“If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion.” Jesus Christ, especially in the Eucharist, must be the center and source of every Catholic’s identity. Sadly, only 15% of Catholics go to Sunday Mass, and 40% (or less) believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Our bishops call for a "Eucharistic Revival" as part of a multi-year effort to re-anchor Catholics in our Eucharistic Lord Jesus. They don't want to initiate a program but start a fire, as the Chair of the USCCB’s Eucharistic Revival, Bishop Andrew Cozzens of Crookston, Minnesota, said at the Archdiocese Conference at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish (Plymouth) on November 18.
Pope Benedict XVI rightly said, "Every great reform has been in some way linked to who the Lord is in the Eucharist." Thus, the U.S. Bishops have designated 2022-2023 to be "The Diocesan Year," 2023-2024 "The Parish Year,” and 2024-2025 “The Missionary Sending Year” as Catholics make a concerted effort to reach out to nominal Catholics and the unchurched. The high point, but not the endpoint, will be in 2024 with a Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis. The last such congress in our country was almost 50 years ago, in 1976, in Philadelphia (our Bicentennial Year), attended by such saints as Mother Teresa and Pope Saint John Paul II the Great.
Holy Mass and Eucharistic Adoration are our world's greatest means of sanctification. However, to more fully and fruitfully plumb the riches and depths of the Divine Person of Jesus Christ, especially in the Eucharist, we need our Blessed Mother who knows Him better than anyone else. We need this. Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament can help us immerse ourselves in the greatest Treasure of the Catholic Church—the Holy Eucharist. Ask Mary to help you encounterthe living Person of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.
Mary's special task is to give spiritual birth to Christians. Her Immaculate Heart "craves" to help us poor struggling Catholics fall in Love with her Son in the Blessed Sacrament. With Our Lady’s help, here are some REFLECTION QUESTIONS:
1. How intentionally do we prepare for Holy Mass? (Perhaps we could read one or more readings ahead of time.)
2. How fervently do we long to receive the true Body & Blood, Soul & Divinity of Jesus Christ—available only in the Catholic Church? (We can ask our Guardian Angel to help us worship at Holy Mass more fervently.) Suppose we assist at Mass in some way, such as lector or Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, and find ourselves in the sacristy with others. (If this is the case, why not discreetly step out of the sacristy and worthily prepare for Holy Mass—to hear the Word of God in an anointed way and to fruitfully receive the Holy of Holies?) are we in this Eucharistic preparation mode, or are we talking about our latest golf game or college football score—just minutes before Holy Mass begins?
3. Do we engage in a true thanksgiving after Holy Communion, or do we receive and immediately start thinking about the rest of the day?
We must re-learn our Eucharistic piety "at the school of the saints" Saint Pope John Paul II. Jesus told a Romanian nun, "The Eucharist is the most manifest proof of God's love for men." We remember that all the sacraments contain the power of Jesus, but only the Eucharist has Jesus Himself. The Eucharist is the Risen Jesus Himself in His glorified humanity. Our senses are defective when it comes to the Eucharist, so we keep having to make acts of faith that we believe the consecrated Host is the same Jesus born of Mary in Bethlehem and Who walked the earth 2,000 years ago. His Sacred Heart is beating in every consecrated Host. As He told St. Faustina, “I desire to unite Myself with human souls. My great delight is to unite Myself with souls. Know, My daughter, that when I come to a human heart in Holy Communion, My hands are full of all kinds of graces which I want to give to the soul. But souls do not even pay any attention to Me; they leave Me to Myself and busy themselves with other things. Oh, how sad I am that souls do not recognize Love! They treat Me as a dead object.” (Diary, 1385) Implore Mary to help you recognize and receive this wondrous Love.
Can YOU commit to weekly adoration? If a Holy Hour is too difficult, what about a "Holy Half Hour"? You will find it is the best time spent in your whole week. It will make you a better "Man of the Sacred Heart." Silent adoration weakens worldliness and enables us to resist worldly temptations better. It is the best time to pray for our needs, for more men to join the Men of the Sacred Hearts, to pray for our embattled country (which Satan desperately wants to destroy) and our increasingly demonically-influenced world. In union with Mary's Immaculate Heart, true adorers are needed to renew our lukewarm Church and deepen unity among Catholics. "The Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic worship. Jesus waits for us in this Sacrament of Love. Let us be generous with our time to meet Him in adoration and contemplation that is full of faith and ready to make reparation for the great faults and crimes of the world. May our adoration never cease." (Saint Pope John Paul II) Let’s make it our New Year’s resolution to spend more time with Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration and thus grow with Mary's maternal help in our Love for the God Who first loved us.