Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Posts Tagged ‘Holy’

Gaudate Sunday!…3rd Sunday of Advent

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on December 17, 2017

Gaudate Sunday! Rejoice!!! The Infant King is almost here!!!

This is a continuation from last week’s post

Special Note: You’ll want your Bible present to look up passages.  If you have anything other than RSV, NAB, KJV, or NIV,  then your translation might lead you astray.  The newest translations are very loose with little holding to the original Latin text. And if you’re Catholic, I recommend the RSV, it’s the closest to the Latin text next to the Vulgate.

You’ll find Scripture colored maroon, the Catechism colored in deep green, my comments left plain, and the traditional writing done in various shades of blue and purple; and as always, emphasis has been added when appropriate.

Please take a moment to read the INTRODUCTION before you begin this Advent reflection.

Gaudate (Rejoice) Sunday!  : Part III: Mary’s service in the temple and espousal to Joseph

“Behold, I am the handmade of the Lord…”

TRADITION:

During the days that followed, [Mary] willingly set learning all her new duties. Unlike the other girls, she asked her teachers to be allowed to serve them all and to scrub the rooms and wash the dishes. Often she did her own work so quickly and efficiently that she was able to help the others in theirs. To each of her companions she was always sincerely kind, friendly, and humble…

The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life. ~Prov 22:4

Thus through the years she grew in wisdom and grace and infused mystical knowledge. Even as a child she had a remarkably advanced understanding of the Scriptures, and she loved to spend hours studying and meditating on them, especially on their inspired prophecies of the coming of the Redeemer of mankind in human form…

…to have all the riches of assured understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. ~ Col 2: 2-3

Soon afterward, the Lord in His wisdom decided to train her further in the science of suffering. He suspended all visions and similar graces, and ordered all her angels to conceal themselves from her. Feeling utterly forsaken in this sudden and “dark night,” in her humility Mary began to fear that it was due to her unworthiness and ingratitude for such precious graces…

I am not worthy of the least of all the steadfast love and all the faithfulness which Thou hast shown to thy servant,…
~Gen 32:10a (echoing Jacob’s words)

During these various tests, Mary never stopped praying to the Lord for help, and though she suffered from the strain and at times she wept, nevertheless without once losing union with God she successfully fought and conquered all these temptations…

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His body, that is, the Church. ~Col 1:24

In other words, Mary participated with the sufferings that would be her Son’s, joining herself to the redemptive graces of her Son just as Paul would do long after Christ’s ascension into heaven.  At the same time, we can say in all honesty, Mary’s Son followed in her footsteps as He went through the 40 days in the desert and then the complete abandonment in the garden at GethsemaneWhat did Jesus do, what were His responses? Did He react in the similar way that Mary did?  If so, wouldn’t that suggest His mother’s instruction in prayer was definite?

Read for yourself!  I think if anything can be said about God Almighty, He is CONSISTENT.  All throughout salvation history He repeatedly gives us examples of what is to come and how to respond BEST to what lies ahead.

It is important to mention that during her years of service in the Temple the death of her good parents, Anne and Joachim, occurred.  Both times Mary was allowed to bring comfort to her parents mystically.  St. Joachim’s death, pp57-58; St. Anne’s death, pp61-62.

In that movie, mentioned on the first posting, her parents are portrayed as still alive thus proving, once again, that you cannot ignore tradition for the sake of telling the story, especially  from a mistaken point of view. To do so is to miss the full story of salvation history.  But I digress…let us continue with the rest of the story… 🙂

“My dove, let not thy heart be sad or disturbed…
I will choose a man perfect and, according to My heart.”

THE ESPOUSAL TO JOSEPH

TRADITION:

When Mary reached the age of thirteen and a half, having grown considerably for her age, Almighty God in a vision commanded her to enter the state of matrimony.

