Les Femmes


Dear Readers,

It’s hopeless! It’s over! We’re in chaos. The country is going down. Get used to it. If murdering babies and euthanizing the sick and elderly don’t finish us, elevating sodomy to a sacrament will. The end is near. As a nation and a culture we’re history! Hang it up!

From a human standpoint every single word you just read is true. There is no turning back. The United States is on the brink of the abyss. No culture in history after sinking to this level of depravity has survived to tell the tale. No power on earth – no president, no government, no program – can save us.

That’s the bad news.

But, thanks be to God, it’s not the whole story.

As part of my Lenten spirituality I’ve been listening to Fr. John Hardon’s series on the Eucharist. Father reminds us that Jesus IS on earth today and wants to works miracles as He did 2000 years ago – miracles of physical healing and miracles of conversion. But just as He could work no miracles where there was no faith, Jesus requires faith to work miracles today. The world without believing Catholic Christians dedicated to the Eucharist is a corpse. We are, Father teaches, the anima mundi, the soul of the world. And it is our three-fold devotion to the Eucharist as 1) presence sacrament, 2) Communion sacrament, and 3) sacrifice sacrament that increases our faith and brings an outpouring of grace to work miracles and change the world.

Father laments the loss of devotions like 40 Hours that emphasized Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament, as present and real as when He walked the earth. “Never say Jesus WAS on earth,” Father admonishes. “That’s heresy.” “Jesus IS on earth today.” In my own meditation I think of those who most closely image Christ present in the Eucharist. When I look at Jesus in the monstrance disguised in the Host, I think of the tiny little persons hidden in single-celled fertilized ova. They don’t look human anymore than the Host looks like the man Jesus, but they are the image of the Incarnate Word! We believe the first by science, the second by faith.

When I look at the tabernacle, I know Jesus is there behind the locked door, a prisoner for love. I see Him imaged in the sick and helpless, especially those described as “vegetative.” They don’t speak, but they are there waiting, perhaps suffering, because no one comes — like Jesus, alone in the empty church. In the presence sacrament of the Eucharist Jesus invites us to be present to Him, disciples at His feet.

In the Communion Sacrament we receive Jesus – Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, carrying Him within our bodies like Mary did for nine months. Communion, worthily received, makes us resemble Christ more and more if we have the proper disposition. Father Hardon describes the concern of our Holy Father that most U.S. Catholics attending Mass on Sundays receive Communion; yet so few go to Confession. The Eucharist cannot restore grace to a soul dead in mortal sin; the sacrament of Penance does. To receive Jesus in mortal sin is blasphemy! Father condemns the common use of general absolution (GA) in some dioceses which violates Church teaching. GA may ONLY be used during a genuine emergency – soldiers going into battle, a time of epidemic, etc. The penitent who receives GA must intend to confess mortal sins in an individual Confession as soon as possible for absolution to be granted. A large number of penitents does not constitute an emergency. Father stresses how essential it is to receive Jesus frequently, daily if possible, to survive the diabolical assaults of our modern world. For the first time in history the Church encourages us to go to Communion twice in one day provided the second Communion is received at Mass.

The Sacrifice Sacrament of the Eucharist recalls Christ’s atonement for our sins through His passion, death, and resurrection. Jesus became man so He could have a human will and use it to offer Himself as a living sacrifice for our salvation. Jesus died once, for all, and through His death merited the graces necessary for salvation. He instituted the Mass at the Last Supper to confer those graces on us. While the sacrifice on calvary was Jesus’ alone, in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass it becomes our sacrifice too as we unite our sufferings to His. Fr. Hardon says that’s what St. Paul meant when he wrote that we make up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ. The Mass invites us to sacrifice by conforming our wills to God’s especially when our wills scream to do it our own way. Graces conferred by the Mass give us strength and courage to die to self every day. The early martyrs were able to perform heroic acts of virtue through the graces received at Mass.

Read about the Mass, study the Mass, understand what you believe Father urges. But he warns – “Be sure the sources you read and the persons you listen to are authentically Catholic.” He wrote The Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan to give us a reliable bibliography of truly Catholic thinkers of the past 2000 years. God calls us to be apostles of the Eucharist, but we will evangelize effectively only to the degree we understand our faith and its central teaching on the Eucharist. I urge every Catholic family to buy and listen to these lectures . Give them to your children and godchildren. Father speaks with the authority that comes from a life lived in union with the Master. Order on-line at www.lifeeternal.org.

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