Saturday, April 30, 2016

My soul's audacious desire

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

You are to be eucharistic souls living eucharistic lives.  Thus, your greatest desire should be that the whole world might fall in love Christ's adorable Eucharist and there to find its truest consolation and hope.  The fullest aspirations of the human heart are to be found there, because there it will find all the love it craves.

Having received and tasted that Love yourselves, let there arise an even bolder desire.  Cry out to God:  "I want to form with purity and sacrifice a "sacrament" of love, a "eucharist" of my heart.
Be thou, O Jesus, the priest of this consecration.  Purify and offer me.  Offer me in sacrifice, and multiply this my "sacrament" as many times as there are tabernacles on the earth.  Make my whole life like a chalice of suffering, so that Thou mayest change it into a perpetual Mass."  May self-love be immolated in you in all its forms and with all its consequences.  Keep silent when the world forgets you and train your hearts to remain at peace in the hour of humiliation.  Let your home be with Christ on the cross.

Fear not - for nothing of love is forgotten and nothing of love is lost.

Beloved Christ, would I were able to draw to Thy feet thousands of hearts willing to offer Thee the sweet odor of their adoration and love.  Would that thousands of souls would come and attach themselves permanently to Thy tabernacle, there to consume themselves like living sanctuary lamps.  Would that the whole world might fall in love with Thy adorable Eucharist and seek there, as in their source, the true consolation, the only hope, and the most perfect love.

Divine Eucharist, Thou are a perpetual manifestation of God's measureless love, and in Thee we receive His loving caresses.  From Thee flow, as from their fountainhead, the candor of the child, the delicacy of the virgin soul, the tenderness of the mother's heart, the dynamic energy of the priest, the forgiveness of the sinner, and the only consolation of the exiled.

Thou fullest all the aspirations of the heart, because in Thee it finds all the loves it craves: Thou loves like a father, like a brother, like a friend, and like a spouse.  But, above all, Thou loves like a mother.  Without Thy heart's warm love, the motherless could not withstand their yearnings for that earthly angel whom we call "Mother."  Dearest Jesus, Thou wouldst not leave us like motherless orphans in the world: Thou Thyself art our Mother.  And without the attraction of Thy Love, the world would never have known those "orphans of love" who have sacrificed everything for Thy sake, nor those "motherless sons" who have left their mothers in order to consecrate themselves entirely to Thy service.

Well mayest Thou tell me from Thy concealment in the Host and in the tabernacle: "Look at me: doest Thou see in me anything but love?" For my sake Thou deepest hidden all the splendors of Thy divinity, and even Thy humanity - everything, but Thy love.

Greedily doest Thou covet our love, squandering Thine own unstintedly on us.

Oh beloved Eucharist, dearest Jesus, it is my cherished hope that some day, free from every earthly attachment, I, too, shall have nothing left but Thy love, so that in my turn I may say to Thee: "Look at me: dost Thou see in me anything but love?"

If at this moment I should ask Thee that, Thy answer would fill me with sadness and confusion.  So many things in me do not bespeak Thy love!  How much negligence in Thy service!  How may purely natural attachments!  How much love of myself!  Truly, I should rather ask myself: "Is there in me at least something which I might call love, merely love?"  Yet, I dare say, there is in me "something" that is merely love of Thee, and that "something" is my pure and true desire to love Thee and to sacrifice myself for They sake.  I wish to live only to adore and to love Thee.  I wish all my movements, respirations, immolations, and sufferings, my whole substance and existence, to be nothing in Thine eyes, but a perpetual hymn of adoration and love.

When at last I shall have reached the end of my earthly life, then I shall understand, better than ever before, the follow of Thy love; because I feel that, when I shall receive my last Sacred Host and take leave of that divine Companion of my exile, my soul's ardent desire to see the eternal Light face to face will not prevent my heart from feeling anguish for having to leave Thee behind on earth.  Therefore, since one folly may well be met with another, allow me to manifest to Thee my soul's audacious desire: I want to form with purity and sacrifice a "sacrament" of love, a "eucharist" of my heart.

Be thou, O Jesus, the priest of this consecration.  Purify and offer me.  Offer me in sacrifice, and multiply this my "sacrament" as many times as there are tabernacles on the earth.  Make my whole life like a chalice of suffering, so that Thou mayest change it into a perpetual Mass.  But, O Jesus, "as often as Thou shalt do this, I entreat Thee, remember me."
What in me has to be put to death, to make possible the realization of my bold desire?  I know - it is my inordinate love of self.  Self-love must be immolated in all its forms and with all its consequences.  I must immolate myself in silence, and keep silent when all forget me.  I must maintain myself in peace in the hour of humiliation.  I must feel "at home" with Thee on the cross, and smile even when tears well up from my saddened and wounded heart.  I must practice unwavering kindness and perfect charity.

Henceforth, then, each time Thou wilt immolate me, each time I call have to die to myself, I shall feel happy at the thought that Thou takes me into Thy holy and venerable hands like a host, to "consecrate"me, to transform me into Thyself, and to offer me in sacrifice.

Like Thy Martyr Ignatius of Antioch, I ardently desire to be "Thy wheat."  I give Thee my heart.  Take it, grind and crush it through suffering and humiliation, forgotten by men and deprived of human consolation.  Thus shall be realized my life's ideal: love for love, folly for folly, heart for heart.

When our union is consummated in heaven and I see Thee face to face, shall I be able to love Thee more?  Thou wert hidden when I first met Thee and, drawn irresistibly by Thee, gave Thee my heart with all the ardor and freshness of a first love.  Hearts loving each other delight in remembering the day of their first meeting, the place, and the most insignificant circumstances.  We, too, Jesus, shall remember in heaven the place of our first intimate communing in the land of exile - that silent chapel, that beloved tabernacle.  I shall remember with love and gratitude the humble sacramental veils that covered and concealed Thee, when I first knew Thee.  In Thy turn Thou wilt remember the garment of misery and weakness which covered and concealed my love on earth.  And even as now my eyes turn heavenward in reach of the reality, so in heaven they will turn down to earth to contemplate the eucharistic skies starred with thousands of consecrated Hosts.

Oh mystery of love . . . folly of love . . . excess of love!

Jose Guadalupe Trevino
The Holy Eucharist

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Look Upon Me!

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Know when you come before the Lord in the Eucharist, your Beloved gazes upon you with His own eyes.  The yearning of His Heart meets your own - that you should see the love of the other, a love that words alone are incapable of expressing.  "While your lips are still, let your eyes speak.  Yes, tell it all to Jesus with a long gaze full of adoration, love and pleading.  Put all your tenderness in that look, all your desires, your sorrows, your disillusions - in a word, your whole soul. Stir up your faith and seek the eyes of Jesus through the eucharistic veils.  May His gaze and yours meet, be united and form together one and the same light and one and the same fire of love."

