THE MOST SUBLIME OF ALL GIFTS: THE MOST HOLY EUCHARIST.
(Jn 6, I Cor. 11/Mt.26:26)
Ineffable, sublime, august, ineffable, inexpressible, awesome, fathomless, beyond expression in human words--- all these are pale expressions of the greatness of the "Gift of Gifts", the Greatest of all Sacraments: THE MOST HOLY EUCHARIST!!!! Never could any human person render sufficient thanksgiving for this sublime gift of the "Eucharist"--- which actually means thanksgiving! Striving with all of the energy of our will to grow in our faith, love and devotion to the Most Holy Eucharist, this should be the motivating drive of the life of all believing Catholics. We are all called to be "Great lovers", passionately falling in love with Jesus whose Sacred Heart is burning for love for you and me. How can we grow? In many ways..................
1. BEG FOR DEEPER FAITH AND LOVE! As Bartimeus the beggar, humbly ask the Lord to strengthen your faith in the Eucharist.
2. READ UP ON THE EUCHARIST! Read and meditate the above Biblical passages, the Last 25 numbers of The Diary of Saint Faustina, the fourth book in the Imitation of Christ, and Pope Benedict XVI Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis (The Sacrament of Love). Knowledge of the Lord generates love!
3. SPIRITUAL COMMUNIONS. Following the counsel of St Alphonsus Liguori and Pope Benedict VI, get in the habit of making frequent Spiritual Communions--- invite the Lord into your poor abode as often as you want; he desires to enter more than you can imagine!
4. EUCHARISTIC VISIT. Visit your Friend Jesus in the Tabernacle and talk to Him. Remember the short poem: Whenever I see a church, I stop to make a visit, so that when I die, the Lord will not say: who is it???"
5. MASS! Never miss Mass! If you have, offer prayers and even Masses of reparation for such a serious neglect! Offer prayers that many who no longer come to Mass will return!
6. DAILY MASS! Go beyond Sunday Mass; aim at daily Mass and Holy Communion. In the Our Father, we pray, "give us this day our daily bread..." This can be interpreted in the light of daily Holy Communion. Aim for it!
7. PREPARATION FOR MASS! Go beyond Holy Mass! Come early and prepare yourself for Holy Mass. Offer your own intentions, at least three: 1) For the souls in Purgatory, 2) For the conversion of sinners(especially some family member, 3) Pray for your own conversion, a personal "Heart Transplant". By offering yourself in Mass and these intentions, the Mass will; have a much more powerful effect on you and the whole world!
8. PARTICIPATE! In Mass be totally involved in every single detail of the Mass. Participate fully, actively and consciously. (Vat. II, Sacrosantum Concilium). Every detail of Mass offers special graces; do not waste them!
9. REVERENCE IN HOLY COMMUNION. Always approach Holy Communion with the greatest reverence--- meaning hands folded, a reverential bow before receiving Holy Communion and "Amen" before receiving!
10 MARY AND HOLY COMMUNION! Beg the Blessed Virgin Mary to give your her Immaculate Heart to receive Jesus worthily. Pope John Paul II said that Mary's "Fiat"(consent to the angel in the Annunciation) and our "Amen" result in the same reality: receiving Jesus into our hearts!
11. THANKSGIVING! After Mass, spend time in thanksgiving. This moment of receiving Jesus in Holy Communion is the most important moment in your life. As in receiving a friend into your home, you prolong conversation due to hospitality. Likewise, we want to practice Hospitality to the Divine Guest--- Jesus-- who has come into our home, our very soul!
12. HOLY HOUR! Get into the habit of making the Holy Hour. Fulton Sheen calls it the "Hour of Power". This will transform your life and those around you! You become like those with whom you associate!
13. ALL NIGHT VIGILS! Another objective, could be to encourage your Pastor to have all night vigils with the Most Blessed Sacrament exposed. Invite "lovers of the Eucharist" to spend some time during the course of the night with the Eucharistic Lord. Time could not be spent better!
14. EUCHARISTIC CONGRESSES! Promote the organization and assistance at Eucharistic Congresses, on a local or international level. My first was in Philadelphia, 1976 and the theme was "You satisfy the hungry hearts with gift of finest wheat; come give to us O saving Lord the Bread of Finest wheat...."
15. EUCHARISTIC APOSTLE. Bring as many people as you can to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and even more to Jesus present in Holy Mass. What greater act on earth could exist than to bring others to Jesus and that is what you are called to do! If done, Jesus will be awaiting for you with His arms open in heaven!