Sunday, November 29, 2015

My heart is cluttered with thrones and pedestals

 Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Guard your hearts and allow them to adore only One - the Beloved.  Let Him be the Love He desires to be for you and not simply what your desires, your loneliness or your wounds seek to make Him.  As much as you seek Him, there will be parts of yourselves that hold on to false images or lesser images of Him.  These will not always be obvious or even necessarily evil.  In fact, it is often the best of things in this world that we cling to the most or that we are tempted to exchange for the true freedom and intimacy He offers.  It is the silence of faith that will reveal these things to you.  It is in the silence of the chapel - adoring His eucharistic face - that you will be lifted up and your love renewed. 

I may not realize that wherever I kneel in church, I always bring my own "altar" to the altar.  This altar doesn't occupy space, but it is pretty full.  It varies from person to person.  It involves what in reality I am consciously or unconsciously worshipping in my life.  That altar is really what I place on the altar to adore.

I often speak of what I adore.  "To adore" in any language does not imply trying to throw God from His throne.  I use it out of habit.  In a natural way, although almost unconsciously, I am relegating God, whom I should really adore, into the background.

The situation is odd because I can see the altar from my pew in church - but what do I actually see?  Not the true altar but this one in my mind.  I have brought it with me.  It obscures the altar of the most holy sacrifice.  I don't realize that I simply don't see it.

So the silence I try to have as I kneel before the tabernacle cannot be real.  God wants to grant me real liberation - not in the sense of choice between good and evil but in freedom from desires, from fears and obsessions.  He wants to grant me true interior silence that is both freedom from hindrances and peace coming from union with Him.  This one who grants me peace, frequently calms my sense of loss and loneliness.

The silence of faith leads to grace.  This consists in quietening the passions and desires.  It is about the silence of the will so that I have fewer and fewer yearnings.  The less I pursue desires, the more I find peace.  God magnetizes the emotional forces into tranquil pathways free from clingy attachments.  Instead my love is magnificently renewed.

In Holy Communion I unite myself with Jesus - or so it seems to me.  But do I really unite myself with Him?  He comes into my heart yet He finds it cluttered.  I may find this hard to imagine.  How many temporarily unused thrones are cluttering my mind that I do not want to throw away, thinking they will come in handy later.  My psyche is cluttered with thrones and pedestals.  This lumber is the reception room for the eucharistic Lord.  How must God react?  "It should be known," writes St. John of the Cross, "that God dwells secretly in all souls . . .  . Yet there is a difference, a great difference, in His dwelling in them.  In some He dwells alone, in others He is not alone.  Abiding in some He is pleased; in others He is displeased.  He lives in some as though in His own house, commanding and ruling everything; in others He is like a stranger in a strange house, where they do not permit Him to give orders or do anything."

I am uneasy as I reluctantly think about this.  Perhaps I owe an apology to Him because He had to come to such a cluttered place.  Besides, the Church encourages me in this moment to be like the humble centurion or the repentant prodigal son.  So I can ask before the Holy Communion: Lord, only say the word, so that I am healed, sanctified, and freed from the lumber of noisy yearnings and deafening desires silencing the voice of Your love.

Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer
The Mystery of Faith

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

from frenzied anxiety into the peaceful embrace of eucharistic love

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Haste has been described as a modern form of violence to the person.  Indeed, as we are carried about in a frenzied fashion through the activities and the demands of our life, our interior life can become fragmented.  What is this but violence against the self?  The anxiety-ridden mind and heart become incapable of experiencing the peace of Christ, incapable of receiving his love. 

This makes something a simple as slowing down the pace of our lives, reducing our activities, an act of faith; making room for and making way for God's presence.  It allows for silence to shape all that we do and say and give meaning to our experiences.  It also prepares us for the moment of greatest intimacy when we receive the Lord in the Holy Eucharist; to understand that He has come for us . . . 

I don't often realize how much haste disturbed my journey towards the invisible one.  Haste dominates the desire so that I am overtaken by the event and over-anxious to get what I want.  So much of me is nervously frenetic, feverishly making plans with hectic effort to get a move on, racing hastily towards my goal.  This kind of activity simply impedes my discovery of eucharistic love.

Perhaps I should begin by slowing down every step I take.  Every moment is a time when i can receive God's love.  I can only assimilate this love if I let go of feverish activity, frenzied anxiety, my attempts to put my personal seal on everything I do.  That is the way to be really prayerful.  It is enough for me to slow down the pace of my activity so that I make way for God's presence.  That is how I prepare the way for peaceful eucharistic love.

If my words about God are not immersed in a sort of silence as they are uttered, they come from a godless mouth.  What is more, no one will listen to me.  To hear God we need silence like Elijah on Mount Horeb.