Those who love and see each other feel irresistibly attracted to each other; they cannot bear to be separated.  This, we may believe, was one of the reasons why Jesus invented the Eucharist.  He wanted to shorten the distance; to look on us, not alone from far-off heaven, but from near by, so near that, if the sacramental veils of the Mystery were rent, we should be able to hear His throbbing heart and see ourselves mirrored in the pupils of His eyes.

Christian piety likes to think that Jesus in the Sacred Host looks upon us.  There, certainly as in heaven, He sees us as God.  There, too, He knows us by His infused and acquired knowledge.  But it is the opinion of very serious theologians that, in the Sacred Host, He sees us also with His bodily eyes, with the same eyes that illumine the heavenly Jerusalem, rejoice the Blessed, and, on earth, smiled and wept frequently.

In the Sacred Host, Jesus visits again the world He knew during His sojourn on earth.  He lives through the same scenes.  When the Sacred Host is carried in solemn procession, placed on the exposition throne, given to first communicants, or taken as viaticum to the sick, Jesus again, as two thousand years ago, rest His bodily eyes with love on the children, with compassion on the sick, with sympathy on the forsaken and misunderstood, and their glance relieves with joyous hope the anguish of dying.

Given the mysterious manner of Christ's presence in the sacrament, He cannot make use of His senses without a miracle; and nothing in divine Revelation tells us explicitly whether that miracle takes place or not.  But Christian piety and the heart, which "has reasons that reason itself does not understand," almost instinctively take it for granted.  The simple and cordial belief of the faithful unanimously asserts it.  It is chiefly through this belief that eucharistic souls find the time spent in adoration before the Sacred Host so delightful.

Reason itself comes to the support of this opinion: it sees no cause for rejecting it, and, to the contrary, sees several causes for supporting it.

First of all, it does not seeming becoming the dignity of Christ's sacred humanity that His glorified body should remain in the Host without the perfect use of its senses, not only for a fleeting moment, but throughout the centuries and in all the tabernacles of the world.  A body with powerless senses, with eyes that see not, with ears that hear not?  Could such a condition be regarded as becoming to any glorified body, let alone the glorified body of Christ?  Besides, would it be in harmony with Christ's supreme dignity?

We must not forget that the body of Jesus in the Eucharist is longer capable of suffering and painful immolation as it was during His sojourn on earth; it is His body in the same condition of immunity to suffering and of glory as in heaven.

Theologians may well analyze the eucharistic miracle and debate amongst themselves the number of miracles it implies, but to Christian piety there is but one great miracle, and that is the miracle of love, which is unique and sublime, overcoming every obstacle and alone explaining everything.  That love which changed God into a Victim for man, retained Him in the tabernacle to be man's never failing Friend and Companion, and transformed Him into food for souls, had made unto itself a law, which the Gospel of St. John records for us: "Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end."  That is its law: to the end.  But would it be its law if, after working so many miracles in the miracle of transubstantiation, and after derogating so many natural laws in order to come near man, that love had shrunk from one more miracle and left sightless the eyes of Jesus in the Eucharist?

The Eucharist is Christ's magnanimous response to the needs of a human heart, because through its institution divine love adjusted itself to the weakness of human love.  For our sanctification, doubtlessly, God's omnipresence through His immensity, His special presence in souls through grace, Christ presence in the Church, the sacrifice of Calvary, and communion with Christ through faith, hope, charity, prayer, and grace would have been sufficient.  But, knowing well the demands of human love, God knew that our heart needed more than that.  He knew that it would demand a sensible object so as to be able to localize God and say: "He is there."  He knew that it would ardently desire to press against itself the One it loves and to adore Him in silence.  It was to satisfy these so legitimate yearnings, which He planted in the human heart, and to realize that touching ambition of our whole being, that He instituted the Holy Eucharist.

Our desires, however, would not yet be entirely satisfied, if we had not the certainty that Jesus looks upon us from the Sacred Host.  Not to be able to see Him with their mortal eyes is already a cause of pain to souls who ardently love Him and makes them exclaim with St. Teresa of Avila:
Let mine eyes see Thee, sweet Jesus of Nazareth;
Let mine eyes see Thee, and then see death.
Yet we realize that our present state of trial demand that we be deprived of that satisfaction, because, if we could see Jesus in the Eucharist, earth would no longer be to us a place of exile, but heaven itself.

In the meantime we find consolation in a hope and in a reality: in the hope that some day heaven will remove all veils, and in the reality that even now from out of the Sacred Host Jesus sees us with His divine eyes, just as really as He loves us with His sacred Heart.

Beloved souls, in suffering and in joy, go to Jesus hidden in the Sacred Host and let the sweetness of His loving gaze fill you.

Like the sick who expose their diseased bodies to the healing rays of the sun, expose your miseries, no matter what they are, to the beams of light streaming forth from the Sacred Host.

Why dilute your love in an unceasing flow of words?  Why destroy the charm of intimate communing with Him by childish loquacity?  May the silence of the Eucharist teach you silent recollection!  But while your lips are still, let your eyes speak.

Yes, tell it all to Jesus with a long gaze full of adoration, love and pleading.  Put all your tenderness in that look, all your desires, your sorrows, your disillusions - in a word, your whole soul.

Stir up your faith and seek the eyes of Jesus through the eucharistic veils.  May His gaze and yours meet, be united and form together one and the same light and one and the same fire of love.

As Him only to deign to look upon you.  Tell Him with entire confidence: "Look upon me and have mercy on me."

Remembering that, as soon as Jesus had looked on that young man who came to Him, He loved him, fear not to tell Him also: "Look upon me and . . . love me!"

Jose Guadalupe Trevino
The Holy Eucharist






Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Three Excesses of the Holy Eucharist Part III - The Heart



Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

We come now to consider the last of the three great excesses of the Holy Eucharist -  The Heart. Trevino writes: "He comes to our hearts and gives Himself to us in the reality of His being, in the substance of His mysteries, in the plentitude of His graces.  He comes to give us life and to be in our souls the seed of resurrection, a pledge of glory, and the germ of immortality."  And this, dear Daughters, he does in the most startling and marvelous fashion - - as if exclusively yours alone.  It is truly Holy Communion: He comes as Divine Lover - lovingly enfolding in His arms and caressing each soul.  Every morning He comes to you in the Host which you receive and, in a certain manner, dies in your heart!  "For, as soon as the Sacred Species are destroyed, the sacramental presence - the eucharistic being, we might say - expires in a certain manner in your soul.  For this reason, when His eucharistic life comes to an end in your heart, the divine Lover may well exclaim as on the cross: 'It is consummated!'"

