Tuesday Adoration… embraced by Mercy

Today, I was all alone with Jesus for my entire two hours of Eucharistic Adoration. This is a rare grace for me, although I feel sad when Jesus does not have other visitors.

But, His Love is so great that He is pleased and happy to remain in the monstrance for just one little soul.

When I have Him all to myself, I feel a special kind of joy. I recall St. Jean Marie Vianney’s words, “His eyes are fixed on you alone.” And I know, that if I truly understood that, I would surely die on the spot.

Being alone with Jesus is being like Mary of Bethany, sitting at His feet, fixing a loving gaze upon His Divine Countenance, choosing to do the “one necessary thing.”

I know that wherever Jesus is, all of Heaven dwells, and so I am never truly alone in the chapel. But Jesus doesn’t remain in the Eucharist for the angels and Saints, but for you, and for me…. He waits.

I used to wonder what Jesus does when we visit Him in the Most Blessed Sacrament. How does He greet us?

Once when I was on a women’s retreat, we were kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament in a rather large chapel. It was the first night of the retreat, and we were praying the Rosary before dinner.

I was kneeling toward the back praying with the others, when to my great surprise, I saw a beautiful image in my mind. Jesus, clothed in white, was standing in front of the first pew in the chapel. As I watched the scene unfold, I saw Jesus bend over and most lovingly and tenderly caress the face of the lady kneeling nearest to Him. Holding her face in His Sacred Hands, He gently tilted it upward toward His Own. Then He did the same to the lady kneeling beside the first one.

I only saw this for a few moments, but the unforgettable memory of this sweet and tender welcome by Jesus is still with me 20 years later. I know that He greeted each one of us that night with this same most loving and affectionate caress.

And He welcomes you the same way too, whenever you visit Him in any church or chapel where His Eucharistic Presence dwells. Can we ever expect too much from His Love? Just imagine the warmth and the kindness and affection…and the gratitude, pouring out of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ when He beholds us coming into His Presence…longing for Him….loving Him….seeking Him….trusting Him…wanting to spend time with Him. He Who is so often lonely and despised.

You help to quench His Thirst for love, and He gives you His Heart.

We would do Him an injustice if we imagined anything less than the most loving and tender caresses and embraces from the Bridegroom of our souls.

But are we in sin?  Let us come to our Savior.  We know the story of the Prodigal Son. Will Jesus not welcome us back with joy infinite beyond that of the father in that parable? And He will supply much more than a robe and ring and sandals, but rather all the graces needed to confess our sins and be washed in His Most Precious Blood. Then we shall dine not on the fatted calf, but on the Bread of Life.

Today, after telling Jesus everything in my heart, I asked Him what He wanted to talk about. And after a moment, I opened a book and immediately read:  As often as you want to make Me Happy, speak to the world about My great and unfathomable Mercy….

Before I made the world, I loved you with the love your heart is experiencing today and, throughout the centuries, My Love will never change.

Quotations from the book:
Consoling the Heart of Jesus, pp. 263, 275
By Father Michael E. Gaitley, MIC

(First published 11/30/2011)

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Words of a Saint…worth re-visiting

This is a re-post from last Advent.  I thought I would share it once again.  As usual, the words of a Saint are imbued with that special gift of going straight to one’s heart.

Hope you enjoy this beautiful piece by St. Alphonsus Liguori

“Lo, here I am…send Me!”

Adam, our first parent, sins. Ungrateful for the great benefits conferred on him, Adam rebels against God by a violation of the precept given him not to eat of the forbidden fruit. On this account, God is obliged to drive him out of the earthly paradise in this world and, in the world to come, to deprive not only Adam but all his descendants of the heavenly and everlasting paradise which He had prepared for them after this mortal life.

There was not one innocent person on the earth. “Since, therefore,” said the Eternal Father, “amongst men there is no one who can satisfy My justice, let someone come forward who will go down to redeem man.” The angels, the cherubim, the seraphim, –all are silent. Not one replies. Only one voice is heard: that of the Eternal Word, Who says: “Lo, here I am! Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)

“But think,” answered the Heavenly Father; “Think, O My Son that, in taking upon Thyself the burden of man’s satisfaction, Thou wilt have to lead a life full of sufferings.”

“No matter,” replied the Son: “Lo, here I am –send Me!”

“Think that Thou wilt have to be born in a cave, the shelter of beasts; from there Thou must flee into Egypt whilst still an infant to escape the hands of those very men who, even from Thy tenderest infancy, will seek to take away Thy life.”

“It does not matter: Lo, here I am — send Me!”

“Think that, on Thy return Thou shalt lead a life most arduous, most despicable, passing Thy days as a simple boy in a carpenter’s shop.”

“It does not matter — send Me!”

“Think that, when Thou goest forth to preach and to manifest Thyself, Thou wilt indeed have very few to follow Thee; the greater part will despise Thee and call Thee imposter, magician, fool, Samaritan. And, finally, they will persecute Thee to such a pass that they will make Thee die shamefully on a gibbet by way of torments.”

“No matter! Send Me!”

The decree then being passed, the Archangel Gabriel speeds on his way to Mary. Mary accepts the Word for her Son: “And the Word was made flesh” (John 1:14). Thus behold Jesus in the womb of Mary! Having now made His entry into the world in all humility and obedience, He says: “Since, O My Father, men cannot make atonement to Thy offended justice by their works and sacrifices, behold Me, Thy Son, now clothed in mortal flesh, behold Me ready to give Thee satisfaction in their stead with My sufferings and My death!”

Wherefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and oblation Thou wouldst not; but a body Thou has fitted to Me…Then I said: Behold, I come!” (Hebrews 10:5)

Amen.

From: The Incarnation, Birth, and Infancy of Jesus Christ, by St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori

Tuesday adoration….I am coming soon

From the root of Jesse a flower will blossom, the glory of the Lord will fill the earth, and all creation shall see the saving power of God.  (Antiphon:  Canticle of Zechariah, Morning Prayer, Tuesday, first week of Advent)

While praying the beautiful Psalms and readings for these first few days of Advent, I found myself feeling a precious bond with the people of Israel.  And I wondered:  Was it difficult for them to keep believing in the prophecies…that God would truly send a Savior?

Two thousand years passed between the time of Abraham and the coming of Christ.  That is a long time to keep a Promise alive.  So much suffering, enslavement, exile.  The prophets came with their words of fire, but they too passed away.

Where was the promised Messiah?   Would He ever really come?  Was it all a dream?

Surrounded by pagans, the Hebrew people must have wondered about their God.  How different He was!  He alone was God and He would tolerate no other gods.. He demanded holiness and obedience.  Stories of His great power and might were recorded in their holy Scriptures.  Were these accounts really true?  It had been so long…so very long…the waiting.

One thousand years passed between David singing of the suffering Servant in his Psalms and, finally, the birth of Christ.

But He did come!  The Promise was fulfilled.  Many generations had come and gone, but somehow faith in their God survived among these people.  They continued to hope, and to pass this hope on to their children.

We too are waiting for Christ.  During this Advent, we prepare for His coming at Christmas.  We await the celebration of His birth.  But our waiting is not like that of the Israelites who waited in darkness.  We already possess the Light of Christ.  We know that He has come, and even now, is with us in our waiting.

But, we are waiting for something else!  We are waiting for His coming in Glory on that Last Day.  We are waiting for the Resurrection of the dead.  We are waiting for our glorified bodies.  We are waiting for the New Heavens and the New Earth.  We are waiting for our King!

And in that sense, we are very much like the Israelites, for it has been so very long….over two thousand years since the birth of our Savior.

The apostles, it seems, thought He would return in their own lifetimes.  So many have thought that.  But He hasn’t come yet.

And it seems the world is weary of waiting.  It even seems that many, if not most, have forgotten Him…have abandoned the Promise.   It is too hard to be holy and obedient and patient.  We have so many distractions with which to amuse ourselves now.  We are so smart and clever and self-sufficient.  We have filled the world with our own creations.  Who needs a demanding God?  We have a new god:  ourselves….or pleasure….or both.

But He Is Coming Again!  Jesus Himself promised us that the first time He came.
And we know God keeps His Promises.

But it has been so long…where are You Jesus?  The world grows so dark again, like in the days before You came two thousand years ago. We need Your Light!  We are so weary.

We long for You so!  If we call to You….will You come?  Can our yearning bring you to us?

Look, I am coming soon.. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
I am the sprig from the root of David and the bright star of the morning. I am indeed coming soon.

Amen; come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:13-14,16,20) NJB

“Lo, here I am…send Me!”

Adam, our first parent, sins. Ungrateful for the great benefits conferred on him, Adam rebels against God by a violation of the precept given him not to eat of the forbidden fruit. On this account, God is obliged to drive him out of the earthly paradise in this world and, in the world to come, to deprive not only Adam but all his descendants of the heavenly and everlasting paradise which He had prepared for them after this mortal life.

There was not one innocent person on the earth. “Since, therefore,” said the Eternal Father, “amongst men there is no one who can satisfy My justice, let someone come forward who will go down to redeem man.” The angels, the cherubim, the seraphim, –all are silent. Not one replies. Only one voice is heard: that of the Eternal Word, Who says: “Lo, here I am! Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)

“But think,” answered the Heavenly Father; “Think, O My Son that, in taking upon Thyself the burden of man’s satisfaction, Thou wilt have to lead a life full of sufferings.”

“No matter,” replied the Son: “Lo, here I am –send Me!”

“Think that Thou wilt have to be born in a cave, the shelter of beasts; from there Thou must flee into Egypt whilst still an infant to escape the hands of those very men who, even from Thy tenderest infancy, will seek to take away Thy life.”

“It does not matter: Lo, here I am — send Me!”

“Think that, on Thy return Thou shalt lead a life most arduous, most despicable, passing Thy days as a simple boy in a carpenter’s shop.”

“It does not matter — send Me!”

“Think that, when Thou goest forth to preach and to manifest Thyself, Thou wilt indeed have very few to follow Thee; the greater part will despise Thee and call Thee imposter, magician, fool, Samaritan. And, finally, they will persecute Thee to such a pass that they will make Thee die shamefully on a gibbet by way of torments.”

“No matter! Send Me!”

The decree then being passed, the Archangel Gabriel speeds on his way to Mary. Mary accepts the Word for her Son: “And the Word was made flesh” (John 1:14). Thus behold Jesus in the womb of Mary! Having now made His entry into the world in all humility and obedience, He says: “Since, O My Father, men cannot make atonement to Thy offended justice by their works and sacrifices, behold Me, Thy Son, now clothed in mortal flesh, behold Me ready to give Thee satisfaction in their stead with My sufferings and My death!”

Wherefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and oblation Thou wouldst not; but a body Thou has fitted to Me…Then I said: Behold, I come!” (Hebrews 10:5)

Amen.

From: The Incarnation, Birth, and Infancy of Jesus Christ, by St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori