By: Laura Worhacz
What I would like to ask God for you is unchanging fidelity in the love of his ever holy and gracious Will, especially upon you. Whether it be desolation, joy, sorrow, the presence or absence of human beings, let these not change your interior life. Place your soul above the realm of storms and atmospheric changes; on the contrary, may events only produce outward changes, leaving your will always united to the holy Will of God. Oh, blessed a thousand times blessed is the soul that lives in this divine life! Then, it understands the burning words of St. Paul: "Who will separate me from the love of Jesus Christ? Nothing" (Rm 8:35).
– Saint Peter Julian Eymard
Dearest Eucharist Family,
It is with great joy and thanksgiving that my husband, Raymond received a liver transplant on November 16th, 2019. As I ponder on the weeks that have passed, the intensity of the reality that I could never have endured the trials of this experience without the Blessed Sacrament is apparent. Condition yourselves, get strong in Christ. It is through obedience to the reception of daily holy Communion that the grace of God sustains us to such an extent of joy and thanksgiving amid sudden changes in our lives.
I am rejoicing in my heart recounting every blessing, grace and prayer God has granted to allow Raymond the miracle of having liver transplant surgery. Each and every prayer has called down a great blessing from Heaven. Leaving home so suddenly, spending two weeks in the hospital, day and night…caretaking for someone to this extent is a humbling experience. Each morning God would allow me the grace of time to get to Holy Mass throughout Raymond's hospital stay. There were a couple of days when I entered the church, knelt down to pray, and a flood of tears fell forth from my eyes. A few days I would feel numb staring at the Tabernacle or before the Blessed Sacrament in the Monstrance. On the Solemnity of Christ the King, my heart was rejoicing beyond explanation, dancing, singing in my soul. The Divine Life walks with our human existence; there may be fears, tears, joys and sorrows, yet the love of God is with us and "nothing", as Saint Peter Julian quotes St. Paul, can take us from the love of God found in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Raymond's new liver came from a 62-year-old man who passed from a stroke. I will pray for the deceased every day for the rest of my life. The surgeon declared Raymond's liver fully diseased; he would not have survived much longer with it. The new liver is already working, and Raymond's body is happy to have an organ that is not diseased. The new organ is getting to know the other parts of his body and so it is with the Body of Christ. As we relinquish our sins and live in the forgiveness of God's love, we grow closer to our loved ones. We become united, whole, and function as Our Father would want us to in His Divine LOVE, His Divine life. This is the God of Heaven's gracious and holy Will, to live in His Son through the Eucharist and within it the whole human family.
Let the Holy Spirit guide us so we may live in the grace of the moment. Holding back from imagining too much yet preparing; restraining from thinking of what may happen to the extent of anxieties, "Be Still and Know that I am God!” (Psalm 46). Offering with you unchanging fidelity to God's ever gracious Will. We live in the freedom of our existence. As we enter into the new Liturgical year, may we be aware more than ever to make the love of God known in the Eucharist. Jesus is with us, the Divine Life on earth as it is in HEAVEN. Happy New Liturgical Year!
We beseech You, O God, to help us earnestly ask for the grace to promise to be ever more faithful to the Blessed Sacrament of Your love; to make a greater commitment to spend time with Jesus Eucharistic -- a vow, if you will -- to receive Him as much as our daily duties allow, or at least to offer a Spiritual Communion if we cannot receive Him sacramentally.
St. Peter Julian Eymard, Apostle of the Eucharist, pray for us, Saint Andrew, pray for us. Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament keep us in the halls of Heaven.
 Counsels for Spiritual Life, page 31
By: Ivonne J. Hernandez
In the Gospel for this Sunday, we find Jesus nailed to the Cross. The rulers and the soldiers mock him saying, "If you are King of the Jews, save yourself"(Lk 23:37). Amidst the sneering and jeering we hear a lone voice, like one crying from the wilderness, saying, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk 23:42). This is the climax of the story that had been unfolding since Jesus began His public ministry saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt 4:17). The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, brings us to the contradiction of the Cross.
