Living in the Two Hearts

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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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12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit… CHARITY

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on May 12, 2017

There’s a lot of CHARITY to go around… Have some!

Last week I wrote about the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit, this week I’m writing about the 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit, and guess what?!  There are EXACTLY 12 DAYS before we begin the Novena (9 Days of Prayer) to the Holy Spirit in preparation for Pentecost!!!  I mean, how cool is that?!  I LOVE GOD’S TIMING! 🙂

12 FRUITS of the HOLY SPIRIT : CHARITY

(1) Charity – Cause us to perform our actions out of love for God

Compliments Wisdom and Piety

“The virtue which inclines us to love God above all things for His own sake, and our neighbor for the sake of God. In the Old Testament the word charity occurs three times, the same Hebrew word being elsewhere translated LOVE (Prov. 10:12; Song. 2:4; 8:7).” ~Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible, Welcome to the Catholic Church, CD-ROM, emphasis added

CHARITY = LOVE (Agape = Love of God, not to be confused with Eros = love of man)…

“In the New Testament the word charity occurs with great frequency, usually as the translation of the Greek agape, the exact meaning of which, especially in the writings of Paul and John, has been the subject of a great deal of discussion. What is clear, however, and beyond dispute, is that charity (or love) is the most excellent of the virtues, the fulfillment of all the law, the sum of all the commandments, the bond of perfection (Matt. 22:36-40; Rom. 13:9-10; 1 Cor. 13; Col. 3:14; 1 Tim. 1:5; etc.).”~Ibid, emphasis added

There is something else about Charity, it’s a…

…theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God. ~ CCC§1822

Which means that…

“…To have charity is to TO LOVE GOD ABOVE ALL THINGS FOR HIMSELF [cf. 1Jn 4:10], and to be ready to renounce all created things rather than offend Him by serious sin. However, it is not necessary that we have more feeling in our love of God than in our love of men, since LOVE IS ESSENTIALLY A MATTER OF THE WILL, not of the feelings

It’s a CHOICE, people!  You either CHOSE to Love or you CHOSE to Hate, there is NO IN-BETWEEN…

The most famous Biblical passage on charity is 1 Cor. 13.” ~Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible, Welcome to the Catholic Church, CD-ROM, emphasis added

We are told emphatically…

Jesus makes charity the new commandment (cf. Jn 13:34).   By loving His own “to the end” (cf. Jn 13:1), He makes manifest the Father’s [LOVE] which He receives. By loving one another, the disciples imitate the [LOVE] of Jesus which they themselves receive.

Whence Jesus says: “As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you; abide in My [LOVE].” And again: “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (cf. Jn 15: 9, 12).  ~CCC§1823, emphasis added

Therefore…

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love [Charity], I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love [Charity], I am nothing.

If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love [Charity], I gain nothing.” ~1Cor 13: 1-3, emphasis added

 “If I . . . have not charity,” says the Apostle, “I am nothing.” Whatever my privilege, service, or even virtue, “if I . . . have not charity, I gain nothing.”~CCC§1826

Or as Shakespeare even borrowed to say,  “It is merely sound and fury signifying nothing.”

Thus we must remember this VERY IMPORTANT TRUTH about CHARITY= LOVE…

Love [Charity] is patient and kind; Love [Charity] is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude.

Love [Charity] does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.

Love [Charity] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. ~1Cor 13: 4-7, emphasis added

So faith, hope, LOVE [Charity] abide, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE [Charity]. ~1 Cor 13:13, emphasis added

LASTLY BUT NOT LEASTLY…

On the subject of the PRACTICE of CHARITY, Christ tells us that…

“‘Lord, when did we see Thee hungry and feed Thee, or thirsty and give Thee drink?

And when did we see Thee a stranger and welcome Thee, or naked and clothe Thee?

And when did we see Thee sick or in prison, and visit Thee?’

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, My brethren, you did it to Me.’” ~Mt 25: 37b-40, emphasis added

Because…

Fruit of the Spirit and fullness of the Law, charity keeps the commandments of God and His Christ: “Abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My [LOVE]” (cf. Jn 15:9-10; cf. Mt 22:40; Rom 13:8-10).
~ CCC§1824,
emphasis added

Christ died out of love for us, while we were still “enemies.” The Lord asks us to love as He does, even our enemies, to make ourselves the neighbor of those farthest away, and to love children and the poor as Christ Himself. ~CCC§1825

On the subject of mutual charity you have no need for anyone to write you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another. ~1Cor 4:9 (NAB), emphasis added.

TO CONCLUDE…

For charity delivers from death and keeps you from entering the darkness; and for all who practice it charity is an excellent offering in the presence of the Most High. ~Tobit 4: 10-11, emphasis added,

Sound familiar?… ps You can LOVE your enemy and not LIKE them… Love is NOT like… so no excuses…

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