The only possible and proper response to this reality must be a total gift of self, a life of sacrifice and unlimited abnegation. How could this unique Communion not form the center of our lives, illumining our younger years with the light of its hope, and our declining years with the aureola of its remembrance?

After abiding presence and constant immolation, the last excess of the Holy Eucharist is the total gift of self.  Beyond the tabernacle and the altar, the last stage of the Mystery is in our heart, where His eucharistic life finds its consummation.  Not satisfied with having made Himself our Companion in exile and the permanent Victim of our sins, He comes to our hearts and gives Himself to us in the reality of His being, in the substance of His mysteries, in the plentitude of His graces.  He comes to give us life and to be in our souls the seed of resurrection, a pledge of glory, and the germ of immortality.

It is the exclusive property of the divine Being to give without ever being exhausted or diminished, to pour to into a soul the plentitude of Its graces, without having to deny other souls even the slightest grace.  Such is the mystery of Christ.  He is the universal gift: He was born and died for all, and He shall be the reward of all the just.  But in the very manner in which He is the gift of all, He is in truth the particular gift of each.

Christ's mystery is as totally mine as if there were no other men of earth.  Hence every soul, however lowly, may in truth make hers the words of St. Paul: "He loved me and gave Himself up for me, and for me He delivered Himself unto death.

Our minds cannot grasp well a reality so startling; we feel lost and forgotten in the multitude of human beings.  To prevent this Jesus invented a marvel of love in which He condensed all His Mysteries, from the moment of His Incarnation till His last breath on the cross.  It is an admirable summary of all His wonderful works, which contains the whole immensity of His love, the wellspring of all graces, the memorial of His life, the living remembrance of His sufferings, the pledge of our resurrection, and the divine germ of life everlasting.  It is a sacrament beneath the outward signs of which the immortal Christ is lastingly present, He "who is the same, yesterday and today, yes, and forever," the same Christ who called unto Himself all who suffer and are burdened.  But in it He is so particularized that I can call Him my Christ, my Jesus.  O yes, every lover of Christ will understand what I am saying, because he knows well love's irresistible ambition to be allowed to say in truth and without exaggeration: "My Jesus . . . mine entirely . . . exclusively mine."  The name given by the first Christians to that sacrament, marvel of love and summary of all His works, was "the Holy Mysteries."  Remembering that in this sacrament Christ lovingly enfolds in His arms and caresses each soul, and unites all souls in His immense heart, we give it the more significant name of "Holy Communion."

Dear eucharistic soul, do  you still find it difficult to believe that Jesus died for love of you, as if you alone of all men on earth had needed redemption, when every morning He comes to you in the Host which you receive and, in a certain manner, dies in your heart?  For, as soon as the Sacred Species are destroyed, the sacramental presence - the eucharistic being, we might say - expires in a certain manner in your soul.  For this reason, when His eucharistic life comes to an end in your heart, the divine Lover may well exclaim as on the cross: "It is consummated!"  I have "loved to the end!"

Here again, as on Calvary, it may be said of Him that by His death He gives us life: "Dying, He destroyed our death."  Could Jesus love us more, in a more particular and total way?

Ending its existence in the human heart, the Eucharist is love's last word on earth.  After that, only the magnificent epiphanies of paradise remain.

Do you understand by now, eucharistic soul, why your response to this last excess of Christ's love must be a total gift of self, a life of sacrifice and unlimited abnegation?  What can you refuse Him who every morning gives you all He is, and comes to expire in your very heart?

Suppose for a moment that Jesus loved us less; that He avoided those excesses of generosity; that, instead of many Communions, we could receive only one in the whole course of our lives; that, instead of thousands of tabernacles, He permitted only one, and instead of millions of Masses only one to be celebrated every year, by only one priest and in only one place.  If such were the case, we might reasonably assume that, instead of cold indifference, a glowing enthusiasm would reign among Christians, and from all parts of the world they would flock to that "Holy of Holies," where not Christ's sepulcher, but Christ Himself, could be venerated.  How eager we would be to assist at that only Mass, in order to witness the re-enactment of the drama of Calvary.  How careful would be our preparation for that unique Communion; how devout our dispositions, when approaching that unique Sacred Table, to receive within ourselves the One of infinite sanctity and greatness; how fervent our thankfulness after receiving Him.  Would not the unique Communion form the center of our lives, illumining our younger years with the light of its hope, and our declining years with the aureola of its remembrance?

But, would we not have to conclude that, if Jesus had loved less, He would be loved more? Would it be possible?  Can we admit that the superabundance of His graces and the excesses of His love have only served to chill our fervor and make us look with indifference upon His measureless gifts?  No the contrary must be true.

Oh, may all Christians, finally won over by such excessive love, fall down upon their knees, exclaiming with the beloved disciple: "We, too, have come to know, and have believed, the love that God has in our behalf."

O beloved tabernacle, where Jesus permanently lives!  O holy altar, on which He constantly immolates Himself for me!  O my daily Host, exclusively mine, under the veils of which Jesus lives for me and gives Himself to me, with all the magnificence of His mysteries, the depths of His sufferings, and the immensity of His love!

The tabernacle . . . the altar . . . my heart!

My Companion . . . my Victim . . . my Life!

His lasting presence . . . His constant immolation . . . His total gift of self!

O my dearest Christ, be Thou blessed a thousand times for all the follies of Thy Holy Eucharist and all the excesses of Thy divine Love!



Jose Guadalupe Trevino
The Holy Eucharist

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Three Excesses of the Holy Eucharist Part II - The Altar

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

In this second part of the series on the excesses of the Eucharist, Trevino focuses on the Altar.  It is here that Christ offers the constant immolation of Himself. Divine love accomplishes the impossible.  God decreed to love man with a love that would go to the extreme of the shedding of blood and pass through the crucible of indescribable suffering.  In the person of the Son He made Himself a man, indissolubly uniting in His heart all the greatness of divine and all the tenderness of human love.  He tasted love's highest satisfaction, to give life for the beloved; and from the heights of Calvary He could say to all mankind: "Behold, I have loved thee to the end: unto the excess of shedding my blood for thee and the follow of immolating Myself for thy sake."  Christ thirsts to offer himself perpetually with a burning desire for us and our salvation.  He wanted to carry His immolation to a never heard of excess, reaching to every altar throughout all time; so much so that immolation, victimhood, is His essential state.  In helplessness, humiliation and annihilation, He loves to the end.