When I am pressed for time, slowing down itself can be an act of faith.  With an activity that is more paced, I can begin to pray.  I do it for Him.  This slower activity is a proper preparation for my reception of Him in the Eucharist.

When I drive a car, I try to pray in the act of driving itself, just by touching the steering wheel or the pedals.  I will somehow bring God into that activity.  It is enough that it is being done differently, and on account of this one who is waiting for me with an abundance of eucharistic graces.  Every attempt to slow down or do it differently becomes an act of faith as it is directed to this one who craves nothing more than continuously to be communicating His grace on me.

"My daughter, I too came down from heaven out of love for you; I lived for you, I died for you, I created the heavens for you," said the Lord Jesus to St. Faustian.  Yet don't these words also apply to me if I accept His mercy just like St. Faustian?  He also descended from heaven out of love for me.  He lived for me.  He died for me.  He created the heavens for me.  This is God's amazing love as if He were talking to me personally: for you I am coming onto the altar.  It is for you that I am bringing about this miraculous transformation.

I am sometimes tempted to think it is all very well for St. Faustian with her special vocation, but that is not for me.  I don't want it.  Yet doesn't that reveal a hidden resistance on my part to God's grace?  After all, it is He who chooses.  Didn't He choose the twelve apostles, who were just ordinary people?

Slowing down involves coming into silence.  Within this silence, I can discover God.  I can only live the sacrament of the present moment by this silence.

This sacrament discovered in daily life leads to the Blessed Sacrament, the sacrament that is the peak of Christian life.  We can say that since the Eucharist is the sacrament of faith, then everything that holds back the growth of faith in me holds back the flow of redeeming grace flowing either in holding the Eucharist or by God's presence in the tabernacle.

Faith means seeing what is invisible.  My participation in the Eucharist is a prayer of humble faith.  It draws me into humbly exercising more constant loving attentiveness to the invisible one.  He is really present under the species of bread and wine.  Yet is it so easy to stand by in loving attentiveness?  My prayer during the Eucharist, the prayer of humble faith, is actually generally distracted because until now I have not clung to God.  If I am completely preoccupied by something during the day or totally immersed in something, then it is not possible for me to be focused when I am coming into church or when Jesus appears on the altar.  My attitude during the Eucharist reflects my divided life in which I so often forget God.  The reality is that everything that happens to me during the day revives when I am trying to pray before the altar.

I am not only often preoccupied by events, I am also taken up with my vivid imagination.  As St. Teresa of Avila says: "Since it sees itself alone, the war it wages is something to behold - how it strives to disturb everything.  As for me, I find the memory tiresome and abhorrent.  I often beseech the Lord to take it away during these periods if it is going to bother me so much . . .  . The only remedy I have, having tired myself out for many years, is . . . to pay no more attention to the memory than one would to a madman."

So how can I learn concentration?  I need humbly to ask for it and often to practice greater concentration throughout the day.  This concentration means living more carefully, more slowly, not hurrying towards a future constructed from mental patterns under the influence of something in my past life.  The rule is: do whatever you do without overstitching yourself, not expecting to finish what you have begun.

However we shall not fulfill our expectations either during prayer or at Mass.  We are never free from distractions.  So I shall be continually beginning it but never actually finishing.  Searching is finding and finding is searching, teaches St. Gregory of Nysa.

God is silence.  When I try to be still, pushing may way towards the invisible one, I am entering the extraordinary circle of His amazing, saving, eucharistic presence.  With this He will be embracing me more and more.

Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer
The Mystery of Faith

Monday, November 23, 2015

God pushed to the background

 Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Religious people are not above having their illusions; including the illusion of being religious.  Even while maintaining the semblance of virtue and perhaps working very hard to do so, one can all the while keep God at arms length.  Religious sensibilities can be very strong as well as religious feelings, but they may have nothing to do with God.  They satisfy a personal need for security or comfort, but involve no true surrender to God or closeness to Him.  God is kept in the background; never at the forefront of one's life where He can disturb one's commitments and pursuits.  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.  We crave normality; to be in sync with the world around us.  If God were to get too big we would no longer be "in control" and so we make compromises. We keep God just close enough to maintain the illusion of goodness - He is in the background yet only to illuminate and give a radiance to our own pursuits.  May God pull us away from our egocentric desires and fill our hearts with deep contrition and increasing faith. May He makes us know our need for His Eucharistic mercy.

In the attitude of the tax collector I admit that You are still too little in my life.  Everything around me attracts me, absorbs me, involving me in the sphere of its actions as if beyond this world nothing else existed at all.  By this attitude, I am far away from You.  The horizon of what I see is hidden by the river of sensations I am looking for, to which I am surrendering myself, in which I am losing myself. These sensations and feelings have nothing to do with redemption.  Likewise they have nothing to do with the Eucharist that makes that redemption present.

