Dearest Eucharistic Family,
Happy and blessed New Year 2023! We begin the year in our Catholic Church mourning the loss of our brother, friend, mentor, and most significant title, Father, Pope Benedict XVI. He has left a mark of faith in our hearts, in our souls, and in our Holy Mother Church.
I was blessed to bring Holy Communion to the homebound after daily Mass this past week, to a dear sister in Christ. After praying and consuming the Sacred Host, she was weeping, mourning the loss of Pope Benedict XVI. I joined her in the tears and in the memories of our beloved Pope. Our conversation escalated into sharing all of the gifts of his life, the teachings, homilies, and encyclicals. More than mourning, we celebrated the blessing of a life well lived by reminiscing about our beloved Pope Benedict XVI.
“God is LOVE,”… so he began his pontificate.
In this quote from Pope Benedict XVI, we find the Eucharistic wishes of Saint Peter Julian, a new horizon on our lives, a way to live in Heaven now through the grace of the Blessed Sacrament.
My fondest thoughts of our great theologian, Pope Benedict XVI, stream forth from his gentle yet firm spirit. Pope Benedict’s great work in giving us our Catechism grants us a place to go for truth and blessings, security in God’s love. A way to find faith by stirring the truth of God’s love in hearts, a family treasure.
In the Eucharistic wish, in its blessings, we can live in the higher dimension of life now. Jesus is with us, born of Mary and in a stable, with a Father hovering over Him in love.
Love is a divine action; it shines forth from expressions of gifts…presence of love…gifts of self.
The NEW YEAR, 2023, calls us to evaluate our lives, our love, our faith, and our offering to our Lord.
Perhaps starting with the words of our Holy Father, Pope Francis will strengthen us to carry out our daily duties, assured that God is with us. God sees us and knows the value of our offering everything to him.
In the depths of our existence, we are affixed to Jesus from the Altar and His Incarnate Life in us. We carry this presence of GOD’S LOVE into our world through Holy Communion.
We are God’s tabernacle.
God is LOVE, and we are his disciples. Baptized in His mission to watch over the ones in the stable, bless them, love them and carry them home.
Pope Benedict’s smile will be with us forever. We will be nearest to him in the Eucharist. He will continue to speak to us there, teaching us the way of humility and how to bring Eucharistic wishes to others.
In his last words upon earth, let us cry out with our beloved Pope Benedict XVI, “GOD, I LOVE YOU!”
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
In the likeness of Jesus, Our Lady always remains in brightness and gives glory to Our God. Our Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us of the “marvelous exchange” in finding the mystery of Christmas. We are blessed to be born from above, to be born of Mary. We go to the Altar with Mary to be raised out of this world into the eternal now. This is how Our Lady endured the will of God in her life on this side of heaven.
Mary did not rise or set; she remained faithful, trusting, and loving. Mary was born into the mystery of Christ and lived in the glorified… her soul-magnified life in an exchange of love with her father. How beautiful it is to live in God’s will. We ask, we beg, and we do receive. Whatever the answer, we know it is the will of Our Father after we have asked for His blessing.
It has been overwhelmingly busy with so much going on in preparation for Christmas and everyday life. In such moments I find myself taking hold of my rosary beads to walk and pray. By reaching out to our mother, we are “born again” over and over to refresh in God’s love. Our prayer pulls us out of the world into the mystery we pray. In this, we do become a “marvelous exchange” of worship and work since our prayer empowers us to be grateful in every circumstance (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Daily Communion is the life blood we need to survive and prepare for eternal salvation. Our lives are being paved into the Kingdom. Jesus never sets in our souls. He is stirring up his mighty power for us to be of joyful hope and to live in what he was born to gift us with, His PEACE.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
This Advent, my daughter lost three friends to sudden death in a car accident. The twenty-year-old young adult driving swerved her truck to avoid hitting an animal. Three were taken, and three survived. With the news of this horrifying accident, I imagined the scourging of Christ and the unimaginable pain the parents and families must be experiencing. The accident overshadowed my Advent and lived in my heart by the grace of the Eucharist. The Eternal Little Child, by the grace of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, brings us to a marvelous exchange, the Cross to salvation; God’s love in the mystery of His majesty. On the Altar, we find the Sun of Justice, the SON OF GOD, to give glory in the highest and peace to people of goodwill.
The suffering of the present day will be one day past, and we will advance with the Star Who was born for us to be born with Him. As we give more of ourselves, let us live in the arms of Mary in Bethlehem. Let us pray for those suffering so they may be born into hope never to set or rise, yet live in the brightness of glory in the hope of the eternal exchange of Our Father’s love.
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
Happy and blessed Thanksgiving. Our Church, always on mission, is moving into another liturgical season. Together let us enter into Advent by the heart of Mary. She will help us draw our strength from the Eucharist, the only place to escape the imminent tribulations.
Recently after receiving holy Communion, I went back to my pew, kneeling in prayer; I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Reminiscing in my mind the beauty of creation, the blessing of my life, family, friends, and the privilege to go to daily Mass and receive JESUS.
Let us be in conversations of love during this upcoming Advent Season, in contemplation of prayer and silence to hear the voice of God. As our love grows, trust is secured, and a steadfast spirit will rise. Through our reception of Holy Communion, in spite of our lowliness, we begin to see what God sees in the light of the sacred mysteries. Time spent in the True Presence of the Eucharist enlightens us to understand the scriptures, the Word of God. By grace, the Word penetrates the silence of our souls. It lives in the mystery of our existence; quiet time this Advent will draw us into the depth of the gift God hopes for us to receive this Christmas.
To be vigilant, love is necessary; to love someone is to ignite a flame in our hearts. As we prepare for Christmas, we are preparing to love more, to find the Christ child, and learn from His humble life.
Jesus’ presence among us glorified Our Father in Heaven; it revealed an exaltation of love, an echo from above resounding into our souls, with the Holy Spirit to guide us.
Love inspires vigilance. In preparation for Christmas, it is customary in our time to give gifts of love. The perfect gift for those we love to express our profound gratitude for their presence in our lives. A gift for Heaven may be time spent in prayer to give thanks for the desire to learn how to share. To be responsibly stewarding in our families and communities.
What is the greatest Christmas gift you have ever given?
What is the greatest Christmas gift you have ever received?
My cousin’s husband had a brain tumor many years ago and needed surgery during Advent. My three little cousins would not receive gifts that year since their dad was ill. I was working as a hairdresser at the time, and one of my customers, a teacher, was moved with compassion as I shared about my cousin’s illness. Miraculously toys were collected through the vigilance of this lovely teacher—people of goodwill came forth. My cousin’s family was embraced with love, “hearts that speak through love in conversations of love (above quote).”
The greatest gift I have ever received is the birth of my daughters. Whether we are spiritual parents or physical, or both, the gift of love for those we nurture to grow is beyond telling. God is revealed in the most miraculous way when a child is born. Eyes opened wide, recognizing voices they have heard in the womb is an expression of wonder, a reminder of the expectation of Christmas. We are birthed into the family of God by baptism, and the Sacraments give the voices we have heard in the womb a vigilance of spirit, the City of God living in us.
We are blessed year after year to grow in God’s grace through the Advent Season. Jesus asks us to be vigilant (Luke 21:34-36), to gain strength, and to live in an exercise of love; this will renew our spirits. Gifts are to be given and received, an exchange of love poured out.
Saint Peter Julian Eymard lived on earth by the heart and by the hand of Mary. This relationship nurtured him to become a Gift of Self and led him to the founding of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. Advent blessings!