“So your pious desire has been fulfilled! You are totally God’s and totally your neighbor’s! You work quickly! That’s fine; give everything at the first go. May God support you; may He be your all in exchange for everything you are giving him and for everything you will do for him! It’s a dream for me! But is there anything God’s love cannot do!”
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
I love all the seasons; however, I have a special affection for summertime. Even though I live in Florida with a warm climate most of the year, it is still a difficult parting to say farewell to summer.
Time to "Fall" in LOVE!
Time in the garden over the summer was a blessing, absorbing the beautiful sunshine and breathing in creation. Planting, watering, and praying while working is a wonderful way to acknowledge the clouds, remember morning prayer and Mass, recall God’s grace, and ask for more. Time with family and friends and a little travel also fasten to the summertime memories. Visiting places in my hometown and going to daily Mass at churches special to my heart affix a memory that remains... I love to go to the church where I was married, the same church where I received the sacrament of Confirmation. I had no idea then what God would have me be doing now! And there is yet more to come.
St. Peter Julian asks, “Is there anything God’s love cannot do? He lives in a dream. Through the heart of the Eucharist, we see a glimpse of Heaven now and join the vision.“
“So when he had washed their feet [and] put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, ‘Do you realize what I have done for you?’” (John 13:12)
To find the dream is to acknowledge what Jesus has done for us and do the same for others. To live in his Eucharistic service is to love and be loved. To hate the sin and love the sinner. The sin in ourselves and the sin in those around us becomes more visible as we fall in love with Jesus more and more.
To live in the grace of the present moment and find the strength we need to give all to our neighbor, our spouses, children, family, and friends, we need to receive the Blessed Sacrament.
“We can do all things with Christ; all is attainable.” (Philippians 4:13)
Over the summer, I had some retreat time from my very own home. In quiet prayer, flashes of my life were reminiscence for me. The blessing Jesus bestows in healing and peace is available for all of us. He has washed our feet, cleaned our hearts, brought us out of our desire to sin, and forgiven us for our failures.
“God’s providence is God’s caring provision for his people as he guides them in their journey of faith through life, accomplishing his purpose in them.” (Catholic dictionary)
God is molding us, preparing and conforming us by our consent into the likeness of his Son, Jesus. The Holy Spirit empowers us in God’s grace, and we can see the work of his hands in creating our souls through the passion of life. Seasons come and go...
“There is an appointed time for everything and a time for every affair under the heavens.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
In September, we embrace the Cross of Christ with Our Lady of Sorrows. The inner cenacle finds in this willingness to accept the sorrows a time to fall in love, into the arms of our Heavenly Father. The Triumph of the Cross is ours, and our ultimate fall will be into eternal life.
There is much work to be done; our pews are not full, sorrows overtake faith, and death brings many to despair. Together we can bring forth the goodness of God, hope for the resurrection, and sacredness of the heart that raises us out of the world into God’s transcending light.
But as it is written:
“What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
Living the dream of a Sacramental life, fall in love!
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
In my travels last week to NY, upon entering the plane, a lady was carrying a toy poodle in a pet carrier. She was in a lengthy conversation with another lady about the cuteness of the pup. It was truly adorable. The lady carrying the dog went on about how much she loved him and deeply expressed how faithful the little toy poodle was. She laughed and said again, “he is the only one faithful to me.” There was a reality there for her and a brokenness I detected.
As I was praying my rosary on the plane, our faithful Lord came to my thoughts. In my mind’s eye, through my prayer, I saw the white horse with its rider from the Book of Revelation.
There is so much unfaithfulness in our world, much more than can be controlled, it seems, yet we are called by our God to be faithful and true.
Perhaps in our faithfulness to God through injustice and pains, the world will see that Our God exists and that He is alive and well and with us.
Perhaps by us sharing the WORD of God and by proclaiming His truth, faithfulness will be aroused in others rather than deceit.
Perhaps in forgiving through Jesus, our faithfulness will never be broken, and truth will shine brightly.
Our wholeness is created in love of God and neighbor, the first commitment in our consecration to be made holy. In the Eucharist, we are taken by the rider on a white horse into the heavens now. Inscribed in the heart of God are our names, written in the blood of the lamb of God, Jesus Christ. God has trodden the wine press; His justice will reign forever and ever. HE IS FAITHFUL AND TRUE. We are invited into his banquet of love and called by the heavens to share in his glory. Forgiveness of sins and life in His Spirit, His Holy Spirit is to be found; Gifts beyond the infidelities of this world.
Saint Peter Julian names us in this quote a book of love, “Give, therefore, your preference to that beautiful book...” We can begin with ourselves to be faithful and true and keep a steadfast hope in our King of Kings and Lord of Lords and live in the freedom and joy of his coming.
Who has been an example of faithfulness to you?
Who have you been most faithful to?
What inspiration has accompanied your fortitude?
I can only imagine that for Jesus, the most faithful person through his life on earth would be Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament. The love they shared holds the Divine life for us to long for.
The faithful and true life that will be everlasting will be found in our Gift of Self to God Our Father.