Isn't there a kind of a drama going on in my life so that You are actually pushed to the background of my thoughts and actions?  You are only in the background, not in the forefront.  I push You far away. I may be doing something for You, but in fact I am not very interested in You.  You are always second, third, or even tenth in my scale of importance.  After all, I have so many friends, members of my family, so many urgent matters.  If I work it out, will I say You are seventeenth?  So this makes You very much in the background.

Because of this scenario, I need You so much.  You have come to me today and keep coming all the time.  You are really present in the Eucharist.  Chasing after an elevated place, courting the avarice of possessing, searching for pleasure and bodily comfort - all these things will destroy me.

I can still see that You are only in the background.  Even worse, I prefer not to remove You from this background.  I need it like that.  I would even feel bad without it.  I keep You just in the background of my life, small enough not to disturb me in my commitments and pursuits.

How obstinate I am.  Yet it is hidden in me.  It is somewhere deep in my subconsciousness.  It is unmistakably there.  I am ashamed to spell it out, but the fact is I feel good keeping You small like that.  You fit just nicely in my scheme of things.  You keep just where You are.  I like to be "normal" and if You were to get big and great in my life, there would be an upheaval.  I would not be able to cope.  I can't allow that.  That just won't do at all.  I would not have my peace of mind, the comfort that's granted to me by the compromises I've made.

Despite all this, grace still breaks through to me.  More and more I can see that I need You.  I need You so much.  You are my redeeming God.  You have come to sinners like me.  That is why You come in the Eucharist to save me from my obstinacy against which I am so helpless.

If you are in the background, I am big and important in the whole scenario.  I am sitting on a really big throne.  I am actually on a throne with God in the background.  The radiance is coming from that background giving a new dimension to everything.  Human relationships are almost radiant.  Even my thoughts if they have You for their background, take on a brilliantly new significance.

Yet You can see that in reality it is You I desperately need - really desperately.  By treating You subconsciously as the background I am actually destroying myself, my family, my friends, the world. This truth I discover in the act of contrition is so transfixing that I am now racing to You with even greater passion.  With the attitude of the tax collector I am crying out, "God present in the Eucharist, save me!"

How perverse this all is - the apostolic work for You may be very reassuring; I may get a lot of satisfaction from this work.  After all, I convert people.  I speak about You so much.  I am like a sort of hero the way I work.  Yet this is only because of You.  If You disappeared from the background, then my whole missionary activity would make no sense.  So You have to be in the background as this is what makes my apostolate, my whole life sensible.  It gives me this unusual peace that I convince myself I am living for extraordinary things.  I do it - with You in the background!

Even the important matter of winning souls for You is contaminated.  Yet the fact that You show me this contamination should be a great light and grace for me.  Because then my crying out for You, God in the Eucharist, becomes stronger and stronger, and my need to cling to You gets stronger too.  The nearness of Your merciful love will, I believe, save me. Moreover, I see that the problem of the background is beginning to show itself differently.  What I used to see as background was all confusion, immersed in my ego.  I now clearly see that no one can help me.  I only have You.  The more dangerously confused I am, the more Your eucharistic mercy spills into me because You are love itself.

I need You, my God, I need you so very much in Your eucharistic mercy.  You want to forgive me all this.  You want to save me.  You want to sanctify me.  Despite my confused obstinacy, despite my immersion in egocentric desires, You are in love with me.  You are overlooking my selfishness.  The more You can grant me Your forgiveness, the greater Your glory.

In Your love, You only need my contrition and increasing faith.

God, working in the Eucharist by the power of the Holy Spirit, immerse my poor soul in the waters of contrition.  Show me it is really not worth focusing on myself, because I was Your special choice even before You made me.

You have made the whole world for me.  When You are speaking to me from the altar, I shall know better and better to open myself to Your love that wants to revive and transform me.  Transform me to the point where the world is in the background so that You become the center of my life.  According to the faith I receive in and through our Church, I want the Eucharist to be the source and the sense of my spiritual life.  I want You to lead me by my faith.  I want to be led to sanctity.

Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer
The Mystery of Faith

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Defenseless Love

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

The following reflection is so full of meaning that I can't bring myself to comment on it. My hope is that you will sit with these words of one who sought in an exemplary manner to draw close to our Eucharistic Lord and for whom this search shaped the contours of his spiritual life. Let the words wash over you gently and prayerfully. They are deceptively rich. Fr. Tadeusz writes in such a simple style but there is something so deep and penetrating about his thought that one can only attribute it to the genuineness of his experience of and love for the Eucharist.  

