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                                   May 30, 2005

To Behold Love Incarnate

by Thomas A. Droleskey

We are within the Octave of the Feast of Corpus Christi, providing us with an occasion to reflect upon the great gift Our Lord gave us for our sanctification and salvation, His very own Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Fallen human nature inclines us to a disordered love of self. We see this very clearly in small children, most of whom believe that the world revolves them and their desire for attention and instant gratification. Some children become adults without maturing, however, continuing to believe that they are the center of the universe, actually resenting it when others receive attention and praise. Indeed, we live in a world of egoism and narcissism. Mere creatures want to be regarded and treated as demigods. And demigods do not believe that anyone or anything is more important than themselves, including the God-Man, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Even believing Catholics can fall prey to the highly secularized world in which they find themselves. Good people can become convinced that all of their well-intentioned and frequently quite important work leaves them no time for formal prayer before Our Lord in His Real Presence. Activity becomes deified. Others spend a great deal of time jabbering away, bemoaning the state of the Church and the world. Yet others look to politics and political candidates to resolve our problems, devoting an inordinate amount of time, energy and emotion to the enabling of a defective political process that does not serve the interests of Christ the King and of Mary our Immaculate Queen.

Each of us needs to use this coming month of June, dedicated as it is to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, to intensify our devotion to spending time before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, Wherein the Sacred Heart beats with unmatched love for each and every single one of us. We have to reflect on how we use the time that God gives us each day of our lives. Are we devoted to assisting at the daily offering of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition if it is available to us in our areas? Do we make the sacrifices necessary to get ourselves to the Mass that produced the saints who never really left the Mass on any given day because they were devoted to spending time with the Chief Priest and Victim of each Mass in His Real Presence outside of Mass? After the Mass, which is the unbloody re-presentation of Our Lord's Sacrifice to the Father in Spirit and in Truth, there is no better use of our time than to spend it in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.

As I noted in an article in the printed pages Christ or Chaos six years ago, Eucharistic piety is a foretaste of Heaven. Our Lady, Saint Joseph, and all of the angels and the saints are present with us as we transcend time and space in front of a tabernacle--or in front of a monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament. We know that the eternal destiny of the souls of those who die in states of sanctifying grace is to behold the very vision of the Blessed Trinity in an unending Easter Sunday of glory in Heaven. Adoring Our Lord fin His Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament reminds us, therefore, of the common vocation shared by all men: to participate eternally in Our Lord's Easter victory over sin and eternal death.

Egoistic and narcissistic man needs to be focused on Christ in His Real Presence, not on himself and his own delusional sense of importance. We are nothing in comparison to Christ the King. It is He Who has made us something by virtue of His redemptive act on the wood of the Holy Cross. Everything we have that is good comes from Him. Sadly, though, just as only one out of nine lepers returned to give thanks to Our Lord after He had cured them of their leprosy, most Catholics refuse to give thanks to Our Lord--to spend time with Him in His Real Presence. They cannot find time to do so, or have never been taught how essential Eucharistic piety is to the life of the soul. Indeed, it is the case today that the lion's share of Catholics pay no attention to the life of the soul whatsoever, no less understand the importance of making time to behold Love Incarnate in churches, chapels of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, oratories, monasteries, convents, abbeys--and all other places where a lit red lamp signifies the bright, burning love of the One who beckons us for our company and adoration.

Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament is very powerful. We receive infused graces from spending time with Our Beloved. And while nothing on earth matches the power which flows out of the worthy and valid celebration of each Mass, prayers said before the Blessed Sacrament have a special potency. It is important to realize just how powerful God the Father has made us by virtue of the graces won for us by God the Son and made present in Holy Mother Church by the working of the God the Holy Ghost. Our fidelity to prayer before the Blessed Sacrament bears fruit in the world that we will not fully understand until eternity, please God we persevere until the end in a state of sanctifying grace. As bad as things are in the Church and in the world, they would be infinitely worse if we did not spend time before the Blessed Sacrament. Indeed, one of the only things holding up the world in which we live right now is the fact that millions of simple souls (most of whom are utterly clueless about the problems within the Church) still have the sensus fidei, the sensus Catholicus, to take time out of their daily schedules to spend at least a few minutes with the One Who is our First Cause and Last End. We see this throughout our travels here in the United States every year. And we saw it during our two week pilgrimage to Rome, the seat of the Holy Faith, where there were people adoring Our Lord in every one of the forty-five churches we visited, including the four major basilicas. There are still people who know enough about the Faith to spend time with Our Lord despite the best efforts of the revolutionaries to eradicate belief in the sacrificial nature of the Mass and in the Real Presence Itself.