The conclusion of this, Daughters, is that the life of eucharistic souls must be a life of immolation. The measure of your love will be the measure of your sacrifice; the willingness "to flee from all the pleasures which debase and stain, to embrace all the sacrifices that purify and ennoble, and to shrink from none of the abnegations implicated in Christ's precept: "Love one another as I have loved you."

Jesus' love has reached another excess in the Holy Eucharist, that of constant immolation of Himself.

Love's last word, its supreme triumph, is to give life for the beloved; this was proclaimed by Christ Himself, whose heart knew well the laws of love.  "Greater love than this no one has, that one lay dow his life for his friend."  This intimate and exalted satisfaction of loving till the shedding of one's blood and the sacrifice of self is the exclusive privilege of man. It is impossible to the angels, who are spirits.

Yet how limited is human love!  Its very triumph is also its exhaustion. When the soldier sacrifices his life on the altar of patriotism, or when the martyr offers to Christ the testimony of blood, he may taste the supreme joy of love, but he cannot taste it anew; man has but one life to offer and only once can he immolate it.

This is why certain souls, who had learned the science of love and felt that the immensity of their love for God surpassed any proof they were able to offer Him, would speak to Him with holy and loving audacity: "Would I had a thousand lives to offer them to Thee a thousand times."

But to mere man, finite and limited as he is, this super human ambition will always remain a beautiful ideal that cannot be realized.

Divine love, however, accomplishes that impossible . . .  .

In the splendors of His eternity God decreed to love man with a love that would go to the extreme of the shedding of blood and pass through the crucible of indescribable suffering.  In the person of the Son He made Himself a man, indissolubly uniting in His heart all the greatness of divine and all the tenderness of human love.  He tasted love's highest satisfaction, to give life for the beloved; and from the heights of Calvary He could say to all mankind: "Behold, I have loved thee to the end: unto the excess of shedding my blood for thee and the follow of immolating Myself for thy sake."

One lone offering of self - how little this is to a love that is infinite and unsurpassable!  To immolate Himself a thousand times, to sacrifice Himself in all the places of the earth, to cause the mighty and triumphant voice of His blood to rise to heaven at all times, always fresh, constantly being shed, not only on one, but on thousands of Calvaries - this would be the supreme triumph of divine love.  "I thirst" - I am tortured by an unquenchable thirst for suffering!  This cry of the dying Christ found an echo in the heart of God, and His omnipotence fulfilled the burning desire it manifested.  What to Him are three hours of agony and a whole life of sacrifice?  To quench its thirst Christ's love demand a life of centuries to immolate Himself, an agony lasting in a certain manner as long as guilty mankind would live on earth.  To that purpose He nailed Himself, so to speak, to the sacramental species, where He lives always, constantly sacrificing Himself, and continuing to shed His most precious blood.

Let us adore this new excess of Christ's love.


Faith teaches us that the sacrifice of the altar is the same as the sacrifice of the cross: the same Victim, the same Priest, the same value, the same reality.  The only difference is in the manner of the offering: on Calvary the sacrifice  was bloody, on the altar it is unbloody.  On Calvary the blood of Christ was separated from His body, in a physical and painful manner; on the altar it is separated mystically, that is, in a mysterious and painless manner.  Both separations, nevertheless, are something real. 

For Christ's charity it was not enough to offer His life only once for those He loved: He wanted to carry His immolation to a never-heard-of excess, to really immolate Himself at all hours and in all places on the earth.  He wanted not only Calvary, but thousands, as many as there are altars in the civilized countries, in the frozen polar regions, in the sandy deserts, in the jungle of the Indies, on the solitary islands of Oceania, and even on the high seas where there is no other temple than the immensity of the skies, and no other altar than the wood structure of a fragile craft.  Three hundred and fifty thousand Masses daily - what a prodigality in the Sacrifice!

More even than this - in a certain way, Jesus continues His immolation of the Mass as long as His sacramental presence endures.  Does He not live immolated in the Holy Eucharist?  This might well be a new reason for His permanent presence: to continue His sacrifice.  If St. John saw Jesus in His glorious life "as if slain," with greater reason may we assert that in His eucharistic life He continues immolating Himself for us unceasingly.

This mystical immolation is so much the essential state of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, that the very words which give Him His eucharistic being cause Him, in the same moment, to be sacrificed.  In fact, the words of the consecration bring about the mystical separation of Christ's blood from His body - which is the essence of the Sacrifice - and at the same time make Him present in the Eucharist.  Hence the act which makes Him present under the appearances is the same that immolates Him.  In other words: only in immolating Himself does He become present.  This is why immolation is the fundamental and essential state of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, and for this reason we call Him there Hostia (Host), i.e., Victim par excellence.

Let us now look more closely into the meaning of that real and true state of immolation of Jesus in the Eucharist.  The painful immolation of Jesus, far from being limited to His passion and death, filled His whole life.  From the moment of His Incarnation, He lived not only immolated, but, according to St. Paul's expression, annihilated.

Yet, does He not surpass in His eucharistic life the annihilations of His mortal life?

In the poverty of the stable at least the charms of a heavenly child could be seen; amid the ignominies of Calvary the tragic traits of the martyr's heroism still provoke admiration; and in the grave itself the human form, albeit rigid and mangled, still remained to Jesus.  But in the Eucharist, in that frail Host, in that particle which the slightest breeze can sweep away, in a fragment which the sense hardly can perceive - what is there of the divine majesty?  What remains of at least the human appearance?  In the Eucharist, Jesus abdicates all exterior dignity, and reveals His presence by no sensible signs whatever.  More fettered and more a prisoner than in the praetorian of Pilate, more helpless than on the cross, He seems to authorize the sarcasms of unbelievers, to give them opportunity for their profanations, and to offer a pretext for the blasphemies of His enemies.  Could He go any further in His immolation and annihilation?  Cannot impiety fling at the Sacred Eucharist all the sarcasms uttered by the prophets against the idols of paganism?  Where is the power of those false gods, asked the prophets, who cannot help themselves, who have to be carried from place to place by their priests, and be protected against robbers behind securely locked iron gates?  Behold, if nobody carries Jesus in the Eucharist, He will not go; and if He is not surrounded with many a safeguard, He will remain exposed to any sacrilegious outrage.  What helplessness!  What humiliation!  What annihilation!  In other words: What unheard of immolation!  What excess of love!  Truly, "He loved to the end."