Jesus in the Eucharist would like me to knock hard.  He wants to provoke my prayer and to be dependent on me, one of little faith.

I am wrapped up in myself.  That is how I like it.  I am standing at the door leading to Your Eucharistic Heart.  It is hard for me to be on the other side.  Teach me to knock hard.  I still want to try.  In fact, I have no hope the door will ever open.  Maybe I don't want it to.

It is not so easy to knock.  Even though it means being in touch with You, I don't know how to do it.  Teach me, hidden Eucharistic One, more and more to expect You and get in touch with You.  A child can knock by kicking at the door, but I am no longer a child.  I don't knock very hard since I only want a certain amount of You.

Eucharistic Jesus, help me see it is so easy to find myself on the other side of the door leading to Your Heart.  If by being small I get needy of You, You are ready to make the first move to open the door wide.  You hurry to open it more than I hurry to enter.

Actually, You have already opened it.  I keep shutting it.  I shut myself behind it, crazily running away.  Only Your Eucharistic presence can teach me how to calm down just for a moment, to listen so that eventually I find myself in your arms, convinced of Your reality.

I want to tell You, Eucharistic Lord,, that I can only knock because You allow it.  I should admit it is You who are constantly knocking.  I am the one who doesn't want to open the door.  It is amazing You want to be dependent on me, a sinner.  Such is my strange behavior.  You are exhausted looking for me, even to the point of the Cross, yet I am so indifferent and distant.  You die for me.  You come on the altar for me, giving me freedom to accept or reject You.  

You have to teach me everything; You have to teach me how to recognize Your defenseless love.  I have still not discovered Your true face.

St. Catherine of Siena tells us that if we were really convinced that God loves us more than we love ourselves, our anxieties would simply wither away.  

In the Mass, I join in those provocative words in the Our Father.  As I pray that most amazing word - Father - I am helped to remember what happens in the Mass.

To become a human father is to assume full dependence on a little child who is utterly dependent on father.  We get "omnipotent" over the father's heart!

We depend so much on people who depend on us.  The strong one is completely defenseless toward the weak.  The weak one trusts him so he can't be left.  To love this small child means to depend on him or her in an unavoidable way.  A child is given enormous power over the father.

With this analogy, I can get a brilliant insight of faith.  I can begin to see how God loves me in this demanding fashion.  He gives me power over Himself.  I am free to respond.  He suffered on the Cross because He loved me and lovingly gave Himself for me.

Faith's insight leads me to recognize the truth that the Eucharistic One is always "weaker" than I.  I can disavow and forget Him but He can't forget me.  I may cease to be a son.  He can't cease to be a Father.  Our Eucharistic Lord is always "weaker" than I because His love is ceaseless.

The ones who love become defenseless toward the ones they love.  By loving, I open myself to possible injury.  I can only be injured by one I love.  The more I love, the more I can be injured.

To understand a little of the greatness of this opening to injury in our Eucharistic Lord, we need to note the fantastic quality of His love.  In this mysterious Sacrament, the greatest love reveals: " . . . Jesus continues, in the sacrament of the Eucharist, to love us 'to the end,' even to offering us His body and His blood."  I will never sufficiently penetrate this love.  I long to gaze onto the Eucharistic species, but the enormity of God's defenseless love open to injury remains a mystery.  Yet the Eucharistic Lamb wants to give me eternity to fathom this infinite love.  Then I will be at the source of eternal admiration and happiness.

If I start here and now, I will let the Eucharist fully operate within me so that His grace permeates me thoroughly.  To some extent I will discover the true face of Jesus, so defenseless and weak.  Perhaps I will be rather like St. Paul.  He the persecutor discovered that Jesus allowed him to persecute Him because His love is defenseless.  He discovered His crazy love.  His discovery of the Lord had him forever trying to communicate it.

"For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name" (Acts 9:16).  Yet He also made him an extraordinary pillar of the Church.  Paul couldn't imagine what would follow.  Neither could He wish it.  He had no idea how he would be led to God.

Abraham too had no idea where God would lead him.  It turned out to be better than he imagined  During his life he saw Canaan occupied while still a nomad.  He was however gradually growing to such great faith that he was called the father of faith.  He was maturing in faith when he sacrificed his son in a way many Christians couldn't imitate.  His future was unimaginable and unexpected.  Such a dedicated one is a father of faith.

If I discover just a little of the Eucharistic Jesus's amazing love for me and wish to respond, it will be in a way I can't imagine or expect.  He will finally give me the grace of complete union with Him.  It will be granted in an unimaginable and unexpected way with my own consent and desire.  When we closely take notice of people greatly dedicated to God, the impact of His grace is visible.  Eucharistic graces greatly transform them.  In time of trial we can be greatly disappointed, apostolic efforts can be really unsuccessful on account of intrigue, greed, or meanness.

