Thursday, June 10, 2010

A House for God

It is so sad that so many Catholics do not believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. I often see a lack of reverence during the distribution of Holy Communion. As a daily Communicant, I don't witness this so much during the week. We did have a fellow at daily Mass a while back who refused to say, "Amen" when he received. Every time he took the Host in his hand, he treated it like a poker chip while he chewed the priest out for not providing Holy Communion under both species. But he is the exception during the week.
Sundays are a different matter. I regularly see people receive as though Holy Communion was a piece of chewing gum. Once I even caught a child putting the Consecrated Host in her pocket and informed the parent who took care of the matter with haste.
People come to Mass improperly dressed - with body parts peeping out or popping out that should be kept private. Unfortunately I must admit that I laughed one Sunday when our pastor talked about women bowing in improper attire before receiving Communion. He said that there were times when he thought that "the lambs would leap over the fence." I wasn't the only one laughing but I don't really think that this was his preferred response. Father often spoke about the need for modest dress in church. After all, remember the parable about the man improperly dressed for the wedding feast?

...Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a marriage feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast; but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited, Behold, I have made ready my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves are killed, and everything is ready; come to the marriage feast.' But they made light of it and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the thoroughfares, and invite to the marriage feast as many as you find.' And those servants went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good; so the wedding hall was filled with guests. "But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment; and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.' For many are called, but few are chosen." ~ Matthew 22:1-14
I don't think that it is any different today. I am amazed at mothers who allow their daughters to wear short skirts or spaghetti strap tops with their middle showing. Do they not think about the fact that their daughters become an occasion of sin for young men with raging hormones? We need to be teaching our daughters about modesty. And don't tell me that you cannot find anything suitable for church. It's out there. We just need to let them know what happens to a young man when they see so much skin on a young lady. Why would we want our daughters to be the object of lust - and especially in church? Is it no wonder we have so many babies born out of wedlock or aborted by single women who find themselves pregnant?
But back to the topic at hand - the miracle that takes place on every altar every day. I got the info below in an email from a friend. It had been posted on FreeRepublic. If such miracles don't affect those sitting on the fence about the Real Presence, nothing will.
Sunday morning at Mass Fr. John Hedges gave a powerful talk on the Holy Eucharist.  He mentioned in St.  Faustina's Diary that  Jesus told her that many people receive him as a "dead object."    And after Holy Communion, it is as if he is invited in to someone's house and they close the door and leave.  Fr. told us to prepare well and to spend time in silent adoration thanking God for the wondrous gift of his son.
Then Fr.John told us that we had a desecration of the Eucharist last weekend and that it was not the first time.  He said that often people come from all over to an event--wedding, funeral, etc. and march up to receive the Sacrament (despite the fact that he always gives a little explanation about reception of the Eucharist when not a Catholic) or fallen away Catholics who need confession.
At any rate, a host was found with a bite out of it and stuck to a hymnal.  Fr. removed the consecrated host, placed it in a container with some water in it to dissolve it and then dispose of it correctly.  The next day he opened the tabernacle and the host was bleeding!!!  He returned the host to the tabernacle and viewed it later and the blood was now a small dot visible on the host.  The third time he checked on the host, it was again full of blood.  Fr. mentioned that this was not the first time this has happened.  He had experienced this before but took it to mean that it was meant for him.  This time he felt that he had to share it with the parish.
After Mass Fr. John held prayers for the reparation of desecration to the sacred species.  With the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament  we did the Litany to the Heart of Jesus, had Benediction and recited the Divine Praises.
I do not need to tell you how many of us were crying during the talk.   People's faces were RED.  At the end of the Mass, Fr John placed the monstrance  on the altar and told us to genuflect on TWO knees and to keep absolute silence as we left.  He himself remained kneeling in front of the altar until we had all left.
There are actually many such Eucharistic miracles all over the world. In August of 2008, my husband and I went on a pilgrimage with our church to Italy. We witnessed several Eucharistic miracles, but the one in Lanciano has to be the one the impressed me the most. We went to the little church of St. Francis right after lunch and Fr. Joel celebrated Mass with a mere curtain separating us from where the miracle was on display. After Mass we were allowed a brief time there before being told that we were going to watch a video on the history behind the miracle. I stepped into the hallway not really wanting to go and when I saw that no one was there, I said to the person next to me that I didn't want to watch a video when I was with "the real thing". The resident priest heard me and said, "Yes, you come and enjoy." He took me by the arm into a little darkened chapel behind the miracle and there in front of me at eye level was Jesus. I fell to my knees and wept. Who was I to be brought here? Nothing! For half an hour, though I had no concept of time, I contemplated the God who humbles Himself to become a prisoner of the tabernacle - Who takes the form of bread and wine to nourish our souls. How can we resist the call to be a house for God - to receive Him every day we possibly can? It was my wish before going on the pilgrimage to have the desire to be a daily communicant. He graciously granted me that wish.
I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure" --for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." And he said to me, "These are true words of God." ~ Revelation 19: 6-9

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