Because of her intense love of chastity and her early vow of perpetual virginity, which she had often renewed, this divine order meant to her a sacrifice as painful as that of Abraham when God commanded him to offer up his son’s life (Gen 22:1-14).  When Mary heard this unexpected decree, she was astonished and became greatly afflicted. Nevertheless she prudently suspended her own judgment and preserved her faith and hope more perfectly than Abraham

Thus Mary in her great trial, though she felt some human uneasiness and sadness, obediently resigned herself entirely to the Will of God. And the Lord answered her:

“Mary, let not thy heart be disturbed, for thy resignation is acceptable to Me.  And by My disposition, that will happen which is best for thee.”

Only, let everyone lead the life which the Lord has assigned to him, and in which God has called him… Everyone should remain in the state in which he was called…So, brethren, in whatever state each was called, there let him remain with God.
~1 Cor 7: 17a, 20, 24

CATECHISM

In Mary, the Holy Spirit fulfills the plan of the Father’s loving goodness. Through the Holy Spirit, the Virgin conceives and gives birth to the Son of God. By the Holy Spirit’s power [AND] her faith, her virginity became uniquely fruitful, (cf. Lk 1: 26-38; Rom 4: 18-21; Gal 4: 26-28).

~CCC§723

The Holy Spirit prepared Mary by His grace. It was fitting that the mother of Him in whom “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,” (cf. Col 2:9), should herself be “full of grace.”

She was, by sheer grace, conceived without sin as the most humble of creatures, the most capable of welcoming the inexpressible gift of the Almighty. It was quite correct for the angel Gabriel to greet her as the “Daughter of Zion”: “Rejoice,” (cf. Zeph 3:14; Zech 2:14). 

It is the thanksgiving of the whole People of God, and thus of the Church, which Mary in her canticle, (cf. Lk 1: 46-55), lifts up to the Father in the Holy Spirit while carrying within her the Eternal Son.

~CCC§722

TRADITION:

Mine eyes have seen Thy salvation.“Mine eyes have seen Thy salvation.” Lk 2:30

Meanwhile the Lord spoke in sleep to the High Priest, who happened to be St. Simeon, and commanded him to arrange the marriage of Mary, whom He regarded with special love, to whomever it seemed right to the council of priests. After consulting together, the priests appointed a day on which all the bachelors of the line of David, which was also Mary’s, were to assemble in the Temple.

Nine days before that date, Simeon called in Mary and gently explained to her that as she was an orphan and a firstborn daughter with an inheritance, now near the age the young girls had to leave the service of the Temple and marry, the priests were planning to find her a worthy husband.

During the nine days that followed, Mary continually prayed to God with many tears and sighs for that which she had so much at heart.

And once the Lord appeared and said: “My dove, let not thy heart be sad or disturbed. I will guide the priests by My light, and I will give thee a husband selected by Myself, and one who will not hinder thy holy desires. I will choose a man perfect and according to My heart.”

CATECHISM

Mary, the all-holy ever-virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the fullness of time.

For the first time in the plan of salvation, and because His Spirit had prepared her, the Father found the dwelling place where His Son and His Spirit could dwell among men.

In this sense the Church’s Tradition has often read the most beautiful texts on wisdom in relation to Mary, (cf. Prov 8: 1-9; Sirach 24). Mary is acclaimed and represented in the liturgy as the “Seat of Wisdom.” In her, the “wonders of God” that the Spirit was to fulfill in Christ and the Church began to be manifested…

~CCC§721

TRADITION:

Then, as God intended, while left between uncertainty and hope, Mary gave herself over to fervent prayer an acts of love, faith, humility, obedience, and chastity.

CATECHISM

Mary is a virgin because her virginity is the sign of her faithunadulterated by any doubt“, and of her undivided gift of herself to God’s will, (cf. 1Cor 7: 34-35). It is her faith that enables her to become the mother of the Savior: “Mary is more blessed because she embraces faith in Christ than because she conceives the flesh of Christ.” (St. Augustine)

~CCC§506

“…whose name was Joseph,
of the house of David…” Lk 1:27b

TRADITION:

This good man whom God found worthy of becoming Mary’s husband and the foster father of the Word Incarnate, …was at this time a humble, unmarried carpenter who worked for a in a small town in Galilee, [and was named Joseph].