The fruit of Eucharistic piety is not confined to this world, as we know. While it is true that there are souls alive in the Church Militant who benefit from the fruit of our prayers before the Blessed Sacrament, offered freely to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart as her consecrated slaves, it is also true that the Poor Souls in the Church Suffering, Purgatory, profit handsomely from the time we spend with the Prisoner of the Tabernacle. To keep us humble--and to keep us on our knees--we have no way of knowing for sure in this life how many souls in Purgatory profit from our prayers. All of those who do profit from them, however, will be very grateful to us for our generosity toward them by remembering them before the Blessed Sacrament.

You want to know what real "liberation theology" is? You want to know what real "empowerment" is? Spend time before the Blessed Sacrament on a regular basis. For it is the time we spend before Our Lord in His Real Presence which liberates us from human respect and permits us to see the world more clearly through the eyes of the true Faith. It is the time we spend before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament which empowers us to conquer pride and other vices in our own life, making it more possible to die to self so as to bear witness to Christ and His Holy Church no matter what it might cost us in this passing vale of tears. It is the time we spend before Our Beloved that equips us to love Him more deeply, to become more fully attached to Him and less attached to ourselves and the things, people, and places of this world (and to love the people around us more truly, as well as to use the things and places of this world more effectively for the salvation of souls, starting with our own).

Our Lord gave her Divine Son the very Flesh and Blood that He offered up to the Father on the wood of the Holy Cross to redeem us. It is her fervent desire that we keep her Son company in His Real Presence, just as he valiantly stood by the foot of the Cross as she watched in horror as she saw our sins exact their brutal toll on the Flesh of her Divine Son. We pray to her to help us to be so Christ-centered in our daily lives that we grow in the habit of spending at least a few moments (if not a half hour or an hour, depending upon the duties of our states-in-life) each day. And it will center all of our activity properly, helping us to believe more firmly and to act more courageously as we seek to restore all things in Christ as the fruit of the Triumph of Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.

This particular Octave of the Feast of Corpus Christi has particular significance for me as this day, May 30, 2005, the fifth in the Octave, is the forty-sixth anniversary of my First Holy Communion at Saint Aloysius Church in Great Neck, New York. Thanks be to the grace of our dear Blessed Mother, I will receive Holy Communion today at Our Lady Help of Christians in Garden Grove, California, assisting at the very same Mass of the ages in which I received my First Holy Communion forty-six years ago and three thousand miles distant. I had let the forces of the revolution dim my appreciation for the Mass of the ages for two decades or so before Our Lady started the long process of pulling me back to the Mass of my boyhood, the Immemorial Mass of Tradition that is for all ages and all cultures. I am thus so grateful to Our Lady for bringing me back to the fullness of Tradition without compromise in order to help me fulfill better my duties as a husband and a father to help shepherd my little family home to Heaven by immersing them in the fullest expression of the Catholic Faith. I do not know how many more anniversaries of my First Holy Communion there will be before my own Particular Judgment. I can only hope and pray that God's mercy, extended to me in the Sacrament of Penance, is such that my own willfulness and egoism can be overcome in whatever time left to me in this vale of tears so that each time I receive Holy Communion I will do so with the fervor and innocence of my First--and with the recognition that it could be my last.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, all Praise and all Thanksgiving be every moment Thine.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, all Praise and all Thanksgiving be every moment Thine.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, all Praise and all Thanksgiving be every moment Thine.






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