Thursday, June 9, 2011

Luminous Mysteries: 5th, Our LORD, Jesus Christ, Establishes the Eucharist

John 6:53-69
Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever" These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. Then many of his disciples who were listening said, "This saying is hard; who can accept it?" Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, "Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe." Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, "For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father." As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?" Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God."

Matthew 26:26-28
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, "Take and eat; this is my Body"
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you,
for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins."

While these 2 passages are seperated by maybe 100 pages or more, I think reading them this close together and in light of each other really helps to bring out the wonder of the Eucharist.

The thing that stands out to me while contemplating the 5th Luminous Mystery is how Jesus seems to give us something that we don't know if we can bring ourselves to do or even if we could, how we would go about doing it. Then He provides a way for us to do this thing that we never could have imagined.  

In the first passage many disciples leave him when he says that He is giving His own Body and Blood for food an drink. These disciples had presumably left everything behind to follow Him and learn from Him. But this was to much because they couldn't fathom how they could accomplish this thing that He told them to do. And so, they "returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him."

But in the second passage, He does what He has always done even from the beginning of time. He gives us what we need, in the way that we need it. The Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. For our sake, He is veiled under the appearance of bread and wine, that we might be able to do as he said "eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood".

The 5th Luminous Mystery makes me think "What a GOD we have!"

Monday, June 6, 2011

Read the Catechism in a Year

At the beginning of this year the priests at our parish challenged us to "read the Catechism in a year." Much like their challenge that we "Read the Bible in a year" the previous year, I have found this practice to yield much fruit. Many times I have finished a paragraph or a section and thought to myself "where has this book been all my life?"

Tonight as I was reading through part 4 "The Revelation of Prayer" Section 1 "Christian Prayer" and paragraph 2729 in particular struck me and provided a "where has this book been all of my life?" moment.

"The habitual difficulty in prayer is distraction. It can affect words and their meaning in vocal prayer; it can concern, more profoundly, him to whom we are praying, in vocal prayer (liturgical or personal), meditation, and contemplative prayer. To set about hunting down distractions would be to fall into their trap, when all that is necessary is to turn back to our heart: for a distraction reveals to us what we are attached to, and this humble awareness before the Lord should awaken our preferential love for him and lead us resolutely to offer him our heart to be purified. Therein lies the battle, the choice of which master to serve"

While the content of the paragraph seems obvious sometimes having something articulated makes it much easier to use. As I read this paragraph, I could remember many times struggling against distraction or worse yet finishing a time of prayer and looking back on it and seeing that the whole time was distraction. I could also foresee many times to come of distraction in prayer and remembering this paragraph, turning back to my heart and choosing which master to serve. In other words, as I read this paragraph, I could already begin to see the fruit it would produce.
This is just one example of what I have gotten out of it reading the Catechism. That being said, I know that it is already June, but if you wanted to join us at this point you could easily catch up by doubling up on the reading. The standard reading takes literally 5 minutes or so a day. So if you started from the beginning today or tomorrow it would take 10 minutes a day.

This is the schedule we are following, jump in!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Christian High: Parishioner

Christian High : Parishioner St Joan of Arc, Catholic Church, Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana. this is just one of my many titles in life. We all have them, titles that signify our relationships and roles in life; husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter, employee, boss, etc.

Our titles and roles dictate how we live our lives. Our titles and roles provide us with motivation to get out of bed in the morning. Our titles and roles guide where we go and what we do with our days. Our titles and roles are always before us. Yet it dawned on me the other day that if someone were to ask me to list all of the titles and roles that apply to me I might not think to add parishioner to the list.

I feel like I try pretty hard to keep faith at the forefront of my life. Even still, I didn't immediately recognize this title as applicable to me. But it is and thank GOD that it is. Because in this title is reflected my membership in the Church. Which is to say my membership in the Body of Christ. It is in this membership that I can draw the strength, wisdom and motivation to live my other titles and roles as I should.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Feeling Disconnected from GOD?

I heard in a homily once something like this; “If you feel like you are disconnected from GOD don’t think that GOD has left you because he is always right there. Instead, look for and put in their proper place the things that you have replaced HIM with. Then you can feel HIS presence in your life again.”
From my own experience these “things” don’t have to be big, bright or shiny. These “things” can just be “life” accompanied by a sort of spiritual sloth, neglecting to make time for the LORD.
This advice came in handy for me lately and I thought I would share it in case it might come on handy for you someday as well.