By: Laura Worhacz
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
We are blessed to be living in the Liturgy of the Catholic Church and having this heartbeat of the seasons to take us to the heart of God year after year. We are weeks away from the Advent Season and here we are on the eve of all Saints Day. Here we find our mission of love to pray for others, to be drawn into the life of the Church by being enveloped into the Communion of Saints. The Body of Christ is being grown as it is fed by the Bread of Life in Holy Communion.
In the origin of All Hallows Eve we find concern for others. Children being taught to knock on the door of a neighbor to ask if they are in need of prayer, especially the loss of a loved one. In return a soul cake is given to show appreciation. There is a reciprocal love being fashioned through simple acts of kindness. The Kingdom of Heaven is made known when believers grow into the charity of Christ through mercy, forgiveness, and compassion for others. How blessed we are to live in the reality of the Divine. Heaven is with us. The lives of those who have found their way to virtue in this life leave us an example of charity in their words and witness. They are the saints of God. In our time with the Eucharist we come to see ourselves as God sees us. We come to know Jesus. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Jesus who sees us, guides us, and will form us into saints.
Our Divine Mother is the Queen of Angels and Saints. As we cling to Mary through the Eucharist she mothers us into an exercise of faith through the virtues of her love. A walk with Mary into the soul of God by our Eucharistic prayer time will keep us seeking for ways to receive grace from the one who is full of grace. We have a road to Zion to find, the path to our salvation, led by Our Lady who cares for us and touches our hearts. Our Divine Mother will guide us to Heaven. She will help us grow into the saints we were created to be. The pattern of love that is sewn and found in the Communion of Saints has been formed from the Eucharist and Our Lady for generations and will continue as we learn of “God’s holy gifts for God’s holy people” (CCC 948). Our relationship with the Communion of Saints is found most intimately in the Eucharist.
Today remember in prayer and outreach someone who is an example to you of a saintly life.
“Mary is the Queen of Angels, Queen of the Church. Kings will lay their empires at her feet; nations will confide to her their safety, and wherever we find a throne erected to Jesus, there we shall find one dedicated to Mary; Mary’s altar is always side by side with that of Jesus. She is His Divine Mother.” – Saint Peter Julian Eymard (Eymard Library, Volume 7, p.50)
By: Ivonne J. Hernandez
Early in our marriage, Rick and I would have a recurring argument whenever one of us would ask the other for a pot to cook with. We both grew up in Puerto Rico; I grew up in the North of the island and he grew up in the South. And even though the island is only 35 miles wide, there were small variations in the meaning of words. Most of them were small and you could figure out their meaning from the context, but some had real-life implications for us. Like the fact that what he called a pot, I called a pan…and what I called I pot, he called a pan. For those who speak Spanish, the words were “olla” and “caldero” (not exactly pot and pan, but close enough). You would not believe the time we spent arguing about these two words…mostly joking, but arguing, nevertheless. To this day, if I ask Rick for an “olla”, he will give me a “caldero”. He is not doing it to be difficult; it is just what that word means to him. How did we fix this problem? Did I re-learn what “olla” means for him and ask him for a “caldero” instead? No, the meaning of those words is deeply ingrained in me. What I do now is ask in English, where we both agree that a pot is a pot and a pan is a pan.
There are words and phrases I use every day with those who share my Catholic faith that would be difficult to communicate with someone who does not share my faith. Words like love, marriage, sacrifice, obedience, justice, happiness, mercy, joy. Each of these words, when used in the light of the Gospel, take on a meaning that eludes those who hear them from a different perspective. It is a language different than their own. How do we communicate with someone who speaks a different language than us? We must find a common language. That common language is love. Not the word, dare I say, for the word can have different meanings, but the action, the verb.
