Dearest Eucharistic Family,
Time passes so swiftly, and in the activity of our lives, it is easy to forget this world as we know it is passing away. The Lenten Season stops us in our tracks to look up and to look within. Last year, I was blessed to be on a pilgrimage to Israel. I remember a beautiful Liturgy with the sun shining brightly, Mass on a boat on the Sea of Galilee. Gazing out onto the water, kneeling on the bow of the boat, tears were streaming from my eyes. It was imagining Jesus walking on the water and the many miracles in the Holy Land that seeped into the depths of my existence and touched my heart so profoundly.
God keeps reminding me how much He loves. Our sins, shortcomings, and omissions set a tone for us to shy away rather than confidently behold God’s magnificent love for us. We are forgiven and invited to actively participate in our redemption by working out our salvation.
We can live in the mightiness of grace by our submission to God’s holy will. The gift of the Eucharist is strength for our frail humanity.
My spiritual father, Saint Peter Julian Eymard, had a dream that did not come to fruition. He desired to build a cenacle in Jerusalem. Saint Peter Julian had the details and the plans with every hope for this establishment to be made in the Holy Land. The revelation for the cenacle to be manifested in his heart by the annihilation of self was the fruit God manifested in this holy saint, later titled “Apostle of the Eucharist.” In letting go, God’s love filled Saint Peter Julian so immensely that he desired to become a total Gift of Self in return for all the love he received. The cenacle, the Altar, brings to us the Body of Jesus Christ. In our reception of Holy Communion, God’s love for us overcomes every obstacle. When we comply with grace and truly live as forgiven, we can embrace and share the blessings of living in the love of God found in the Holy Eucharist.
Our Lord in Matthew’s Gospel invites us to cleanse our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls; we are temples of the Holy Spirit. Lent is a good time to examine the fruits and gifts given to us and bring them to the cenacle, where they will be built into God’s love and dwelling forever.
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
The liturgical seasons come full circle and seem more rapid as I get older. What will You have us do for You, Jesus, as the Lenten Season will be upon us in a few days? Entering the season with Mary is a good start for me—the acknowledgment of her presence in the Eucharist as our mother is real. We need Our Lady to help us receive Jesus with reverence and awe. Mary was the first to be broken with Jesus and given to the world. We need a mother. God, in His Wisdom, knew that we needed maternal care. We are blessed to be held by Mary as we journey through life and another Lenten Season.
What can we do?
We hear in the Psalms that it is not so much sacrifice but a humble and contrite heart that God desires.
Where can I give more of my heart to You, Lord?
The external sacrifices of giving up favorite foods and a disciplined routine are excellent means to keep us obedient. Lenten fasts, sound and holy practices help us have more self-control. They help us to die to ourselves to gift ourselves to others. But the true sacrifice and gift is Jesus' life for us. He gave it freely. Jesus continues to give of Himself as He remains humble and hidden in the Eucharist. His silent presence speaks to the sinner in the depths of our souls. When we find forgiveness of our limitations and love pours out for others in compassion and mercy, life arises in our souls. The concern for us and others takes precedence. As we receive the Blessed Sacrament and carry Jesus to others, perhaps His love in us will be shared. To be broken may be to take on the burden someone holds, for it to be shared. To carry the Cross with another is to identify with suffering. Jesus took on our sins for the forgiveness Our Father has given to us in Christ. May we take on a Lenten practice of giving God His holy will for our mercy and compassion?
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
In the Gospel of Mark, the crowd proclaims that Jesus is out of His mind. (cf. Mark 3:20-21)
Perhaps Jesus is out of His mind and in His heart. In a heart that beats to glorify God, Our Heavenly Father. We are in ordinary time after a busy Christmas Season, with Lent only a few weeks away. We have received the gift of the Christ Child. We are in Ordinary Time now to serve Christ's Church and soon to recall the Passion of God's love for us.
What keeps us out of our minds?
Prayer aids us to find the pulsation of God within. The world is dismissed in its madly manner as we pray, and the divine life is revealed.
To find the loveable within comes from an annihilation of the spirit, an emptying of self and grace to find its way from the mind to the heart.
For God so loved the world. His mind was animated by the perfection of love, and the heart of God gave us everything; He gave to us His only begotten Son. In the world's creation, there was love in the heart of God. In the creation of humanity God was crazed with hope for loveable children.
It may be a good time to examine our minds and hearts. In prayer, we can find truth in our relationships that may need mending. Working from the heart to reach out and pray for souls is possible. With Mary, we can accomplish more, for Our Mother aids us in our heart's desires.
Mary lived by the heart, her mind submissive to the beat within by the Incarnation of Christ's Eucharistic love for the world, creation, Mary exemplifies to us how we live in God’s love.
Many live in a fury of spirit, trapped in their victimhood. It is Jesus who releases the bonds of death that the mind can trap us into. Jesus calls Satan out. We are to call out the demons of our lives since we are invited by our baptism to live in the heart of the Eucharist.
In this reality of spirit, we live in the glory of the Kingdom of Heaven now. We function as the loveable ones; when we fail, we humble ourselves to reconciliation with God and one another. To live in the heart of Christ is to live a newness of life. Christ born to us, gifted by the wise with an epiphany of hope. Ordinary time becomes a manifestation of glory and a happy issue of mind to spirit. Mary shows us the way to live this pathway to God. Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament never wavered, even holding the Body of Christ dead to the world in its mind of manor—the heart of God with Our Lady and the triumph of Jesus' love surpassing everything.