Joseph was born near Bethlehem, the third of six brothers. … From his third year, thanks to unusual graces, he began to know God by faith. With surprising understanding he eagerly learned all that was taught to him about religion and already practiced advanced forms of prayer. At the age of seven he attained the perfect use of reason and a high degree of holiness. He was a quiet, likable, and humble boy.

“Say to all the congregation of the people of Israel, You shall be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy. ~Lv 19:2b

…when he was about twenty, Joseph left home and went off to earn his living in the country north of Jerusalem. For some time he worked as assistant to a poor carpenter in a small town near Mount Gerizim…He spent much time fervently asking God for the coming of the Messiah,…[and] led a very retiring life…consistently avoid[ing] the society of women… [because from] the age of twelve he had made and perfectly kept a vow of chastity,…

Also mirroring the life of his future spouse, Mary.  For we read that in her quiet hours in the Temple, Mary prayed for the coming of the messiah as did many in Israel.  Did we not hear Simeon’s own words in Luke’s Gospel account – Lord, now let Your servant go in peace, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation…” (cf Lk 2:29).

CATECHISM

Throughout the Old Covenant the mission of many holy women prepared for that of Mary. At the very beginning there was Eve; despite her disobedience, she receives the promise of a posterity that will be victorious over the evil one, as well as the promise that she will be the mother of all the living, (cf. Gen 3:15, 20).

By virtue of this promise, Sarah conceives a son in spite of her old age, (cf. Gen 18: 10-14; 21: 1-2). Against all human expectation God chooses those who were considered powerless and weak to show forth His faithfulness to His promises:

Hannah, the mother of Samuel; Deborah; Ruth; Judith and Esther; and many other women, (cf. 1Cor 1:17; 1Sam 1), Mary “stands out among the poor and humble of the Lord, who confidently hope for and receive salvation from Him.

After a long period of waiting the times are fulfilled in her, the exalted Daughter of [Z]ion, and the new plan of salvation is established.”

~CCC§489

Soon afterward, he heard that as an unmarried descendant of King David, he was to go to the Temple in Jerusalem, with his best clothes. He was at this time thirty-three years old, a handsome, modest, and serious with pleasing, honest features.

Not 45 or 65 and balding, as many artists in sacred art have portrayed dear Joseph… when I was 33 yrs old, I often reflected on my own appearance and pronounced, I do not look old!  Joseph was NOT old, but he WAS OLDER THAN Mary.  A custom not uncommon for Jewish life at that time.

It was on Mary’s fourteenth birthday that the young men gathered in the Temple dressed in their feast-day robes. After the High Priest had presented Mary to them and explained the purpose of the meeting, she returned to her cell and wept, while he gave to each youth a dry branch announced that they were all to pray that the Lord single out the one whom He had chosen as Mary’s spouse.  

Although ,the humble carpenter Joseph had a deeper veneration for her than any of the others, he alone considered himself unworthy of such a blessing, and remembering his vow of chastity, he inwardly renewed it and resigned himself entirely to the Will of God.

After a number of prayers had been recited, each suitor came forward and placed his branch on an altar facing the Holy of Holies. When Joseph, the last in line, was about to his branch all of a sudden blossomed into a white lily-like flower, and at the same time a dove of the purest and most dazzling white was seen to descend and rest on his head for a moment, during which God said in his heart:

“Joseph, My servant, Mary shall be thy spouse. Receive her with all care and respect, for she is pleasing in My sight. She is just and pure in mind and body. And thou shall perform all that she shall [asks].”

“My dove, let not thy heart be sad or disturbed…
I will choose a man perfect and, according to My heart.”

Thereupon the priests announced that Joseph was the husband selected for Mary by the Lord Himself, and sent for her… When Mary appeared, calm and beautiful and humbly resigned to God’s Will, the priests introduced her to Joseph and proceeded solemnly to betroth the holy couple.  Then according to the Jewish custom, the two parted until the wedding.