All these setbacks highlight realities from appearances.  Through the rubble and ruins, in the long, silent prayer of faith, it becomes clear that those setbacks were illusory.

Our unfathomable God on the Cross lost everything humanly.  Yet the regular renewal of this in the sacrificial Mass, compellingly inspires more and more dedication.  New saints appear all the time.  It is apparent that all the setbacks, lack of success, and losses were quite unreal.

We can receive light to understand that everything Jesus wants is best.  It is only self-will that leads to disaster.  We may think we are ruined.  It is not worth one tear.  It is just illusions.

Finally we can discover that our hidden Eucharistic God wanted the uselessness of our needless activity.  He doesn't need our action.  He doesn't wait for our results.  He needs us just to need Him.

Having nothing makes space for God's grace in acts of pure love.  As St. John of the Cross tells us, that means more than all the deeds taken together.

Look, our Eucharistic Lord says, your pride has failed you.  Nobody wants you.  You have no peace or happiness.  You pray with the words: Lord, I have nothing and have done no good in my life.

When I pray like this, our Eucharistic Lord answers by conquering souls in His calm usual way: You are My love and My glory.  You think nobody needs you.  I make you into a likeness of Me.  I look on you with unlimited love.  My crazy, amazing love inspires you in the most extraordinary ways.

Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer
Amazing Nearness

Fr. Tadeusz was a Polish priest and the author of many books that have now been translated into twenty-eight languages.  He died in 2009 after a life dedicated to spreading spiritual life connected with increasing adoration and love toward the Eucharistic Christ.

In many ways this book, Amazing Nearness, is an exceptional commentary on Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical Deus Caritas Est.  It explains and helps us understand love in our relationship with the Eucharist.  Indeed, it is exactly here that we experience the affinity, communion, and mutual love that can transform us into This One who has first loved us.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

you need my silence

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Look, God remains present for you in the "Sacrament of Silence."  All this noise, rushing around, tension, and enslavement to self will obscure His Eucharistic Presence.  Your sadness, anxiety, and haste impede your communion of life with Him.  He so much needs your interior silence.  He needs the silence of your will so that you only want Him.  

Your sadness, anxiety, and haste can all be subjected to redemption if you open yourself to God in the Sacrament of His Love.  Give Him those busy tensions destroying your soul and body.  Allow Him once more to forgive you everything on the altar in His redemptive Eucharistic Sacrifice.  He can then convince you again that there is no love like His.

It is in silence that God, from whom I so regularly turn away, comes to me.  For God is Silence.  He comes and speaks in silence.  I am full of interior noise.  I am full of noisy desires, passions, and curiosity.  I always want to know and see more, as the more I know, the more I am esteemed.

There is no real silence in me.  I keep on uttering needless words, asking needless questions.  I am too focused on what is unnecessary.  This all distracts me from my Eucharistic God.  He can't be in touch or talk to me when I am like this.  "After you have left everything," says St. Therese, invoking the Imitation of Christ, "you must above all leave yourself."

Curiosity may seem irrelevant.  Yet in striving to keep interior silence, small insignificant things are important.  Curiosity about the world, human affairs, and everyday happenings can be a big obstacle in my spiritual pursuit.  I need to find calmness in my excessive attachment to exterior things.  This mustn't, however, lessen my awareness of people in need of help.  The curiosity that needs curbing works in me like a constantly switched on TV.  I may not have a TV, yet needless curiosity acts as if there is one switched on inside me all the time.

I can reject this Silence by the noise of pushy pride, excessively wanting to please others.  This is often a terrible enslavement, confusing my spiritual endeavors.  Perhaps blinded by habitually acting like this, I see it as something quite different.

Haste is interior noise.  I am always chasing after something; I tend always to be on the go or clock watching.  Yet if I try to reduce my driving speed for God, it becomes a prayer.  If I try to let God slow me down, He can take me over.  Becoming interiorly silent creates the conditions for the Silent One to come to me.  My haste is a nasty thing, destroying my bond with Him who is all for me.  My haste simply pushes Him away.

Haste also destroys the body.  God's passionate love can speak to me through my body as it disintegrates, loses resistance, or becomes worn out with age.  Maybe I will get to understand that my sufferings and illnesses have a lot to do with my haste.  As I leave the Silence of God, I am highly prone to enter the sick world, the area of tormenting sicknesses.  So through ignoring God, which involves ignoring proper care of the body, many contemporary illnesses like backache, circulatory problems, allergies, and tumors arise in this feverish, senseless running around.  Opposed to the silence of God are haste and anxiety induced by over-ambitious images of personal greatness.