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
Take a moment to go into the depth of your prayer and hear Jesus speak these words to you and me, “I am the living bread...”. They are truly unique, bringing forth life and truth. God is with us, and He is alive and well, giving us Living Bread from the Kingdom of Heaven. We are fed by God, nourished in His love.
Take another moment and think of the most precious gift you have ever received.
Our Father in Heaven gave us his Son and the Promise of the Holy Spirit, spirit and life. I believe we share in response to the greatest gift we have ever received, being Jesus Christ, and our faith in the Resurrection of the dead. Our treasure of religion, our faith, is beyond the sentiment of earthly treasures. We may have many sacramentals and gifts that remind us of the giver, these sentiments are beautiful holy reminders, and without attachment to them, they are gifts from God through people, treasured. Gifts and presents from the sincerity of our hearts become part of our expression of love. Beyond the physical world are the spiritual gifts from above our earthly experience.
Jesus speaks to us so personally, “the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” In this promise from our Lord is everlasting life.
The Eucharist is the only One to consume the pains of our humanity, the longing of our hearts, and the inspiration for us to hope, live, move and be. By way of the Incarnation, Jesus is part of us; more importantly, we are part of him. What more extraordinary gift can there be other than someone loving us, seeing us, and living with us. This life exalts us to the heavens now. Life comes through forgiveness of sins and our intimate relationship with Christ. At the elevation of the Sacred Host, be consumed with returning love to our Lord. Let us share the gift of the Flesh of the Son of God. The epitome of compassion is given to us in Jesus; this gift is provided beyond our faults and failures.
The greatest gift we have given?
Let this response be our return to the Lord, our gift of faith passed on to others. Compassion dwells in us from our reception of Holy Communion and making known to others how we have received this source of life. Love is the only gift we take to the Heavens when we leave this world. Let us fly over the transcendent sufferings of the present, keeping our eyes fixed on what is to come. Jesus gives us life in the spirit to journey through life. The Eucharist, the Living Flesh of the Son of God, is a treasured gift to carry into the world. We are the bearers of Christ for those of us privileged to receive Him. The Heavens will welcome us one day; love revealed in the abundance of LIGHT. Let us begin now, our purgatory, with love in acknowledgment of the gift of our Triune God.
St. Peter Julian Eymard, our spiritual Father, discovered this gift of the Eucharist. It consumed his existence and empowered his life to be like a fire blazing, a torch reaching the Kingdom of God, awaiting the Eucharistic Kingdom to come again.
St. Peter Julian says:
With Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, we have yet another treasure, our spiritual mother, always with us in the Living Bread, Jesus. It is Mary who helps us to consume our food well, digest, and be consoled to have the fullness of life on this side of the Kingdom.
One of my favorite psalms that raises my heart to the heavens each time it is prayed in the morning Liturgy of the hours is Psalm 81:
“I freed your shoulder from the burden; your hands were freed from the load. You called in distress and I saved you.”
An invisible force of God’s love is manifested in these words; they have spirit and life in a magnified way. We can meditate with them for a moment to find the inner cenacle of our existence connected to our Eucharistic Lord and comfort in His redemption for us in this psalm of salvation.
As we enter into ordinary time, we hear about false gods in the scriptures; indeed, these cannot free us from the burden.
The Cross is a gift for the Christian.
As we are transcended and identify more with the Crucified One, Jesus Christ, we experience love beyond this world. It does become visible for those who believe. It is visible love ignited in a soul that wants to return and bring to life the love they have found, the freedom they have been given.
“I answered, concealed in the storm cloud...” (Psalm 81)
Saint Peter Julian Eymard, a profoundly contemplative soul, discovered that the way to live in perfection through his humanity is to become a gift of self. Can we look to the other in every breath of life and relationship? The night before our Lord Jesus Christ handed himself over to death, he revealed to us how to glorify Our Heavenly Father. Jesus knelt down and washed his disciples’ feet (John 13:5). The Holy Spirit, the invisible grace, offers us joy in our work. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet with joy, passion, and love.
Jesus teaches us to love one another.
To be “freed” from ourselves and live in the Incarnation of God’s promise, love, and the blessings of the Holy Spirit.
God wants us to be exalted!
Yes, through life’s passions, hardships, and pains, we cling to the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Bishop of St. Petersburg, Bishop Gregory Parkes, is having surgery as I type; he will have part of his leg amputated to save him from a recurring infection in his foot. This has been a heavy burden on our diocese and the Universal Church. It is incomprehensible to think of waking up without part of your body. A dearest sister in Christ is living in the reality that her nine-year-old son’s cancer has returned forcefully into his body. My daughter’s co-worker died in a car accident this past week. Challenging to grasp this level of mystery of suffering.
Yet we believe!