After the wedding, Mary sadly took leave of the priest her teachers and companions, thanking them all for their kindness to her during her years among them. And then, offering up her own wish to remain in the Lord’s House all her life, with keen grief, she left the Temple, and in the company of St. Joseph and some attendants sent by the priests, she set out, with perfect resignation and trust in God for the new life to which He was leading her in Nazareth.

CATECHISM REPEAT:

“God sent forth His Son,” but to prepare a body for Him, He wanted the free cooperation of a creature. For this, from all eternity God chose for the mother of His Son a daughter of Israel, a young Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee, “a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary” (cf. Lk 1: 26-27).

The Father of mercies willed that the Incarnation should be preceded by assent on the part of the predestined mother, so that just as a woman had a share in the coming of death, so also should a woman contribute to the coming of life.

~CCC§488

Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary’s womb because He is the New Adam, who inaugurates the new creation: “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven,” (cf. 1Cor 15: 45,47). From His conception, Christ’s humanity is filled with the Holy Spirit, for God “gives Him the Spirit without measure,” (cf. Jn 3:34). From “His fullness” as the head of redeemed humanity “we have all received, grace upon grace,” (cf. Jn 1:16; Col 1:18).

~CCC§504

Many have, and still do, argued that they cannot understand the reason we proclaim the virgin birth of Christ.  But the Catechism of the Catholic Church is so clear in reason, that I offer it here:

Mary’s virginity manifests God’s absolute initiative in the Incarnation.

Jesus has only God as Father.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. ~Phil 2: 5-8

He was never estranged from the Father because of the human nature which He assumed . . . . He is naturally Son of the Father as to His divinity and naturally son of His mother as to His humanity, but properly Son of the Father in both natures,” (cf. Lk 2: 48-49).

~CCC§503

GOD BECAME MAN.  Jesus IS GOD, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.  He never had to “count equality” or “grasp” the concept of God – HE IS GOD.  He EMPTIED Himself of His Godhead and BECAME MAN, yet MAINTAINED His DIVINITY being thus BOTH GOD AND MAN (both/and – Good Theology), having His Godhead from the Father “begotten and not made, one in consubstantial with the Father” (Nicene Creed said at Mass), and His humanity from His mother, Mary: “For us men and our salvation, He came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit, was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.” (ibid)

But again, NONE OF THIS would have been possible if Mary did not say YES when the Angel Gabriel came to her at the Annunciation.  A topic we will delve into next week!

IN CLOSING:

THE BLESSED VIRGIN SAID TO ST. BRIDGET OF SWEDEN:

“As soon as I understood that there was a God, I was always solicitous and fearful for my salvation. And when I heard more fully that God was also my Creator and Judge of all my actions, I loved Him intensely, and every hour I feared and pondered lest I should offend Him in word or deed…”

AND TO ST. ELIZABETH OF SCHOENAU:

“The Lord did with me what a musician does with his harp.  The musician sets and tunes all the strings so that they give a sweet and harmonious melody, and then he sings playing on it. Thus God brought into harmony with His Will my soul and heart and mind and all the senses and of my body.”

Prayer: Deut 32: 1-6

Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distil as the dew, as the gentle rain upon the tender grass, and as the showers upon the herb. For I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Ascribe greatness to our God!

“The Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is He.

Yet basely has He been treated by His degenerate children, a perverse and crooked race! 

Do you thus requite the LORD, you foolish and senseless people? Is not He your Father, who created you, who made you and established you?

O Blessed Mother, by your prayer and example, help us wayward people to return to the LORD as you have given us the path to salvation – that is your Son, Jesus the Christ, Son of the Living God.  As you made yourself available to the Will of the Father, so too do we desire His perfection.  Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ!

In His precious name, Jesus Christ, we humbly pray, AMEN!