We so much need interior silence.  To find everything, we need to want nothing and nobody outside Him.  Yet even this depends on being in touch with His will.  Fulfilling God's will brings us to discover that this is the pathway to our salvation, soul and body.  It promotes love in every direction.

It is not always possible to pray mentally and with feeling.  The inner light of faith where God lives doesn't always reach the outskirts.  Most important is silence of will, interior quietness, a certain form of detachment when my will focuses overwhelmingly on Him.  Then I supremely desire His will, seek His presence, and want to serve Him.  When everything else ceases to have immediate value for me, my will and love are paradoxically enriched in every direction and concern.  Without this, there is neither interior silence nor good prayer.

Silence of will involves not planning too much.  I can find it by taking up the challenge of having more flexible plans.  By silence I am ready to have my plans thwarted.  Yet I am aware how much confusion and anxiety every disappointment causes me.  This is one of the biggest obstacles to finding real peace. . .  .

Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer
Amazing Nearness

Monday, November 16, 2015

Do you really want His coming in glory, now?

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

When you draw close to the Lord as He comes to you in the Eucharist, your hearts must also be preparing for His second coming in glory.  This expectations means living in a state of constant conversion, seeking to purify the eye of your heart so as to see in faith the Angel choirs surrounding the altar.  You must offer no resistance to His grace and yearn for heaven.  Let it be your greatest desire.  You must ask yourself often if you sincerely want His coming in glory now.  Are you ready for it?  Do you expect it?  

I often forget that the Eucharistic eschatological dimensions are extremely important.  They involve my need for conversion through the pursuit of personal Eucharistic Love.  As so few expect His coming, so few people prepare for it.  He will come in glory, but  how will his sudden coming find me?  Concentrating on Him in interior silence?  Or maybe preferring early illusions . . .  .  Expecting His coming in glory means desiring Him now as King of my heart.

As soon as Jesus comes onto the altar at the Consecration, the Church makes me expect His next coming.  On Christian thinker tells of a vision concerning the Lord's second coming.  He saw the priest raising the Host after the consecration and suddenly the end arrived.  Out of the elevated Host emerges Christ in His whole glory, surrounded by Angels.

In faith I should immediately try to discover the Angel's choirs surrounding the altar.  The Eucharistic celebration is participation in heavenly liturgy.  Angels cannot leave Jesus, for whom they were created.  In the First Eucharistic Prayer, the priest, just after the Consecration, bowing in the name of the Church, utters the amazing words: "alright God: command that these gifts be borne by the hands of your holy Angel to your altar on high. . .  ."

Your glory is revealed when I offer no resistance to Your grace.  You find Your glory in sanctifying those whom You love dearly, for whom You shed Your blood on the cross.  "Lord Jesus, come in glory" means that I should have the beginning of a desire to see by faith the Angels around the altar along with my yearning for heaven.

The more sincerely I say these words, the more my focus will increase.  They ask: Do I really want His coming in glory, now?  Am I ready for this coming?  Do I expect it?  I should try not to be terrified by the thought of His coming or afraid of its disturbing my private world.  I should try mentally to live that reality.  For this glory will have to recreate my own earthly world and transform it into something new.

After all, Jesus coming in glory will involve a new heaven and earth, not this earth to which I desperately cling.  There will be a new earth and heaven.  The words: " . . . Lord Jesus, come in glory" invite me to radically change my outlook.  They invite me to want to bring the Lord's coming closer to earth and heaven here and now.  Faith already makes it clear that You, my Eucharistic God, wish to embrace me forever in Your incomprehensible glory.

Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer
Amazing Nearness

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Only by being small

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

It is now when your Redemption is being accomplished.  Now you are at the source of all graces, being given the greatest of God's gifts.  Your Eucharistic participation gives you everything you need.  You will receive all this because of God's plan.  Now on the altar He gives His life for you.  Only He can distinguish which desires are good or bad for you.  Hatred and pride are everywhere.  Even during the Eucharist you can be tempted without knowing it. Only by being small can you defend yourself.   

The Blessed Sacrament is God Himself giving Himself.  He in His sacrifice, in His real presence comes inside me and wants to permeate my whole being with even a particle of His life, to illuminate it.  The Eucharist is light bringing light.  It wants to illuminate me with God's incomprehensible love, extraordinarily revealing Himself in this sacrament.  However, even after I receive this Sacrament, some areas of darkness remain in me.

How do I defend myself against the temptation and open up to the Eucharistic saving graces?  Only by being small.  Hatred cannot stand such attitudes.  It always builds illusory, elevated thrones.  Since I am blind to it, my pride induces me to build these illusory thrones at the behest of the prince of this world.  I have always to be small especially when I am in church before the tabernacle or when I am at Mass. The prince of this world fears humility.  He knows that when I am small I stand in the truth.  The whole power of Love surrounds me.  He fears this and has to run away.

