"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

This is a great mystery ...


Holy Communion ...

"For this reason ... a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one ... This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the Church." - Ephesians 5:21-32

Holy Communion ...

"For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father." - John 6:60-69

This is a great mystery.




Blessed Bernardo

Holy Communion ...

There is a young saint - recently beatified, whose devotion led him to the most exquisite union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus ... the spiritual marriage.  Yes.  It is no less strange however, that the Word, left his Father, to become one with man, to become Bread from Heaven.

Blessed Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos, S.J., First apostle of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Spain.

I read someplace that Bl. Bernardo's intercession is especially helpful to those who struggle with the vice of impurity.  I think Bernardo's devotion to the Sacred Heart - the complete surrender of all his affections - is an antidote to all impurity.  The grace of espousal seems to me to be similar to the consummate love of Jesus in the Eucharist for us, wherefore he gives us his body, blood, soul, and divinity at every Communion.  Isn't it like that?  Isn't that total union what we are called to?  I like to think so at every Communion - even when I feel nothing, see nothing, hear nothing - it seems that faith supplies.  I'm probably not saying that well.

I'm sure I would rather not have experiences such as those Bl. Bernardo participated in - I prefer to love in deepest obscurity... silently recollected after each Communion.  Knowing he is there and I am with him.  I like the way Bl. Bernardo put it: “I see that everything in my heart is moving towards God, drawn like iron to a magnet. It desires only God, searches only for God, and longs only for God….”  For Bernardo, that was his constant state - and he remained faithful to the graces he received.  For me, perhaps this desire is only imperfectly experienced in the thanksgiving after Communion.  Which is why I never want to waste those moments of recollection.

The following image is not of Bl. Bernardo - but I like to imagine it illustrates the intimacy of the spiritual union ... as well as the soul in Holy Communion.

perhaps an archetype of transforming union.


I was with him forming all things: 
and was delighted every day, 
playing before him at all times;

Playing in the world: 
and my delights were to be 
with the children of men.
Proverbs 8:30-31





7 comments:

  1. Beautiful post. So many people I know that have left the Church but want to come back always cite Holy Communion as the reason why. Some will scoff at them and say it's just our "I want to have it too" mentality but I like to believe that on some basic level they just know this isn't Wonder Bread and grape juice like down the street at the Jubilee New Wine Living Word Gospel Pentecostal Temple.

    I met a family after Mass today - the mom told me they were Seventh Day Adventists who were invited to the baptism of their friend's kids but they didn't know what to do for Communion so they walked out. I commended them on abstaining but invited them to just sit next time they joined us. We talked for a bit about Communion. She talked about metaphysical properties, different beliefs, even the zodiac. I don't know if we will ever see them again but it was a good conversation to have considering the readings today and that I was sitting at the sign up table with a schedule for Eucharistic Adoration.

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    1. The Eucharist is what drew me back - I always felt compelled to stop in a church and my attention was always upon the tabernacle - I would see 'lights' that seemed to emanate from it. That was when it was at the center of the altar. Then one Sunday my friends and I attended Mass and I was irresistibly drawn to receive. Not long after I was literally seized by the Holy Spirit and went to confession immediately. It was an extremely powerful experience.

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    2. The Eucharist is what drew me back - I always felt compelled to stop in a church and my attention was always upon the tabernacle - I would see 'lights' that seemed to emanate from it. That was when it was at the center of the altar. Then one Sunday my friends and I attended Mass and I was irresistibly drawn to receive. Not long after I was literally seized by the Holy Spirit and went to confession immediately. It was an extremely powerful experience.

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  2. It's too bad their friends didn't tell them to just sit and wait during Communion since they're not members of the Church. Yet.

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  3. I'm not sure how much the Catholic friends know about the faith and I strongly suspect Mrs. Adventist is out to convert them to hers. Twice in our conversation she put down man made rituals and from my reading I understand they believe in immersion-only baptism (so I suppose those kids are not baptized in her eyes). Interesting meeting though...

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  4. +JMJ+

    Terry, I love this post! It is so true to say that the Son left the Father in order to become one with His Bride! Which means that the Bride's proper response is a surrender--a submission--of all her affections. I think a lot of people understand this to mean a wiping out of self or at least a denial of individuality, and it becomes their stumbling block. That's sad because it's more like becoming your best possible self through perfect union with God. And it's clear to see how this is reflected, however imperfectly, in marriage.

    I was recently reading about the Jesuit role in spreading devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. My takeaway was that if I ever come across a Jesuit who dismisses this devotion as something sentimental or old-fashioned, I should take it as a red flag.

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    1. Glad you liked it - I agree about Jesuits who downgrade devotion to the Sacred Heart.

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