By: Laura Worhacz
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
Although our Catholic Church celebrates the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in May, over 3,000 people of faith remember the Visitation in a very special way every August. The 32nd annual three-day walk, over 70 miles from NJ to the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, PA was held this past August 8-11, 2019. My daughter went on this pilgrimage a few years ago and it will forever be held in her heart.
This joyful mystery of The Visitation holds a Eucharistic energy that should inspire us each day. Mary espoused the Holy Spirit, she embodied the flesh of Christ in her existence, beheld the Eucharist and immediately brought Him to another. Over 72 miles on foot, going outside of her self-interest, Mary was led by the spirit of God’s love to walk earnestly to embrace her cousin Elizabeth. Mary’s Immaculate heart was formed in loving others over herself, a perfect charity towards her neighbor was exercised through her own reception of Holy Communion. Mary was able to acknowledge the need of Elizabeth through the silence of prayer, her union with God, the life of Christ living in her opened her eyes to the longing of another.
Elizabeth, faithful in her being, was given the grace of God in the flesh by the sacrificial love of Mary! Consoling companionship is ignited by the Holy Spirit, Mary offered this to Elizabeth, and the child in her womb leapt for joy. This is how the faith is passed on from one generation to the next, by the love of God found in the Eucharist and shared.
I am recalling my own visitation with so many dear people and how some of those very special relationships have lost the daily connection due to the busyness of life. There is a place in the depths of the soul that holds the communion of God, the visitation of His love and the intercession of our prayer. We see in the silence when we close our eyes and enter the depth of God’s love for us. Our father longs for us to find security in His presence, a place where we are visited, where the Holy Spirit will be made known through God’s promise. Mary was blessed by her eyes, able to see in the silence. There was a quiet that Mary was nourished by and led to share through the empowerment of eternal life dwelling within her through the Eucharist.
I imagine the response of Our Lady when she received the news of John the Baptist’s death. Assuredly with her eyes closed, she clearly envisioned the eternal life and love she bonded with through her visitation with her beloved. These such relationships build the Eucharistic Kingdom of Heaven, found and nourished now in the Eucharist, brought to the fullness in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.
May the joyful mystery of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God and our Mother show us the way to a life lived for others.
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By: Ivonne J. Hernandez
“God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.” Most of us have heard this quote from the Baltimore Catechism at one time or another, and while it answers a deep question in a way a young child can understand, I think it misses a major part of the equation. God made me because He loves me; God loved me first.
GOD LOVES ME!... I could spend the rest of my days just repeating this. This knowledge is “the one thing necessary” (Lk 10:42); It is the answer to every question of the human heart, and the goal of prayer. It is the road to holiness; it is our identity. Yes, God loves me; it is WHO He is; it is WHO I AM. It is only in the realization and contemplation of such an awesome and amazing TRUTH, that we can truly “live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
I find that the older I get, the more difficult it is to let myself be loved. Being loved requires vulnerability; it requires an openness to the possibility of getting hurt, and I do not want to get hurt again. When we are hurt, we naturally raise a barrier to protect the wound. We don’t want anyone to come near it, because it hurts, and we do not want pain. So, avoiding pain becomes the goal, and we continue building walls. Those walls separate us, leave us lonely, and truly vulnerable. But instead of being vulnerable with the possibility of love, we are vulnerable to despair.
This is the place where we are prisoners, and the bars are of our own making. This is where the jailer can only keep you as long as you believe he can. He truly has no power, but he rattles the chains to scare you. He tells you is scarier outside. He tells you the others around you are the ones who will truly hurt you and you should just stay busy and be left behind. He keeps getting louder so you can not hear, hear the little whisper that will not cease. “For when peaceful stillness encompassed everything and the night in its swift course was half spent, Your all-powerful word from heaven’s royal throne leapt into the doomed land” (Wisdom 18:14-15).
“Be still and know that I am God!” (Ps 46:11). Hear God whisper: “Be still and let me be God. Stop trying to be your own god. Let me hold you; let me love you; let yourself be held. I want to heal you. Let me tear down the walls and touch you; let me say to you My Word and see how every jailer bends the knee and lets you walk away. Come with me, my child, and let yourself be loved.”
So, once you hear that whisper, that love song written just for you, will you listen? Will you believe it’s true? Or will you harden your heart? Will you let fear keep you apart? Yes, the healing of the wound will hurt, but there is something better on the other side. So, take up courage and trust, “for he who made the promise is trustworthy” (Heb 10:23). You were made for this; you were made for love. Be still, be held, be loved.
By: Laura Worhacz
Mary the Dispensatrix of Eucharistic Graces
While the Apostles went to preach the Gospel, thou didst remain close to the tabernacle, supplicating for them the goodness of the Savior, and thy prayer obtained for them the grace to convert the world! (Novena to Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament day nine)
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
The Assumption of Mary and the Coronation of Our Lady are intense mysteries of the holy rosary. This Saturday falls in between these two glorious days. Mary is our mother and assumes an intimate interest in our lives. She identifies with our miseries; she takes with her to Heaven all our needs, joys and sorrows. All that we have, all that we offer, is given to Mary as the Dispensatrix of all graces. Mary is overlooking the world as our good mother. She is enlightened to the needs of all.
