O salutaris Hostia

chaliceoflove

“What great sweetness there is, O Jesus, in Communion! I want to live in Your embrace and die in Your embrace.”

Saint Therese

Advertisements

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)

Mad with Love…..

image

You, Jesus Christ become Man; You, bread! Oh, to annihilate oneself, how little that would be! If you had left us a relic of Yourself it would be a sign of love worthy of our veneration, but you yourself remain knowing that you would be the object of profanation, sacrilege and ingratitude, abandoned. Are you, Lord, mad with love?”         (St.Teresa of the Andes OCD)

image

Adoring the Holy Face of Jesus

Today is the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus.  It always falls on Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras.)  I can’t help thinking that this Feast of reparation falls on this day at least partly because of all the sins committed during the Mardi Gras celebrations.  (I grew up in New Orleans, so I know….)

I hope you will visit this link to my post featuring the history of this feast, as well as the Golden Arrow Prayer which Jesus Himself dictated to a Carmelite nun….a prayer to bring delight to His Heart.

But I also wanted to celebrate the Beauty of the Face of Jesus today.  I substituted at Adoration yesterday, and found myself meditating much on His Sacred Humanity, and how irresistible the Face of Jesus must be.

I cannot imagine such love and compassion, such kindness, tenderness, majesty and power, such goodness and glory all shining forth in one Sacred Countenance.  Truly, one could not see Him as He is and live!

I remember the words of St. Faustina:  Jesus, who will paint You as beautiful as You are?

faceofchrist

O Most Beautiful Face
Of my Savior,
I adore Your Divine Beauty,
Hidden from me now,
Yet known somehow
In the depths of my soul.
I sit before You,
Beneath Your Loving Gaze.
I gaze back,
Seeing
Only the Sacred Host,
Yet knowing
That it is into the
Eyes of my Beloved Savior that
I see,
Endlessly.

For an outstanding article on the Holy Face, visit: http://vultus.stblogs.org/index.php/2014/03/look-to-him-and-be-radiant/

Begging for Jesus

I thought I would re-visit this post today, in memory of Sylvia, who passed away about two weeks ago. Sylvia was the coordinator of the Perpetual Adoration chapel at my parish. As such, she was always “begging for Jesus.” It was her responsibility to be sure that each hour at the chapel was filled by a committed adorer or substitute. Sylvia herself regularly substituted for those hard to fill hours between midnight and 6 AM.

A beautiful brunette with a loving husband and family, she went home to the Lord on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. I imagine that after years of spending so many hours of making sure that Jesus was never alone, Sylvia surely received a most loving welcome from the King of kings.

As much as Sylvia would be grateful for your prayers for her soul, she would be even more concerned with asking, “Could you not spend one hour with Jesus?”

Eucharistic_Adoration_-_Monstrance

I stopped by the adoration chapel today while I was out running some errands.  A lady came in with a container of books and prayer cards.  The noon hour in our adoration chapel is covered by parishioners who come to spend an hour in prayer for priests, and for an end to abortion.

Assuming that I had come to participate, she greeted me very warmly.  I quietly explained that I had to leave to pick up my husband.  She said, “Oh, I guess it will just be two of us then,”  referring to the other lady who had just arrived.

As I drove away, I couldn’t help reflecting:  Isn’t that how it always is?  So few people show up when prayer is the focus.

We have 3000 families in my parish, but every week the chairperson of our perpetual adoration chapel has to go begging in the bulletin for more committed adorers.  It only takes 168 people to fill all the hours in a week, but there is always a need — even though some adorers commit to more than one hour each week.

People love to drop in when it’s convenient, but most resist signing up for a weekly hour.

I used to be that way too.  For years, I enjoyed the benefits of  perpetual adoration at my former parish, but I just couldn’t bring myself to commit to a specific hour.  Surely other things would always be coming up and I would need to get substitutes and oh well I just don’t think so.

But then, I took the plunge, about 20 years ago.  A slot opened at 1pm on Mondays.  Since at that time I attended the noon Mass, it was easy to run for a bite to eat and make it back to the chapel on time.

