Choosing the better part

Choosing the better part

Monday, September 16, 2013

Benedict XVI - In Communion I Enter Into the Lord

"Receiving Communion," writes Pope Benedict XVI, "means entering into communion with Jesus Christ. ... What is given us here is not a piece of a body, not a thing, but Him, the Resurrected one himself – the person who shares himself with us in his love. ... This means that receiving Communion is always a personal act. ... In Communion I enter into the Lord, who is communicating himself to me."

The Eucharist is Relational - Jesus Commuicates Himself to Us.

“The Eucharist is the centre and source of grace: therefore, it must be the very keystone of the Christian life and Evangelization. The most ardent activity will accomplish nothing of value if it forgets for a moment that its main object is to establish the reign of the Eucharist in all hearts.  For thereby is fulfilled the purpose for which Jesus came into the world. That purpose was to communicate Himself to souls so that he might make them one with Him. The means of that communication is chiefly the Holy Eucharist. "I am the living bread that came down from Heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh." (Jn 6:51-52)

This Eucharist is a Person. It is Someone. It is the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ, body, blood, soul and divinity. That is the drawing power of the Eucharist. In the Eucharist we have the glorified humanity of Christ and therefore His human heart directly and personally focused on each one of us in Holy Communion and in adoration outside the time of Mass. And we have the infinite, intimate life of the Trinity offered to us to share in. The generosity of God in the Eucharist is staggering.

I think of the words of Pope John Paul II: 'As we contemplate the Eucharist we are filled with the wondering faith, not only concerning the mystery of God and his boundless love, but also concerning the mystery of the human person. In the presence of the Eucharist the words of the Psalmist come spontaneously to our lips. 'What is man that you care for him?' What great value the human person has in the eyes of God, if God himself feeds him with His Body! What vast spaces the human heart conceals within itself if they can be filled only by God! You have made us for yourself, O God' we confess with St. Augustine, 'and our heart is restless until it rests in you.' When a Christian leads a person to the Eucharist he leads them to Jesus Christ in Person. We cannot do anything more fundamental and precious than that. To meet Jesus is to meet all our deepest needs and to know what it really is to be loved. In the Eucharist we are not only brought intimately into the presence of God but we are also invited to eat and drink at his table. He feeds us with his very own life.

Thus, we are only hinting at some of the riches of the Eucharist as the Real Presence.  The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is not just a physical and real nearness of Jesus to us. It is a relation of person to person through the mediation of the Body of Christ. It is a spiritual rapport with Jesus, full of personal attention to us, full of love and willingness to help and to befriend us. So the Real Presence is both personal and relational. The Eucharist is the Sacrament of friendship between Jesus and us mediated through his bodily presence.”

Adapted from “The Legion and the Eucharist” by Fr. Bede McGregor O.P. Spiritual Director to the Legion of Mary

Eucharist as Communication

"We need a blood transfusion… There must be communication, union, between the Heart of Jesus and your heart–our heart–so that His divine blood will flow into us until little by little our blood is replaced by His. When this union, this total fusion between our will and His will takes place, then, to put it briefly, our will is replaced with the will of Jesus; our feelings are replaced with the feelings of Jesus. We live in Jesus–this is love! We are lost in Jesus. It is no longer I who think, it is no longer I who feel; it is no longer I who act. It is Jesus in me! It is Christ who lives in me!"   (Blessed James Alberione)
The Heart of the universe, our lives, and of all true communication: Jesus in the Eucharist.

Schola Christi October Meeting - The Eucharist as Communication

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Blood of Christ is the Pledge of the Faithful Love of God for Humanity

The theme of blood linked to that of the Paschal Lamb is of primary importance in sacred Scripture. In the Old Testament the sprinkling of the blood of sacrificed animals represented and established the covenant between God and the people, as one reads in the Book of Exodus: "Then Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people saying: ‘This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you on the basis of all these words of his'" (Exodus 24:8).

Jesus explicitly repeats this formula at the Last Supper, when, offering the chalice to his disciples, he says: "This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26:28). And, from the scourging, to the piercing of his side after his death on the cross, Christ has really shed all of his blood as the true Lamb immolated for universal redemption. The salvific value of his blood is expressively affirmed in many passages of the New Testament.

In this Year for Priests, one need only cite the beautiful lines of the Letter to the Hebrews: "Christ ... entered once for all into the sanctuary, not with the blood of goats and calves but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifer's ashes can sanctify those who are defiled so that their flesh is cleansed, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God?" (9:11-14).
Dear brothers, it is written in Genesis that the blood of Abel, killed by his brother Cain, cried out to God from the earth (cf. 4:10). And, unfortunately, today as yesterday, this cry does not cease, since human blood continues to run because of violence, injustice and hatred. When will men learn that life is sacred and belongs to God alone? When will men understand that we are all brothers? To the cry of the blood that goes up from many parts of the earth, God answers with the blood of his Son, who gave his life for us. Christ did not answer evil with evil, but with good, with his infinite love. The blood of Christ is the pledge of the faithful love of God for humanity. Looking upon the wounds of the Crucified, every man, even in conditions of extreme moral misery, can say: God has not abandoned me, he loves me, he gave his life for me -- and in this way rediscover hope. May the Virgin Mary, who beneath the cross, together with the apostle John, witnessed the testament of Jesus' blood, help us to rediscover the inestimable riches of this grace, and to feel profound and perennial gratitude for it.

(Pope Benedict XVI)

New Life Through the Precious Blood of Christ

‎"The Precious Blood belongs in an especial manner to men. Much more, therefore, does God invite them to come to its heavenly baths, and receive therein, not only the cleansing of their souls, but the power of a new and amazing life. Every doctrine in theology is a call to the Precious Blood. Every ceremony in the Church tells of it . . . . Every supernatural act is a growth of it. Everything that is holy on earth is either a leaf, bud, blossom or fruit of the Blood of Jesus. To its fountains God calls the sinner, that he may be lightened of his burdens. There is no remission of him in anything else. Only there is his lost sonship to be found. The saints are no less called by God to these invigorating streams. It is out of the Precious Blood that men draw martyrdoms, vocations, celebacies, austerities, heroic charities, and all the magnificent graces of high sanctity. The secret nourishment of prayer is from those fountains" (Father Faber, The Precious Blood).

The Precious Blood of the God-Man

from Through the Year with Fulton Sheen
by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Life had to be forteited for our sins, and no life is more precious than that of God who became man. His blood was the blood of the God-man, and therefore he paid the infinite price. We were not bought with gold and silver, but with the precious blood of Christ. That is how our sins are forgiven, and that is why our Blessed Lord prayed for our forgiveness at the moment that he poured out his blood for us sinners. If you have faith in Jesus' sacrifice, now is the time to go to confession, to get rid of your sins. When the priest raises his hands in absolution over you, the blood of Christ is dripping from his fingers. We priests are hardly conscious of this great power. I think we would almost be shocked to death if we ever really realized it. But that is how the sin is absolved, by this blood of Christ.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

This is my Body

Here is wonderful video called "The Heart has its reasons" about Jean Vanier and the work of L'Arche.   It is very touching and a good preparation for discussing Fr. Cameron's reflection at tonight's Schola Christi meeting.  Enjoy and I hope to see you there.