When I look at the two men crucified at either side of Jesus, I wonder... What was the difference between them? They both met Jesus on the Cross, but only one recognized the King in disguise. Why did one see the mystery while the other did not? Perhaps one was blinded by self-interest, by self-love. "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us” (Lk 23:39). He just wanted to get off the cross. Yet, the other one had wisdom, for he said, "Have you no fear of God?” …The beginning of wisdom is fear of the LORD (Pr 9:10). The Good Thief saw himself hanging next to the innocent Lamb and accepted his own cross; he did not ask Jesus to bring him down from it, for he realized it was just. Wisdom allowed him to see that Jesus’ Kingdom is not of this world (Jn 18:36), and, repenting from his actions and accepting his current suffering, placed all his hope in Love.
“If you want to be happy, despise what Jesus despised on the Cross, and love what Jesus loved on the Cross.” (St. Thomas Aquinas) This is the contradiction of the Cross, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Mt 16:25). This is the truth, and it is found in the crosses of our lives. It is when we are suffering the consequences of sin that we must focus on the Kingdom of Heaven. We must close our ears to vanity and focus on the one Who is hanging right beside us, for He longs to say to each one of us, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk 23:43).
By: Rick Hernandez
“At Nazareth Joseph's days were filled with work which necessarily took him away at times from his Infant God. During these hours Mary replaced him, but when evening brought him home again, he would pass the entire night in adoration, never tiring, only too happy for the chance to contemplate the hidden riches of Jesus' divinity. For he pierced the rough garments the Child wore, until his faith touched the Sacred Heart. In profound adoration he united himself to the special grace of each one of the events in the life of Jesus. He adored our Lord in His hidden life and in His Passion and Death; he adored in advance the Eucharistic Christ in His tabernacles: there was nothing that our Lord could hide from Saint Joseph. Among the graces which Jesus gave to His foster-father (and He flooded him with the graces attached to every one of His mysteries) is that special to an adorer of the Blessed Sacrament. That is the one we must ask of St. Joseph. Have confidence, strong confidence in him. Take him as the patron and the model of your life of adoration." - St. Peter Julian Eymard
When people ask me about my father, I often respond with, “I am the son of a preacher man”, echoing the famous song. But my father was not always a preacher man. Before he became a Catholic missionary, he was a factory worker. As a child, I remember him getting ready to go to work early every morning. I missed him very much whenever he was away, but it was always a big deal for me and my siblings whenever my dad arrived from work at the end of the day, gifting us with the stories of his life. His stories were always engaging, for he had a way to make the mundane sound interesting and at the same time taught us about life, about selflessness and about sacrifice. In our little domestic church, our humble home, Dad was our Saint Joseph.
When we think about adoration, we might picture Mother Mary with the child Jesus, but we know that Joseph was there as well. Joseph watched over them, provided for them, and protected them from the world as they both, Jesus and Mary, grew into the wisdom they required to perform their work in this world. If Mary’s fiat was the beginning of the work of redemption, then Joseph’s fiat was the one that maintained it.
“We do not want only to adore, serve and love Jesus-Eucharist, but also to make him known, adored, served and loved by all hearts” (St. Peter Julian Eymard). Joseph adored, but he also always worked. I can picture him caring for Jesus and Mary when they were sick. I can imagine Joseph doing his carpentry job, providing for the holy family the same way my father did for ours, and I can also imagine the times when Joseph came back home at the end of the day to share in the love of his family. If Mother Mary was the first tabernacle, then Saint Joseph was the first sanctuary lamp, showering light over his charges, watching and announcing to us that we should pay attention because “there is something greater here” (Mt 12:6). And all that Joseph did was in private, hidden. All his love and sacrifice were witnessed only by Jesus and Mary, and “Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” (Lk 2:12).