The inescapable conclusion from all this is that the life of eucharistic souls must be a life of immolation.  And the facts of experience corroborate this conclusion.  In the obscurity of the catacombs, amid the splendors of the medieval centuries of faith, during the battles of our modern times, the Sacred Host has always been the germ of sacrifice and the seed of heroism.  The Sacred Host gave birth to those three glories of Christ's doctrine: the heroism of martyrdom, the heroism of virginity, and the heroism of the apostolate.  It has preserved them in a society of ever growing degeneration and defilement.  It has taught souls to flee from all the pleasures which debase and stain, to embrace all the sacrifices that purify and ennoble, and to shrink from none of the abnegations implicated in Christ's precept: "Love one another as I have loved you."  Love all men as I have loved them.

Let no one, therefore, say that he loves Jesus in the Eucharist, if for His sake he does not sacrifice himself.  The measure of our sacrifice will show forth the measure of our love.

Jose Guadalupe Trevino
The Holy Eucharist

Friday, April 22, 2016

Three Excesses of the Holy Eucharist Part I - The Tabernacle

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

The Eucharist fills all the centuries, makes God present in all places, and is the supreme effort of His love to attract all souls to His heart.  In this series of posts, Jose Guadalupe Trevino will show you three stage in the eucharistic life, three each time more eloquent manifestations, three ascensions, in which God's love gradually increases till it is without measure - "He loved to the end."  They are: the tabernacle, the altar, and your heart.  In the tabernacle God is your companion, on the altar your victim, in your heart your life.  

May God show you, Daughters, how to these three excesses of His Eucharist must correspond, on your side, three other divine excesses: perpetual adoration, constant sacrifice, and total gift of self.

Why did Jesus not limit His eucharistic presence to solemn moments of holy Mass?  Why does He not continue it during the hours when, amid lights and flowers, He receives the adoration and homage of His sons and daughters?  Why does He remain also during those hours, even in tabernacles where He is abandoned and forgotten and sometimes subjected to sacrilegious profanation?

It would seem that this persistent miracle of the real presence of Jesus under the appearance of the consecrated bread, even in times of profanation, is an excess prodigality, both useless and incompatible with the divine majesty.

And yet, this is the very reason why Jesus chose to do so: to love with a love that knows no measure and does not shrink from excess.  This was the purpose for which He invented and instituted the Holy Eucharist as we have it: "He loved to the end."

A saintly priest, great lover of the Holy Eucharist, was replacing the Sacred Host after Benediction, at the conclusion of a day of eucharistic adoration.  Flowers and a great number of burning candles decorated the altar; vanishing clouds of aromatic incense floated around the tabernacle; the organ was intoning the last hymn to be sung by the whole congregation; the faithful were sending their last murmured acts of adoration, love, and thanksgiving to the altar, while many a lover of the Eucharistic Lord felt already the strain of having to tear himself away from his beloved presence.  In those impressive moments of suspense, just as he was turning the key of the tabernacles door, the priest felt himself overwhelmed by deep emotion at the sudden thought that he was "locking up," as in a jail cell, the divine Prisoner of love, who would remain there alone for the longer hours of the night.  With tears welling up in his eyes and hardly able to repress his voice, this great lover of the Eucharistic Jesus said to Him with quivering lips: "It is Thy own fault - for being in love - for being in love!"

Such is the full truth, the reason for all the follies and excesses of the Holy Eucharist.

Love watches.  A mother prolongs her watches by her baby's cradle till late at night.  After lulling him to sleep, she continues her vigil, all the while covering his soul with her silent prayers and, with anxious concern, thinking of his future no less obscure than the night around the house.

Jesus cannot permit even one mother to surpass Him in love and tender solicitude.  At night, when His children are resting in sleep, He watches over them, covers them with His prayers, and protects them, "as a hen gathers her young under her wings."

Considerations like these come to my mind when, in the semi-obscurity of some night, I see hamlets and cities crowded around a church wherein Jesus dwells and His divine heart watches.  Then the church, its belfry rising high above the houses, brings to my mind the image of a great guardian angel watching over our sleep, or of a mother praying by her children's cradle.

Besides, no one knows beforehand the hour of his death.  A grave sickness may befall us in the middle of the night, and the Viaticum - the provision of food - must always be kept in readiness for the last journey.  That food is the Holy Eucharist.  At whatever time we apply for that Viaticum, day or night, the priest will go at once, open the door of the tabernacle, and there find Jesus ready to go with him, to strengthen and accompany us on the terrible passage from time to eternity.

Jesus, before whose eyes the future lay unveiled, knew that the follies of the Eucharist would find an echo in at least some generous hearts.  He knew that, if He consented to remain alone throughout the nights, with no more company than the flickering light of a lamp, there would be loving hearts who, rather than allow Him to remain abandoned, would interrupt their sleep, renounce a well-deserved and need rest, and, like living lamps, illumine many a solitary sanctuary and dissipate the shadows of forgetfulness and abandonment.

This sad perspective of living abandoned and alone in so many tabernacles could not change His loving plan.  His heart would be filled with a deep and tender emotion at the thought of the magnificent works of faith and devotion His eucharistic excesses were to bring forth, like a divine florescence, in the course of time: perpetual adoration, nocturnal adoration, and religious communities whose purpose is to adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, day and night, without interruption.  He felt His love requited by the foresight of whole legions of souls who would leave everything behind and spend their lives before the tabernacle, whose love and heart would be great and vast enough to embrace and warm, in a magnificent gesture, all the tabernacles in the world, but particularly the ones most lonely and outraged.

The first stage of the Eucharist is the tabernacle, its first excess of love His permanent presence, day and night, in times of profanation as well as adoration.  It would seem then, eucharistic souls, that our first response ought to be perpetual adoration.  Oh, what happiness, to live always before the tabernacle!  What happiness, if the demands of life in this miserable world never tore us away from that blessed spot!

A word that ought to cover many a Catholic with shame and confusion once came from the lips of a person raised in Protestant tenets and surroundings: "If I believed in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, I should spend all my life before a tabernacle, and no power could tear me away from it."

Does this not suffice to put to shame our little generosity in visiting Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament?

Let us pay Him a visit every day, even when only a short one is possible, particularly if it is our happiness to live with Him under the same roof.  Let us not pass by a church where He is kept in the tabernacle, without entering at least for a moment, or without making at least a spiritual visit.

We can multiply spiritual visits at any time, amid our daily occupations and when we awake at night - a practice which growing love will more and more cogently urge upon us.  Because after all, who can enchain love?  Who can resist the heart?  Who can separate what love has joined?  Who can prevent, what obstacle can impede our hearts from living in perpetual adoration at the feet of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament?

"Where thy treasure is," said Jesus, "there they heart also will be."  If the Holy Eucharist is our treasure, our heart will live in the tabernacle.