My second child was conceived on the Assumption of Mary. This day holds for me the reality of the creator of all life blessing me with the gift of pregnancy. So it is with our prayers; they are carried by God, given to birth in His “due” time. The power of prayer taps on the cloak of Jesus, He who holds the keys to the kingdom and Eucharistic graces.
I recall the time when my family moved to Florida and I was agonizing saying, “O Lord, where am I?” It was quite a few years before I was truly adjusted to the change of living in a new state. I remember praying in front of the statue of the Assumption of Mary that my husband gave me as a reminder of my daughter’s life, shedding a few tears. Peace came over me in the realization that our suffering is assumed with Mary and a crown of glory is being prepared through our purification.
St. Peter Julian reminds us that Heaven exists now in the Eucharist. It is true. I think of the Eucharistic family that was already here in the midst of my move. Mary saw where I was, “O Lord, where am I?” She let me enter the view from the Heavenly banquet. I am forever grateful to where the Lord has taken me and the people that I have been blessed to meet.
Prayer changes things according to God’s plans. In our prayer we hope, in our prayer we long. We can depend on God, and the confidence in this transforms our existence. Our prayer can obtain the grace to convert the world. Let us help one another remember the power of prayer, the gift it is to offer prayer, and Mary, the Dispensatrix of all graces gathered for Jesus.
By: Ivonne J. Hernandez
I was checking my Facebook account this week, when I came upon a post that really touched my heart. It was a picture of a little girl sitting on the living room floor of her house, staring at the front door. The caption read: “This is what Vivian does as soon as I tell her Carolyn is coming over. She sits and waits… anxiously and with excitement. I love this. I love watching how they hug the minute the door opens.” I immediately thought, this is probably what Jesus meant when He said, “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival” (Lk 12:37). He wants us waiting for Him, waiting with love.
“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 18:30). When I think of this little girl waiting, not only do I think of the innocence of a child, but I also think of Our Lady. Little Vivian trusted that the words spoken to her were true, and she waited anxiously and with excitement. We know of another young lady, who believed the words an angel spoke to her, and she eagerly waited. “Blessed is she who believed” (Lk 1:45).
One of the closing prayers of the Rosary says:
"O, God, Whose only-begotten Son, by His life, death and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life; grant, we beseech Thee, that, meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen."
This week we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We remember that Our Mother is indeed in Heaven, and she is anxiously and with excitement waiting for us to join her and her Son. We look to her childlike trust in the Father and ask for the grace to imitate her. We ask Mary, Seat of Wisdom, teach us the wisdom of love.
By: Laura Worhacz
“Oh, what sighs, what prayers for the Eucharistic reign of Jesus issued from Mary’s heart in the Cenacle! The Eucharist spreading and the love of Jesus triumphing everywhere. At last, Jesus will be loved, His Eucharist will find everywhere sympathetic hearts; Its fire will envelop the world and by so doing will completely renew it.” - St. Peter Julian Eymard, (Library Volume 7, page 144)
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
Yesterday was a very special day to the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, the memorial of Saint Peter Julian Eymard, a feast day for the congregation. In thanksgiving I was reminiscing about my encounter with this holy priest, saint of our Catholic Church and intense lover of the Eucharist. It was when I began my daily Mass journey that the library (nine volume of books) of his retreat notes and writings came to me. Attracted to his spiritually I could never retire without reading something from this holy saint.
The spiritual attraction certainly came from Saint Peter Julian's love for the Eucharist. He had an intimacy with our Lord that nurtured my own relationship with Jesus. Saint Peter Julian is a director to the souls that come to him. It seemed that whatever I was going through, the answer to my need would be found in his writings, particularly what I would open to each evening.
In the Eucharist the saints are alive, well and with us. We are blessed by these friends of heaven interceding for us, especially our Blessed Mother. Saint Peter Julian beheld Mary as his mother, she guided him into the Priesthood. The title Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament came through Saint Peter Julian’s love for our mother.
In the above excerpt we hear that the eucharistic fire will envelop the whole world and completely renew it. Our friends in heaven walk with us now. Sympathetic hearts are found in the love of God. Those who fall in love with Jesus and recognize the reality of His dying and rising for every person. These souls want to be like the one whom they love. They live among us here and now. Opening the eyes of our hearts finding the good in every person and recalling our loved ones is where we may find many aspiring to be saints. Good souls who long to guide and nurture us, friends of heaven on earth.
Take some time today to think of all the people who have blessed your life. Those who have shared the faith of God with you, thosewho made you feel loved.
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We are Ivonne Hernandez, Rick Hernandez and Laura Worhacz, Lay Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, and brothers and sisters in Christ.