"If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails." (1 Corinthians 13: 1-8)
The difference between the intellectual exercise of exploring a hypothetical moral dilemma and the sharing of a testimony is that the latter involves a real person, thus, love enters the equation. It is only then that we can experience an encounter with the other, seeing them for who they are. When we open our eyes to see, and open our ears to hear, and open our hearts to give, we are open to receive. This kind of encounter transcends barriers of language, of religion, of experience, and of circumstance. We are not called to change the world; that is God’s job. We are called to make of our lives a testimony, a living witness to the love of God. We are called to share the Gospel and witness to the Truth. We are called to love, and from that common language we can then perhaps have real dialogue. “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope” (1 Peter 3:15).
By: Rick Hernandez
“I do not cease giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him. May the eyes of [your] hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might”. (Ephesians 1:16-19)
A priest friend once told me: “Our eyes are how we see the world, but the eyes only produce images, impressions of the light on the world. Interpreting the images is what “seeing” is. Both our intellect and our soul give meaning to the images we see to gain insight from them, but too often, we just see with the eyes of our intellect, as most of the world sees. We have to learn how to see better with the eyes of the soul, for that is how we gain wisdom”.
In the first letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul tells us to pray to God for a “spirit of wisdom,” that is, for the Holy Spirit’s wisdom to come forth to us. From our relationship with the Holy Spirit, active in our lives, we gain both the exercise of the theological and moral virtues and the use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Among the gifts that we receive are wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and awe. These gifts are directly related to each other, for they pertain to “seeing.”
Paraphrasing St. Thomas Aquinas, the gift of wisdom is to be able to see the work of the hand of God in all things, in our lives, and in the world. If we use St. Paul’s words from Ephesians 1, wisdom is to “have the eyes of our hearts enlightened.” We are enlightened.
The gift of knowledge is recognizing our purpose as children of God and how He relates to us. This is that we “may know what is the hope that belongs to His call”. We are able to focus.
The gift of understanding is the ability to comprehend how we are to live as followers of Christ. The moral issues become apparent. We are able to discern.
Along with this wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, we can also receive the gift of awe, which is to see and comprehend “the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might.” We are able to stand in awe of the greatness of God.
I have always been more intellectual than anything else. I have always strived for “understanding” as a means to better myself and to help others. I often, mistakenly, thought that knowledge and understanding would inevitably lead to “wisdom.” That is not the case, though it helps. For the true gift of wisdom to be active in our lives, we must cozy up to the Holy Spirit. We must strive to see the world a little differently, through the eyes of our soul and through the eyes of Christ. The eyes of the soul are opened by the virtues, and living the virtues invariably leads to a life of Grace. Grace is a gift, just like the gifts of the Holy Spirit. If we live a life of Grace, then our life itself becomes a gift, an offering to our Lord.
More than anything, we must strive to live in this world with virtue. That is what makes ordinary people into saints. Extraordinary, heroic virtue comes after common, ordinary virtue has become a regular part of our lives. Many Saints recognized the role of the mundane and ordinary in this world. When seen through the “eyes of the soul,” the mundane becomes the foundation of our heavenly work on this Earth.
“A saint is one who has learned to spiritualize and sacramentalize and ennoble everything in the world and make of it a prayer.” - Archbishop Fulton Sheen (The Divine Sense of Humor)
Let us pray: Lord, you are the creator of all that is seen and unseen. You have left us your Holy Spirit to guide us toward the path to Heaven. Help us then to be open to the promptings of your Spirit, that through His guidance we may achieve a virtuous life. Help us see the world as you see it, that our love may be like yours. May your precious gifts to us also be a gift for our brothers and sisters, that our eyes be opened by your Grace. Amen.
By: Laura Worhacz
“Let us, then, return thanks through Mary. A child receives a gift, but it is his mother who thanks the donor for him. So our thanksgiving, united with that of Mary: will be perfect and most acceptable to the Heart of Jesus.” Saint Peter Julian Eymard
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
The Hail Mary brings us into the mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary. The gift to meditate on the Sacred Scriptures through them, especially during the month of October, is a blessing beyond our understanding. We trust in this divine invitation and cling to the promises attached to this prayer of the Church. We celebrated the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary this past week and next week we will remember the Miracle of the Sun on October 13th.
Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament has been given to us by our Lord and Savior through the heart of Saint Peter Julian Eymard. He reminds us in the above excerpt to give all to Jesus through Mary. We do this by our engagement with the Holy Spirit, by emulating our Mother. Mary shows us the way to eternity, by her yes, her humility. Mary teaches us by her perfect charity, her detachment, her purity, her fidelity, …we can go on and on with the virtues of her love.
There is so much going on in our world, in the very homes of each of us. Our relationships need to be given to our mother, she will bring us to communion, healing, and love. Place yourself in the redemption of Christ and go forward with Mary. Leave the pain and walk to the Heavens. Immerse yourself in the mysteries; they take us to places of freedom, forgiveness, mercy, and compassion. PRAY! The Hail Mary brings us to Our Father, into the Kingdom of Heaven now through the Eucharist. It is Mary who guides us to the fullness of grace. Our mother who reminds us the Lord is with us. Mary is the blessed one, she brings us the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, the fruit of her womb. Mary is holy. She chose to be the humble one of her Creator. She accepted the gifts of the Holy Spirit; they led her in joy through life. Even at the Cross her tears poured forth; her heart was fixed to God through the heart of her Son and the power of the Holy Spirit. HAIL MARY FULL OF GRACE!
“This twofold movement of prayer to Mary has found a privileged expression in the Ave Maria: Hail Mary [or Rejoice, Mary]: the greeting of the angel Gabriel opens this prayer. It is God himself who, through his angel as intermediary, greets Mary. Our prayer dares to take up this greeting to Mary with the regard God had for the lowliness of his humble servant and to exult in the joy he finds in her.”
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2676)
By: Ivonne J. Hernandez
I must have been around five years old when, one evening, I made a very big decision. I packed some things in a little suitcase and announced to my mother that I was leaving…for good. I remember the unworried look on my mother’s face, who, with a gentle smile responded, “ok, good luck”, turned around, and continued preparing dinner. I was taken aback a bit with her lack of care for my wellbeing, but I said nothing. I walked out the front door and proceeded to walk away from my home. I remember stopping in front of the neighbor’s house and looking back, half-expecting my mom would be coming after me…but no one was there. In my little heart I wondered, “mom, do you not care?” Realizing I was all alone and had nowhere to go. I turned around and went back home.
The question in my heart reminds me of a story in the fourth chapter of the Gospel of Mark, when Jesus was asleep on the boat as a storm was tossing them about (v.35-41). The disciples woke Jesus up and asked, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” There is another time in the Gospel when Jesus is asked a similar question. “Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?” (Luke 10:40). When our hearts are hurt, fearful or anxious, it doesn’t matter if we are a five-year-old little girl, or a grown man or woman; our burdened hearts seek for someone who sees us, for someone who cares.
Did my mom care that I wanted to run away? Of course she cared! She was probably looking from the window, making sure I remained safe. As I grew I learned that my conclusion that my mom didn’t care was incorrect. I did not have the full vision; I didn’t see her peeking through the window. The waves tossing around my little heart were too big and even at such a young age I was, like Martha, “anxious and worried about many things” (Luke 10:41). The disciples on the boat were also wrong in their conclusion. Did Jesus care that the disciples were in trouble? Of course He cared. Even while asleep on the boat, He was watching over them.
Why do we feel terrified any time the waves around us overwhelm us? Why do we feel anxious? Why do we despair? Perhaps our faith is in our own limited vision and our limited understanding. St. Peter Julian Eymard tells us: “Abide in the House of God's divine fatherly goodness, like a child who knows nothing, does nothing, damages everything, but dwells in his gentle kindness.” When our hearts are burdened and seek someone who cares, let us hear God saying, “I will never forget you” (Isaiah 49:15)… “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” (Mark 4:40).
“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.” – St. Peter Julian Eymard
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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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