During Lent, many Catholics return to the sacrament of Penance, some after a few weeks, others after many years. Most of us approach Confession seeking forgiveness of sin and the alleviation of a guilty conscience. Perhaps to our surprise, the sacrament has even more to offer. In one succinct paragraph, the Catechism lists six spiritual effects of the sacrament of penance. For a more fruitful reception of this sacrament, let’s briefly examine each one.READ MORE
Consider visiting a nearby church in the area of your work or come to St. Magdalen’s during the day or afterwork. Spend a few quiet minutes before the Tabernacle. "The Sacred species reserved in the Tabernacle is to beadored because Christ is substantially present!” Imagine, time alone WITH Jesus!! What better use of anyone’stime, even if only for a short while?
The traditional Communion rail has functional and sacramental purposes. It distinguishes the sanctuary from the nave and the priest from the people. The architectural logic of the Communion rail symbolizes the sacred (“set apart”) and ministerial priesthood with the priest offering Mass as a mediator in Christ the Head. The priest, as male, images Jesus as the Divine Bridegroom in union with His beloved Church. And he feeds the Bride of Christ at the Communion rail, from the “table of the Lord.” Bride and Bridegroom are distinct but never divorced.READ MORE
It is difficult to imagine how glorious Heaven will be. St. Paul says, “What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).We have small glimpses of the joys that await God’s faithful ones even on earth, but they are simply that—glimpses. We experience the joy of good food and this is a foreshadowing of Heaven as an eternal banquet. We experience the joy of love in human relationships and this foreshadows the joy of communing with the Triune God. One of the greatest joys of Heaven will be to behold the beauty of God, face to face. Yet even now, we have a glimpse of that glory when we pray before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The joys of Heaven will be truly amazing but God does not wait until Heaven to commune with us, He does so now through the Eucharist.
In previous meditations we have addressed the fascinating topic of the fruits of the Eucharist, although not in an exhaustive form because, how can we cover something so unspeakable? However, we can outline some basic concepts that may be helpful for the faithful.
We will only address this vast subject of the Eucharistic mystery in what the fruits of sacramental communion is concern.
To receive Jesus, the Bread of Life, is the immediate object of the institution of the sacrament. "Take and eat", "take and drink", "Do this in memory of me": This is the formal mandate of Christ at the Last Supper, before His passion and death. It is clear that communion implies worship, as both go together.READ MORE
I recently had a conversation on phone with an octogenarian relative of mine who was learning how to use his first android cell phone. He mistakenly muted his phone during the conversation and did not know how to unmute it. He could not hear me speaking to him but I heard him muttering under his voice as he struggled in vain to unmute his phone.
While I was reflecting on how frustrating it was to be mistakenly muted in our conversation, it occurred to me that we too usually purposely put God on mute when we do not want to hear from Him. We mute Him when we are afraid of what He would ask of us. We put Him on mute when we want to do our own thing. This tendency to mute God only leads us to a frustrating and joyless relationship with Him.READ MORE
There is a deep sense of peace in Jesus’ Eucharistic presence. This calm is perhaps most palpable when wefeel storm-battered and worn thin from the cares of the world, work, and our family obligations. Jesus callsus to Himself especially when we feel close to drowning, when we feel the waves of adversity going farabove our heads. In those moments, Christ addresses Himself to us in the same way that He addressed St.Peter, “Take heart it is I; have no fear.” (Matthew 14:27). Jesus takes us by the hand and provides thestrength and courage we need to endure in trials. The peace of Christ brings healing and fortitude.