Jose Guadalupe Trevino
The Holy Eucharist


Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Burning Bush: Moses Adores God and Receives a Mission


Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Father Florian Racine begins to offer us, in this first of many posts, a formation in Eucharistic adoration that will enable us to practice it in all its depth and with a missionary perspective. Our pilgrimage of faith begins with welcoming the gift of God; the spiritual life experiences, at first, some of the personal love that God bears for us: the coming of Christ before us and into our life; sensible graces can thus be frequent. This first step gives way to a deeper and less sensible path of faith, which through trials and consolations decenters us from ourselves in order to center us on God. Through Jesus, with him and in him, in the Holy Spirit, we are turned toward the Father; we seek to enter into his sight and to do his will. Then, at the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we are commissioned. Adoration and Eucharistic life transform believers into the image of Christ by incorporating them into his ecclesial Body and makes of their person an offering to the glory of God for the salvation of the world. From the heights of the Trinity, the incarnate Word descends to man in the Eucharist in order that, through Communion, man may ascend to his final end, the most-lovable Trinity.

Thus, we will be entering into the school of adoration.  Starting with the Word of God, Racine shows us how it is made present in the Eucharist and invites us to mature in faith and let ourselves be transformed for a greater communion with Christ and a better collaboration with God’s plan in the world. The Word of God sheds light on the Eucharistic mystery and receives a greater light from it.

We begin today by considering the prefigurement of God present to us in the Eucharist in the mystery of Moses encounter with the Lord on in the burning bush.  Racine writes: "The burning bush prefigures the wonderful mystery of the Incarnation, in which the divine nature unites itself to the human nature without destroying it (“with neither confusion, nor separation”) in the person of the Son. Present in the Blessed Sacrament, Emmanuel, the God who visits his people, is truly the burning bush. This fire also evokes the infinite love of Christ, which purifies, transforms, and heals. God calls Moses by his name. He invites him to a personal encounter, a relation of love, a heart-to-heart." 

In this encounter, we also see man's response and posture.  Moses shows us how to adore the Lord with one's entire person.  He acknowledges he is on holy ground and prostrates himself; removing his sandals from his feet.  Likewise in adoration, we approach with the reverence of our body.  There must be nothing casual or tepid in our adoration - love must be expressed through the whole person.

In this moment God reveals Himself to Moses as "I am who am" - This reminds us, Racine states, that "God alone exists in himself and that God needs nothing and no one in order to exist. To the contrary, God, the source of being, of every being, keeps all that lives in existence. From the sacred Host, the Lord Jesus supports the universe. How can we not marvel before the Host, which contains in its entirety what the universe cannot contain! If the earth revolves around the sun, the cosmos revolves around the Host! To approach it in faith is to hold oneself in the heart of the world. The Host is our heaven on earth. It is God who gives himself, our Alpha and our Omega, our beginning and our end. It is the resurrected Body of Christ, Savior of the world."  Thus, in adoration we are at the heart of the world and in the midst of He who is our beginning and end.  From this tiny Host, Christ sustains life and the universe.

Racine concludes by speaking briefly of what mission is given to us through our participation in this Mystery.  Quoting St. John Paul II, we are told that we must first let our own faith be revitalized through this encounter, to be healed of our sin and become sons and daughters of God.  It is only this Love which spreads from our hearts that will transform and renew the Body of Christ.  

Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-on-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian; and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.” When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here am I.” Then he said, “Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.    

Then the LORD said, “I have seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters; I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to me, and I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring forth my people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?” He said, “But I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought forth the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God upon this mountain.”God.    Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO . . .AM.” (Ex 3:1–14) 

In the Bible, it is always God who comes to meet man. It is he who, in love, takes the initiative for the encounter. He expects only our response. Here, “the angel of the LORD” represents God himself who visits his people. He chooses the form of a burning bush. For some Church Fathers, the burning bush prefigures the wonderful mystery of the Incarnation, in which the divine nature unites itself to the human nature without destroying it (“with neither confusion, nor separation”) in the person of the Son. Present in the Blessed Sacrament, Emmanuel, the God who visits his people, is truly the burning bush. This fire also evokes the infinite love of Christ, which purifies, transforms, and heals. God calls Moses by his name. He invites him to a personal encounter, a relation of love, a heart-to-heart. 

How does Moses behave before God? For what reason? The position of the body is fundamental in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. By taking up a position that is too comfortable for the body (sitting, even slouching on one’s kneeler or chair), the heart loses some of its vigor and strength. The soul grows lukewarm and finds itself in a state of slumber, unable really to pray. It is by putting one’s body at prayer that one puts one’s heart at prayer. To adore the Lord with all one’s heart, with all one’s soul, and with all one’s strength (cf. Deut 6:4) is to adore the Lord with one’s entire person, thus also with one’s body. In the following passage from Revelation, John sees how God is adored in heaven. “To cast one’s crown before the throne” signifies the adoration of one who offers his person, with all he has and all he is, before the divine majesty: 
The twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” (Rev 4:10–11) 
The Latin etymology of the word “adoration” is ad os, or “toward the mouth”, which refers to the kiss and, by extension, to love. To adore is to give back one’s life to the Lord; it is to embrace him, because he loves us as we are. In adoration, we dare to approach him with the reverence of our body, the light of our faith, and the love of our heart. Since love always tends to humble itself and since the Lord makes himself so small in the sacred Host, the adorer is invited to humble himself before the divine majesty. Some bow profoundly, as Moses must have done before the burning bush. One of the remedies for tepidness and spiritual dryness in prayer is the quality of the bodily position. 

Some practical advice: begin adoration kneeling, if possible by prostrating upon the floor for a few moments. Remain in this kneeling position (perhaps using a prie-dieu). If the position becomes painful, sit down! Do not hesitate to get back on your knees from time to time to get your heart back to adoration if distractions distance you from prayer. End adoration in the position that you took at the beginning. 

God gives his name to Moses. How is the name of God to be understood? This name is mysterious, unpronounceable. We cannot name that which exceeds us, that which we cannot grasp or understand. In the Bible, one’s name signifies one’s mission. It characterizes the person. Here the name “I am who am” recalls that God alone exists in himself and that God needs nothing and no one in order to exist. To the contrary, God, the source of being, of every being, keeps all that lives in existence. From the sacred Host, the Lord Jesus supports the universe. How can we not marvel before the Host, which contains in its entirety what the universe cannot contain! If the earth revolves around the sun, the cosmos revolves around the Host! To approach it in faith is to hold oneself in the heart of the world. The Host is our heaven on earth. It is God who gives himself, our Alpha and our Omega, our beginning and our end. It is the resurrected Body of Christ, Savior of the world. 



