Friday, December 02, 2011

The Blessed Sacrament

This past Wednesday, while preparing to repose the Blessed Sacrament, I was considering once again the Scripture, "the Son of Man will be handed over into the hands of sinful men."  It isn't a compulsive or obligatory prayer for me - it seems to come to me spontaneously.  I was alone in the church - no one comes in late afternoon, which is why the duty of reposition falls to me.  For a moment I considered how this loneliness could perhaps be a sharing in that loneliness which mystics sometimes claim our Lord complains of in their private revelations with him...  but I dismissed that notion as sentimentality.

Rather my thoughts went to Christ upon the cross, praying, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."  It was with this consciousness that I reposed the Blessed Sacrament.  It was awesome and made for a very solemn and prolonged genuflection.

This morning I thought, "I shall never be able to do enough penance for all the sins I've committed."

Then I came across the following prayer from the corrected Mass translation which consoled me very much:
Prayer Over The Offerings
Be pleased, O Lord, with our humble prayers and offerings,
and, since we have no merits to plead our cause,
come, we pray, to our rescue
with the protection of your mercy.
Through Christ our Lord.


  1. Beautiful prayer, Terry.

  2. Anonymous1:42 PM

    Terry: Sister Faustina tells of the time when the Lord appeared to her and told her that His greatest suffering is that men do not trust in his mercy. All of us fall short of the glory of God, and yet out of his love for us he gives to us his mercy even though none of us could ever make up for the wrong that we have done. As St. John tells us that God is love he did not say that love exists in God. So Terry I need to tell you that God loves you more than you could ever imagine.
    fr ray/DC

  3. That is beautiful, Terry.

    I too, succumb to those thoughts far too frequently.

  4. Thanks merc and Cathy.

    And tank you dear Father. I find great consolation in your advice.

  5. Unlike most of us, God forgives and forgets. Maybe we need to learn to forgive ourselves.

  6. I guess it’s not too difficult to beat ourselves up when we sin and know our weaknesses, forgetting that God ALWAYS loves the sinner but never the sin.

    Easy way to deal with this is to accept the gift of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Trade in our sins for grace, after all isn’t that what Jesus came into the world for, to redeem our sins?

    God doesn’t impose penance. All he asks us is to love each other. How can love be a penance?

    Yes, our poverty, be it loneliness or any other deprivation we experience, is always the place we can find Jesus. He was born into poverty. He remains in poverty living among all the wounded and scarred hearts on this earth. He doesn’t come to seek out our merits and virtues, only our wounds, our poverty. That’s where he makes his home in each of us. He shares in our poverty.

    Our medals will not get us past heaven’s gate, but sight of our wounds will.

  7. I also find much consolation in the words of the Divine Mercy...and on top of that that God has such faith and confidence in ME to do work for Him...the Divine Master instructing his slave to carry out an assignment. It is part of our saying "Yes" just like the Blessed Mother did. I try really really hard to do these little things the Lord asks of me with joy and gladness, instead of being the grumbling sour servant that I was for so long..

    I am also constantly reminded of St Therese, to "Do little things with great love." I really try to see that making the coffee at work for the umteenth time, or when so many people cut in line ahead of me at the security gate..

    Terry--your "little job" of reposing the Blessed Sacrament--think if it instead of being a wonderful responsibility that Our Lord requests of you. I know it is so easy to say "I'm not worthy" or "I'm tired and grumpy and something else should do it." I do it so much myself, or dont' notice the little Holy Spirit whispers that I should...


  8. Thanks everyone - but the very real point of my post was the prayer:

    "since we have no merits to plead our cause,
    come, we pray, to our rescue
    with the protection of your mercy"

    As for handling the Blessed Sacrament - that is another matter all together... He gives Himself over into the hands of sinful men. I can't contradict His words.

  9. Anonymous5:45 PM

    Thanks for that post Terry.
    I was thinking a lot this week about my many sins of the past and how unable I will be to make up for them with prayer and penance.
    I guess what bothers me the most is the way I wrecked my spiritual life and destroyed time and time again my relationship with God in grace. It gives me much material for meditation pondering on how much God really does love us. How He stays with us in the Blessed Sacrament although most of the world doesn't know Him or hates Him.
    Jesus really is the King of Mercy and Mary is the Queen.

  10. Jim - I think Fr. Ray was talking to you and me. I think God loves you very, very much. or as Fr. Ray said, "I need to tell you that God loves you more than you could ever imagine."

  11. Anonymous3:58 AM

    When I read what you read about enough penance, I thought of Little Therese wishing to appear before God "empty-handed" so that she could not boast of her works, nor be judged, but instead receiving everything from His Mercy.

  12. Anonymous1:55 PM

    Thank you Terry and Fr Ray. Just a few days ago in confession the priest told me the very same thing -how much God loves me. I haven't felt such a powerful fire of purification in my soul in many years as I did when he said that to me. God is love. God is mercy. I am the one who doesn't respond to his love and mercy, really trusting in Him. But in a world where everything appears to be against God and the soul, saying to us that God and the soul don't exist, I begin to live in trust and in the "joy of uncertainty" as Mother Teresa used to say. Providence will take care of us. God is our Father.

  13. Anonymous7:26 PM


    You're absolutely right - trust is purgative. It is the best way to console the Heart of Jesus: He thirsts for our love.

    It was the spirituality of Mother Theresa, Little Therese, St. Faustina and others.

    I came across a quote once:

    “The abundance of His love will do more to correct you than all your anxious self-contemplation.”

    That's the whole goal for us: know His love.

  14. Jim, they're right. God loves each of us more than we can understand or imagine; his love is so expansive that our tiny little human brains are incapable of conceptualizing it. Dying on the cross to atone for our sins was the tiniest manifestation of love, the equivalent of God kissing our owie.

    His mercy is ever the greater for those who sin and return to Confession to receive absolution. There's no sin too big for Him to forgive and for His mercy to heal.

    We can never love him enough and our penance will never repay His gifts to us; nevertheless he loves that we show Him our love, however imperfectly, by going to Confession, Adoration and Mass, as well as doing works of Mercy for those who are in need, whether that need is temporal or spiritual.

    I don't claim to know anything in this world with certainty except that He loves us, no matter what.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.