Oh how Jesus rewards our little efforts!  Here He waits, the King of kings, the Lord and God of all.  Here He lovingly waits upon us to see if we can fit some time into our schedules for Him.

But when we do, He goes to work on our hearts, and we are never the same.  All the adorers I know are “addicted” for want of a better word.  They anticipate their hours with Jesus with great joy, and regret when they have to miss for a necessary reason.

No matter if we are fighting sleep or distractions or if our hearts are as dry as desert sand, Jesus still works His Divine Charm upon our souls.  And we may not know it at the moment, but we find His handiwork later in the week or month or year as we overcome with ease a previous struggle, or find an insurmountable problem suddenly resolved and on and on.   He is full of surprises.  And He will never be outdone in generosity.

Yet, it is so sad to sit in the chapel alone with Jesus, and hear the distant laughter of hundreds of people at the parish fair.  But, not even one comes to visit the King.  What must He feel?

When we have a “giving tree” in our parish at Christmas, people rush to strip it bare to buy gifts for the needy, but when it is sign-up weekend for adoration, so few stop by the table.

I know that Jesus wants us to buy presents for the poor and raise money at the parish fair, but how much He would love to be included as well.  But He waits, and waits.

Will you come?

“Behold this Heart which has loved man so much, but Which is loved so little in return.”

(Words of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary.)

Tuesday adoration….what is love?

Federico Barocci, Insitution of the Eucharist, Rome, S. Maria sopra Minerva, 1608

Federico Barocci, Insitution of the
Eucharist, Rome, S. Maria sopra Minerva,
1608

What is another Name for God?
It is Love.

And what is love?
It is desiring the good of the beloved.
And what does that mean?
We give all that we can
to insure the well-being of our loved one.

And what does God do?
He gives Everything:
His Very Self
His Divine Life
His Human Life, sacrificed for us.
His Precious Body and Blood to be our Food.

As a baby receives milk from its mother,
Can we doubt that God would nourish us too,
would give His entire Self?
Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity,
pouring Himself into us
in a union so profound
that the angels are in awe.

If only we could see,
could realize what is happening:
feel His Sacred Heart
beating within us–
His very Blood
mingling with ours–
His Divinity
filling us–
preparing us to share one day
in His Own Divine Life.

Love so great
Stooping to lowliness–
It is what His Love does
Giving to the least
All
That He is.

O God of Majesty and Glory, we bow before the Mystery of Your Infinite Love for us…we  who are but mere creatures of Your hand, and yet, children of Your Heart!

Who will put happiness before our eyes? Psalm 4: 6

PSALM 4: 6-7

Many keep saying, “Who will put happiness before our eyes?”
Let the Light of Your Face shine on us.

Lord God, to my heart You are a richer Joy,
than all their corn and new wine.

Oh my Jesus, there can be no greater happiness than to be in Your Eucharistic Presence, to look upon You face to Face. What joy is this, my God, as Your eyes meet mine, and I am lost in Your Loving Gaze!

Truly, the Light of Your Face shines on me when I am in Your Presence. I can close my eyes and experience the transcendent beauty emanating from Your Most Adorable Face, purifying my entire being with Its Radiance.

I rejoice in that most tender and beautiful Divine Glance, and my heart soars in wonder at Your Immense Love for me.

The Joy of Your Presence makes all of the earth’s riches seem as nothing. In the depths of my heart, You place a secret peace which nothing can destroy.

Jesus among us…..yesterday, today and forever!

JESUS…The Wonder of You!

I see You walking along dusty roads with Your disciples, Your hair blowing in the wind; Your eyes squinting at the sunlight. I see You eating and drinking and sleeping, just as I do.

And I am in awe!

You are God! You are the Alpha and the Omega; the Beginning and the End. You are Mighty God and Prince of Peace.
You are Lord of All. Yet, You have chosen to be also truly One of us.

In Your Adorable Person dwell both Perfect Humanity and Perfect Divinity.

I am fascinated! And I shall be lost in loving You, My Perfect One, for all eternity.

O Wisdom so Beautiful! O Mercy so Tender! O Goodness so Sublime!