From this encounter with God, Moses will receive a mission. What precisely is this mission? What is the mission that God gives us, following our encounter with Jesus, present in the sacred Host? 

I warmly encourage the faithful to adore Christ, present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar, letting him heal our consciences and purify us, enlighten us and unite us. In their encounter with him, Christians will find strength for their spiritual life and their mission in the world. In fact, in communing heart to heart with the divine Teacher, they will discover the Father’s infinite love and will be true worshipers in spirit and in truth. Their faith in him will be revitalized; they will enter into God’s mystery and be profoundly transformed by Christ. In their trials and in joys, they will conform their life to the mystery of our Saviour’s Cross and Resurrection. . . . Every day they will become more and more sons and daughters in the Son. Then, love will be spread through them in human hearts, in order to build up the Body of Christ which is the Church to establish a society of justice, peace and brotherhood. They will be intercessors for all humanity, because every soul which is lifted up to God also lifts up the world and mysteriously contributes to the salvation freely offered by our Father in heaven.

Racine, Fr. Florian
Could You Not Watch with Me One Hour?: How to Cultivate a Deeper Relationship with the Lord through Eucharistic Adoration

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Heaven on Earth

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

How fortunate and blessed you are to be called adorers of the Holy Eucharist; for you share in something heavenly and eternal - the joyful gaze of contemplation of the angels and saints. Here alone can you quench the thirst for God that He Himself has placed in your heart.

Yet, know daughters that responding to such call is not to walk an easy path.  Adoration of the Eucharist on earth has a painful nature.  To be sure, it has its consolations.  However, it is a path of sacrifice; requiring "great reserves of will power and continuous abnegation of self" and the "supporting force of great love."  Daughters, "like burning incense and the flowers that fade away, you [will] exhaust your strength, sacrifice your health, and immolate your lives before the Sacred Host." But like the Cross itself such sacrificial love will give way to eternal life and joy.

The soul that in its homesickness of heaven is consumed by the desire to contemplate, love and possess God finds in the Eucharist untold consolation and a foretaste of heaven's delights.  She can gaze upon the Sacred Host and exclaim with the certitude of faith: "There He is!  It is He!"

"Adoro te Devote . . . . Devoutly, I adore thee, oh my God, hidden, yet truly present, beneath the eucharistic veils, as the angels and blessed adore Thee in heaven; and while I contemplate Thee my heart faints with love, overwhelmed by Thy divine presence."

And then, putting her own feelings in the last strophe of the same hymn, she can say:

Here 'neath veils, my Savior darkly I behold;
To my thirsting spirit all they light unfold;
Face to face in heaven let me come to thee,
And the blessed union vision of thy glory see.

It has been said, and rightly so, that between contemplation and adoration there is so close a union, so mutual a relationship, that they cannot be separated.  We adore while contemplating and we contemplate while adoring.  The saints in heaven live in perpetual adoration, because their joy is derived from eternal contemplation.  On earth, where in some manner we must imitate the life of heaven, Christian devotion has striven to make the Sacred Host the center of perpetual contemplation and adoration, as far as human frailty permits.  And both adoration and contemplation have called for perpetual exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

The Sacred Host perpetually exposed on its eucharistic throne, and before it, day and night, loving souls in adoration and contemplation!  Is this not truly heaven on earth?  Is it not like a sketchy picture, a faint reflection, and a consoling anticipating of the happy life of our eternal homeland?

Yet, between adoration and contemplation on earth and adoration and contemplation in heaven there is an important difference which must not be overlooked.  The angels and the blessed adore in perfect joy, because their happiness is born of the very contemplation of the divinity, that is, of the beatific vision.  To contemplate God, to love Him, and to possess Him are all one and the same thing in heaven.

But here on earth, perpetual adoration is painful to nature.  Sometimes the Lord favors it, no doubt, with the sweetness of His consolation, especially during nocturnal adoration, and then the heart feels itself "fainting away."  Such favors, however, are but transitory.  The normal reality is that perpetual adoration, especially when it interrupts our sleep at different hours, obviously demands a great sacrifice.  It cannot be kept up for a long time, without great reserves of will power and continuous abnegation of self, which means, without the inspiring and supporting force of great love.

Because of this, St. Julian Eymard, founder of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, said to his religious: 'Let us not think that we have done anything, as long as we do not love the Eucharist passionately."  Only a passionate and unwavering love is capable of inspiring and sustaining all the sacrifices implied in perpetual adoration.

Souls dedicated to perpetual adoration, who during the hours spent before the Sacred Host would like to imitate at least from afar the fervor of those who adore in heaven, be neither surprised nor scandalized by those weaknesses: fatigue, drowsiness, dryness of spirit, and that "I can't" feeling.  If you are tempted to see in it all a sign of deficient love, you are mistaken.  Much to the contrary, your displeasure at them and your battle against them are proofs of love, because they are acts of sacrifice; and suffering is the proof and nourishment of love.

Christ's heart is deeply touched by the sight of you adoring Him, not in joy as He is adored in heaven, but in pain, as only on earth He can be adored.  And you, in your turn must feel deeply consoled by the thought that you adore Him at the price of your health, strength, and life.

All the objects around the eucharistic throne show you that this is the way of adoration on earth: the candles give light, slowly consuming their wax; the lamp glows, burning its oil; the incense produces aromatic clouds, being destroyed on burning coals; the flowers display their beauty and give forth their fragrance, while they fade and die.

In the same way, you adoring souls, like animated candles and living lamps, like burning incense and the flowers that fade away, you exhaust your strength, sacrifice your health, and immolate your lives before the Sacred Host.

Fortunate, indeed, are the souls called by God to a life of perpetual adoration!  How happy their death will be!  It will be nothing else than their last act of adoration on earth, one that will go over, without any interruption, into the eternal and infinitely jubilant adoration of heaven.

Jose Guadalupe Trevino
The Holy Eucharist

Monday, April 11, 2016

Updated "Rule" for Daughters of St. Philip Neri

After two years of seeking to live in accord with the spirit of the precepts of the Daughters of St. Philip Neri, a new rule has been written that hopefully reflects the insights gained from experience and study during this time.  It is greatly simplified in the hopes of more clearly representing what has come into focus as being essential to this "vocation within a vocation": Healing through Prayer, Reparation through Adoration.  Through a commitment to daily Eucharistic Adoration, the Daughters of St. Philip Neri seek to offer themselves for the strengthening and renewal of the priesthood.  