“Let there be no foreign god among you, no worship of an alien god. I am the Lord your God, who brought you from the land of Egypt. Open wide your mouth, and I will fill it.” (Psalm 81)
As we open our mouths to receive the Blessed Sacrament, may we find true freedom in our lives, a place to be strengthened in God’s grace to rise out of this life and live in the Spirit of God’s magnificent love. May we be attentive to others to help shoulder their Cross with our love. Let us be a visible sign in our world of God’s love,
“I freed your shoulder from the burden; your hands were freed from the load. You called in distress and I saved you.” (Psalm 81)
May our Eucharistic love make Jesus present in our midst.
We are convinced that Jesus’ saving grace will help us persevere through the challenges of our times.
In the words of Saint Peter Julian Eymard:
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
The daily scriptures in the Easter Season keep us in flight after the long road of Lent. The Passion of Jesus lives in our existence by the grace of the Eucharist. We hold the death of our Lord deep in our hearts. We walk with Mary to Pentecost and find the immense love of God clearly defined in our Liturgical year.
Our Lady lived without sin, holding all the mysteries of faith by God’s sovereign love. “When we have said Eucharist, we have said everything.”
Where was Mary during the 50 days after the Resurrection of Jesus?
What was she doing, thinking?
Perhaps Mary was preparing for what would come next. Indeed, she remembered all that happened to her Son. Assuredly Our Lady was praying, finding the fullness of grace from the inner cenacle of her heart to the Altar where Heaven and earth meet. Mary’s life passion is Jesus, and He defined her existence. Eastertide; Mary’s spirit of hope enabled her to obtain from God the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
As we journey to Pentecost, let us walk with Mary and pray with Mary. In the Book of Revelation, we have imagined a time when there will be no more mourning and weeping (cf. Revelation 21:4-5). On these Easter days, we are listening to the persecutions of St. Paul and the Apostles. We remember the healing in the name of the Lord Jesus. There will be a new birth streaming from our baptism to the birth of our Catholic Church at Pentecost.
As we keep our eyes fixed on the clouds, think of Mary, who beheld the death of Jesus, which would mold her into the perfect model of Christ, her Son. Pentecost is coming. The fruit and gifts of the Holy Spirit are for us to become by our yes and openness to God’s life in us. The mystery is humbling; it is found in a gift of self by submission to God’s Holy Will. Mary saw God’s Providence in every aspect of her life. Mary’s espousal to the Holy Spirit made her become Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Knowledge, Fortitude, Piety, and Fear of the Lord through her love.
Blessings in this Easter Season.
*PLENARY INDULGENCE if recited on the first of January or on the feast of the Pentecost (accompanied by the three prerequisites of a plenary indulgence). Otherwise, a partial indulgence is granted to those who recite it.
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
Ash Wednesday will be upon us in a few days. Looking at our lives through the eyes of Heaven, what do we see? Through the grace of the Eucharist, what is revealed to us?
Our individual sacrifices are varied in many ways. Perhaps we can look up together, to the head of the Mystical Body of Christ, to better see the feeble parts within. Beginning with ourselves, prayer is necessary; fidelity and self-denial are required to love in Christ.
We learn to love like Jesus by loving Jesus. During Lent, it has been a practice since before the 1500s to pray the Stations of The Cross. By this, we immerse ourselves into the Passion of Christ.
Mortification has been strongly in my prayer since it seems to be the way to lose ourselves and find God. The mystery of The Scourging at the Pillar is always very intense to pray on my rosaries. Mortifying our senses to perfection can be derived from this meditation and union with Christ. Only our Divine Savior could have endured the pain from the whips; it is beyond our comprehension. The strikes to the flesh, the pain Jesus endured in His Passion, help us to dissipate all we hold onto to find what will be with us for all eternity, love.
I recall the first time I watched the movie, The Passion of the Christ… I went through a box of tissues, and there was an emptying of self that seeped in my soul. The only hunger at that moment was filled by the desire to bind the wounds of Christ and cling to our Blessed Mother.
We can live in love for one another by the grace of the Eucharist, embracing the reality of the love that has been poured out for each of us so intimately. Lent is a special gift to us; it is a season of hope. It reminds me of our time in adoration, in that sometimes we cannot see what is happening, yet there is a mystical blessing affirming God’s love for us.
Quiet time will help us go deep within to identify with the pains of forgiveness we need to give and receive. Although we may not repair every part of our lives that have suffered, we can find peace and trust in knowing God always brings about a greater good.
Meditating in the presence of the Eucharist will draw us into the life that is to come in all of its fullness. Whenever I come out of prayer time, there is an awareness of grace, a desire to give. A fresh breath of air to take in to help me respond to situations with Jesus. Our Mother is with us in every virtue we try to grow in. Mary is in the shadows of Christ’s love for us, with St. Joseph in the Sacrament, they lived. May we find charity, almsgiving, and fasting as a special gift to Jesus this Lenten season.
To live in the realm of our spiritual realities, voluntary self-sacrifice will enable us to live in conformity to the love of Jesus Christ. Mortifying our senses will help us to see past ourselves into the heart of another, thus enabling the Eucharistic Heart to pulsate Our Heavenly Father’s love. The Holy Spirit who lives in the inner cenacle of our souls will grant us the power to find the fortitude of mortification. Love has Risen!
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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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