Updated: Jan 3
Deus meus et Omnia ☩ my God and my All.
In the peace of His Majesty, our blessed Lord Jesus. Merry Christmas. This Holy season brings to us joyful news: He is here. The promised One, whom priests and prophets long foretold. This Great and Holy season brings to focus this immense joy which should always be on in our souls. He is here! Not in a manger thousands of years ago but here now in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. "How many of you say: I should like to see His face, His garments, His shoes. You do see Him, you touch Him, you eat Him. He gives Himself to you, not only that you may see Him, but also to be your food and nourishment." St. John Chrysostom. He is in the Tabernacle, waiting, at times He is even exposed for us, to converse with us face to Face. He wills to be consumed by us and to dwell within us. Christ the King, the Bread of Life, first came to us on Christmas Day as a great gift in the city of Bread, Bethlehem, which gives heed to His Sacramental Presence. "Everyday, Jesus humbles Himself just as He did when He came from His heavenly throne into the Virgin's womb; everyday He comes to us and lets us see Him in abjection, when He descends from the bosom of the Father into the hands of the priest at the altar." St. Francis of Assisi. This joyful season resonates this fact of His coming and calls us to recollection on His great love for us. For God so loved the world, as to give His only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in Him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting. For God sent not His Son into the world, to judge the world, but that the world may be saved by Him (John 3:16-17). With this understanding every Mass, every joyful instance before a tabernacle ought to be like that first Christmas Day, when we face to Face with Love itself, our God. “The Eucharist is the sacrament of love: it signifies love, it produces love. The Eucharist is the consummation of the whole spiritual life.” St. Thomas Aquinas. Yet this love is so abused, God left His heavenly throne to come to be born in a manger, die on a Cross, and be enthroned in the Tabernacle, in an often lonely Church, at times forgotten by most. “O love not loved! O love not known!” St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi. How many times have we gone to Mass eager to see others, or to hear the sermon, or out of love for music, the flowers, or the ornate beauty. There hath stood One in the midst of you, whom you know not (John 1: 26). These things are good, but they are only complementary to the One who is there. The One who truly seek you, who has awaited you out of Divine Love. It is better to be with our Lord in the filth of a manger than to be praised in Herod’s palace. For better is one day in Thy courts above thousands. I have chosen to be an abject in the house of my God, rather than to dwell in the tabernacles of sinners (Psalms 83:11). History can teach us a lesson on the subject of loving the Eucharistic King. Shortly after the Protestant revolt in England, the heretics captured the Monasteries, Churches and Cathedrals. Seizing them in order to seize the faith of the people. Strictly using modern history, one would conclude that the most devout in society were the gullible peasantry, who for centuries had been won over by the ornate pageantry of liturgical ceremonies, the breathtaking architecture and fear mongering from clergy in places of authority. Certainly, with the capture of these places the peasantry would adopt this new church, and Anglican theology. In Ireland this easy adoption never occurred, the Irish peasantry rejected the beauty of their ancestral Churches, which were now deprived of the Blessed Sacrament, in favor of rocks hidden deep in woods where the Mass would be said in secret by Catholic priests. “Though robbed of their beautiful cathedrals and parish churches, though deprived of their Mass-houses and hovels, the priests and people would not bow the knee to Baal. With the quick instance of devotion and the grand daring of affection, they once again found places wherein to worship their Eucharistic God and King. The enemies of our Faith saw now that the harassed Catholics flocked to the mud cabins as they had flocked to the churches, and bent as low before the rough altar as they had done before the works of art. It was not, therefore, anything merely human, but something really Divine that caught their eyes and gripped their souls. It was the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic Sacrifice that drew the Irish people, and caused them to pour out all the wealth of their hearts in the miserable hovels which He deigned to visit even for a fleeting hour or less” Father Augustine, Capuchin, Ireland’s loyalty to the Mass. These Irish peasants brought to life the words the Divine Master taught of His sheepfold: I am the Good Shepherd: and I know mine, and mine know Me (John 10:14). They also remind us how good it is to be in the Presence of Christ, to adore Him, and to receive with Him who loved us first. “ Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you - for you alone? He burns with the desire to come into your heart” St. Therese of Lisieux. In the Gospel of Luke, we read shortly after the resurrection, when the Church truly understood the nature of the Risen Lord: And it came to pass, whilst He was at table with them, He took bread and blessed and brake and gave to them. And their eyes were opened: and they knew Him (Luke 24:31). The apostles and dissolves did not recognize Christ until they saw the Eucharist in His hands, until they ate of His flesh at Communion. Then they knew Him. They knew Him. Just as we know Him. The Blessed Sacrament, the Loving God who not only awaits us, but like a Good Shepard retrieves us. Those Irish peasants could not be fooled, nor should any Catholics be won over by any other thought than joy when before Him who loved us first. “Here, then, is our heaven on earth--the Most Blessed Sacrament” St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori. It is not beauty, nor fear, or anything else but it is the presence of Christ that Catholics ought to seek. My soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God (Psalm 84:2). It is the presence of God that makes a place truly beautiful. “There is nothing so great as the Eucharist. If God had something more precious, He would have given it to us” St. John Vianney. It is the presence of God that one should truly fear. “Let the whole world of mankind tremble the whole world shake and the heavens exult when Christ, the Son of the living God, is on the altar in the hands of a priest” St. Francis of Assisi. With all certainty it is the presence of God that Catholics should seek before all other things, even those that are good. “A thousand years of enjoying human glory is not worth even an hour spent sweetly communing with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament." St. Pio of Pietrelcina. How we should long to be with Him. “In the presence of Jesus in the Holy Sacrament we ought to be like the Blessed in heaven before the Divine Essence” Teresa of Avila. We should long to speak to Him, Adore Him, and petition Him. “Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament has His hands full of graces, and He is ready to bestow them on anyone who asks for them” St. Peter of Alcantara. "Gaze upon Him, consider Him, contemplate Him, as you desire to imitate Him. Totally love Him, Who gave Himself
totally for your love." St. Clara of Assisi. So when we see the Lord God, reigning from His Tabernacle, or His Monstrance, or in the hands of His Holy priest at Mass, wether it be in a glorious Church or a small chapel, or in a basement, a cave, a barn or rock in the wilderness, let us kneel in joyful adoration and join the voice of St. Peter on mount Tabor in proclaiming the simple truth of being in the presence of our Eucharistic God and King: Lord, it is good for us to be here (Matthew 17:4).