My nothingness adores Your All!

Tonight, from a back pew at Mass, I watched at the Agnus Dei as Father raised Jesus, and we sang the sweet strains of “Lamb of God…”

My eyes filled with tears as I gazed at the True Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world…and I thought of what He was about to do.

I watched as people began to fill the aisle and form two lines, but not just people….God’s beloved children. In the priest’s hands, Jesus waited to become our Food. He waited with such Love, such Longing, such Thirst for us. Just as He had poured out Himself on the Cross, so now He would also pour out His Entire Being to become One with each of us.

What kind of God does such a thing? Hides His Glory beneath a tiny Host and allows Himself to be consumed by anyone who approaches Him?

My mind drifted back to a talk I had heard this morning, on the Humility of God, and how Satan so hated God for becoming Incarnate….a mere Man. But, the priest had continued, how much more does the devil hate the Holy Eucharist, for God’s Humility reaches Its most Sublime Expression when He assumes the appearance of mere bread that He might feed the children He loves with such Infinite Tenderness…with His Own Flesh and Blood.

And now, I too was in line…awaiting the Food of my soul, the Living Bread come down from Heaven. The Bread which gives eternal life. Food for the journey. His Glorified Body. His Real Presence. His Beating Heart. What wonders, what miracles take place in our souls when we receive Jesus with love. What joy for Him to be loved by His poor little ones. As Therese taught:  His Love reaches Its Height, when It touches lowliness with Its Fire.

Father, help me to love Your Son,
Jesus, teach me to love Your Father,
Holy Spirit, inflame me with love for
My Triune God!

A King’s Ransom……..

In my thanksgiving after Holy Communion today, I found myself consumed with how completely I am owned by God.

The Price He paid overwhelmed me, as I recalled the Stations of the Cross, His Holy Face pressed into the dust and rock as the Cross fell heavily upon His scourged Body. More blows from the soldiers as He struggled first to His knees, and then to His feet….for me.

Before me was the Crucifix where I could see the nails, the nakedness, the agony, the forsakenness. Heart racing, lungs burning, muscles cramping, Blood spilling, cold sweat….Tears.

Within me, the Sacred Host. Jesus dwelling in nothingness, wretchedness, yet robing me in the Grace He had purchased with so much suffering.

I am motionless. How does one move when they contain within their dust not the universe, but the One Who made the universe? Not a pure and sacred thing, but Holiness Itself? Not a king, but a God Who is King of all kings?

How do I breathe? Why am I not annihilated by such Glory, such Majesty, such burning Purity?

“You are Mine,” Jesus said. “I paid the price. I paid more than the cost. I gave Everything. I gave All. Now no one or nothing else can ever claim you, for I gave my last drop of Blood….for you.

No one can pay more. But you can refuse my Love. You are free to love me…or not.”

I am lost in the Love I cannot comprehend, in what He chose to give in exchange for me — not an ocean of precious jewels or a mountain of gold or even a thousand universes! But His Own Blood, His Own Life is what He chose to give.

I am confused by the extravagance of my worth.

Where do I go?

What do I do?

How can I love enough?

The Host rests within me.

We are one.

And Jesus says:

“Do not fear.

My Love has made you worth

everything to Me.

And I will live in you,

And I will love in you,

And together we will go,

When the time comes…

Always together,

For you are Mine.”

His Word….and a kiss

My Eucharistic Jesus,

It is JOY to see only
the appearances of Bread and Wine.

It is GLORIOUS not
to experience Your Presence.

For then, as You give to me
the very Gift of Yourself,

I have something in return
to offer You –
FAITH.

Absolute TRUST in Your Words
and Your PROMISE:

Whoever eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood
lives in Me, and I live in him.

O my Faithful One,
should I require anything more than
YOUR WORD?

Father Jacques Daley, OSB, filling in for Mother Angelica one night on EWTN, said something so beautiful that I wrote it down.

In discussing how we are to receive Holy Communion, he said, “I feel Jesus prefers the mouth, because it is more intimate.”

And I thought, “Like a kiss……”

Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth…..  (Song of Songs 1:2)