Recommended Reading:

As Seen Through the Eyes of Mary: Complete Advent Reflections

All the links you may have skipped in the above post:
Joseph

St. Simeon
Holy of Holies
Garden at Gethsemane
40 Days in the Desert
Introduction

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Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on June 18, 2017

This IS MY BODY…

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all you Dads!!! 🙂

First Published: June 26, 2011

Many had followed my advice on the previous post, and read about the connection of the Holy Trinity and Fatherhood.  So here is the continuation of the story as found in the Precious Body & Blood of Christ Jesus…

Office of Readings: Ordinary Time: Reading I: O Precious and Wonderful Banquet! : St. Thomas Aquinas : Christian Prayer (excerpt, emphasis added, with biblical and catechetical inserts added…)

Since it was the Will of God’s only-begotten Son that men should share in His divinity, He assumed our nature in order that by becoming man, He might make men gods.  Moreover, when He took our flesh He dedicated the whole of its substance to our salvation.  He offered His body to God the Father on the Altar of the Cross as a sacrifice for our reconciliation.

Before the Mormons get all up in arms and claim – See! That angel was right! No, ya’ll were deceived… (see 2Cor 11: 14-15)  When Jesus spoke about making men “sons of God”, He always referred to the resurrection – “…but those who are accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” ~ Mt Lk 20: 35-36, emphasis added

And those who followed Him and His commands…

They shall become the peacemakers, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” ~Mt 5:9

He shed His blood for our ransom and purification, so that we might be redeemed from our retched state of bondage and cleansed from all sin.  But to ensure that the memory of so GREAT A GIFT would ABIDE WITH US FOREVER, He left HIS BODY as FOOD and HIS BLOOD as DRINK for the faithful to consume in the form of bread and wine.

It’s no wonder that so many Protestant denominations are now practicing frequent communion – They so desire the EUCHARIST.  Unfortunately for them, until they return to the Apostolic Succession of Christ’s Holy Church, their communion will remain a symbol…

The Eucharist is the “source and summit of the Christian life.”  The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and WORKS of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented towards it.  For in the Blessed Eucharist, is contained the WHOLE spiritual good of the Church, NAMELY CHRIST HIMSELF, our Pasch. ~CCC§1324,emphasis added

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

O precious and wonderful banquet, that brings us salvation and contains all sweetness!  Could anything be of more intrinsic value?  Under the old law it was the flesh of calves and goats that was offered, but here CHRIST HIMSELF, the TRUE GOD, is set before us AS OUR FOOD.  What could be more wonderful than this?

Jesus said to them, “I AM the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst…Your fathers ate manna in the wilderness and they died… I AM the living bread which comes down from heaven; if anyone eats this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is MY FLESH…

Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you have no life in you; he who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day… He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. ~Jn 6: 35, 49, 51, 53-54, 56, 

No other SACRAMENT has greater healing power; through it sins are purged away, virtues are increased, and the soul is enriched with an abundance of every spiritual gift.  It is offered in the Church for the living and the dead, so that what was INSTITUTED for the SALVATION of [MANY] may be for the benefit of all…  See the Fifth Luminous Mystery

Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “take, eat; this is My Body.” And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, saying, “drink of it, all of you; for this is My Blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins…” ~Mt 26: 26b-28

…It was the fulfillment of ancient figures and the greatest of ALL His MIRACLES, while for those who were to experience the sorrow of His departure, it was destined to be a unique and abiding consolation.

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I AM with you always until the end of the age.” ~Mt 28: 18b-20, emphasis added

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine…

In the Eucharist, we come closer to God than is conceivable and He draws close to us in a moment of breathtaking wonder, if we only open our eyes and our minds to the marvel.  [As St. Thomas Aquinas said], “The Eucharist…is the living evidence, the shining token of God’s overpowering LOVE for us.  The very substance of our hopes has its foundation in this tender familiarity of Christ towards us.  The Eucharist IS PROOF…of God’s passionate love for us and all of our HOPE is grounded in this closeness that we have to God in this amazing MYSTERY.” ~Fr Clifford Stevens, Homily, Holy Thursday, emphasis added.

