the most for them, a rich life in You. Amen.
By: Laura Catherine Worhacz
Letter from Saint Peter Julian Eymard to MME Antoinette De Grandville, July 25th, 1863 (Life and Letters, Vol. 4, page 180):
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
A beautiful message from Saint Peter Julian to a spiritual daughter, to bless her “at the feet of our Lord.” To remind her of the Cross of suffering and the love Jesus hopes for us to find. By the Eucharistic grace of God and the heart of Mary, we can find love this side of Heaven. My own spiritual attraction to Saint Peter Julian is set on fire by the newness of life that can only be found in the Blessed Sacrament.
Jesus is our HOPE.
Torture and graces seem to be part of everyone’s life. We suffer with those suffering.
What will it be like to pass from this life? Will Jesus see His love through our lives?
For those of us practicing our faith, we hope and long for eternity while we love one another this side of Heaven.
Oh my Jesus, it is by our sincere relationship with You that we learn to love Your dying love, a love that brings self to death and an eternal gift of love for the Glory of Our Father in Heaven. That we may try to love others in the hope of returning love to You. Help us to be reminded by the nails that pierced You that our suffering is a way for us to learn to love You more.
Can we see God’s love through sufferings?
I know that my humanity initially leads me to abandonment, rejection, and a desire to be indifferent when misunderstandings and sufferings come my way. Prayer pulls me out of self and into the divine life; it so important we go there, into the silence, to hear God’s voice, seek His wisdom, understanding, and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. By our will, all can be transformed into blessings and thanks.
Joy in the heart is found in doing God’s will and learning to love one another.
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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.
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