Sunday, April 10, 2016

On the Bosom of Jesus


Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

See in your commitment to adoration the special favor of God.  It is a beautiful thing to be among those called to console the Lord, resting on His bosom as you spend your lives before the tabernacle: Beautiful, still more, to be specifically chosen and called like Beloved Disciple, St. John, the "souls whom Jesus loves."

This has nothing to do with your worth but rather with God's free and loving choice and His desire to effect in you the three gifts of love, pain and purity.  In love, you are to imitate Jesus in his state of perpetual "Hostia" - Victim.  You must participate intimately in the mystery of the cross and allow yourselves to be purified by its selfless love.  Offer Him constantly every small token of affection to console Him, and especially draw close and rest upon His heart.

In the person of John, Jesus saw all eucharistic souls; and, in the consolation of John, He tasted in that so bitter hour the consolation all souls would offer Him in the course of time.  Thus, when Jesus felt the Beloved Disciple's heart pulsate close to His own, He felt also the palpitations of love of all the souls who, in the succession of the centuries, would understand His Eucharist and, in order to console Him, would spend their lives before His tabernacle, day and night.  Not only John, but the whole army of eucharistic souls were reclining, that evening, at Jesus' bosom.

Eucharistic souls are specifically chosen and may well be called "the souls whom Jesus loves."

But some may object, asking: What is there in us that makes Jesus love us with predilection?  Let us remember once more that the cause of divine predilection is not to be sought in the creature, but in God Himself.  God loves because He wants to love; God loves with predilection, because He wants to do it; there is nothing as free and gratuitous as His love.  And God has willed that eucharistic souls should be the object of His predilection.

Once more, the question ought to be reworded: What are the effects of God's love of predilection in our souls?

All due proportions guarded, they are the same as those in St. John, namely, the three gifts of love, pain and purity.

Those souls should hold for certain that, with their special devotion to the Holy Eucharist, Jesus has given them an exquisite, delicate, and generous heart, and a great capacity for love.

On the other hand, love prompts imitation.  Imitation of Jesus in His habitual state of "Hostia," which means "Victim," in His perpetual victim-life, implies a special participation in His sacrifice, in the mystery of the cross.

It is impossible to receive every day the immaculate flesh of Jesus, to drink His blood which engenders virgins, and to bathe in the light streaming forth from the monstrance without being affected and purified by His immaculate purity, and as if embalmed by His virginal fragrance.

Eucharistic souls carry within themselves, at least in germ or desire, as a pledge of Jesus' predilection, these three gifts: love, pain, and purity. 

In their turn, what must they offer to Jesus?  In what does their special mission consist?  Like John, they must be His consolation.

To this effect, they must, in the first place, understand Him; they must understand His doctrine, which may be summed up entirely in two words: to love and to suffer.  Its code is the Gospel; its symbol, the cross; its vitality, the Eucharist; its term, heaven.

They must remain loyal to Jesus, loyal to their vocation, loyal to their special mission, so that the divine Victim, looking down from the Sacred Host in the monstrance, as He look down from the cross, might always see, at His feet, His chosen souls, of whom it may be said as it was of John: "They were standing by the cross."

What consoles Jesus more than anything else, however, is that we understand His Eucharist; that is, that we understand the love it signifies and the suffering it represents.  Then, indeed, the soul feels the necessity of consoling Him, at least the way little ones console their love and delicate tokens of affection, and in the manner John consoled Him, throwing ourself into the arms of Christ, hiding ourselves in His bosom, so that His heart may feel close by the pulsations of another heart which understands and loves Him.

This is what we should do during our adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  Whether it is in the daytime or at night, the hour of adoration should reproduce the beautiful scene of the Cenacle: John reclining at Jesus' bosom.  The eucharistic soul has two places of honor, then: at the foot of the cross and on the bosom of Jesus.  One demands the other; both complement each other.

If we do this, we may be sure that, when this mortal life is over and the day of eternity shines upon us, the angels of God, speaking of eucharistic souls, will designate them with the same terms as distinguished St. John: "The disciple whom Jesus loved" - "the souls whom Jesus loved."  And, if faithfully we spend our lives at the foot of the cross and at the foot of the monstrance (or before the tabernacle), our eternity will consist in reproducing perpetually the delightful scene of the Cenacle: on Jesus' bosom we shall live forever.

Jose Guadalupe Trevino
The Holy Eucharist


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Commitment to daily Eucharistic Adoration


Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Adoration is a "very sweet duty"; for it is here that you come to the Beloved and in this you also fulfill the greatest commandment - Love the Lord your God with all your mind, heart, soul and strength and Love your neighbor as yourself.  This is a commitment that you make daily, then, not out of self interest but for love.

Such commitment is not easy in our day.  In so many aspects of our lives we like to keep our options open.  When invited to an event we often say "Maybe" rather than "Yes" or "No", preferring to wait rather than to commit in case something more interesting or important arises.  Or, perhaps, we simply want to hold on to the "freedom" of self-direction; to determine when and how we come to the Lord.  

This, Fr. Florian describes, can hold within it a kind of "deceptive desire and a dangerous fidelity." We prefer to come to the Lord according to our own pleasure, when it suits us.  Yet, true freedom is exercised when it is committed to fidelity in love to pray faithful and regularly!  

In your commitment to daily adoration Daughters, you become a service for mankind and keep watch in the name Church for those most in need of it - especially the priests for whom you pray.

It is not what we do that makes a “holy hour”, but what Jesus does: he pours into us his Holy Spirit, which sanctifies us. “If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water’ ” (Jn 7:37–38). What counts above all for Jesus is our desire to love him. Instead of keeping an hour in our day free for our personal occupations, we choose to meet him in an hour of adoration.

In adoration, what is most important is not what we feel but him whom we meet and what we give him! Love seeks, not its own interest, but the interest of the beloved. One does not go worship for oneself or to feel something. We adore God for himself and because he deserves our adoration. Adoring is a “very sweet duty”; it is the first commandment: “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve” (Mt 4:10).

Some people refuse to choose a specific hour, preferring to come “freely”, according to their pleasure. A deceptive desire and a dangerous fidelity! Love drives us to commitment. Freedom is fully exercised when it is committed to fidelity in love. To overcome an affective adoration (adoring when one feels like it, going to see “one’s own little Jesus”) and move on to an adoration “in spirit and truth”, an adoration in the Church and for the Church, it is necessary to pray faithfully and regularly! Adoration then becomes a service for mankind. We keep watch in the name of the Church for those most in need of it.

Racine, Fr. Florian 
Could You Not Watch with Me One Hour?: How to Cultivate a Deeper Relationship with the Lord through Eucharistic Adoration