If I am small, there is an absence of the aura of coveted greatness.  The Eucharistic Jesus is able to live in me because I will finally have opened my heart to Him in my tormented wandering.  I will then be amazed to see that when I was astray, I was being looked for by that Love that never abandons me.  Finally I will have opened myself to it, and It will be able fully to conquer me for its glory.

Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer
Amazing Nearness

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

In weariness you sought me

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

You must never let yourself lose sight of or take for granted the extraordinary love of a God who searches for you and waits for you; Who takes upon Himself your humanity to draw close to you and in the stillness of the Eucharist waits patiently for you to recognize His presence.  You constantly walk away from Him, pass by Him unaware of the yearning of His heart.  Pray.  Pray that His constant searching will affect you so deeply that you will never want to leave Him again.

Quaerens me, sedisti lassus - in weariness you sought me. . .  . Unexpectedly You come to me in these words.  You come with Your silence and peace.  Silence and peace - light flows from these words.  It is as if they captivate and transfer me to a different reality - the reality of Your offering of Yourself.  Wanting to move me to faith, You tell me Your love speaks simply; someone who has lost a love one, seeks for him.  Afterwards he is nigh exhausted.

All this isn't just about anybody.  It is about You, God who accepted human nature so I could understand things.  You long for me.  Your humanity brings me to the truth of Your extraordinary love.  As God You do not get weary; yet on earth, sharing our human nature, You cried and got tired.  All for me personally.  I am not running after You.  You are chasing me by Your love or just by Your Voice.  You seek me because Your very seeking marvelously exposes my needs.

Quaerens me, sedisti lassus - words that speak of You and me; about me, constantly lost in life's avenues, whom You desperately need to find.  That is how You are saving me.  You bring me hope as I know You are never giving up the pursuit.  So I place my hope in Your searching.  My peace comes from that.  It tells me that finally I will not go astray.

I am guilty of losing You by going away from You.  I forget You love me exclusively.  My thoughts, desires, and likings are miles away.  In avoiding you, I get lost.

No matter what happens to me, no matter how far I stray away, You never give up the search.  You never weary of me even with my fleeting absences.  You, the Divine Searcher of the lost, eagerly come looking for me.  You are unaware of any fatigue.

You unceasingly love me.  You reveal it by constantly looking for me in the Eucharist.  You keep injecting me with Eucharistic grace so that Your redeeming, suffering exhaustion is not in vain.  From the Eucharistic altar You can lift me, heal me, and constantly tell me about Your incomprehensible love for me.

You bring me hope that eventually Your tirelessness will amaze me so much, I will be secure in the thought that I will never leave You again.  The time will come when You will not have to seek me anymore.  Your tiredness will be over, not because I will have changed but because Your searching will begin to affect me so deeply that I will never want to leave You.  You will have finally found me.  I thank You.  I only thank You for the peace it brings me.  It is only You who find.

I am thinking that someday, in keeping with Your wish, I will discover Eucharistic love and be taken up with You who unceasingly love me.  Your Eucharistic love will deeply penetrate my life, purifying me.  In this Eucharistic way You will always fill me with Yourself.  Someday You will introduce me to the light of Your glory that always waits for me.

Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer
Amazing Nearness

Monday, November 9, 2015

Fear has big eyes

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Fear has big eyes.  It sees everything as a threat and so controls our thoughts and destroys our hopes.  In this sense it becomes an idol.  We invest it with meaning above everything else - including the Love that God has for us and what He gives us.  It directs our thoughts, makes our decisions and drives our actions. It may slow us down but it is not a holy stillness or silence that allows for an encounter with God and an experience of His grace.  Rather, it paralyzes us; prevents us from reaching out to the One who seeks for us at every moment.  Instead of being lifted up by Love we remain earthbound; unable to break free of the moorings of our fears. Our vision becomes warped and we are prevented from seeing His Eucharistic Face.  We are everything to Him and yet we minimize the King of the Universe.

Any importance given to person and things reduces God's presence and activity within the soul," writes St. John of the Cross.  God wants to protect me from being so deeply wrapped up in people and things that I push Him out.  Through preoccupation with what He has created, I can effectively cover Him up.

My life will always be quite topsy-turvy if I have more regard for people and things than for our Eucharistic Lord.  I can get so wrapped up in my possessions that they begin to take me over to my detriment.  I get so drawn away from God that I scarcely relate to the Eucharistic One.

I can get so absorbed in my work, it can be like a drug.  Workaholics suffer by pushing God out.  Results become my spur.  In being so attached to them, I marginalize the Eucharist.  I don't hand over my concern about the results to Him.  That is odd since it is He who determines the outcome.

