(Photo from Father Lawrence Lew, O.P. - God’s Excessive Love - Used With Permission)
" "In the first place it should be known that if a person is seeking God, his beloved is seeking him much more." — St. John of the Cross

Monday, August 1, 2011

Saints of the Eucharist

Today we commemorate St. Alphonsus Liguori (1698-1787). Tomorrow we will remember St. Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868), not St. John Eudes (1601-1680) as I originally posted. These were two men who loved and centered their lives around the Living Christ, present in the Blessed Sacrament.

St. Alphonsus was a Bishop, theologian, and founder of the Redemptorists. He encouraged daily visits to the Blessed Sacrament, especially where it was exposed. He was a prolific writer who left us a treasure trove of spiritual nourishment. Among these gems are: The Holy Eucharist, Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament, Etc., For Every Day in the Month: Aspirations of Love to Jesus In the Holy Eucharist, and (in more abbreviated form) Visits to the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin Mary. What fruit for contemplation lies within these works! You can get a flavor for the feast that awaits you by sampling some quotations from his many works. Let me share one.

“Suppose that our Lord, Jesus Christ, would be present in only one church in the whole world . . . . What a beautiful tabernacle would be built! What lighting would be placed there! With what immense respect would respond all who succeeded to get close! Well, Jesus is now in every Catholic Church where there are consecrated hosts!”

Yes, He is in every Catholic Church where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. But He is generally left there alone and abandoned. Even the few inclined to visit Him, often find the Church doors locked. 

On His behalf, we must ask over and over: Where are they who profess to love Him?

Come before the tabernacle every day, if even for just a moment. If you find the Church doors locked, pause by them, and tell our imprisoned Lord of your love for Him. Ask your pastor to unlock those doors for some period of time each day.

Pray that the Eucharist will become the source, center and summit of your life and the lives of all our priests.  

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