By: Laura Worhacz
“How, then, do we act with a friend? Do we always speak to him about the present? Certainly not! We recall memories, we live them over again together.” - Saint Peter Julian Eymard (Eymard Library Volume 7, page 13)
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
When in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, do you sometimes find yourself in conversation with Jesus about all that has happened in your life? Sometimes it is like a written testimony on my heart, recalling every detail of so many moments in my life. They flash over and over…it is an act of the will to find God in all that has happened, in all our choices. The past has created us, and when embraced, it sanctifies our being.
Jesus calls us friends. “I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father” (John 15:15). Jesus has told us everything; we recall the memories. Trust is found in Jesus’ love for us. Our encounter with the living God in the Eucharist, submitting to His holy will, enraptures us into friendship with the Son of God.
Jesus promises that he has the words of everlasting life. Our suffering is glorified in our charity for another; trust is formed in this. We receive grace from the Eucharist, where genuine friendship is formed and extended into the members of Christ's Body. In our humanity, we need the gift of God’s life to resemble the friendship of God. Remembering all the blessings we have received will enable us to create a future of love in every experience of life with every precious life we share it with. Moreover, in Saint Peter Julian’s four-way prayer, we take our thoughts in all that has happened, adding them to our adoring, thanksgiving, forgiveness, and intercessory prayer; we befriend Jesus.
As we form friendships in Christ, may the trust we have found in the Eucharistic Lord be made known to others. May memories be made to be cherished. All through our lives, may the presence of our friendship in the Blessed Sacrament be glorified through our relationships, and the security of God’s divine love treasured.
By: Ivonne J. Hernandez
I am just coming down from the high of having celebrated my 50th birthday. It was a weeklong celebration of the gift of life, the gift of family and friends and, above all, the gift of love. This year, as I thought of how I wanted to celebrate, one idea came to mind during prayer. I would begin counting down the days from 50 days before and look for little love notes from God; like a scavenger hunt. I know He shows me His love every day, but I do not always notice. So, my desire was to open my eyes to His gifts, to open my heart to His love.
I thought it was a pretty clever idea… 50 till 50, and I started with zeal. I jotted the number of days left (50, 49, 48…) as I journaled each day, but about halfway through, I started to miss. I had forgotten how difficult it is to establish a new habit, and I hadn’t realized how long 50 days truly is! During those 50 days, life still happened, and challenges came. Illnesses, travel, deadlines, all these kept rocking my boat. During those times all the extras get stripped away and we hold on to the basics. We hope to at least find time to sleep, eat and shower. So then, how do we pray?
Just like our physical care routine changes, our spiritual care routine changes too. These are times when we need to hold on tight to God and let Jesus take the wheel. Trusting that He is allowing everything that happens to us, and that “all things work for good for those who love God” (Rom 8:28), we surrender our preferences, and rely on Him alone. St. Peter Julian Eymard says, “Continue to be like a little child in a boat which God is navigating. Leave the care of the future to the Good Lord; yours is to be ready to fulfill His Holy Will.”
I did have a wonderful birthday celebration, but my routine was once again disrupted. I will look around after the storm to see which areas need reinforcement and be ready for when the winds shift again. But, as I sat in my back porch today sipping my afternoon coffee, I noticed a gift, the comforting rhythm of an ordinary day. So, in the end, like always, God is more faithful than me. He keeps sending me love notes even when I don’t see.
By: Laura Worhacz
“Oh, wonderful moment in which all else is forgotten, in which we no longer desire anything else, not even heaven—for we possess it already, we have Jesus and Mary”.
Saint Peter Julian Eymard (Eymard Library, Volume 7 page 70)
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
Jean Gerson (1363-1429 Catholic Dictionary) explains mysticism as “knowledge of God arrived at through the embrace of unifying love.” Where do we find this? It seems to live inside ourselves; all we need to do is awaken our souls. Within the cry of our humanity, there is a seeking and a longing for love. God our Father has made all things perfect. He gave us Jesus and Mary. Contemplation is found in surrender, a handing over of our will to God. Obedience to our prayer life should be guarded with a shield of prominence. Set time aside, especially silent time, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46). He who created us loves us and hopes to be with us. Discipline to our prayer that streams out of our longing for love will keep us in union with the divine. Mysticism is an indwelling of security found in the awareness of the true presence of God, nurtured by our response.
Saint Peter Julian reminds us in the above excerpt that we already possess heaven now in Jesus and Mary, God’s gift to us. The reception of Holy Communion nourishes our contemplation. Tomorrow is October 13th; this day in 1917, over 80,000 people witnessed The MIRACLE OF THE SUN, also known as the MIRACLE OF FATIMA. At the gathering, many conversions of the heart were impacted, many physical healings occurred, many souls rose to the heights of heaven. Our Lady appeared for five months, thus five first Saturdays she hoped for us to share in. We were asked to make “Communions of Reparation”, moreover in the Paschal Sacrifice, these may be possessed daily, communions of love. Pray for Our Lady’s final words at Fatima to echo inside of us, “IN THE END MY IMMACULATE HEART WILL TRIUMPH”. Mary’s earthly life can be for us an example of mysticism. Mary listened to the voice of God and so it was heard. Mary acted on the Word of God and her mystic union with her Father was lived out in her charity, thus her deeds were mystical. Jesus, through Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament, will keep our “knowledge of God, arrived at through the embrace of unifying love."
The First Saturday devotion is like a five-month novena. Write down the specific intention you are praying for, and recall it every first Saturday for five months. Receive Holy Communion on the first Saturday of the month (you may offer your Sunday Communion for your first Saturday intention if you cannot get to Mass on Saturday for a just reason). Go to confession eight days before or after first Saturday. Meditate on the mysteries of the holy Rosary for 15 minutes (take a few minutes before each mystery to ponder the life of Christ and apply it to your own life) or meditate for 15 minutes at one time.
We share in the mission to make the love of God known in the Eucharist (part of the mission statement for the Associates of the Blessed Sacrament).
By: Ivonne J. Hernandez
Jesus said, “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the person through who they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. Be on your guard!” (Lk 17:1). What was the disciple’s response? “Increase our faith.”
How much faith does it take to believe that Jesus is truly, substantially present in the consecrated bread and wine? Less than a tiny mustard seed. “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you” (Lk 17:5). But how much faith does it take to believe that Jesus is really and truly present in my brother, in my sister? I think that takes a little more.
The call to live the life of a Christian, to follow the way of life taught by Jesus, hinges on one thing, love; this is non-negotiable. Love of God and love of neighbor…all the other commandments are fulfilled in these. Yet, this love of neighbor command is a difficult thing to do. Our vision is blurred by sin, ours and theirs. The image of God in us and them is distorted. We can’t see Jesus in others when they are hurting us, and others can’t see Jesus in us when we are hurting them. When our eyes are blurred by sin, we need to look with the eyes of faith.
“Faith will tell us Christ is present when our human senses fail” (Tantum Ergo). It is in the Blessed Sacrament that we find the gift of faith we seek. It is in receiving Jesus, who brings with Him “every spiritual blessing in the heavens’ (Eph 1:3), that we receive the eyes to see Him in our neighbor, and in ourselves. We begin with the tiniest assent of faith and exclaim with the disciples, “Increase our faith!” So, let us be on our guard. Let us gather the faith we have, and with one word, Amen, uproot our sins and plant them in the sea of Christ’s mercy, so that we may never cause one of these little ones to sin.
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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.