St. John of the Cross tells us that the more we identify ourselves with things, the more we become subservient to them.  I get so wrapped up in my surroundings, I drive God into the outskirts.  So we all suffer when the living Eucharistic God actually disappears from my daily life as if He doesn't exist at all.

Fear has big eyes, according to the proverb.  What I fear can grow enormously, engulfing me so that both the world and our Eucharistic Redeemer cease to matter in these moments. Yet He is in the Eucharist for me and the world.  Fear alone exists and that becomes like an idol for me.  My attitude to an idol can either be that of adoring love or fearful rejection.

The more I marginalize God, the more I suffer from fear and haste.  It is not just that I need to slow down.  Slowing down can still be haste if I am continually earthbound.  Real lack of haste is silence within me.  It involves searching for fulfillment in Eucharistic Love.  If I am just thirsting for exclusively earthly love, acting very slowing goes on impeding God's grace.  Allowing my life to be centered on the One who daily comes onto our altars is the only way to save men from the deprivation of anxiety, sadness, and feverish activity.

I may declare I best find God in nature, yet it is by no means certain I am looking for God in this pastime.  It is true that trees are God's gift, yet I can get into a trap if I focus more on them than on God.  They blur my vision, drowning me in the forest by diverting my focus away from the pursuit of amazing Eucharistic Love.  I need to avoid making love of nature my final goal.  The great and beautiful forest can conceal my Eucharistic, hidden God who is always longing and searching for me.

Where am I going?  Should I not change direction?  After all, if I receive the grace to believe in the Creator not just of trees and animals but also of galaxies rushing into infinity, then I may get engrossed in His love.  It may happen that as I look at the star-filled sky, I will simply pray.  I may not be asking for anything but I will be adoring God.  Humbly looking in faith includes adoration.  Maybe I will be led on beyond the lit-up sky to see my own smallness in contrast to the greatness of the Only One.  Maybe I will not just stay in this thought but go on to embrace the inner core of it.  Maybe I will hold onto God's greatness in His very personal, supportive power and love.  After all, these great things are not just there for me to look at with powerful telescopes.  The wonders of the universe are an invitation to draw close to Him in adoring amazement.  Everything created should impel me toward incomprehensible Eucharistic Love.

My prayer of adoration should always more or less lead me to God's amazing reality.  It is He who is adored in the Eucharist; it is He who is worshiped by choirs of angels.  God is always so amazing.  However, we need discerning eyes of faith with worshiping hearts inspired by His superabundant miracles.  These point to His never-ending love for me.  He wants to give me unending opportunities.  He wants me to respond at least to some of this truth; He wants me to worship the Eucharist maybe in the words, "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power . . ." (Apoc. 4:11).  He superabundantly reveals His glory to inspire me to some adoration of the real Master of the Universe.  On the Eucharistic altar He always reigns supreme.

I still minimize the King of the Universe.  In my everyday life I undervalue the Eucharistic One.  Yet my participation in the Mass is a vital part of my life.  I frequently ask how it is that I don't make the Infinite One more important, especially on account of His miraculously incomprehensible Eucharistic love.  Why don't I change in a radical way?  I am everything to Him; I am the one who is unique to Him; He just wants me to share in His eternal glory.

Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer
Amazing Nearness

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Enclose yourself in Me

“Enclose yourself in Me. If you knew who I was, you would pray today for all sinners, those that you know and others too, with all the trust one feels in the Infinite.

“Shut yourself in never to depart again. Be like My cloistered sister; the cloister, you know, is the image of My heart. There’s where you will live—in the midst of others—with such love and tenderness.

“Don’t be afraid to be transformed. Abandon yourself to the strokes of the chisel; everything is for your good. Isn’t My love for you beyond reason. Yes, I love you to the point of doing the good that I want to do to this one and that one by you. You will not always notice this. Sometimes you will wonder, ‘Who spoke then—He or I?’ You know how I have merged with My faithful child? Wasn’t this My desire—to be one with you, with each one of you. Not for just a moment but for your life long.

“Which of you will give Me the joy of being invited to your earthly pilgrimage? Who will say to Me at the end of the road, ‘I should like to live again because of You, and yet I find it sweet to die for You.’

“I have called you to union. My invitation is for every man, woman, and child. Yet few have listened. Very few have responded to the call. Gabrielle, My little girl, consent to this oneness. There is still time. You will console Me and you will make amends for yourself; you will give Me, as it were, a taste for forgiveness.

“Oh, My little ones, created by Me, what power is yours! Let your heart overflow with love and gratitude. What would you find to love outside of Me?”

“I love You, always You, yet I scarcely know you.”

Excerpt From: Gabrielle Bossis. “He and I.”