The mystery of why Jesus gave us His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity for consumption is not all that difficult to understand.  For Jesus said…

And lo, I am with you always, until the close of the age. ~Mt 28:20b

He ascended into heaven after saying that (cf Mk 16:19; Acts 1:9)…

So does that make God a liar?  How could He still be with us if He has ascended into heaven?

Because Jesus did not leave us alone without His presence…

And He took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them saying, “This IS  My Body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me…This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in My blood…” ~Lk 22: 19, 20

“Drink of it, all of you; for this is My Blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins…” ~Mt 26: 27c-28, emphasis added, emphasis added.

He gave us HIMSELF in the form of bread and wine that BECOMES HIS BODY and HIS BLOOD so that all who eat of Him worthily will have eternal life within them.  For Jesus told us while He was on earth that…

I AM the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world IS MY FLESH.

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you;  he who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life…For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.

He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. ~John 6: 51, 53-54, 55-56, emphasis added.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that…

“The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination BOTH of God’s action sanctifying the world in Christ AND of the worship men offer to Christ and through Him to the Father in the Holy Spirit.” ~CCC§1325, emphasis added (BOTH/AND…Good Theology!)

Just a “symbol”…

I’ve noticed a lot lately that many of the mainline Protestant churches are practicing a “frequent communion” within their congregations.  However, theirs is merely a “symbol” of Christ and they do treat it as such as they do not have the continued Apostolic Succession; having broken away from Christ’s Church during the 16th century.

And yet the desire for communion with the Living God is so prevalent that I wonder how much longer they can go before demanding to receive the “real deal”…

The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.”  “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ Himself, our Pasch.”  ~CCC§1324, emphasis added.

This is probably why Christ prayed so fervently during His last hours on earth for Christian Unity…

“Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son that the Son may glorify Thee,  since Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom Thou hast given Him.  And this is eternal life, that they know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.

 I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom Thou hast given Me, for they are Thine; all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine, and I AM glorified in them.

Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth. As Thou didst send Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate Myself [Holy Eucharist, Last Supper], that they also may be consecrated in TRUTH.

By the consecration the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ Himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: His Body and His Blood, with His soul and His divinity (cf. Council of Trent: DS 1640; 1651). ~CCC§1413, in brief.

“I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in Me through their word, that they MAY ALL BE ONE; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, THAT THEY MAY ALSO BE IN US, so that the world may believe that Thou has sent Me.

The glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them, THAT THEY MAY BE ONE AS WE ARE ONE, I in them and Thou in Me, THAT THEY MAY BECOME PERFECTLY ONE, so that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me and hast loved them even as Thou hast loved me. ~Jn 19: 1-3, 17-19, 20-23, emphasis added.

Did Jesus pray that we may be ONE more than once? 

YES!  He did…which should tell the reader something: This is what God WANTS MOST for His Children.  So what is the hold up?…That’s another post for another day...

Does that mean, if I’m a committed Christian, that I can partake of the Eucharist and fulfill God’s commandment to eat His flesh and drink His blood?

Unfortunately, no, it does not.  Why?  Because, as St. Paul warns ALL of us…

Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the BODY and BLOOD of the Lord. Let a man examine himself [CONFESSION], and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. ~1 Cor 11: 23-29, emphasis added.

The Catholic Church in the final days…

This applies to Catholics as well as Protestants.  Catholics, if you are partaking of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ with mortal and even venial sin on our soul you are drinking and eating judgment on yourself.  Protestants, so too will you do the same since the true understanding of the Eucharist has not been provided to you in your spiritual training as Christians.

Because, unfortunately, your forefathers (Luther, 1521; Carlstadt, Munzer, Storch, and Pfeiffer, 1523, Anabaptists; Ulric Zwingli, 1523, Puritans; King Henry VIII, 1535, Anglican Church; John Calvin, 1536, Calvinists; John Knox, 1560, Presbyterians; and the splits continued on from there…),  went the way of many of Christ’s own followers when Jesus concluded His discourse on why He was the Living Bread come down from heaven…

Many of His disciples, when they heard it said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” … After this many of His disciples drew back and no longer went about with Him. ~Jn 6: 60, 66

It was only the 12 that stayed, excepting Judas Iscariot who later betrayed the Lord, who then became the first Bishops of His Church and conferred others to take their place (see book of Acts).  They were there at the Last Supper when Jesus consecrated Himself and made the bread and wine into His Body and Blood. 

THEY were the ones Jesus gave the power to “do this in remembrance of Me”, and thus continue the promise of Jesus that He would never leave us.  And like so many Protestant ministers over the years have discovered when they have sought the meaning behind Jesus’ words in John 6…

What material food produces in our bodily life, Holy Communion wonderfully achieves in our spiritual life. Communion with the flesh of the risen Christ, a flesh “given life and giving life through the Holy Spirit,” preserves, increases, and renews the life of grace received at Baptism. This growth in Christian life needs the nourishment of Eucharistic Communion, the bread for our pilgrimage until the moment of death, when it will be given to us as viaticum. ~CCC§1392, emphasis added.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine…

So many have returned home to Rome…But for those of us who are home, let us always remember the privilege we have when we attend the Holy Mass, the Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary relived.  Let us always keep in mind, this IS GOD’S GIFT to US and must therefore be treated with UTMOST RESPECT and DIGNITY.  For as the Catechism also reminds us, and as we celebrated the Holy Trinity last Sunday…

There is no limit or measure to this essentially divine forgiveness, (Cf. Mt 18:21-22; Lk 17:3-4), whether one speaks of “sins” as in Luke (11:4), or “debts” as in Matthew (6:12). We are always debtors: “Owe no one anything, except to love one another.” (Rom 13:8) The communion of the Holy Trinity is the source and criterion of truth in every relationship. It is lived out in prayer, above all in the Eucharist (Cf. Mt 5:23-24; 1 Jn 3:19-24).

We are given LIFE not death, SALVATION not condemnation, TRUTH not falsehood as Christ radically transforms us by His radical transformation of Himself or as someone once said…

We come today to that solemn moment when something of Eternity, something of the sacred sanctuary where God dwells in His total otherness, breaks through our world, and we come face to face with the Living God.  We celebrate today the institution of the Eucharist, that astonishing gift that Jesus left each one of us, His Presence among us [cf Mt 28:20b], as a living memorial of His Passion and Death, and as the living evidence of His care and concern for us, who often get so lost in the business of living we can forget how precious we are to our Creator. ~ Fr Clifford Stevens, Homily, Holy Thursday, emphasis added.

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

So as you approach Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament of His Precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity TODAY and every time you go to Mass, perhaps it would be advisable to the worshiper of Christ to prepare yourself as best you can with the help of one of the Church’s truly great and holy priest, St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)…

Almighty and ever-living God, I approach the sacrament of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.  I come sick to the doctor of Life (cf Mt 9:12-13), unclean to the fountain of mercy, blind to the radiance of eternal light, and poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth.  

Therefore, I ask in the abundance of Thy great generosity that Thou may heal my sickness, wash away my defilement, enlighten my blindness, enrich my poverty, and clothe my nakedness, so that I may receive the Bread of angels, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, with that purpose and intention which is expedient for the salvation of my soul.

Grant me, I beseech Thee, that I may not only receive the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of the Lord, but also its reality and power.  O most kind God, grant that I may receive the Body of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, which He received from the Virgin Mary, so that I may be worthy to be incorporated into His Mystical Body, and numbered among His members.

O most loving Father, grant that I may contemplate for all eternity the revealed face of Thy beloved Son, whom I intend to receive now under the veil of this Sacrament.  Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end. Amen.

Prayer in Pdf for Printing: Prayer Before Mass

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