That is still the job with our families today. Fathers are called to protect the “pearls of great value” (Mt 13:46) that are our charges. We know that in our families we transcend our solitary value, and by our actions there, we can enrich the Kingdom of God. As fathers, we are to do this, in the background, in humility, but with love and confidence, that His Kingdom may come and that our work and sacrifice may allow us to meet our loved ones in Heaven, for “we hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope, for he who made the promise is trustworthy” (Heb 10:23).
By: Laura Worhacz
“…it is because she approached nearer than any other to the perfection of His humility.” - Saint Peter Julian Eymard (Eymard Library Volume 7, page 167)
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
Do this in memory… of Me -- Humility present in the Blessed Sacrament and the Word of God. The Eucharist is our food for the journey of grace; God’s Word humbles our existence. In the above excerpt, St. Peter Julian reminds us to consider the humility of Mary; her salvation came forth from listening to the voice of God. Mary was closest to the humility of God. Jesus lived in her womb; his birth into her life brought love to others. Recall all the times you needed to hear God’s voice and have opened to a scripture that affirmed, consoled, guided, and sometimes chastised you. Mary listened to the voice of Jesus in life; the humility in which He lived and died, she absorbed.
Over 20 years ago my husband had his gallbladder removed. It was then that we learned of the beginning of his liver disease. He went in for surgery and I found myself in the hospital chapel. There was a Bible, which happened to be open on the book of Job. I began reading and reading… and reading. The nurse came into the chapel to inform me the surgery was complete. In what seemed like a flash of time, the surgery was over; I was immersed in the word of God. This experience called me to greater communion with God; it led me to daily Mass. I often think of people who are not nourished by God’s Word. Like many of you, I did not grow up listening to the Word of God. I am elated to know now that I have been blessed to hear God’s voice. With that, I have a deep desire to share the fire of God’s love in His Word, in the Eucharist, in His LOVE.
Mary's salvation began on earth from the streams of life that came forth from hearing God's voice. The humility Jesus lived on earth, died for and rose with, remains as a gift in the Eucharist. Mary has followed the way to salvation through the humility of Jesus. She witnessed the humility that was transformed into the Eucharist after the death of her son. Our Father in Heaven gave us the gift of salvation through Jesus' love. The humility of Christ was taken on by Mary in Word and deed; she leads us in the way of salvation. Let’s take some time today to pray to the Holy Spirit and send a scripture passage to someone who may only hear God’s voice through our intercession. Blessings!
By: Ivonne J. Hernandez
“Listen kindly to our prayers, O Lord, and, as our faith in your Son, raised from the dead is deepened, so may our hope of resurrection for your departed servants also find new strength.” (Collect Prayer for today’s Mass, The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, All Souls Day)
I find it interesting that our society seems to be fixated with certain aspects of death, like zombies, haunted houses and Halloween. People pay a lot of money to go somewhere and be “scared to death”. But then, when it is time to talk about preparing for our own death, people think it is morbid and turn quickly to avoidance. Today, as we remember our loved ones who have passed from this life and pray for their eternal rest, we also strengthen the hope that we too will rise again with Christ, not only on the last day, but also today, as we rise from our pain and our fears.
I have discovered that the more I bring my fears to prayer, the more they lose their grip on me. Losing my father at the young age of nine, the reality of the separation we experience when a loved one dies was too much for me to deal with at the time. For many years I avoided looking at that wound. I became an expert at distraction and escape, but God had a different plan. The very wound that made me feel abandoned, became a source of love and grace. It is now the place where God shows me, over and over again, that He is my Father.
“Brothers and sisters: Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Rom 5:5). This love that was poured out on the Cross, is in the cup He gives us to drink (Mk 10:38). When we accept the pain and suffering that life brings, and bring it in prayer to God, we find the love that casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). And it is that love that will transform our wounds into rivers of flowing grace, into witnesses of His love.
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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.